By Verbena Lea, Sarah Torres, Tova Fry
July 3, 2022 marks 40 years (July 1982) since journalist and Black Panther Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death in Pennsylvania, framed in the government war on Black Liberation activists. Mumia is still in prison today, now an elder. There is an “All Out For Mumia” call for 40 cities to unite against 40 years of injustice on Sunday, July 3rd. From Philadelphia to San Francisco to Paris and Berlin, people are organizing to make visible, strong acts of solidarity and education in the movement to free Mumia on July 3rd.
Mumia is a brilliant writer, journalist, and thinker, known as the “voice of the voiceless” for his truth-telling, profound political analysis, courageous words, and humanity reaching out from what he calls the bowels of the modern slave ship – U.S. prisons. Year after year, from prison, Mumia continues to teach, report, and analyze current day events. Without sugar-coating, he encourages us and shares his keen understanding, commentaries, and solidarity with oppressed people everywhere. Mumia is perhaps the most well-known Political Prisoner in the U.S., but he has grown old in prison. In 2011, the international campaign to Free Mumia succeeded in getting Mumia off death row. But the carceral system has been relentlessly trying to kill Mumia through medical neglect and abuse.
Love Not Phear is a campaign initiated by longtime supporters of Mumia. The lead organizers include Mike Africa Jr (born in prison, son of two MOVE members, Debbie and Mike Africa, who were each political prisoners for 40 years), Jamal Jr (Mumia’s grandson), and YahNé Ndgo, an artist and global activist in Philadelphia. Love Not Phear is calling on 40 cities to unite against 40 years of injustice. They emphasize that:
Mumia is a victim of racism, of racist Frank Rizzo (notorious former Philly mayor), and flagrant police corruption. Bribed witnesses and secret deals are not justice. They ask “Why is a cop’s life more valuable than another human being’s?”
We wish to make it clear to all who see our signs and hear our voices, that the U.S. does have political prisoners, keeps them incarcerated for decades, and tries to kill them. It is unacceptable for our Political Prisoners to die in prison – with the courts, guards, and “medical” staff subjecting them to horrific treatment. But we have lost too many that way, including beloved Romaine Chip Fitzgerald, Albert Nuh Washington, Abdullah Majid, Tom Manning, Merle Africa, Phil Africa, and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa.
We must NOT allow the racist, corrupt system to kill Mumia Abu-Jamal. We demand the release of all Political Prisoners.
It is well past the time to free our Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War- our freedom fighters – who have been targeted for participating in struggles for Black, Brown, and Indigenous Liberation, for defending themselves from a genocidal policing system, and for serving and organizing their communities. The U.S. carceral system (state and federal) uses medical abuse and neglect and elder abuse to harm and kill our Political Prisoners. Mumia, like so many other people in prison, has contracted COVID, has heart problems, diabetes, and other serious ailments, many due to the system’s poisons, violence, and neglect.
With 40 Cities for 40 Years, organizers are hoping to bring widespread attention to the flagrant corruption that has permeated throughout Mumia’s legal case, the medical neglect Mumia has endured, and the fact that he needs to be released now! Please join in whatever capacity you can to make July 3rd informative, clear in its message, powerful and empowering, and momentum building to free Mumia and all our Political Prisoners.
Here’s a partial list of known cities (with location and local time where available) planning events on July 3rd, as part of 40 Cities for 40 Years for Mumia:
- DC, Maryland, VA: 2-5pm, film screening, Elife Restaurant, 9185 Central Ave, Capitol Heights, MD
- Detroit, MI: 1pm, march and rally, Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave
- Houston, TX: banner drop, 5:30-7:00pm, Southmore Bridge over Highway 288
- Newark, NJ: rally (possible march), 2pm Lincoln Statue, 12 Springfield Ave at West Market St
- Philadelphia, PA: 1-5pm, Thomas Paine Plaza, Broad and JFK
- San Francisco, CA: 3-6pm, Dolores Park, by tennis courts
FREE MUMIA! FREE THEM ALL!