IRSP: Peaceful Demonstrators in Support of Death Row Prisoner Brutally Attacked

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at irsm.org
Wed Dec 12 19:34:03 MST 2001


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 December 2001
Irish Republican Socialist Party

Peaceful Demonstrators in Support of Death Row Prisoner Brutally Attacked

Over 1,000 people participated in a peaceful demonstration in
Philadelphia on 8 December in support of African-American death row
prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the 20th anniversary of his arrest for
the alleged murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

As the demonstration stopped at an intersection to view a videotaped
confession by Arnold Beverly revealing that he, not Abu-Jamal, had
shot Faulkner on 9th December 1981, Philadelphia police attacked the
marchers without provocation. As protesters tried to protect those
being attacked, the police responded with increased brutality. An
army of police, some wearing camouflage and black berets, descended
on the protest and began indiscriminately beating demonstrators with
batons and pepper-spraying randomly into the crowd. Further, police
seized and destroyed cameras and video equipment. The Civil Affairs
officers who were supposed to be the intermediaries between the
police and the demonstrators were nowhere to be found.

The police brutality resulted in at least seven demonstrators being
arrested. Three of the arrestees — two women and one man —
were sent to hospital. One of the women, was surrounded by several
officers, and ended up hospitalised with a broken tailbone; the other
woman hospitalised had a broken jaw-bone from being violently dragged
on the ground by the police. Those arrested were charged with felony
assault on a police officer, and felony inciting to riot, and faced
high bails.

The IRSP's International Department released the following statement
from a member of the party's organisation in Canada and the United
States, the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America:

"These attacks are further efforts on the part of the Philadelphia
police to prevent the truth about Mumia's case from emerging. This
blatant disregard for justice in Mumia Abu-Jamal's case is yet
another example of the hollow morality of the US 'criminal justice'
system, a system that perpetrates an ongoing war against working
class people, especially those of non-European descent.

"The key elements in Mumia's case indicate that the US government is
willing to deliberately abandon every principle of fairness in the
law. Despite the facts that the prosecution's key eyewitnesses have
recanted their testimonies and admitted they were made under pressure
and threats from the police; despite Arnold Beverly having admitted
to the killing and passed a polygraph test; despite the prosecution's
assertion that Mumia used his own registered .38 calibre revolver to
shoot Daniel Faulkner has been disproved, as the bullet fragments
recovered from Faulkner's body were of a .44 calibre, Mumia Abu-Jamal
continues to be persecuted by an unfair and racist legal system.

"Arnold Beverly's confession, ballistics inconsistencies, and the
withholding of affidavits, polygraph examinations and deposition
challenges reveal a pattern of governmental readiness to withhold and
destroy evidence. The police ambush on 8 December against peaceful
protesters further reveals that the legal system in Pennsylvania is
even willing to attempt the violent silencing of those who
protest such injustice.

"The IRSP calls on all those concerned for human rights and justice
to protest the continued incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the
attack by Philadelphia police on peaceful protesters, and the Bush
Administration's unbridled attacks on civil liberties. It is
imperative that all those who would defend justice respond to the
lies and distortions presented by the bourgeois media."

The IRSP International Department spokesperson added:

"The truth may not set you free in all cases, but it would set Mumia
Abu-Jamal free. That is certain."

###

Irish Republican Socialist Movement
http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html


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