October 26 — A large group gathered in front of the U.S. Federal Building in Oakland to support today’s legal action for a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The protest, which included a rally and picket, was organized by the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded his immediate freedom.
Oakland has a long history of support for Abu-Jamal. Gerald Smith, a member of the Labor Action Committee, recalled the early actions of the Oakland Education Association, this city’s teacher’s union, to educate students about this political prisoner’s case. Jack Heyman, a retired executive board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, recalled his union’s decades-long support for Abu-Jamal.
David Newton, the nephew of Dr. Huey P. Newton and a member of ILWU Local 10, compared the state violence against the Black Panther Party with the bombing of the MOVE family. He said that the time has come for Mumia to be free! (Dr. Huey P. Newton was a founder and leader of the Oakland Black Panther Party.)
Organizations supporting today’s rally included Haiti Action Committee, Code Pink, Workers World Party, ANSWER, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party, and many others.