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French name street for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Published May 11, 2006 8:52 PM

A street in the Paris suburb of St. Denis has been named for U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The April 29 ceremony was hosted by the city of St. Denis and its mayor, Didier Paillard.

Maggy Louis sings after St. Denis
Mayor Didier Paillard, rear, removed
French flag to unveil the new
Mumia Abu-Jamal street sign.
WW photos

Abu-Jamal has been in prison since 1981 and on death row since 1983 for allegedly killing a Philadelphia cop. A journalist, Black Panther, MOVE member, and outspoken critic of police brutality, racism and the death penalty, Mumia Abu-Jamal has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.

Abu-Jamal is the most widely known U.S. political prisoner. His continued imprisonment has generated a worldwide movement supporting his freedom.

In 2003, Abu-Jamal was named an honorary citizen of Paris by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, making him and Pablo Picasso the only ones to be so honored.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Street in St. Denis connects with Human Rights Square and is located in the Cristino Garcia neighborhood, named for an anti-fascist partisan killed during the civil war in Spain in the 1930s. The street is only a few steps away from Nelson Mandela Stadium.

The two days of events surrounding the street-naming ceremony were attended by city officials and local activists, including many from the African communities in St. Denis as well as actor Samuel Légitimus of the James Baldwin Collective in Paris and singer Maggy Louis. Many international dele gations attended the event, including representatives from Guadeloupe, Portu gal, Spain, the United States and other countries.

Pam Africa and Julia Wright. Mumia’s lawyer,
Robert Bryan, on right.

Pam Africa and Leslie Jones of the Inter national Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ), as well as Ramona Africa of the MOVE organization, were among the speakers at the ceremony.

Julia Wright, an African American writer living in Paris as well as a member of ICFFMAJ, spoke and provided a French trans lation of a statement from Abu-Jamal.

Also among the speakers was Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert Bryan.

Other members of the U.S. delegation included Sundiata Sadiq, vice president of the Ossining, N.Y., NAACP; Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Coalition of New York City; Arthemio Perez, Peoples Video Network; Lallan Schoenstein, Millions for Mumia/ International Action Center; and Gary Wilson, Workers World managing editor.

A PVN videocast of the event, including Mumia Abu-Jamal’s statement thanking the people of St. Denis and France, can be found at www.peoplesvideo.tv.