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»30 years ago we won freedom for Angela Davis, today we demand: Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal!«
»If the campaign to free Angela Davis was to have any meaning at all, it had to depict the functioning of American imperialism - inwardly as well as outside - using this exemplary case of the movement.« (The Angela Davis Solidarity Committee, Frankfurt/Main in June 1972).
We, the signatories, were successfully active in 1970-72 in the international campaign to free Angela Davis and today we take up this link engaging ourselves for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Angela Davis was - and still is up to today - a representative of Black America, the civil rights movement and of the anti-war movement. She was accused in 1970 of being indirectly involved in an attempt of Afro-American prisoners to break out of a Californian courtroom, which had a deadly outcome. Angela Davis, a young university professor, member of the Communist Party of the USA and already in the firing line of the FBI because she was a women’s and civil rights activist, was placed on the wanted list of the »Ten most wanted« and hunted throughout the country. When she was detained, she spent 16 months in prison awaiting her trial and unfair sectors of politics, justice and the media pronounced prejudgements by calling her a »dangerous killer«.
Angela Davis’ detention and prosecution, which was based on racist and political motivations, happened at a time that was characterised by great social changes. The overthrow of democratically elected governments and the establishment of dictatorial regimes in Latin America, the war in Indochina, the genocide in Vietnam as well as looming danger of a world war, because of the arms race carried out on the demarcation line between East and West, altogether contributed to the emergence of an extra-parliamentary opposition, as did the struggle for social change in the Federal Republic of Germany itself.
We understood the struggle of the civil rights movement and of the anti-war opposition in the USA within this context. As a result, our solidarity with Angela Davis was only natural. The solidarity movement, comprised of million of followers on all continents, finally resulted in her being found not guilty by the jury on June 4th 1972.
The world has experienced a tremendous transformation in the past thirty years. The one thing that has not changed is the fundamental danger that humanity is depriving itself of its existential means because of economic and environmental policies that are almost only oriented towards profits and through military conflicts over resources and power structures. This danger has increased under the current US-government, as the death and destruction causing military conquest of Iraq, actually based on lies, and the resulting destabilization of the region have shown.
Another fact that has not changed so far is that the system tries to get rid of its political opponents by putting them in jail and enacting death judgements. Ten years after Angela Davis’ acquittal, Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death in Philadelphia. Mumia, a prize-winning radio journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party, because of his political engagement against racism and police brutality, had moved like Angela Davis into the firing line of repressive organs. When he coincidentally got involved in a shooting and was almost fatally injured, his opponents seized the opportunity to silence him at last by pinning him with the murder of a policeman. The trial, which ended in death penalty, was characterized by racism, presentation of false evidence and extorted false statements of witnesses. Until today, US courts have refused to even consider looking at the evidence proving his innocence and grant him a new and fair trial.
As with Angela Davis, a worldwide movement for Mumia’s life and freedom has been created. And similar to those days, many people who are actively engaged around the globe for Mumia Abu-Jamal are putting their fight against his execution in the same context as the international struggle against war, the death sentence, racism and the global capitalist oppression.
The activities of the movement resulted in an imminent order of execution not being carried out. But Mumia is still sitting on death row and his life is in utmost danger.
Without our continuous pressure no court will deal with his case in fair justice. As his lawyer Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco says: »We cannot win without going through courts, these US-courts, which are very unfair, very racist, very bigoted. We need to be realistic and realize that the work of the lawyers is essential. However, what is required is essentially a marriage between the legal effort and the movement. I cannot win without your support and involvement.«
For this reason we are calling on everyone, now that the fight for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s life and freedom is going into the last round before the federal courts, to invest their entire commitment to this case.
Angela Davis has made the fight against the death penalty and for the life and freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal the main priority of her political work, and has become the recognized speaker of this campaign.
In this sense, we demand together with her:
A new and fair trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal!
First signatories (329 individuals, parties, organizations and institutions by Dec. 11, 2003). Go to http://www.freedom-now.de/news/artikel256.html and find them at the end of the German call.
Whoever wants to sign this petition, please write name, place of residence and profession or organization and send it to the e-mail address email@example.com or fax no. ++ 49 421 354029
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