portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article reporting united states

government | prisons & prisoners

Is Honoring Mumia a Crime?

Is it a crime to publicly honor black death-row prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal (convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty")?

Future Philadelphia mayoral candidate Peter J. Wirs thinks so. Acting as the Chairman of Philadelphia's 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee, Wirs has filed criminal charges against the French cities of Paris and St. Denis. Their crime?

In 2003 Abu-Jamal was declared an honorary citizen of Paris—the first time since Pablo Picasso was similarly honored in the 1970s. This April, the French city of St. Denis (a Paris suburb) named a major street after him. Located in the Cristino Garcia District of the city (named after an anti-Franco Spanish Republican), Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal leads directly to the largest sports arena in Europe: "Nelson Mandela Stadium."

Pam Africa with French delegates, Feb.11, 2005
Pam Africa with French delegates, Feb.11, 2005
read more>>