Sam Jordan's Mumia speech at WEF protest
mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Feb 6 05:51:59 MST 2002
Sam Jordan at World Economic Forum People's Protest New York
February 2, 2002
Good afternoon and thank you.
Let me state a few principles with which you're already familiar: War is
politics by other means and politics is the debate about the distribution of
wealth and resources and peace is the best condition permitting a people to
develop their wealth and resources. You've heard these before.
If this were truly a Global Economic Forum, honestly concerned with a real
solution to problems of wealth and resources then it could just as easily be
called a "Global Peace Forum." Instead, this event is dominated by the
economics of war and racism and dedicated to support for "Operation Enduring
Freedom," the "War Against Terrorism."
My name is Sam Jordan and I bring you revolutionary greetings from our
brother Mumia Abu Jamal still alive, but still on death row. In addition, I
bring you greetings from our Sister Pam Africa. In the movement to free
Mumia, Pam Africa is our General Moses, our own Harriet Tubman who was
called General Moses. I also bring you revolutionary greetings from our
comrade Hamma Hammami of Tunisia-a leader of the Tunisian Workers and
Communist Party who has been forced underground to fight for a people's
democracy in Tunisia.
War, whether military or economic, is always carried out in these times,
against those people who refuse to accept the role assigned to them in the
global corporate scheme of things.
The Vietnamese refused to be colonial subjects of the Chinese, Japanese,
French and the U.S. The Zapatistas refuse to be desperate sharecroppers in
their own land. They are still at war. The people of Iraq and Iran had
anti-corporate liberation movements that were sabotaged and betrayed in each
case by US support for opponents of a people's democracy. They still refuse
to accept the role assigned to them by the global corporations and they may
yet become targets of new wars.
Mumia Abu Jamal represents and encourages all who refuse to accept the
script written by Wall Street.
A few weeks ago, a federal judge in Philadelphia, Judge Yohn, ruled that
Mumia is to face a re-sentencing hearing in 180 days or be sentenced to life
imprisonment without parole. I want to end my remarks with a few
observations on Judge Yohn's decision. First of all, the decision was aimed
directly at the worldwide mass movement which continues to grow to free
Mumia. Lately, the courts have aimed their orders not so much at Mumia and
his legal challenges. Yohn's order was no attempt to fashion a just, lawful
Rather, Judge Yohn wanted to placate world opinion and neutralize those
Mumia suporters who are principally concerned with saving Mumia's life by
suggesting that there is a chance that Mumia will not be executed. The court
hoped many in our movement would just shut up and stop protesting American
lynch law justice. That tactic has been a total failure.
The courts also wanted to send a signal to those nations badly needed as
allies by the US in its "war on terrorism." Many of the nations have
abolished the death penalty. The courts and the Bush Dogs of War-you know
who they are Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Ridge and Sharon-wanted the US to
appear capable of an even-handed adjudication of capital punishment to
reduce international criticism. That tactic too has been a total failure.
Several nations, including Germany, have indicated that they will not send
any so-called terrorists to the US for trial or tribunal. Besides, there is
no history in any nation or at any time in history indicating that the death
penalty can be "even-handed." On a race or class basis, it always reflects
the power arrangement in a death penalty society.
These tactics have failed because our movement has tipped the balance of
information in our favor. The court's tactics, aimed at suppressing our
movement could have succeeded only if we were ignorant of the facts-and
these are the facts: Mumia is innocent. He could not physically have
murdered officer Dan Faulkner. Our movement has distributed around the world
the proof of Mumia's innocence including sworn affidavits, declarations and
statements and the video-taped confession of Arnold Beverly, a man who has
confessed to being one of at least two hit men hired to kill officer
Those of you familiar with Philadelphia know that within two years of Mumia'
s trial at least two other police officers were killed with the help of
their "brothers in blue."
On the day after Judge Yohn's decision, the Arnold Beverly video confession
was broadcast on the "Today Show" and "BET News Tonight," reaching an
additional combined 5 million viewers. That is our strength, the truth. That
is our mission to speak the truth about Mumia's case, about American lynch
law justice and about the role the police, the prosecutors, the courts,
Governor Ridge and the so-called President, George Bush, have played in the
wrongful conviction, unjust incarceration and execution of hundreds of
thousands of poor people and people of color.
This new phase in our struggle to free Mumia in direct response to the court
's attempt to sabotage our support is called "The Movement Strikes Back."
Join us, every one of you!
Finally, Judge Yohn and the courts have another purpose in mind with the
recent re-sentencing order. They want to misrepresent just who Mumia is and
where he belongs. They want to give the impression to the world that Mumia
belongs among that group of defendants who have been properly convicted, but
improperly sentenced. They want us to believe that the verdict was right but
maybe the sentence of death was a little excessive. They want us to ignore
the significance of Mumia's proof of innocence.
The truth is that Mumia belongs with those 99 men and women who have been
released from death row due to innocence since 1976. They want to give us a
half a victory, life imprisonment. That's no victory for an innocent man!
A new trial-many have called for a new trial, and still call for a new
trial-just permits us to throw the dice again-with the government's dice!
Mumia shares at least eight "release factors" in common with these 99 people
released from death row due to innocence. In 20 of those 99 cases, someone
else confessed to the crime. We have a confession on videotape. Judge Pamela
Dembe, the Philadelphia judge who refused to depose Arnold Beverly, said the
courts tend to view people with suspicion who come forward after trial and
confess to murder. If she is suspicious, she should hold a hearing and
examine Arnold Beverly herself! That's what a judge is supposed to do, clear
up suspicions-that is, if she is really suspicious.
Not only has someone else confessed in Mumia's case as in 20 of the
releasees' cases, but also he has other factors in common. The second
factor: deliberately perjured testimony by the prosecution's chief
witnesses, most often police officers; a third factor, deliberately withheld
or destroyed evidence by the prosecutors; and a fourth factor, evidence that
was not sufficient to support a capital murder charge in the first place.
These four factors-the most common "release factors," also characterize
Mumia's case and are the most common factors among the 99 releasees' cases.
Therefore, Mumia should receive the same treatment, immediately release from
Just like the old Wilson Pickett song says: "99 and a half just won't do; it
's got to be a hundred." 99 and a half victories against the death penalty
by the innocent just won't do. Mumia must be released. He must be the 100th
person released from death row due to innocence! Justice demands it! Our
growing international movement for peace and truth demands it too!
Free Mumia Abu Jamal! Free Eddie Conway, in Baltimore! Freedom for Hamma
Hammami in Tunisia. Freedom for Palestine!
Our brother Mumia's under attack! What do we do? Act Up! Fight Back!
On Saturday, 2 February 02, in Tunis, Hamma Hammami and two of his comrades,
Abdel-Jabar Madouri and Samir Taamallah were forceably removed from the
courtroom and imprisoned. There are as yet unconfirmed reports that they may
have also been tortured. Their crimes? They want to be rid of the armed,
paranoid fatcats and live with dignity, peace and a chance to construct a
Tunisian future worthy of human beings.
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