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Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Much is rightly made of the `maverick' character of former Pennsylvania
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in obituaries and other media coverage since
his recent death.

That maverick streak certainly animated Specter's December 2010 Farewell
Speech from the Senate where he criticized the lack of civility
currently rampant in that body plus assailed both political parties for
perpetuating legislative gridlock and abuses of Senate rules.

Missing from this coverage, however, is any mention of a proper but unpopular position former prosecutor Specter took on the most contentious murder case in the history of the city where he lived – Philadelphia.
 
In July 1995 Specter bucked Philadelphia's legal and political establishment of by criticizing the judge then handling a pivotal appeal hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal charging that jurist with crippling proper court procedure by unfairly rushing that hearing. Specter offered this unusual criticism in an equally unusual forum: a speech before the Republican National Committee.
 

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RT has become the first TV channel in the world to speak to former journalist and Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal since he was removed from death row in January. Abu-Jamal will spend his life behind bars for killing a police officer in 1981.

Considered by many to be a flagrant miscarriage of justice, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has gained much attention worldwide. The defense claimed Abu-Jamal is innocent of the charges as the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses was not reliable. For decades, supporters have rallied behind him.

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After spending almost 30 years on death row, Abu-Jamal told RT’s Anastasia Churkina that “The truth is I spent most of my living years in my lifetime, on death row. So, in many ways, even to this day, in my own mind, if not in fact, I’m still on death row.”
RT: If you were not behind bars and could be anywhere else in the world, where would you be – and what would you be doing?

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A two-part interview with filmmakers Stephen Vittoria and Noelle Hanrahan by Alex Simon from Huffington Post, reprinted with permission by Prison Radio, who first began recording Mumia Abu-Jamal's radio broadcasts in the early 1990s. Prison Radio is based out of San Francisco. Their new film is "Long Distance Revolutionary." Part 1 | Part 2 | mumia-themovie.com | prisonradio.org

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Prison Radio first began recording prisoners in 1990.  Our mission is to challenge unjust police and prosecutorial practices which result in mass incarceration, racism, and gender discrimination by airing the voices of men and women victimized by an unjust criminal justice system. Our website www.prisonradio.org features Mumia Abu-Jamal’s essays and much more, including the latest news about his case. To receive our email newsletter, please sign up on the bottom of our website’s front page.

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Filmmakers Noelle Hanrahan and Stephen Vittoria further discuss their new documentary about political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. They explain that the film's title “Long Distance Revolutionary,” refers "to a man who in the 1960s, not only cut his teeth and nurtured himself on the revolution that was taking place in the streets, but wholeheartedly believed in all its tenets. Flash- forward to over forty years later and he has never stopped believing, never stopped moving that revolution forward."

--Part two of an interview with filmmakers Noelle Hanrahan and Stephen Vittoria about their new documentary Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal.
 
By Alex Simon from Huffington Post
 
(reprinted with permission –view part one here.)
 
Since being incarcerated, Mumia has almost developed a new voice.
 

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An interview with filmmakers Stephen Vittoria and Noelle Hanrahan from Prison Radio, who first began recording Mumia Abu-Jamal's radio broadcasts in the early 1990s. Prison Radio is based out of San Francisco. Their new film is "Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal."

–An Interview with filmmakers Noelle Hanrahan and Stephen Vittoria
 
By Alex Simon from Huffington Post
 
(reprinted with permission, reposted by Prison Radio –stay tuned for part two)
 

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Mumia Abu-Jamal is back with his unstoppable commitment to writing and recording his commentaries with Prison Radio. New photos of Mumia – the first taken since 1996 – show that the injustice leveled against him has not diminished his love, courage, and strength. The next big action will be Occupy the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on April 24, Mumia’s birthday. Free Mumia and ALL political prisoners!

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SCI Mahanoy, February 2, 2012. Mumia Abu-Jamal celebrates his move off of death row with Heidi Boghosian and Professor Johanna Fernandez.

Related: Our Contact Visit With Mumia by Johanna Fernandez | Commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal: "Why There is No Iran War on the Horizon"

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This was Mumia's second contact visit in 30 years. His transfer to general population comes after a federal court ruled that instructions to jurors during his trial influenced them to choose death. A broad people's movement secured this victory, and it can now refocus on the goal of freedom. Join us on April 24, Mumia's birthday, as we Occupy the Justice Department in Washington, DC!

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He’s out!

Credit ‘people power’ for getting internationally known inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal sprung from his apparently punitive, seven-week placement in ‘The Hole.’

For the first time since receiving a controversial death sentence in 1982 for killing a Philadelphia policeman, the widely acclaimed author-activist finds himself in general population, a prison housing status far less restrictive than the solitary confinement of death row.

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[cross-posted from This Can't Be Happening]
 
Inmates in general population have full privileges to visitation, telephone and commissary, along with access to all prison programs and services, all things denied or severely limited to convicts on death row waiting to be killed by the state.
 
In early December 2011, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officials, after the federal courts had removed his death penalty and the Philadelphia District Attorney opted not to attempt to re-try the penalty phase in hopes of winning a new death sentence, placed Abu-Jamal in Administrative Custody (a/k/a ‘The Hole’).
 

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Monday, January 30, 2012. Mumia Abu-Jamal is off death row and out of solitary because you called and wrote and faxed and emailed. He is out of the "hole". We did it. This was an international effort, including the delivery of over 5000 petitions, thousands of letters, and the threat of legal action.

The Next Step Is Freedom
 
By Noelle Hanrahan, Prison Radio
 
My dear friends, brothers and sisters -- I want to thank you for your real hard work and support. I am no longer on death row, no longer in the hole, I’m in population. This is only part one and I thank you all for the work you’ve done. But the struggle is for freedom!
- From Mumia. Ona Move. Long Live John Africa!
 

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After being transferred from death row in December, Mumia was put in ‘the hole’ at SCI Mahanoy’s ‘Restrictive Housing Unit,’ where the conditions are actually more restrictive than when he was on death row. Supporters, including the National Lawyers Guild (for whom Mumia serves as Vice President) who has set up an online petition, are calling for his immediate transfer to general population, so that among other things, he will be able to touch his family for this first time in about 30 years.


(Artwork: Ascncios Mac)

The Torture of Mumia Abu-Jamal Continues off Death Row
--Supporters Demand Transfer to General Population
 
An interview with Bret Grote of Human Rights Coalition
By Hans Bennett of Prison Radio
 

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