Monday, June 28, 2021

Solidarity Message from the SF Bay Area Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

(PHOTO: May Day 2021 at San Francisco City Hall. Photo by Terry Scussel,, posted at

Solidarity Message from the SF Bay Area Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

By Jeff Mackler

Best and solidarity to the Jamal Journal. Your first 40-page incredible newspaper provided the facts and background on Mumia’s case that will be deeply appreciated by the new generation of freedom fighters that are rallying to Mumia’s cause. 

I urge Mumia supporters to read every word, a precise case history of the frame-up operations of the criminal “injustice” system that today has been exposed more than ever. With 20 million in the streets last summer demanding Black Lives Matter, Mumia’s freedom is closer than in a long while. 

We are proud to formally endorse the Color of Change petition to DA Larry Krasner, while fully understanding that winning Mumia’s freedom is contingent on our continuing efforts to build a broad, democratic and united mass movement across the country to champion Mumia’s cause. 

We are confident that one day, sooner not later, we will see Mumia Abu-Jamal a free man, fully participating as a champion of every fight where humanity rises to new heights to bring down the systemic racism and class domination that pervades every aspect of life in warmongering corporate America. .

In solidarity,  

Jeff Mackler, Director, The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

"Philly DA" filmmaker Ted Passon talks about Mumia Abu-Jamal at Berlinale Film Festival, with Professors Johanna Fernández and Michael Schiffmann

--Description from video posted on Michael Schiffmann's Youtube page:

One June 10, 2021, the first two episodes of Ted Passon's, Yoni Brook's and Nicole Salazar's path-breaking documentary series "Philly D.A." on the first term of the reform-oriented Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner were shown to a sell-out audience at the Berlinale film festival in Berlin. 

Three days later, a panel with Ted Passon, Mumia Abu-Jamal defense team member Johanna Fernández, and the German expert and author of a book on Abu-Jamal's case, Michael Schiffmann discussed the series, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the question of why even the new prosecutorial authority in Philadelphia continues to defend Abu-Jamal's glaringly unjust conviction - and of course the question that follows: What can be done?

Also watch Johanna Fernández's 2009 documentary film about Mumia Abu-Jamal, entitled "Justice on Trial."

Thursday, June 10, 2021

On June 13, watch Ted Passon, Johanna Fernández, and Michael Schiffmann: “Philly D.A.” and the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal

(View Philly DA on the Berlinale website here)

(Watch the June 13 Zoom Event here)

With the Support of the International Film Festival “Berlinale,” the German Network Against the Death Penalty and to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Presents:

“Philly D.A.” and the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal

The “Berlinale” is one of the most important annual international film festivals, and on June 10, 2021, it showed the first two parts of an eight-part documentary series called “Philly D.A.,” an in-depth look into the state of affairs in the criminal (in-)justice system of the fifth-largest city of the United States, Philadelphia.

This was possible only because the makers of the series, Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, and Nicole Salazar in part come themselves from Philly, have occupied themselves politically with the series of judicial scandals there and have themselves been part of the opposition against the insufferable situation.

One scandalous case which is missing in this series for a variety of reasons is the one of the African American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. He has spent almost 40 years in jail for a murder that the facts show he cannot have committed, after a trial that according to Amnesty International was “in violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures.”

Here we have a striking contradiction: the post-2017, avowedly reform-minded District Attorney’s Office portrayed in the series and led by the former civil rights attorney Larry Krasner continues to fight against a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal despite the massive evidence that Abu-Jamal was framed by the police and shafted by the courts for being Black and too radical a reporter.

The question is: Why? What can be done? Can we influence events?

Join us: 90-Minute Online Event on Sunday, June 13, 7 PM Berlin Time

TED PASSON – film maker & co-director of Philly D.A – right now working on a similar series on Mumia Abu-Jamal

DR. MICHAEL SCHIFFMANN – Linguistics & Cultural Studies, author of Race Against Death. The Struggle for the Life and Freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal

PROF. JOHANNA FERNÁNDEZ – lecturer for American history at the Baruch University New York, member of the defense team of Mumia Abu-Jamal

WATCH: Berlinale Interview with the producers * Contact: Michael Schiffmann * 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Fundraising for the Jamal Journal Issue #2: Please donate for printing and postage costs!

Please donate to the Jamal Journal here.

(PHOTO: Pam Africa presents the first issue of The Jamal Journal outside of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's office on March 12, 2021. Pam has repeatedly attempted to meet with DA Krasner but he has always refused to meet with her.  Photo by Jamal Journal staff photographer Joe Piette)

Dear friends of the Jamal Journal,

By early April, we had run out of the 10,000 copies of the Jamal Journal issue #1 that we printed in late February. In response, we reprinted 10,000 copies of Issue #1 for $1,375 and mailed several boxes to Philadelphia in time for the April 24 Birthday Celebration Weekend. To save on printing costs, the original 40-page version was reduced to 32 pages, with the remaining articles focused almost entirely on the evidence of police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct cited in our Color of Change petition to DA Krasner

Saturday, May 15, 2021

May 13, 2021: MOVE Day of Remembrance to Honor the Lives Lost (Photos by Jamal Journal staff photographer Joe Piette)


PHOTO-ESSAY BY JOE PIETTE:  Hundreds of people young and old turned out near the site of the 1985 city bombing of a MOVE residence which killed 6 adults and 5 children to honor them. A half dozen speakers recounted the day's events on May 13, 1985 when city officials dropped a bomb on the home at 6221 Osage Ave and let the resulting fire burn down 63 homes. A march passed by the Osage Ave block on the way to Malcom X Park, where MOVE members and supporters spoke.

--View all of Joe Piette's photos here.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Following Heart Surgery, Mumia Looks Great! Noelle Hanrahan Reports on Her Contact Visit Today

(Note from the Jamal Journal: A longer report will follow, but Noelle wanted to send this quick report out to the movement.) 

(PHOTO: Handwritten note on legal pad, written 5/7/21 2pm, in the visiting room of SCI Mahanoy. A text version of this note is featured at the bottom of this article.)

“I am here because people stood right with me. I love the hell out of all of them.” 

--Mumia Abu-Jamal, SCI Mahanoy in the visit room with Noelle Hanrahan, P.I., J.D. 5-7-21


Pam Africa told me the other day that we need “to put our eyes” on Mumia. 


When I walked into the visiting booth, Mumia said: “Well, well, well! Way to scale these walls!” He chuckled. “How the hell did you get in here?”   


I shrugged and asked: “Since when have walls stopped us?” A hand-to-glass exchange of a high five. Then I said: “I just asked the guard to check for the contact visit that was approved by the Superintendent’s office yesterday, since you have cleared quarantine.” Mumia said: “Okay, let’s start talking and when he comes back, we can move.” 


Ten minutes later, the visit continues without the plexiglass barrier when they let Mumia have a contact visit.  After an elbow bump and a hug we sit down at a table in the entirely empty visiting area of SCI Mahanoy.


First let me say that Mumia looks great. He has energy. He was smiling broadly under his face mask. He was laughing and explaining how he has another chance to live. He sounded just like Tony the Tiger when he roars: “I feel great!” 


I could imagine that having a working heart after months of congestive heart failure would contribute to his feeling ready to tackle his rehabilitation. Heart disease can be reversed, though getting the proper diet and exercise will be a huge challenge in a prison known for lockdowns. This current lockdown due to COVID, has lasted an enitre year.   


A long thin scar cuts all the way down his breastbone:  The result of a double bypass open heart surgery just days ago. He is a trim 207 lbs. in a 6’1 frame and is now on path to recovery. He expects to be moved to general population very soon.


Mumia wanted everyone to know that he was aware that the movement made it possible for his condition to be taken seriously and finally accurately diagnosed. Mumia knows that if it were not for the world shining a bright hot spotlight on prison conditions and access to medical care, he fears that he would not have survived. 


I always begin the process of leaving the visit, with this question for Mumia: “What do you want?” Mumia’s answer: “I want to find a way to win and find a way to get the hell out of here.” 

--Text of the hand-written message from Mumia to supporters:


I love you all! Thanks for being in my life!


I am buoyed and lifted by your love and strength!


To freedom!


Love, Mumia 


(Handwritten note on legal pad 5/7/21 2pm, in the visiting room of SCI Mahanoy.)

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Former political prisoner Angela Y. Davis and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union lead San Francisco May Day March

Angela Davis and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Lead San Francisco May Day March

Written by Jack Heyman of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

(With photos of the May Day March by Leon Kunstenaar of the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center. Also see Kunstenaar's photos from Angela Davis' visit to the ILWU Union Hall)

On May Day marches occurred around the U.S. and around the world. While it is a labor holiday celebrated in 100 countries it is not recognized here where it originated in 1886 over the struggle for the 8 hour work day and safer working conditions. 

Arguably, the largest demonstration in the U.S. occurred in San Francisco where an estimated 4,000  marchers, trade unionists, community groups and leftists, gathered at the Embarcadero and marched to Civic Center to commemorate the 1934 Maritime and General Strike provoked by the police murder of two strikers. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mumia is now recovering from heart surgery, please contact Gov. Tom Wolf and prison authorities! Cite the UN's condemnation of the hospital shackling!

On the morning of April 20, Mumia came out of surgery, and his lawyers were told that the procedure was successful. Later that evening, Mumia called his wife Wadiya, had a good conversation, and Wadiya says that he sounds strong! While Mumia recovers during the next few weeks, we must keep building public pressure to ensure that Mumia gets the best possible treatment.

On April 20, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued a report condemning the hospital bed shackling of Mumia. Please cite this UN Statement and demand that Mumia not be shackled while recovering at the hospital!

We are demanding that the hospital officials and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections do the following immediately:

1) Mumia must not be shackled to his hospital bed during his recovery.
2) Let Mumia speak with his Family.
3) Let Mumia speak directly with his physician Dr. Ricardo Alvarez
4) Let Mumia speak with his spiritual advisor Dr. Mark Taylor
5) Provide the appropriate rehabilitation plan for his recovery

The next days, weeks, and months will be critical in Mumia's recovery.
The conditions of his confinement contributed to his heart disease. He was held in isolation solitary for over a year, never able to exercise.  Limited to walking in his very small cell.  He was allowed off his block rarely. These were due to the covid restrictions. 

As he recovers he MUST have access to his physician, exercise and a heart health diet.  
Please continue to call and write to the PADOC and let them know we are watching and that "Freedom is the only treatment"

Head of PA DOC, John Wetzel
717-728-2573 *** EMAIL:
twitter: @johnewetzel, @DOCSecretary 
PA DOC, Deputy Secretary for Administration of Healthcare, Christopher Oppman 
717-728-4122 or 717-728-2573 Ext 5
SCI Mahanoy Superintendent, Bernadette Mason

Governor of PA, Tom Wolf
717-787-2500 ext. 3. *** FAX 717-772-8284 *** EMAIL:  
facebook: @governorwolf, @TomWolfPA  instagram: @governortomwolf


(c) Menira Gilden Seth Tobocman   

And every letter of encouragement and support goes such a long way for Mumia. Send him your blessings: 

Mumia Abu-Jamal
Smart Communications/PADOC
Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335
SCI Mahanoy
c/o PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

(Florida is not a misprint, letters to Mumia are sent to the mail contractor in Florida and then scanned and printed and given to him).  He will receive these in the infirmary and in his cell.  Every prayer and letter matters. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mexico City, MX April 24 event for Mumia Abu-Jamal at US Consulate; also Carolina Saldaña's Spanish-language report on the April 15 press conference

Organized by Amigxs de Mumia, Mexico City, they will have a Press Conference outside the US Embassy at 12 noon, and from there cyclists will start out on a bike ride to the Café Zapata where they'll have four hours to talk about Mumia with music, art and videos. There will also be events in Oaxaca and Nayarit the same day.

Featured below is a Spanish-language report written by Carolina Saldaña on the April 15 press conference for Mumia.

Reseña: Conferencia de Prensa sobre la Cirugía Cardíaca de Mumia Abu-Jamal

Por Carolina Saldaña

Al saber que habría una urgente conferencia de prensa ayer 15 de abril, el mismo día que Mumia Abu-Jamal tenía programada la cirugía de corazón, muchas personas hemos querido saber ¿Cómo está Mumia? ¿Cómo se siente? ¿Tuvo la cirugía? ¿Cómo le fue? ¿Cuál es la mejor manera de seguir apoyándolo?

Friday, April 16, 2021

A Robeson-Influenced Prayer and Birthday Greeting from England (for Mumia Abu-Jamal), by Tayo Aluko

A Robeson-Influenced Prayer and Birthday Greeting from England

Written by Tayo Aluko

It was Paul Robeson who introduced us, albeit he’d been dead for 32 years. My new acquaintance had been locked away in prison for 26 years, and was still contesting a death sentence.

The venue was the Oakland City Hall, and the occasion the grand opening, on what would have been Paul Robeson’s 110th birthday - April 9, 2008 - of an exhibit by the Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee, on Robeson. I had just arrived from Irvine, CA, where I had given my first-ever US performance of my one-man play, Call Mr. Robeson, and was due to reprise it the following day. I was staying with people I had never met, but who nonetheless willingly welcomed my pianist and me into their home, because a mutual friend in Liverpool had told them I was coming over to tell Robeson’s story. A choir sang South African freedom songs. I performed an extract from the play. I shook the hand of Ron Dellums, then Mayor of Oakland, heard him speak, and would learn only later that he was a very distinguished politician – a former congressman who, among other things, had been instrumental in getting the US government to reluctantly issue sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, hastening that regime’s demise.

I was introduced to active members of the ILWU longshoremen’s union, which had proudly made Robeson an honorary member. These men told me they had not only organised boycotts of South African ships, refusing to load and unload them, but also supported the dockers’ struggle in Liverpool.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Prison Radio: Exploratory Procedures done, found blocked arteries, further surgery scheduled (Mumia is not out of danger! Call for his freedom!)


Exploratory Procedures done-
arteries blocked further surgery scheduled. 

He is not Out of Danger

Call for his freedom.

Head of PA DOC, John Wetzel
717-728-2573 *** EMAIL: ,
twitter: @johnewetzel, @DOCSecretary 
PA DOC, Deputy Secretary for Administration of Healthcare, Christopher Oppman 
717-728-4122 or 717-728-2573 Ext 5
SCI Mahanoy Superintendent, Bernadette Mason
Governor of PA, Tom Wolf
717-787-2500 ext. 3. *** FAX 717-772-8284 *** EMAIL:  

facebook: @governorwolf, @TomWolfPA  instagram: @governortomwolf

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 14 Medical Update from Dr. Ricardo Alvarez

 Ricardo Alvarez, MD

724 Peralta Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94110

April 14, 2021


To: Medical and Administrative Staff at SCI Mahanoy Contracted Hospitals




My name is Dr. Ricardo Alvarez. I am a physician licensed in the state of California and Mumia Abu Jamal (AM 8335) has designated me as his medical consultant and has properly filled out form 108. For several hours there has been intensive efforts to communicate through proper channels through the legal and the medical teams to get an update on Mumia’s health as there was a dangerous lapse in communication. We have just learned that Mumia has been transported for cardiac surgery although the full details of his care have not been properly communicated.


I am writing this letter to clearly communicate that Mumia cannot be shackled in the course of his hospitalization and that Mumia be allowed to call his wife and his spiritual advisor Mark Taylor before surgery and have full access to medical and legal consultations as soon as possible after surgery.


It is absolutely essential that we understand the danger of shackling for Mumia and other prisoners. This communication will be forwarded to the relevant medical staff of the hospitals contracted with the PA DOC to provide ethical and compassionate care for all incarcerated persons and all our incarcerated elders. While we will be respectful of the safety concerns of medical and correctional staff, routine shackling of every prisoner can never be an acceptable practice and perpetuates harm and would never meet standards for Mumia.


As Mumia’s medial consultant I am alerting you that there is significant evidence, both legal and medical, that Mumia has suffered severe harm as a result of medical, legal, law enforcement, and judicial professionals who have not met proper standards. Mumia has been recently hospitalized for COVID and Congestive Heart Failure and he already suffers from hypertension as well as liver cirrhosis and diabetes, both induced by court documented medical neglect. Mumia suffered severe police brutality the night of his arrest and at this point any evidence of shackling will be seen as a deliberate harm to Mumia and a perpetuation of court documented trauma he has already suffered.  


It will be necessary that all medical providers who provide care to Mumia, the medical directors of the various disciplines, including the cardiologists, nurses, anesthesiologists, hospital administrators and the medical director of the hospital engage with their medical ethicists and any other consultants to communicate directly with correctional staff at the hospital and with the PA DOC as necessary regarding concern the direct harm that shackling will do to Mumia.

A broad range of medical professionals with expertise in various disciplines will be reviewing the records as we have in the past and as guided by Mumia’s permission. We know that the extensive training and expertise of medical professionals can provide the gift of extending life with surgeries that were unthinkable a few generations past. We are now asking that we engage in our promise to provide compassionate care for the incarcerated persons who have suffered from great harm. Allow Mumia contact with his loved ones, medical, and legal counsel and do not allow him to shackled.






Ricardo Alvarez,