Supporters of Abu-Jamal's fight for justice and opponents of the death penalty are mobilizing to demand a halt to the state of Pennsylvania's death march and to call for Abu-Jamal's release. A national protest to demand Abu-Jamal's freedom has been called for 11 a.m. Saturday, October 16, in downtown Philadelphia.
Dozens of advocates of Abu-Jamal's release turned out for a news conference held by the Chicago Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal October 14 to protest the death warrant. At the news conference, it was announced there will be at least one bus from Chicago to the Philadelphia action, leaving the night before. A local protest will be held at Federal Plaza in Chicago at 4:30 p.m. October 18.
As we go to press, a demonstration for Abu-Jamal's release is taking place in New York City, and buses are planned for the Philadelphia rally.
Ridge's death warrant came about one week after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Black journalist's case. Abu-Jamal was immediately put into "phase two" of death row. He is separated from other inmates, is under 24-hour surveillance, and has further restrictions of visitation rights and phone use.
Abu-Jamal was railroaded to death row on charges of killing a Philadelphia cop in December 1981. Since then his eloquent and steadfast denunciation of the death penalty has become an emblem among many in the fight against state sponsored murder and the racist character of the U.S. cops, courts, and prisons.
Abu-Jamal has exhausted all state court appeals. His lawyer, Dan Williams, said he will file a federal appeal on October 15 that will cite 29 constitutional violations in Abu-Jamal's 1982 common pleas court trial, which lasted only five hours before he was convicted.
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