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  Report from German Mumia Demonstration
Friday, February 11th 2000
Report from the Demonstration & Translation of the offical Press Release

On the 5th of Feburary more than 8,000 people from all parts of Germany - some from Holland and Denmark - converged on Berlin by bus, car and rail to take part in the third national demonstration in protest against the intended state murder of Mumia Abu-Jamal and to demand his release.

The number of people present at the demonstration was twice that of the demonstration in Berlin in 1995 (4,000+) and much larger than the one in Hamburg last year (5,500). A large number of fliers and brochures were distributed, not only from the organizers but also from many others groups. In the opening speech of the rally a spokeswoman for the organizers gave a brief recount of Mumia's case, Mumia as an example of political repression in the USA and to the role of international solidarity. The theme of the following speakers concentrated on political repression in Germany.

Carry a multitude of banners and placards calling for the release of Mumia, Leonard Peltier, Abdullah Ocalan and all political prisoners a very mixed, colourful and loud demonstration of young and old, Germans and immigrants, Turks and Kurds, punks and pensioners, women with children, whole families, and, and, and, wound its way from 2 pm to 6 pm from Rosa Luxemburg Square through the streets of Berlin to Gendarmen Market.

During a stop in front of the US Embassy Mumias Attorney, Len Weinglass, gave an update on the latest events in Mumia's case. There was an attentive silence as a recorded statement from Mumia was played, which was in marked contrast to the applaus and cries of solidarity after his ending words "From death-row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal".

One of the stipulations of the US Embassy was that the loudspeakers should be pointed away from the embassy so that the embassy staff would not be "disturbed" by the sound volume - to which the organizers agreed. Other than that the embassy only employes deaf people, they must have been pretty "disturbed".

In his speech at Gendarmen Market, Peter Gingold, a survivor of the nazi-terror, spoke about the international and historical aspects of political repression and pointed out the similarities in the cases of Mumia, Sacco and Vanzetti, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

Local and national press reported on the demonstration, before and after. A result of the size of the demonstration, a good organized press conference the previous day and an intense mobilization.

A translation of the official press release follows:
Berlin, 5th Februar 2000

More than 8,000 people demonstrate for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the abolishment of the death penalty

More than 8,000 people participated in the demonstration "For the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. Abolish the death penalty" this afternoon. The demonstration was organized by the National Coordination of the Mumia Abu-Jamal Solidarity Groups. The demonstration for Abu-Jamal, who has been sentenced to death, was supported by a wide coalition: Democratic Socialist Party (PDS); Unions; Human Right Organisations; and many left-wing groups, and went from Rosa-Luxenburg-Platz, past the US Embassy, and ended at Gendarmenmarkt

In their speeches and banner the demonstrators demanded not only the release of the Afro-American journalist and the abolishment of the death penalty in the USA and other countries, but also drew attention the fact, that racism is rampant in Germany. Abu-Jamal attorney, Len Weinglass, stressed the point that "Mumia's struggle is also the struggle against the death penalty in general". In his pre-recorden statement Abu-Jamal underlined the international component of the demonstration: "On the one side there is a global network of forces, which exploits and suppresses man and natur. Why then, when repression is global, should not also be an international und global network of resistance?". Other speakers included the "International Initiative for the Release of Abdullah Ocalan" and Hans Muencheberg, president of the German Writers Guild.

The spokesperson for the National Coordination of the Mumia Abu-Jamal Solidarity Groups said: "We have sent a clear signal to the USA, to Judge Yohn and Governor Ridge that we will not tolerate the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal". He also stressed that it is important "to increase the international pressure on the USA during this extremely critical phase of the trial" and referred to the new economic campaign "Executions and Haribo? - German enterprise in Pennsylvania"

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has now entered the decisive phase: The journalists only hope is the federal courts and the trial has now reached the lowest level of the federal courts. This instance is the last chance to present the exonerating witnesses and evidence, which the defence has unearthed in the last ten years.

Yours sincerely Solidaritaetsbuero Mumia Abu-Jamal Berlin

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