originally published by: Socialist Worker.org
15th July 2010
The campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) is appalled by the news that several individuals of leading anti-death penalty organizations have signed a confidential memorandum stating that the “involvement of Mumia Abu-Jamal endangers the U.S. coalition for abolition of the death penalty.”
The memo further argues that the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty should not highlight Mumia’s case because doing so “unnecessarily attracts our strongest opponents and alienates coalition partners at a time when we need to build alliances, not foster hatred and enmity.”
This memo was drafted on December 21, 2009, yet it only recently came to light following the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, held on March 4 in Geneva, Switzerland. At this meeting, a telephone call came in from Mumia Abu-Jamal, and he addressed the audience. At this point, several members of U.S. abolitionist groups got up and walked out in protest.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty strongly condemns this action and completely disagrees with the approach to the anti-death penalty struggle that this memo puts forth.
First of all, we unequivocally support and endorse Mumia Abu-Jamal in his struggle for justice. We believe in his innocence and see Mumia’s case as fraught with many of the same injustices as other death penalty cases–racial bias, police misconduct and brutality, and prosecutorial and judicial prejudice.