By JOHN LESLIE The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office continues to stonewall in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. At a court hearing on April 30, prosecutors failed, once again, to produce a memorandum allegedly signed by former Philadelphia District Attorney and retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille. Under the 2016 Williams v. Pennsylvania … Continue reading Philadelphia DA’s office stonewalls at hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
By ANN MONTAGUE — LONDON — Every day here in Britain there is more news about the Windrush scandal. Workers arriving in the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1973 from Caribbean countries have been labeled the “Windrush Generation.” This refers to the ship HMT Empire Windrush, which first arrived in England in June 1948, bringing … Continue reading Windrush scandal exposes governmental racism in Britain
By KEITH COOK Reprinted from the Philadelphia Inquirer (May 1, 2018). I was stationed in Europe 37 years ago when I received the call that all black families dread. My little brother, Mumia Abu-Jamal, had been shot by the police and was fighting for his life. Mumia was the kindest and gentlest of my five … Continue reading Why my brother, Mumia, should be set free
By ANN MONTAGUE Activists with Fight For $15 renewed their struggle on Feb. 12 with rallies and strikes throughout the South in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Memphis, Tenn., sanitation worker’s strike. Fight For 15 teamed up with civil rights leader William Barber for a day of action in support of racial justice. … Continue reading Fast food workers strike in the South
By JOHN LESLIE New mobilizations are planned in the case of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The events will take place at a critical juncture in Mumia’s case, which opened up with the Williams v. Pennsylvania decision, presenting an opportunity, after so much struggle, to finally win Mumia’s freedom. This is particularly urgent because Mumia’s health … Continue reading Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! All out Feb. 26 and March 27!
By JOHN LESLIE At the beginning of February, the Philadelphia city council passed a resolution appealing to the Pennsylvania legislature to reform the bail system in the commonwealth. In the current set-up, nonviolent and low-risk offenders are often jailed while awaiting trial because they lack the resources to make even the most modest bail. Larry … Continue reading Bail reform resolution passed in Philadelphia
By BARRY SHEPPARD Erica Garner, Black Lives Matter activist and daughter of African American Eric Garner, who was brutally murdered by New York City police in 2014, died on Dec. 30. She was 27 years old. The proximate cause of death was a heart attack, extremely rare in one so young. The underlying cause was … Continue reading Erica Garner — Fighter for Black rights
By JOHN LESLIE In mid-November, federal agents arrested a Philadelphia police officer, Eric Snell, for allegedly acting as a middleman for a drug ring run by a Baltimore police firearms task force. In addition to the drug charges, Snell is accused of possession of illegal firearms and threatening the children of one of the accused … Continue reading Police corruption is rife from Baltimore to Philadelphia
By ERNIE GOTTA President Trump had this to say about professional athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” What was the response? The … Continue reading NFL player protests deepen solidarity
By JOHN LESLIE On Nov. 3, 1979, members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party (ANP) attacked an anti-Klan march in Greensboro, N.C., that was organized by the Communist Workers Party (CWP). Five members of the CWP were murdered and 10 others were wounded with the collusion of federal and local law … Continue reading Recalling the Greensboro Massacre
By ERNIE GOTTA Thousands of people are pledging to boycott the NFL this year under the banner #NoKaepernickNoNFL. Not since Mohammed Ali has a professional athlete had such a political impact on American culture. Despite overwhelming support for the embattled player, owners of every football team have blacklisted the activist/athlete for his public opposition to … Continue reading Thousands boycott the NFL in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick
By MIKE ALEWITZ Following are major excerpts from a Facebook post by activist and political muralist Mike Alewitz. They are reprinted with permission from the author. When I first read Malcolm X, and then heard a recording of him speaking, it was electrifying. Malcolm X confronted the racist ideology of the U.S. ruling class. He … Continue reading Fighting white supremacists: What I learned from Malcolm X
By a WORKING CARPENTER The Philadelphia city council passed a law allowing the city to secure loans for a program to renovate city parks, recreation centers and libraries called Rebuild Philadelphia. Some council members expressed skepticism about the program, asking whether any of the jobs created would go to people living the neighborhoods where the … Continue reading Philadelphia City Council pushes ‘diversity’ in the building trades
By JOHN LESLIE On June 9, 2017, a Philadelphia police officer, Ryan Pownall, shot David Jones multiple times in the back as he ran away. Pownall had stopped to search Jones, who had been riding a dirt bike. While police claim that Jones had a gun, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he “had already dropped … Continue reading What is the role of police under capitalism?
By MARTY GOODMAN “Chasing Trane,” a documentary film by John Scheinfeld. “Trane is now a scope of feeling. A more fixed traveler, whose wildest onslaughts are gorgeous artifacts not even deaf people should miss.” — Amiri Baraka, poet, jazz critic, and activist In July 1967, I heard on a late night jazz radio show in … Continue reading Films: John Coltrane Lite
By JOHN SCHRAUFNAGEL — ST. PAUL, Minn. — Four to five thousand people rallied at the State Capitol and marched through the streets of St. Paul on June 17, outraged over the unfair trial and unjust verdict in the case of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Many said they had been hopeful but were not surprised that … Continue reading Thousands protest “not guilty” verdict for Philando Castile’s killer
By the MOBILIZATION FOR MUMIA COALITION In the latest attempt to further deny freedom to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has contemptuously refused to release the files they were ordered to make public by Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker. On April 24, Abu-Jamal’s 63rd birthday, his attorneys presented an appeal before Judge Tucker … Continue reading Philadelphia DA’s office refuses to release Mumia files
Pressure DA's office to release documents pertaining to former DA Ron Castille's handling of Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeals! PHILADELPHIA—On Tuesday, May 30, The Mobilization For Mumia, a coalition of human rights groups in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, will host a 2 p.m. press conference and rally at the Philadelphia DA’s office to demand that the … Continue reading A DAY OF ACTION FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!
By JOHN LESLIE On May 13, Jimmy Dennis was released after more than 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The crime and the frame-up On Oct. 22, 1991, Chedell Williams and her friend, Zahra Howard, went to the Fern Rock Transportation Center in Philadelphia to buy a transpass. Outside of the … Continue reading Jimmy Dennis: Free at last!
By ERNIE TATE Now and then, and despite its capitalist and racial biases, our culture throws up something that can speak quite eloquently and uniquely about the times we're living through. In this case, I'm referring to an amazing documentary film that has been released recently, “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck, … Continue reading Films: “I Am Not Your Negro”
By JEFF MACKLER On Mumia Abu-Jamal’s birthday, April 24, about 125 demonstrators mobilized outside Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas in solidarity with Mumia’s effort to reverse his 1982 frame-up murder conviction and win a new trial that could lead to his freedom. Mumia Abu-Jamal is perhaps the world's best known political prisoner. He has been … Continue reading Mumia Abu-Jamal fights for a new trial and freedom
By CHRIS HUTCHINSON The police shooting of 18-year-old Ra’Shamel Rogers on March 9 in Waterbury, Conn., has mobilized community members in support of his family to demand answers and a transparent investigation. Ra’Shamel was unarmed and shot three times, twice in the abdomen and once in the lungs. Police are trying to justify the shooting … Continue reading Family and community demand answers in Connecticut police brutality case
By JEFF MACKLER “It’s a Knock Out Punch,” says Mumia. “We did something that’s never been done before,” says Pam Africa, chair of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. On Jan. 3, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Mariani granted the motion filed by innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal for a preliminary injunction ordering the … Continue reading Mumia wins court victory for prison medical care
By KAREN SCHRAUFNAGEL MINNEAPOLIS—The show trial dubbed by our local capitalist media, “Minnesota’s Terror Trial,” ended in November with the sentencing of the nine young men (eight Somali and one Oromo) who pled to or were convicted of charges relating to alleged attempts to join the “designated foreign terrorist organization” ISIS (the Islamic State). The … Continue reading Somali youth sentenced in ‘Minneapolis Terror Trial’
By MARK UGOLINI — UPDATED, Oct. 6 — The deeply racist character of police operations in Black communities is again on display with four more horrific murders by cops occurring within just 15 days of each other. The latest victims are Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla.; Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C.; Alfred Olango in … Continue reading New Wave of Racist Cop Killings Spark Outrage