Mumia Activists Sentenced for Liberty Bell Protest

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In an ominous development, in late April, several key activists in the movement to save Abu-Jamal’s life were sentenced to one year supervised probation for their alleged “failure to obey a lawful order” of a national park ranger at a peaceful protest at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia last July. Hundreds of people participated in the demonstration, and 96 people were given summonses by park rangers at that time.

Among those sentenced, obviously because they refused to plead guilty to these misdemeanor summonses, are Clark Kissinger, a national coordinator of Mumia’s defense and a leader of Refuse and Resist, and Frances Golden, Mumia’s literary and financial representative. Similar sentences were imposed on a number of others involved in the Liberty Bell non-violent civil disobedience protests.

Kissinger, Golden, and the others were ordered to surrender their passports. They were confined to the federal court districts in which they live and forbidden to associate with convicted felons, like Mumia.

Kissinger’s wife was immediately visited by FBI agents at her workplace and served with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury, supposedly relating to an investigation of a former employer. She was also ordered to produce all her financial records (which include joint accounts with Clark Kissinger) for the last 10 years!

It is clear that these repressive actions taken by federal authorities are designed to discourage all forms of protest on Mumia’s behalf. Letters can be sent to the trial judge, Hon. Arnold C. Rapoport, and to the appeals judge, Hon. Bruce W. Kauffman, U.S. District Court, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. Judge Kauffman’s fax number is: (215) 580-2281.

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