West Coast Report

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an innocent man on death row. Yet the State of Pennsylvania, and the federal government, still want to “legally” kill him. This is shown by the US Supreme Court, which in April 2009 rejected Mumia’s appeal without comment, despite mountains of evidence of his innocence. (More info below.)

Now, on November 9th 2010, a hearing has been held on the question of Mumia’s sentence: death, or life in prison without the possibility of parole. We don’t know the outcome in the Third Circuit Court–the judges will take their sweet time with that.

What we know is:


OAKLAND: 150 people rallied at Noon at 14th and Broadway on a work day–Nov 9th–to demand: MUMIA IS INNOCENT! FREE MUMIA! END THE RACIST DEATH PENALTY!

Chants of “An Injury To One Is An Injury To All, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal,” rang out on the sidewalk below Oakland’s ornate City Hall, as Jack Heyman, executive Board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, served as chair of the demonstration and rally. ILWU Local 10 members like Heyman were fresh from their local’s recent Bay Area port shutdown to honor Oscar Grant, the young black man shot down in cold blood by BART cop Johannes Mehserle in 2009.

Called by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and supported by numerous local organizations, the spirited demonstration and rally in Oakland’s downtown on the court date, Nov 9th, sent a message of solidarity to our East Coast friends and comrades who went to Philadelphia to demonstrate at the Third Circuit Court itself: Mumia Must Be Free!

Speakers at the Oakland demonstration and rally included Prisoners of Conscience Committee (POCC) Minister of Information, and Block Report Radio journalist, JR; former Black Panther and radio commentator Kiilu Nyasha; Peace and Freedom Party representative Marsha Feinland; and ANSWER Coalition representative Forest Schmidt. Also represented were Radical Women/Freedom Socialist Party; Revolution Clubs; and the Partisan Defense Committee (PDC), the first left organization to publicize and promote Mumia’s case.

Supporters of the rally also included the Black Student Union of Laney College, and the BSU of San Francisco State University.

The Labor Action Committee spokesperson emphasized our lack of confidence in the courts or in the Obama administration to free Mumia. We need mass and labor actions now!

SAN FRANCISCO: An indoor rally later that same day featured a showing of the new film on Mumia, “JUSTICE ON TRIAL, the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.” This film, produced by Educators For Mumia and Big Noise Films, tells the truth about Mumia. This event, held at Centro del Pueblo in SF’s Mission District, and sponsored by the Mobilization To Free Mumia, was attended by about 50 people. Speakers included Hans Bennett of Abu-Jamal News and Journalists for Mumia; Jeff Mackler of the Mobilization; and Sally Goldin, daughter of Mumia’s literary agent, Frances Goldin, who relayed her mother’s report on the debate on Mumia’s case that was held in Philadelphia on the night before the court hearing. Bottom line: the pro-Mumia side, led by “Justice” filmmaker Johanna Fernandez and lawyer Michael Coard slaughtered the anti-Mumia opposition!

Now we have to get the word out more widely, which leads us to:


Successful West Coast showings of the film so far have included:

The West Coast Premier of this important film, sponsored by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, at the Humanist Hall in Oakland on October 24th, took in over $400 to support the filmmakers and Mumia’s legal defense.

Showings have also taken place in a class at Laney College, at SF State University, and at the Twin Space in San Francisco.


BERKELEY, 7 PM THURSDAY DECEMBER 16TH: At the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1924 Cedar at Bonita. Info: 510 841-4824.

Future showings are also planned in San Jose, at another Laney class, and at UC Berkeley. Please look for more details on these showings.


You and/or your organization can easily organize a house party, classroom, or auditorium showing of this important film, JUSTICE ON TRIAL.

For a film showing with speaker,

1. Contact the Labor Action Committee at: 510 763-2347, or 510 595-7811, or

2. Contact POCC Minister of Information JR, at 415 504-5289.

Keep up the struggle!

More Information On Mumia’s Case:


Why is this happening?

Targeted by the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO counter-intelligence and disruption program since the age of 15, and more recently by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Mumia Abu-Jamal is seen as an enemy of the state. His innocence is considered irrelevant, and in US courts, following recent rulings, innocence is no defense.

The US Supreme Court has already thrown out, without comment, Mumia’s last appeal against his frame-up conviction before a racist judge in a blatantly unfair trial in 1982. This rejection meant the Supreme Court had to ignore mountains of evidence of Mumia’s innocence, such as the recantations of key prosecution “witnesses” who didn’t really see anything, other witnesses who said Mumia didn’t do it, and the fact that another man (Arnold Beverly) confessed to the crime.

The Supreme Court Ignored Precedent As Well As Evidence…

In order to slam the door on Mumia’s last appeal, the Supreme Court also had to ignore key precedents such as its own ruling in Batson v Kentucky, which was supposed to prevent racism in jury selection. Racist exclusion of blacks from the jury was rampant in Mumia’s case–this alone should have been enough to overturn his conviction!

Now, on November 9th 2010, the Third Circuit Court has heard oral arguments to decide between removing the stay on Mumia’s death sentence, or ordering a new hearing in state court which would rule on a new death sentence, or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Although such a hearing would be before a jury, and while the defense can attempt to present evidence of innocence, the only two possible outcomes are death, or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Reinstatement of Mumia’s Death Sentence Is Likely…

The outcome of the November 9th hearing will not be known until the judges issue a ruling. But the US Supreme Court has instructed the Third Circuit to rule in light of another case, which, conveniently for Mumia’s opponents, weakens the precedent which led to Mumia’s death sentence being put on hold in the first place, by a federal judge ten years ago.

The Supreme Court has in effect pre-arranged the Nov 9th hearing to make an immediate reinstatement of Mumia’s death sentence the likely outcome.

We can have no confidence in the corrupt, racist US legal system to resolve this, because the cops, courts and key politicians are all involved up to their ears in Mumia’s frame-up! This includes the current governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, as well as the Obama administration and its attorney general, Eric Holder.

We need mass actions, and labor actions, to say: