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2001-12-10

A Rally for Mumia-Abu Jamal in Philadelphia Is Attacked; Seven People Are Arrested Andcharged with Felony Assault and Felony Riot; Three Demonstrators Are Hospitalized

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On December 9th 1981, 20 years ago, journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was driving a cab in Philadelphia when he came to theintersection of Locust and 13 Street. He says he saw a police officer beating his brother William Cook. While it isunclear what happened next, it is undisputed that both he and officer Daniel Faulkner were shot, and that Faulknerdied.

Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death in 1982. He has been on death row ever since.

In 1995, Mumia Abu-Jamal was only ten days away from execution, when a world-wide outcry forced a stay of executionon his case. On October 13, 1999, Pennsylvania Governor Ridge ­who President Bush recently appointed to be head ofhomeland security—signed a new death warrant against Abu-Jamal. The federal judge has issued yet another stay ofexecution, awaiting a habeas corpus petition filed by Abu-Jamal’s lawyers in federal district court.

A state court judge recently rejected his new lawyers’ arguments that the shooter was a man named Arnold Beverley,who confessed in 1999. He said he was a hit man for corrupt Philadelphia police who wanted Faulkner dead.

On Saturday, over 600 people gathered on the streets of Philadelphia to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Policeattacked the legally-permitted demonstration. According to organizers, seven people were arrested, with chargesincluding felony assault and felony riot. Two of the arrestees were released yesterday without charges or bail. Butthose not released have bonds ranging from $8,000 to $100,000. Most were charged with several counts of riot andassault. Three demonstrators were hospitalized with injuries including a fractured tailbone, concussion, prolongedstate of unconsciousness, internal bleeding, and severe abrasion.

Guests:

  • Courtney Anderson, International Concerned Family And Friends Of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • Leslie Jones, attorney and youth coordinator for International Concerned Family And Friends Of MumiaAbu-Jamal.
  • Au Huynh, International Concerned Family And Friends Of Mumia Abu-Jamal, beaten and arrested at Mumiarally on Saturday.

Tape:

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal, journalist on death row, reading commentary recorded in prison, "Patriotism."
  • Terry Bisson, author of ??On A Move: The Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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