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Mumia supporters expose police terror

Published Apr 26, 2007 10:14 PM

Following are excerpts from a N.Y. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition press release.

From left to right, Gwen Dobrow,
Monica Moorehead, City Councilperson
Charles Barron, Orrie Lumumba and
Suzanne Ross at City Hall press conference.
WW photo: Lal Roohk

On April 23, a press conference was held on the steps of City Hall in New York denouncing the outrageous and illegal police tactics aimed at silencing support for internationally renowned journalist and writer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for almost a quarter of a century.

A Hip Hop concert, organized by young supporters of Abu-Jamal, was scheduled to take place on April 15 at the Remote Lounge. For a week prior to the scheduled concert, the police pressured the club owner to cancel the event, but the owner stood firm. Then, two nights before the scheduled event, the police barged in on the club, issued 16 citations, involving thousands of dollars in fines, and escalated the threats against the owner. Fearing for his family and himself, the owner at this point cancelled the event. The event was promptly moved to Solidarity Center and was held with great enthusiasm, but with anger at the police action.

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal will be heard on May 17 before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Mumia has his first real chance of winning a new trial in that court after being convicted of the murder of a policeman almost 25 years ago. The Fraternal Order of Police, the prosecution and their allies are doing everything possible to undermine that possibility.

It is in that context that the attack on the Remote Lounge must be responded to seriously, as it mirrors a long history of similar actions in Philadelphia. In that city, a scheduled event highlighting famed actor Danny Glover for April 24, Mumia’s birthday, at the Clef Club, was just moved because of similar police tactics.