Youth in Action: Fighting for Mumia in the Midwest

As the movement to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal enters a critical stage with the signing of a death warrant, young activists from across the Midwest are organizing for a fight.

College and high school students in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois are setting up Mumia committees in their schools, breathing new life into old ones, and planning emergency demonstrations.

The momentum began with the Mumia 911 actions in late September. Students and other activists converged on Minneapolis and Chicago on Sept. 25. In the week leading up to that, many poetry readings, concerts, and other cultural actions were held as part of the National Art for Mumia week.

There were Mumia events on five different University of Wisconsin campuses, from Stevens Point to Madison. For many students, this was the first time they’d gotten involved in Mumia’s case.

“I knew something about his case, and I’d seen his picture everywhere all over town, but this was the first time I’ve marched for Mumia, or anyone for that matter,” said Jessica Monez, a college student who marched on Sept. 25 in Chicago.

Following the signing of a death warrant, emergency protests were held in the Twin Cities, Chicago, and Ohio, and in each case young people turned out.

YSAers and activists from the Socialist Discussion Club at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC) are reaching out to other campus groups to set up a Mumia committee.

Many Black and Latino students at MCTC have expressed interest, as has Culturas Unidas, the campus Latino group. Weekly film showings of “A Case for a Reasonable Doubt” are already planned.

Similarly, YSAers at Northland College in northern Wisconsin are responding to the new warrant by going door to door in the dorms to talk about Mumia and other pressing social issues.

At Grinnell College in Iowa, the Grinnell Socialists are using their weekly campus radio program to get the word out to students about Mumia. They organized caravans to travel to other cities for the Sept. 25 and the Oct. 16 events.

Youth for Socialist Action calls upon all of our fellow students and young activists to push even harder in the coming weeks to reach out to more people and to more schools.

As we all know, Mumia’s life is in our hands, and that means we need as many hands as possible!


This article is the collective product of YSAers from across the Midwest.

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SPONSORED By THE MOBILIZATION TO FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL & THE INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL. CO-SPONSORS: Courage Foundation/Assange & Middle East Children’s Alliance, Arab Resource Organizing Center. HEAR Alice Walker, prize-winning novelist; Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers; Jamal Jr, Mumia’s grandson; Chris Hedges, prize-winning journalist