2012 is shaping up to be a political game changer for America and this upcoming Tuesday is expected to add to the spirit of activism that has gripped our nation. Actor Danny Glover, hip hop artist M-1 from dead prez, and well known activists Frances Fox Piven and Norman Finkelstein are amongst the many notables who will be attending a national rally and protest at the Headquarters of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. The protest, which will take place on April 24th at 11:00 am (ET), is calling for the immediate release of the renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
On the day of the protest, organizers will engage in acts of civil disobedience in hopes that that their formal request to meet with US Attorney General, Eric Holder will be strengthened. The delegation wishes to discuss systemic police corruption and civil rights violations, surrounding not only Abu-Jamal's case but the hundreds of similar cases from around the nation. Free Mumia organizations and Occupy Groups join the likes of Talib Kweli, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Marc Lamont Hill and Alice Walker in stepping forward to support this cause.
Organizers are making seven core demands of US Attorney General Eric Holder:
1. Release Mumia Abu-Jamal
2. End mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Latino Youth
3. Create jobs, education, and health care, not jails
4. End solitary confinement and stop torture
5. End the racist death penalty
6. Hands off immigrants
7. Free all political prisoners
April 24th marks the 58th birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal and almost 30 years since he was sentenced for the murder of White Philadelphia police officer David Faulkner. Earlier this year, Abu-Jamal was removed from death row after the United States Supreme Court ordered the appeals court to reconsider its decision to rescind the death sentence. After much pressure, they vacated the death sentence but maintained his conviction. He is now serving a life sentence without parole.
During his imprisonment Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook) has managed to publish several books and commentaries, including his widely known book Live from Death Row. He has also managed to continue his work as an activist with features on several radio broadcasts and video interviews conducted from behind bars during visitation. He is the former president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and a former member of the Black Panther Party.
His fight has undoubtedly been a long one and serves as a crucial reminder that there are still a number of political prisoners serving time or living in exile due to the extremely questionable circumstances surrounding their arrest and trial. Let it be known that many of them dedicated and continue to dedicate their lives to issues of poverty, mass incarceration, unfair education and other issues facing our community. The protest on Tuesday is a testament to that struggle. It is a rally to protect our right to due process, fair trials and most importantly our right to freedom and justice for ALL.
For more information:
Twitter: @A24OccupyDOJ (Hashtags: #OccupyDOJ, #FreeMumia)