By Fighting Words Staff
February 16, 2023 was a powerful International Day of Action demanding freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The day was led by labor activists from ILWU Local 10 in Oakland and San Francisco, teachers from Oakland and San Francisco, the National Metal Workers Union of South Africa, and the National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba in Japan. In New York City, leaders from theTransport Workers Union, Teamsters, Laundry Workers Center, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists held a teach-in for Mumia.
But the overwhelming support didn’t stop there!
- Noted political activist and academic Angela Davis, who was a political prisoner herself, wrote a letter to Irvin Jim, General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, about the bonds of solidarity that hold together this global campaign. She also spoke out in support of the ILWU Local 10 stop work action for Mumia, as an honorary member of the local.
- The children of Elaine sang “This Little Light of Mine”, their song for Mumia. These young people are descendants of the people killed in the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas Massacre.
- Free Mumia protest was held in Berlin, Germany.
VIDEO: ILWU Local 10 Stops Work & Rallies for Mumia With Tyre Nichols Family in San Francisco, California
At 9:49, Tyre’s brother and sisters speak.
VIDEO: National Metal Workers Union of South Africa (NUMSA): Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal Feb. 15, 2023
Here is the video of NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim calling for Mumia’s freedom.
LETTER to Judge Lucretia Clemons, the Philadelphia judge set to rule on Mumia’s appeal, from NUMSA is linked here: https://wibailoutpeople.org/2023/02/17/open-letter-from-national-union-of-metalworkers-of-south-africa-numsa-to-judge-lucretia-clemons-free-mumia-abu-jamal/
San Francisco Educators Join Bay Area Unions in Calling for the Immediate Release of Mumia Abu Jamal from Prison (UESF Press Release)
LETTER: Members of Hoshino Defense Committee, Osaka Defense Committee, and National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba
(Doro-Chiba) and its supporters went to the US Embassy in Tokyo and submitted a letter to the U.S. ambassador demanding Mumia’s freedom.
“On the way there, police officers and plainclothes formed a blocking line and refused to let us through. When we protested persistently, a plainclothes connected us to the US Embassy with his phone. The Embassy officer said: ‘We want you to send it by post, and refused even posting our letter to the embassy’s post box.
We approached nearer to the embassy and held a rally for Mumia’s freedom.
The letter was sent by mail with a delivery certificate.
— International Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba”
LETTER: We have the best chance in a very long time to actually achieve Mumia’s freedom: Angela Davis writes to Irvin Jim
Noted political activist and academic Angela Davis writes to NUMSA’s General Secretary Irvin JIm on the global campaign to free US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal https://peoplesdispatch.org/2023/02/16/we-have-best-chance-in-a-very-long-time-to-actually-achieve-mumias-freedom-angela-davis-writes-to-irvin-jim/
From February 16 to March 16, trade unions and people’s movements across the world are organizing a campaign to demand the release of US political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been in prison for over 41 years. The global action comes at a time when his defense is mounting a fresh attempt to ensure his release as the evidence against him has been time and again exposed as flawed. Ahead of this action, noted political activist and academic Angela Davis, who was a political prisoner herself, wrote a letter to Irvin Jim, General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, about the bonds of solidarity that hold together this global campaign.
VIDEO: Angela Davis also recorded the following statement in support of the ILWU stop work action to free Mumia Abu-Jamal:
VIDEO: Children of Elaine Sing for Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal!
The below description is from Julia Wright – revolutionary poet, writer, daughter of author Richard Wright, and longtime supporter of Political Prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal:
After participating as a descendant of the 1919 Elaine Massacre in the event called “the Voices of Elaine” in Hot Springs, Arkansas, I asked the children descendants of the Elaine Massacre, who had collected the memorial soil on the site where Richard Wright’s uncle had been lynched, if they wanted to honor Mumia’s International Day. I had taken these children under my wing after the Uvalde tragedy, being aware that we must create more and more underground railroad schools. I had Sunday-schooled them about Mumia and they had written to Judge Clemons. Today, February 16th 2023 on Mumia International Day , they sang their Mumia song with the banner they took to the United Nations on December 10th. Singing with them is Vera White, my co-descendant and their Black History teacher:
Mumia’s Freedom is Labor’s Cause!
Feb 16, 2023 event at Actor’s Temple Theatre in New York City, “Mumia’s Freedom is Labor’s Cause”. A teach-in by leaders from the Transport Workers Union, Teamsters, Laundry Workers Center, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and CUNY historians and students.
PHOTOS: Free Mumia – Free Them All: Bericht vom Gewerkschaftlichen Aktionstag
Indymedia report (in German language) with photos from Feb 16, 2023 Free Mumia protest in Berlin, Germany; hopefully translated to English soon
LETTER: Feb 3, 2023 email sent to nearly 40 unions, all signatories to a Black Lives Matter letter
Unexpectedly, Mr. Abu-Jamal has a shot at freedom. Judge Lucretia Clemons of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has ordered the District Attorney’s office to turn over its entire file, up to 200 boxes, to the defense. Mumia’s lawyers expect to find even further evidence that he was framed, that the police coerced and bribed witnesses, and that conscious racism and judicial bias have permeated all the proceedings against him. The judge has stated that she will issue a ruling within 60-90 days, roughly Feb.16-Mar. 16.
This is the hour to fight for Mumia’s freedom. On Feb. 16, longshore workers in ILWU #10 will shut down the Ports of Oakland and San Francisco, holding a stop-work meeting to demand his immediate release. Teachers in the SF Bay Area are organizing to teach on his case around that same date, Feb. 16, the middle of Black History Month.
Over the past week, a delegation from ILWU #10 traveled to a labor conference in South Africa and asked that unions there act again in his defense. NUMSA, the largest union in South Africa, played a critical role in getting Mumia life-saving medicine when he nearly died from hepatitis. In a letter to Pennsylvania’s then-governor Wolf, it compared Mumia’s medical neglect to the treatment prisoners received under the apartheid regime. NUMSA has now agreed to organize a demonstration at the U.S. embassy in Pretoria on Feb. 16. In addition, there will be a demonstration at the U.S. consulate in Durban.
We urge you to fight for Mumia’s freedom now. As a first step, write to Judge Clemons demanding that he be released immediately. Then take whatever action you can—rallies, workplace meetings, political strikes—to give power to the demand.
Judge Clemons address:
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
1220 Criminal Justice Center
1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The judge’s order opening the files came after the filing of an Amicus Brief by the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; a public statement by then-sitting Judge Wendell Griffen of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Arkansas, that the law requires Judge Clemons to release Mumia immediately; an outpouring of international labor support; and a letter writing campaign to the judge herself based on the contradiction between her preliminary ruling against Mumia and her statement to the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese Racial Healing Commission: http://bitly.ws/z9Yt
Attached you will find a resolution from adult education teachers [full of good links], a statement by the President of the Vermont AFL-CIO, and a letter from the largest union in the UK, Unite.
After 41 years in prison, 29 of those on death row, Mumia has a real chance now to win his freedom. Mobilizing our unions can truly make a difference. We’re hoping you and your union will join us!
Please keep us posted on your actions,
member, Adult School Teachers United (ASTU) Bargaining Team
In addition to the Feb 16, 2023 actions referenced above, there was an online film screening of Long Distance Revolutionary, and many SF Bay Area teachers taught about Mumia’s case to their students.
Now you can act by taking the #MumiaChallenge, started Feb 16, 2023
Watch this 45 second reel and make a quick video in support of Mumia! Share widely!
Let’s continue sharing, organizing, and applying pressure in the best ways we know how – to get Mumia out of prison!