Live from DEATH ROW
the new book by Mumia Abu Jamal
click image to see The May 13 story in pictures by Mumia Abu Jamal
This is the story of the firebombing of the MOVE residence in Philadelphia, May 13, 1985, by the Police during a raid (10 years before WACO). An entire neighborhood of mostly poor black residents was allowed to burn to the ground while police and firefighters watched. 11 people were killed in the fires. No one in the police or fire departments were held responsible.
Mumia Abu Jamal was Minister of Information for the Philadelphia Black Panthers at a very early age. At the time of his arrest in 1981, he had worked as a print and radio journalist who had aired on National Public Radio and National Black Network. He had also served as president of the Philadelphia Society of Black Journalists. He was one of very few reporters in Philadelphia willing to cover the activities of the radical Black organization MOVE, which was under heavy police repression since the mid 1970's.
One night in 1981, he was driving a taxicab in Philadelphia, as he was unable to make a living as a conventional journalist because of his controversial views. He spotted a police officer beating and arresting his brother, and went over to find out what was going on. At that point, Mumia's story diverges from that of the police. The police version is that Mumia shot police officer Daniel Faulkner twice in the head. Mumia maintains that another person in the crowd that gathered shot Faulkner. The main civilian witnesses at Mumia's trial were two prostitutes. Cynthia (Lucky) White had been arrested twice (for prostitution) in the two week period following the police shooting, and agreed to testify during her second incarceration. She changed her description of Mumia several times, describing him first as short and then tall; first without, and then with dreadlocks. A second witness, also a prostitute, said after the trial that she had been pressured by police who told her that if she testified she'd be "allowed to walk the streets, like Lucky." At his sentencing hearing, prosecutors questioned Mumia about his political views and statements with a view to establishing that Mumia had "wanted to kill a cop all his life," and should be sentenced to death. The prosecutor won a death sentence.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is now facing the most serious threat of execution in his fourteen years of imprisonment, with newly elected Republican Governor Tom Ridge promising to immediately begin executions. Mumia's name is second on the list of death-row prisoners facing the electric chair.
In the summer of 1994, Mumia was to begin a series on National Public Radio
in which he and others would begin open discussion on the criminal justice system in the USA.
Pressure from the Philadelphia police and its related organizations scared
National Public Radio into pulling Mumia off the air.
World War 3 Illustrated will print much of the material banned from National Public Radio in coming issues, and MediaFilter will present them here on the web in text and audio formats.
An illustrated biography of Mumia Abu Jamal appears in issue #18 of World War 3 Illustrated.
Write to NPR and demand that Mumia get time on the radio:
Bill Buzenberg c/o National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20001
or call: 1-800-235 1212
Or write to Mumia and show your support:
Mumia Abu Jamal
1100 Pike Street Huntington, Pa. 16654-1112
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