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Temple Pulls Democracy Now! as it Airs Mumia Abu Jamal

StoryFebruary 25, 1997
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Rev. Al Sharpton

civil rights leader, former presidential candidate and founder of the National Action Network.

Maretta Short

president of the National Organization for Women–New Jersey.


Formerly the dean of the School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, California, and author of the Media Monopoly. Before hitting
the national spotlight with the publication of the Pentagon Papers, Bagdakian published two books on the prisons, including The Shame of America’s Prisons.


The coordinator of Academics for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a national group of some 700 academics. He is a professor of religion and culture at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, yesterday unilaterally canceled Democracy Now! and pulled all Pacifica programming, including the Pacifica Network News, from its radio station WRTI. Also affected were 11 other radio stations across Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware — all part of the Temple University radio network.

The sudden decision was made as Democracy Now! began to air commentaries from Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-
Jamal. University administrator George Ingram said that the university was planning to change programming on WRTI, but he added that the airing of Mumia’s commentaries hastened the decision to cancel Democracy Now! and Pacifica Network News. Ingram said the commentaries were "inappropriate."

The decision by university administrators sparked immediate protest from listeners and the university community who branded the move censorship and an attack upon academic freedom.

TAPE: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, a prisoner on Pennsylvania’s death row comments on Mad Cow Disease.

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