PORTLAND, Ore.- On Aug. 17, Portlanders responded to the call for an Emergency Mass demonstration for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s scheduled Philadelphia hearing. The busy noon crowd at Pioneer Square saw 72 supporters chanting and marching.
Volunteers signed up at the rally to participate in a coalition for future events. As a result, on Sept. 5, people met to establish the Justice for Mumia Coalition. A Dec. 9 rally will be their main effort during the coming months.
It was noted that Dec. 9 is the 20-year mark since Mumia’s arrest, and the week of Dec. 9 through Dec. 15 is International Human Rights Week.
December weather in Portland can be a challenge, so an indoor rally is being considered.
The number of supporters for the coalition is growing steadily, and enthusiasm for the December event is taking hold.
We cannot let the wave of tightened security to control would-be “terrorists” discourage activities that are First Amendment rights. Knowledge, understanding, compassion, solidarity, and people in the street are the weapons we must continue to use. Many Portlanders have discovered that and will support the Justice for Mumia Coalition.
– RUTH KOVACS