Justice is overdue for Mumia

May 16, 2008

Siddique Abdullah Hasan is one of the Lucasville Five, a group of men railroaded onto death row in Ohio after a 1993 prison rebellion in which inmates at the Lucasville prison rose up against the abuses and arbitrary rules of prison guards and officials. Here, he looks at the recent court ruling rejecting Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeal for a new trial.

IN LIGHT of the adverse ruling by a three-judge panel for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in denying Mumia Abu-Jamal a new trial and an evidentiary hearing, many of his supporters are outraged and weighing the pros and cons of what must be done to create the circumstances for his speedy release from captivity.

At a press conference outside the Federal Court building in Philadelphia, Sister Pam Africa of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal hit the nail on the head when she so forcefully said, "The power of the people has to be unleashed, because what the court did was wrong!"

Being an activist and a revolutionary thinker, I'm totally convinced that what she was conveying to the people--actually to the world--is that the gloves must come off and the people must be turned loose to fight fire with fire via the principle of "by any means necessary."

While there are many ways to unleash the power of the people, I think one way it should be unleashed is by calling for an international economic boycott against Hershey's and other major businesses in the state of Pennsylvania. In order to make this boycott successful, the help of the European Union and other countries interested in the quality of justice should be sought.

When other countries or governments are guilty of civil, constitutional and human rights violations against their citizens, the United States government either selectively speaks out against these types of violations or selectively imposes economic sanctions against the perpetrators. As the leader of the "free world," when the United States does this, it sends a clear and powerful message to the world that the United States will not sit idle and allow these violations to go unchecked.

It's time for the world to stand up to the state of Pennsylvania--that is, to Gov. Ed Rendell, to Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, to the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police and to the appellate courts--and say with a unified voice: "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal now! We want justice for him, and we won't sit idle and allow you to execute this innocent man!"

Such a stand and economic boycott will serve as a supplement to the work Mumia's lawyers and supporters are vigorously engaged in to save his life.

In a capitalistic society that prides itself on its superpower status, economic power and military might are the only languages this imperialistic government seems to respect and understand. Therefore, the heat must be turned up if we are ever going to acquire justice for Mumia. Justice demands that he be granted a new trial, or at least an evidentiary hearing to gather and present enough evidence to prove he did not murder Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.

The appellate courts have never heard the newly discovered evidence of his actual innocence. They have always found some flimsy excuse to repress it. In a case of actual innocence, the courts are under obligation to hear newly discovered evidence--but such has never happened in Mumia's case. In the absence of hearing it, the state's theory that Mumia murdered Officer Faulkner seems very convincing to someone who doesn't know the particulars of his case or the circumstances surrounding why the government framed Mumia and wants him dead.

Be that as it may, justice in Mumia's case is long, long overdue. How long? Too long! It's been 26 years, and it's now time for the world to become morally courageous by stepping up to the plate and demanding justice for our elder, Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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