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  Activist in Battle to Stop Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal Sentenced to Jail
December 6, 2000 - for immediate release
Auszüge in Deutsch

This afternoon, political activist C. Clark Kissinger, one of the principal leaders in the growing international movement to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, was taken away in handcuffs to serve a sentence of 90 days in jail in Philadelphia. The judge also ruled that once Kissinger finishes serving his sentence, the onerous terms of his one-year probation will be reinstated. He was sentenced by Arnold Rapoport, a federal magistrate judge for the Pennsylvania Eastern District.

Ron Kuby and Anthony Erba, Kissinger's attorneys, immediately filed notice to appeal the sentence, and filed a motion to stay the execution of the sentence.

In the hearing today, Clark was charged with violating terms of probation which had been set as a result of a minor charge: "failure to obey a lawful order" during a demonstration at the Liberty Bell last year. Because Clark and 6 others plead "not guilty" and demanded a trial last April, they were sentenced to one-year probation, not allowed to leave their home districts, and required to file detailed information on their income and personal contacts. On August 1, Clark defied the travel restrictions to go to Philadelphia to give a speech at a rally during the Republican National Convention. Clark is believed to be the first political dissident to be sentenced to prison for giving a speech since World War 2.

Over 60 supporters rallied in front of the Federal Court House today, but only 20 people were allowed into the courtroom. At one point during the hearing, the judge remarked, "A trail of disruption follows this man wherever he goes." This appeared to be a sign for the large group of federal marshalls guarding the courtroom to forcibly eject supporters from the courtroom, roughing up several women and taking into custody two Refuse & Resist! Youth Network members. They were later released.

Kissinger is known for his work to bring ever-broader sections of people into the movement to save Mumia's life, and for his hard-hitting, clear exposures of the government's efforts to kill this political prisoner. Today's unprecedented sentence is designed to put a brake on the movement for Mumia, and is an indication of how far the government is willing to go to suppress dissent in their efforts to execute Mumia.

It is not known where Kissinger is currently being held. Inquiries can be made to the U.S. Marshall's office at 215-597-7273.

To contact the judge, Arnold C. Rapoport, call 610-776-0369, fax 610-776-0379.

The judge who will rule on the appeal of Kissinger's 90-day sentence is Honorable Bruce Kauffman, U.S. District Court, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Fax: 215-580-2281.

Refuse & Resist

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