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Philedelphia Police Riot December 8 2K1

Mumia protesters violently attacked
Philedelphia Police Riot December 8 2K1
Philedelphia Police Riot December 8 2K1
Mumia protesters violently attacked Subject: Philadephia Dec 8 Police Riot

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 20:36:15 -0500 From: S29 Zapatista Block < h84413@hotmail.com>

[update: the last two people are right now in the process of getting released from jail - many activists fronted the rest of the needed bail money to get them out asap]

POLICE ATTACK PHILLY MUMIA PROTEST

The Philadelphia police engaged in an unprovoked and brutal attack on the December 8th thousand-plus march in support of death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. In the aftermath of September 11th, and the national attacks on civil liberties, the police seemed emboldened to carry out an ambush attack of peaceful protestors in a permitted demonstration. Their actions threaten all of us, and we need to respond.

Saturday's repression followed the harassment of a high-level delegation from France (including a French Senator, two mayors, a union president, a member of the European Parliament and the daughter of Franz Fannon) at the prison where Mumia Abu-Jamal is being held. Besides being verbally abused, cameras and video equipment were seized and film destroyed. Saturday's protest called for freedom for Abu-Jamal, entering his 20th year on death row for the alleged murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. The demonstration stopped at the intersection of 13th and Locust Streets to view a video taped confession by Arnold Beverly that he, not Abu-Jamal, had shot Faulkner on December 9th, 1981.

Shortly after, as the marchers made their way up Walnut Street, according to one eyewitness account, on behalf of a right-wing heckler of the rally, bicycle cops toward the back of the march charged into the middle of the crowd, dismounted their bikes, and drew a gun on one protestor whom they had pinned to the ground. Police began ramming people with their bicycles, and indiscriminately beating demonstrators with batons, pepper-spraying them, and arresting people.

An army of cops descended on the protest, some wearing camouflage and black berets. Some were transit cops. The Civil Affairs cops who were supposed to be the intermediary between the police and the demonstrators were nowhere to be found during the ambush.

At this time we have been able to confirm seven arrests, including two activists from Philadelphia. (The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that all those arrested were from out of town since they never want to admit to the sizeable and growing support for Mumia in Philadelphia).

One of the sisters arrested from Philadelphia, who weighs less than 100 lbs, was surrounded by several cops. She ended up hospitalized with a broken tailbone, although video cameras show her walking as she was lead away.

Another woman arrested was also hospitalized with a broken jaw-bone from being violently dragged on the ground by the police. A third man was also hospitalized but since released.

Those arrested are being charged with felony assault on a police officer, and felony inciting to riot, and face high bails.

Those who saw today's Inquirer account of this event need to respond to the lies and distortions in that coverage. Mumia has stated his innocence on more than one occasion, including in a sworn affidavit filed last summer by his new attorneys. His attorneys have been fighting to get the affidavit by Arnold Beverly confessing to the murder entered into the court records but the district attorney and both federal Judge William Yohn and Pennsylvania Judge Pamela Dembe have refused to allow the confession into evidence claiming it is not timely. Since when is there a statue of limitations on murder, especially when an innocent man sits on death row accused of the crime?

Many activists and civil libertarians have expressed concern in recent weeks over the Bush Administration's attempts to curtail civil liberties in the aftermath of September 11th. We ask all who are concerned with the shredding of constitutional rights, to join in a struggle to demand freedom for Mumia, whose constitutional rights to a fair trial, to have counsel of his choice, and more have been denied for 20 years.

Those arrested on Saturday are in need of support, both vocal and financial.

To find out how you can help, please contact the offices of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal at 215-476-8812 or  icffmaj@aol.com Call to protest these arrests and the brutality of the police:
Deputy Commissioner Sylvester Johnson 215-686-3358; 686-3359
The 9th Precinct 215-686-3007
Mayor John Street 215-686-2181

INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL URGENT APPEAL

LATEST UPDATED INFORMATION - PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY:

1. THE MOST URGENT ISSUE RIGHT NOW IS THE NEED FOR MONEY FOR BAIL - THE BONDS SET RANGE FROM BETWEEN $8,000 AND $100,000. THE TOTAL ESTIMATED AMOUNT IS APPROXIMATELY $320,000 FOR ALL THOSE WITH BAIL SET - WE HAVE TO RAISE APPROXIMATELY $15,000 MINIMUM TO BAIL THE REMAINING PEOPLE OUT. 8 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED, 2 WERE RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGES OR BAIL, AND SOME PEOPLE ARE BEING BAILED OUT, BUT WE MUST URGENTLY RAISE MONEY TO PAY BACK LOANS MADE FOR BAIL.

2. 5 OF THE 6 WHO WERE CHARGED HAVE BEEN ARRAIGNED AND HAVE BAILS AND CHARGES SET. EACH OF THESE 6 MUMIA SUPPORTERS WERE GIVEN FELONY CHARGES, INCLUDING FELONY ASSAULT AND FELONY RIOT, AS WELL AS CONSPIRACY, ASSAULT, AND CONSPIRACY TO RIOT.

3. THIS WAS A **LEGALLY PERMITTED DEMONSTRATION AND MARCH** AND THE KIND OF VIOLENCE POLICE EXHIBITED YESTERDAY WAS HIGHLY UNUSUAL FOR MUMIA MARCHES IN PHILADELPHIA.

4. THERE ARE SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO ARE PREPARED TO MAKE STATEMENTS TO THE MEDIA - MEDIA PERSONS SHOULD CONTACT JODI DODD AT 215-563-7110.

5. 4 PEOPLE WERE HOSPITALIZED WITH INJURIES INCLUDING: PROLONGED STATES OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS, AT LEAST ONE CONCUSSION, FRACTURED TAILBONE, INTERNAL BLEEDING, SEVERE ABRASIONS -- THE WORST INJURED PERSON WAS FINALLY RELEASED. NO ONE IS CURRENTLY IN THE HOSPITAL, ALL ARE IN CUSTODY OR IN THE PROCESS OF BEING RELEASED.

6. EVEN THOUGH THE MOST INJURED PERSON HAS ALREADY BEEN RELEASED, WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE IN JAIL WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHO ARE IN NEED OF MEDICATION AND TREATMENT. THERE ARE 2 PEOPLE WHO ARE IN JAIL WITHOUT FAMILY NEARBY AND UNTIL WE MAKE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN PROVIDE MONEY FOR THEM, THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN GET THEM OUT ON BAIL IS THROUGH DONATIONS FROM ACTIVISTS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

7. WITNESSES AND DEFENDANTS NEED TO CALL US AT 215-476-5416 IMMEDIATELY. ANYBODY WHO HAS ANY VIDEO OR PHOTO FOOTAGE OR KNOWS ANYONE WHO DOES NEEDS TO CALL IMMEDIATELY AND GIVE THEIR NAME, PHONE NUMBER, AND E-MAIL ADDRESS. PHONE MESSAGES WILL BE CHECKED REGULARLY. IT IS URGENT THAT WE GET ALL OF THIS INFORMATION TO LAWYERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. EVERY WITNESS THAT HAS CALLED IN THUS FAR TELLS A SIMILAR STORY AFTER HAVING SEEN THE WHOLE THING HAPPEN AND ALL REPORT WITNESSING THE POLICE POUNCE ON PROTESTORS WITHOUT ANY PROVOCATION OR CONFRONTATION.

8. WE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL D.A. LYNN ABRAHAM TO DEMAND THAT ALL CHARGES BE DROPPED AT 215-686-9604, OR FAX 215-686-8049.

9. PLEASE WRITE AND E-MAIL LOCAL AND NATIONAL PRESS (SOME PHILLY PRESS ADDRESSES ARE AVAILABLE AT PHILLYNEWS.COM). DO NOT GIVE NAMES OR DESCRIPTIONS OF SUPPORTERS OVER THE TELEPHONE, IN E-MAILS OR IN LETTERS BECAUSE THAT INFORMATION IS NEEDED FOR INTERVIEWS WITH LAWYERS. IN PHONE DISCUSSIONS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, PLEASE GIVE GENERAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF HOW POLICE CAME DOWN SO HARD ON PROTESTORS, BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF MISINFORMATION IN THE MEDIA SAYING THAT PROTESTORS PROVOKED IT IN AN ATTEMPT TO COVER UP THE FACT THAT THIS WAS A POLICE RIOT.

10. PLEASE CALL PHILADELPHIA MAYOR JOHN STREET AT 215-686-2181 OR FAX 215-686-3162, AS WELL AS ACTING POLICE COMMISSIONER JOHNSON AT 215-686-3280, AND MAKE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WAY PEOPLE WERE TREATED ON THE STREETS AND IN CUSTODY.

** ICFFMAJ IS URGING PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY AND WORLD TO MAKE DONATIONS IF YOU CAN, AND LOANS IF YOU CAN'T MAKE ACTUAL DONATIONS. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO GET THESE PEOPLE RELEASED FROM JAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE NEED PEOPLE TO FUNDRAISE ASAP. **

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MAKE DONATIONS:

A. THE IDEAL THING IS TO WIRE MONEY SO THAT IT CAN BE PICKED UP AS CASH, BECAUSE ONLY CASH CAN BE USED TO BAIL PEOPLE OUT. PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE AT 215-476-5416 SO THAT WE WILL KNOW TO PICK IT UP OR IT WILL JUST SIT THERE.

PLEASE WIRE MONEY TO:

ANTHONY ALLEN 3960 DENNISON AVE., APT. D-3 DREXEL HILL, PA 19026

YOU WILL NEED HIS PHONE NUMBER (610) 394-0306

B. PLEASE SEND CHECKS IF YOU CANNOT WIRE MONEY. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
PDAG (PHILADELPHIA DIRECT ACTION GROUP)
P.O. BOX 40683, PHLA., PA 19107
**SPECIFY IN THE MEMO LINE "DECEMBER 8TH LEGAL FUND".

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DONATION PROCESS OR IF YOU NEED TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION, CALL DANIELLE AT 215-680-1174 (MESSAGES WILL BE FREQUENTLY CHECKED).

STAY STRONG, STAY COMMITTED!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR WHATEVER YOU CAN DO!!

CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP, UNTIL MUMIA IS FREE!!

www.mumia.org

See Philadelphia IMC's cov'g here:  http://www.phillyimc.org/

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