On Thursday, May 17th, oral arguments will be heard in federal court on what could be the last appeal of death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, known internationally as the “Voice of the Voiceless.” Many events are planned in Philadelphia and around the world in solidarity. On Wednesday, May 16, Educators for Mumia [held] a teach-in on the case. (Read Mark Lewis Taylor’s essay about organizing this event). Later that evening, Immortal Technique is hosting a fundraising concert at the Rotunda. On Thursday, the day of the oral arguments, a solidarity protest will gather at 6th and Market at 8:30am. Several contingents are organizing, including Rainbow Flags for Mumia. And on Friday, German author Michael Schiffmann will speak at the A-Space about Mumia’s case.UPDATE: Read case background, and view crime scene photos never published before in the United States from abu-jamal-news.com. Also: read veteran Philadelphia journalist Linn Washington, Jr’s commentary on the May 17 hearing – LW has been covering the Abu-Jamal case since the morning of Dec.8, 1981. Amy Goodman interviews LW | Hans Bennett interviews LW
World-renowned black death-row prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has deemed unfair (see report). Supported internationally by a variety of activists, workers, and educators, his books and radio essays challenging injustice everywhere have earned the former Black Panther the nickname “The Voice of the Voiceless.”
His court case has now hit the fast track with oral arguments beginning [today]. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is considering four issues in regards to granting Abu-Jamal a new trial. Supported by the NAACP, NLG, UK Lawyers, and The German Parliament, Philly Journalists Linn Washington and Dave Lindorff have optimistically written of Abu-Jamal’s chances for a new trial.
In April, longtime French support (2005 photos) continued when the Paris suburb of St. Denis named a major street after Mumia (see video) and was quickly condemned with government resolutions in the US (pdf booklet), while local media continued a long history of bias.