10 March 2021
For Immediate Release
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), as the biggest trade union in South Africa, and one of the largest on the African continent, has made an urgent call to the Governor of Pennsylvania in the U.S. Mr Tom Wolf to intervene in the case of Mr. Mumai Abu-Jamal.
Abu-Jamal, formerly known as Wesley Cook, was convicted of fatally shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner after Faulkner reportedly pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother during a late-night traffic stop in 1981. He has been in prison since 1982, and was on death row until 2011, when his death sentence was ruled unconstitutional. He is now serving a life sentence. We believe that he is innocent and has been framed by the corrupt racist justice system in the U.S. He has been imprisoned for 38 years, mostly on death row.
In the letter we sent to the governor yesterday, we requested that he must urgently intervene to ensure that Abu-Jamal and all other prisoners who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus, receive urgent medical attention. Abu-Jamal’s condition is rapidly deteriorating and there are fears that he may die. We also repeat calls for him to be released from jail. He is America’s most prominent political prisoner, an award-winning journalist and former Black Panther. His only “crime” is exposing the racist, capitalist justice system in the U.S. which for decades defended and supported the Apartheid government for years.
It is our revolutionary duty as a Marxist-Leninist inspired trade union to defend the most vulnerable and to expose tyranny wherever it rears its ugly head. During the dark days of Apartheid, the liberation movement was supported by progressive organizations putting pressure on the government to release political prisoners. That is the case now with Abu-Jamal and we are calling on all progressive formations, locally and abroad to support this campaign and help to pressurize Tom Wolf to act humanely, and to grant Mr. Abu-Jamal his freedom and his dignity. It is clear that the governor’s refusal to provide Mr. Abu-Jamal with proper health care to fight this deadly infection is an attack on his fundamental right to healthcare. We urge our comrades locally and around the globe to join us in this just campaign to free Abu-Jamal.
A luta continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Irvin Jim
NUMSA General Secretary