Mumia Abu-Jamal


As you read the following material, you should bear in mind that if you stay with Antipas, you must steel yourself against what is inevitably going to happen to you.

Looks like S.R. Shearer
- maybe it is.

And it will happen! Believe me, you will be attacked! - and the attacks will come from both the RELIGIOUS establishment, as well as the POLITICAL establishment. You will be attacked in the same manner that the police have attacked and intimidated the black community over the years in order to prevent it from becoming REVOLUTIONARY. [Please see our article, "The Utility of Police Brutality in the Elite's War against the Poor."]

It's not without reason that the Bible warns us:

"Take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the ... [churches] ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9)

Still, the demand on us as those who love Jesus is that we must speak out against the church's alliance with the American New World Order System; LOVE REQUIRES IT. How can those who love Jesus say nothing about this noxious alliance; nothing about the way it defames the name of Jesus among the poor and oppressed of the world? Indeed, those who fail to speak out prove by their silence that they are not "ON THE LORD'S SIDE," all their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.


Who is Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a renowned journalist from Philadelphia who has been in prison since 1981 and on death row since 1983 for allegedly shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. He is known as the "Voice of the Voiceless" for his award-winning reporting on police brutality and other social and racial epidemics that plague communities of color in Philadelphia and throughout the world.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was serving as the President of the Association of Black Journalists at the time of his arrest. He was a founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party as a teenager.

The Black Panthers

NOTE: In October of 1966, in Oakland California, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Panthers practiced self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish socialism through mass organizing and community based programs.

In the late 1960s the Black Panther Party started a Free Breakfast program for children in Oakland, California. Concerned that the program would spread "anti-establishment" propaganda, the elites "sicced" the FBI on them. The FBI decided on a "preemptive strike." The bureau produced a 24-page coloring book, making it appear as if it had been created by the Panthers. Intending to gut public support for the group, the book contained inflammatory pictures, some of which featured young black kids shooting pigs dressed up as policemen.

The FBI sent copies of the coloring book to the Panthers' white contributors and to businesses that supported the free breakfast program, such as Safeway and Jack-in-the-Box. When copies of the forgery reached the Panthers' national leadership, Bobby Seale destroyed it, saying it "did not reflect the ideology of the Black Panther Party."

Pig cartoon from FBI's made-up coloring book.

Nonetheless, the FBI ruse worked, and the Panther's sponsors withdrew from the program. For years and years afterwards copies of the "Black Panther Coloring Book" circulated in conservative circles and was accepted as "Gospel" - despite the heated denials from leaders in the Black Panther Party that the coloring book "was none of theirs." It wasn't until years later that the "Senate Committee on Intelligence Activities" chaired by the late Senator Frank Church of Idaho discovered that the coloring book had been a ruse invented by the FBI to discredit the Black Panther Party - but by then the ruse had done its "dirty work:" the coloring book had ignited a firestorm against the Black Panthers resulting in a spate of "cooked up" criminal prosecutions against the leaders of the party that landed most of them in jail. After the Church Committee revelations, many of the leaders of the Panthers were freed "on appeal," but only after they had spent years and years in prison and their reputations forever FIXED in the American public's mind as "cop killers."

Years later Mumia began reporting professionally on radio stations such as NPR, and was the news director of Philadelphia station WHAT. Much of his journalism called attention to the blatant injustice and brutality he watched happen on a daily basis to MOVE, a revolutionary "poor people's" organization with which Mumia had become involved.

NOTE: We urge you to see the following video by Howard Zinn on the brutal destruction of the MOVE movement by the Philadelphia police.

The Scene

In 1981, Mumia worked as a cab driver at night to supplement his income. On December 9th he was driving his cab through the red light district of downtown Philadelphia at around 4 a.m. Mumia testifies that he let off a fare and parked near the corner of 13th and Locust Streets.

MOVE founder,
John Africa

Upon hearing gunshots, he turned and saw his brother, William Cook, staggering in the street. Mumia exited the cab and ran to the scene, where he was shot by a uniformed police officer and fell to the ground, fading in and out of consciousness. Within minutes, police arrived on the scene to find Officer Faulkner and Mumia shot; Faulkner died. Mumia was arrested, savagely beaten, thrown into a paddy wagon and driven to a hospital a few blocks away (suspiciously, it took over 30 minutes to arrive at the hospital). Mumia somehow survived.

The Trial

The trial began in 1982 with Judge Sabo (who has sent more people to death row than any other judge) presiding. Mumia wished to represent himself and have John Africa as his legal advisor, but before jury selection had finished, this right was revoked and an attorney was forcibly appointed for him. Throughout the trial, Mumia was accused of disrupting court proceedings and was not allowed to attend most of his own trial. Sabo lived up to his nickname of "Prosecutor in Robes."

The Evidence

Mumia in hospital after being shot and then beaten up by the police.

The prosecution claimed that the shot which killed Faulkner came from Mumia Abu-Jamal's legally registered .38-caliber weapon, contradicting the medical examiner's report that the bullet removed from Faulkner's brain was a .44-caliber. This fact was kept from the jury. Moreover, a ballistics expert found it incredible that police at the scene failed to test Mumia's gun to see if has been recently fired, or to test his hands for powder residue. One of the most damning prosecution claims was that Mumia confessed at the hospital. However, this confession was not reported until nearly two months after December 9th, immediately after Mumia had filed a brutality suit against the police. One of the officers who claims to have heard the confession is Gary Wakshul. However, in his police report on that day he stated, "the Negro male made no comments." Dr. Coletta, the attending physician who was with Mumia the entire time, says that he never heard Mumia speak.

The Witnesses

The star prosecution witness, a prostitute named Cynthia White, was someone no other witness reported seeing at the scene. During the trial of Billy Cook (Mumia's brother) just weeks before Mumia's trial, White gave testimony completely contradictory to what she stated at Mumia's trial. Her testimony at Billy Cook's trial placed someone at the scene who was not there when police arrived. This corroborates the other five witness accounts that someone fled the scene. In a 1997 hearing, another former prostitute, Pamela Jenkins, testified that White was acting as a police informant. Other sworn testimony revealed that witness coercion was routinely practiced by the police. In 1995, eyewitness William Singletary testified that police repeatedly tore up his initial statement--that the shooter fled the scene--until he finally signed something acceptable to them. The following year, witness Veronica Jones came forward to testify that she had been coerced into changing her initial statement that two men fled the

scene. Witness Billy Cook, who was present the whole time, has stated very clearly that Mumia is absolutely innocent.

The Sentence

Due to police manipulation of witnesses, fabrication of evidence, and the rights of the defense severely denied, Mumia was found guilty.

He was sentenced to death during the penalty phase based solely on his political beliefs. Mumia has been unjustly separated from his family for twenty-two years, with the threat of death looming over his head. Very obviously, the government was sending a message to all those in the black community who would dare speak out too loudly against the elites: "BACK OFF."

New Witnesses

In 2001, court stenographer Terri Maurer-Carter came forward and stated that in 1982, before Mumia's trial began, she heard Judge Sabo say, "Yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the n****r." He was referring to Mumia. This backs up evidence of judicial bias and racism in Mumia's case. In the same year, esteemed Philadelphia journalist Linn Washington stated that on the morning of December 9th, 1981, he went to the scene to report on it--and no police were present. This backs up prior claims that police didn't handle the crime scene properly.

The Confession

In 1999, Arnold Beverly confessed to killing Officer Faulkner. This confession is validated by a lie detector test administered by eminent polygraph expert Charles Honts. Despite concrete evidence supporting this confession, the Philadelphia District Attorney has refused to investigate, and the courts have not even allowed it to be heard. The injustice continues . . .

The Decisions

On December 18th, 2001, Judge Yohn issued a decision on the Habeas Corpus petition in Federal District Court. He upheld Mumia's unjust conviction, but challenged the sentencing phase (the death sentence). This means there could be a new sentencing hearing after all appeals are resolved, but the only options are life in prison with no possibility of parole or another death sentence. This is not justice. There is massive evidence of Mumia's innocence and he should be absolutely free. Mumia's legal team filed an appeal of this decision in January of 2002. Mumia remains on death row until all appeals by both sides are heard.

Judge Pamela Dembe's November 21, 2001, rejection of Mumia's request to reopen the PCRA hearings was appealed by Mumia's legal team. Judge Dembe based her decision almost entirely on the Peterkin case, which has just been overturned! On October 8, 2003, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the appeal, stating that the Beverly confession cannot be heard due to time limitations. The court also stated that Terri Maurer-Carter's testimony is irrelevant. The struggle continues.

The Movement

A broad international movement has formed in support of Mumia. Celebrities such as Danny Glover, Ossie Davis, and Susan Sarandon, world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Danielle Mitterand (former First Lady of France), and Fidel Castro, governing bodies such as the Japanese Diet, 22 members of the British Parliament, and the European Parliament have all recognized the blatant injustice in this case and have called for a new trial at the very least. Millions of people throughout the world have taken to the streets to protest his unjust imprisonment.

Mumia's case has been a unifying point for many social struggles because it concentrates issues vitally important to our future, such as the rise in prison populations, police brutality, the death penalty, persecution of political dissent, and the continuation of white supremacy and racism in the U.S. From death row, Mumia has continued to speak out for all who are oppressed through his journalism. He has published four books, and his weekly columns are published throughout the world. His case is one of the most important social justice fights of our time.

Lynne Stewart speaks in
of Mumia Abu-Jamal