In late February, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal tested positive for COVID-19 and was treated for congestive heart disease. He had previously been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver from untreated hepatitis C, and he suffers from severe dermatitis. His supporters from around the globe flooded the phone lines and emails of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, prison officials and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner demanding he be released. The following is a slightly edited March 19 message from Mumia to his supporters.
Dear sisters, brothers, comrades, and friends and family on a MOVE! How can I thank you? These, my words, can hardly measure the flood of love that you have radiated on my behalf recently. I am almost — almost — without words, but I’ll try.
Thank you, Wadiya. Thank you, Pam Africa. Your support from Philadelphia to France, from points across the nation and literally around the globe, have pulled me from a prison cell and placed me in a hospital room to be treated for a condition I didn’t know I had.
In the age of pandemic as of January 2021, over 300,000 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19. Imagine that in a cell, trying to breathe with a weight pressing on your chest. Imagine an elder man or woman, or even a young person, because yes, we are also in an age of mass incarceration, which day-by-day increases its infliction upon the elderly struggling, unsuccessfully, to breathe, to walk, to be.
I thank you all for reaching out and I urge you all, let our mission be abolition. I love you all. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.