Save Mumia Abu-Jamal

Abolish the death penalty

ON DECEMBER 9 1981 Mumia Abu Jamal saw his brother Billy being beaten by police officer David Faulkner. When he intervened he was shot in the stomach. Although he was in a critical condition, he was charged with killing Faulkner, who was found dead.

While critically wounded Jamal was beaten, kicked and dumped on a hospital floor by police. The trial in Pennsylvania was a similar frame-up, with Jamal prevented from presenting a defence. He has been on death row ever since.

Jamal, an award-winning journalist known as the “voice of the voiceless”, was a member of the Black Panther Party and supporter of the Move commune annihilated by Philadelphia police in 1985. He is a prime political target for the ultra-reactionary rightwing state authorities.

On June 2 Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge signed the death warrant for Jamal, setting August 17 as the execution date. Only days after the execution order Ridge’s office had received 20,000 faxes and letters of protest. Demonstrations and meetings were held throughout the world. Meetings of support were held in London and Birmingham, attended by trade unions, socialist, immigrant and black organisations.

Helen Ellis