>From: "Marpessa Kupendua" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: !*Break-In at Mumia office in Philly/Stop Attacks on Activists!
>Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 18:53:23 -0400
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>From: C. Clark Kissinger <email@example.com>
>ICFFMAJ Office Suffers Political Break-In
> The headquarters of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
> Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia experienced a COINTELPRO-style burglary on the
> night of June 8, when an unknown person or persons made off with important
> files containing financial records and lists of high-profile contacts. The
> stolen documents are vital to the work of ICFFMAJ and could be mis-used in
> the wrong hands.
> Other items in the office, including valuable office equipment appeared to
> be untouched. The offices one entrance is kept locked; the burglars either
> used a governmental lock pick or obtained a key to the office. The ICFFMAJ
> regards the incident as clearly politically motivated: a thievery of
> information, not items of monetary value.
> "I believe that this was a government plan to disrupt our work," says
> ICFFMAJ Coordinator Pam Africa, who said the incident closely resembled the
>FBI and police COINTELPRO break-ins of "leftist" organizations epidemic in
>1960s and 70s.
> With the Federal District Courts current attempts to restrict the work of
>Mitchell Cohen, C. Clark Kissinger and other activists arrested at the
>Liberty Bell protests for Mumia last summer, the recent office break-in is
>doubly suspicious to the ICFFMAJ. This is a time when organizers nation-wide
>are preparing for Mumias upcoming federal court hearing and the Republican
>National Convention in Philadelphia.
>The burglary is the latest in a small string of suspicious thieveries and
>destruction of information belonging to ICFFMAJ and the MOVE organization. A
>ICFFMAJ car was broken into in 1999, leaving the cars radio intact but
>important and sensitive documents missing. And in 1995 Philadelphia fire
>fighters thoroughly soaked large numbers of files containing papers
>important to MOVE and the ICFFMAJ. A blaze had moved from an abandoned
>house next door to the upstairs floor of a MOVE house, but a hose was left
>running into the basement, far from where any fire ever caught. Pam Africa
>and another man found firefighters standing by and talking while a hose ran
>full-blast into their basement.
> The ICFFMAJ is cautioning other groups working on Mumias case to be wary
>the event that other offices are targeted for similar burglaries.
> International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal HYPERLINK
> mailto:ICFFMAJ@aol.com ICFFMAJ@aol.com P.O. Box 19709 Philadelphia Pa
> 19143 Phone: 215-476-8812 Fax: 215-476-6180
> Published June 14 - 20, 2000
>PETTY TO THE MAX
>BY C. CARR
>Feds Throw the book at Mumia Protesters
>(Check out this article at
>They were found guilty of petty offenses, charges way too minor to warrant
>a jury trial. And now, as punishment for the equivalent of a parking
>ticket, a couple of leading activists in the fight to save Mumia Abu-Jamal
>face a supervised probation so restrictive they won't be able to do their
>political work. They think that that was the whole point.
>C. Clark Kissinger and Frances Goldin were among 95 demonstrators arrested
>at the Liberty Bell pavilion in Philadelphia last July 3, the 17th
>anniversary of Abu-Jamal's sentencing. He faces execution in Pennsylvania
>for the murder of a police officer, and his supporters have long maintained
>that he did not get a fair trial. During the July 3 action, protesters
>blocked several doors to the Liberty Bell, and park rangers closed the
>pavilion for three hours. Some climbed onto the roof to hang banners. Some
>sat outside against the bumper of a police van.
>Kissinger and Goldin say they did none of those things. They were out on
>the plaza with the third member of their affinity group, Mark Taylor, head
>of Academics for Mumia Abu-Jamal. "We sat down in an area where a truck was
>coming, filled with already arrested prisoners," recalls Goldin, "and
>before we could move, we were whisked away by the park rangers. And cuffed.
>They never said 'Move.' They never said anything."
>Charged with "failure to obey a lawful order," Goldin, Kissinger, and six
>other activists decided to plead not guilty, and that's where their
>troubles began. They are now convinced their real crime was to ask for a
>During the course of their three days in court, the park ranger who
>arrested Goldin could not identify her, and none of the videotapes entered
>into evidence showed the two defendants blocking anything or even sitting
>down. While the activists were not exactly surprised when the judge found
>them guilty anyway, fining them $250, they find the supervised probation
>draconian and sinister.
>"This was a fait accompli, that they were going to get probation," says
>Jordan Yeager, Goldin's attorney. "In fact, the representative from the
>probation department was there in the courtroom waiting to handle the
>processing. That was before the case had been closed, before all the
>evidence on whether they were guilty or not guilty had been received."
>Under the terms of the probation, they cannot travel outside their home
>federal court district (the five boroughs), cannot associate with convicted
>felons (Abu-Jamal), have to surrender their passports, must turn in forms
>every month listing all sources of income and how it was spent (for
>themselves and everyone in their households), all organizations to which
>they belong, and everyone they've been in contact with who has a criminal
>record. They are also subject to surprise visits from their probation
>officers. Goldin's dropped in a couple of weeks ago at 7:30 in the morning
>"to make sure I don't have an opium factory on my premises."
>Goldin, who turns 76 next week, is Abu-Jamal's literary agent, has his
>power of attorney, and handles all his finances. (She also represents the
>Voice's Wayne Barrett.) Kissinger, 59, is a full-time organizer who has
>traveled the country to rally support for Abu-Jamal. Both visit him
>repeatedly on death row.
>Ron Kuby, the longtime civil rights lawyer who is representing Kissinger,
>calls their punishment "unprecedented. These are the most restrictive
>conditions I've ever seen in a case that didn't involve a felony. Clearly
>the restrictions are designed to impede lawful, constitutionally protected
>Andrew Erba, a Philadelphia lawyer who has filed appeals on behalf of
>several of the defendants, says that he has never before seen probation
>attached to a civil-disobedience arrest. Indeed, the movement foot soldiers
>who climbed the pavilion and blocked its doors simply entered their guilty
>pleas by mail and paid a $250 fine.
>"I think the federal government is sending out a message," says Erba. "Mix
>civil disobedience, Mumia, the potential protest in July [at the Republican
>convention], and I think you come out with the message 'Don't demonstrate
>on federal property.' "
>However, Richard Goldberg, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the
>cases, says it isn't so. "What I argued to the judge in court was that
>these people, when they came up for sentencing, denied their guilt even
>though they had been convicted," says Goldberg. "They indicated that they
>would do the same in the future, and because they did not indicate any
>intent to stop illegal conduct, the decision was made to request probation,
>and the judge imposed it. So the argument for probation was based on the
>positions taken by these defendants. Not as a result of some alleged
>Goldberg says the terms of the probation are not harsh, but "standard."
>Last week, Kissinger was scheduled to turn in his required forms at the
>U.S. probation office in Brooklyn, but he had decided to "draw the line."
>Shortly after his sentencing, federal agents served two subpoenas on
>Kissinger's wife, Judy, ordering her to turn over all her financial records
>for the past 10 yearseverything from cashed checks to credit-card
>statements. A grand jury is investigating a former employer of hers for
>Medicaid fraud, but Judy Kissinger is a medical technician who worked in
>the lab and doesn't even know what people were charged for tests. All of
>her financial records are also his. Clark Kissinger thinks this could be
>part of a whole new level of harassment aimed at Abu-Jamal's supporters
>just as the movement is picking up steam.
>So, in an informal rally on June 6, out on the street, Kissinger announced
>that he had paid his fine and surrendered his passport, but he was not
>going to turn in all the forms they wanted. Nor would he stop his
>association with Abu-Jamal.
>Twenty-five supporters, including Goldin, followed him into the elevators
>and up to the fifth floor, waving Mumia placards and chanting, "Brick by
>brick, wall by wall, we're going to free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"
>It may have been the first protest staged in the federal probation office.
>Workers behind the glass reception window looked alarmed, and one man
>popped into the waiting room long enough to announce: "Folks, you are
>currently trespassing here. If you do not leave, 911 will be called and you
>will be arrested."
>The group responded with another chant: "Mumia is fearless. So are we. We
>won't stop until he's free."
>Police began drifting in, and things looked tense for a few minutes. But
>Kissinger went in to his appointment and nothing happened. Back outside, he
>announced that the officials upstairs were greatly annoyed but had not
>demanded his forms. They told him to come back July 11, and that "if I
>bring people again, they will report me because I disobeyed the order of a
>probation officer. So I want you to know that you're all invited to come
>From: Pan-African News Wire
>Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 9:50 PM
>Protest The Executioners' Ball!
>July 30 -- August 4
>The R&R! Executive Committee and the Mumia Working Group has endorsed the
>following call for protests at the Republican National Convention in
>Philadelphia, July 30 - August 4th.
>As more organizations sign this call, up dates will be sent out to the
>chapters. Please call the office so that we can discuss this further.
>Proposal for Taking Mumia into the RNC
>It is important that the movement for justice for Mumia seize the political
>moment that is concentrated in the Republican National Convention. This
>convention, to be held in Philadelphia July 31 to August 3, brings together
>some very sharp contradictions and exciting opportunities.
>First, the central purpose of the convention is the coronation of George W.
>Bush. When you ask anyone "what is George W. really known for?" the only
>thing that comes to mind is executions. Of the 632 executions since the
>death penalty was resumed in the U.S., 214 (over a third) have taken place
>in Texas, and Bush has executed more people than any living governor. Yet
>the death penalty is not even up for debate in the coming elections, with
>the Democrats from Al to Hillary equally committed to executions. Similarly,
>none of the major protests currently slated for the RNC focus on the death
>penalty, much less on Mumia.
>Second, this convention is taking place in Philadelphia, in the very time
>frame when Mumia's legal battle is coming to a head in the federal district
>court. Gov. Ridge, who has signed two death warrants for Mumia is hosting
>the convention. Pennsylvania has the fourth largest death row in the United
>States (63% Black in a state that is 10% Black). Philadelphia is the home of
>DA Lynn Abraham, whom the NY Times Magazine featured in a story as "the
>Queen of Death." And the Philadelphia police have been repeatedly exposed
>for systematically framing up people.
>This is a concentration of issues and a golden opportunity that we cannot
>let slip away. What we need to do is turn the whole thing around in the
>public's perception -- flip the script on their coronation and brand it for
>what it is: "The Executioners' Ball"!
>To the greatest extent possible, we have to push to the front the issue of
>the death penalty in general -- and Mumia's case in particular. These have
>to be made major issues around the RNC, and this is certainly possible with
>the burgeoning debate on the death penalty that is going on. This is also a
>chance to get out the real "Philadelphia story" and the real story of Mumia
>at a time when the whole world is watching. We want to swell the numbers of
>people who think that Mumia's execution should not happen, we want to expand
>the ranks of those who think this execution MUST NOT happen, and we want to
>develop with both groupings the actions and activities that are commensurate
>with their sentiments in this highlighted moment.
>The heart of making this really have an impact will be the promotion of
>three main political themes:
>First, we want to tag the whole RNC as "The Executioners' Ball." This would
>provide a unifying theme that really brings out the essence of what's going
>on here, and in an appropriately disrespectful way.
>Second, we want to bring out the real Philadelphia story through all kinds
>of actions, media, and written material. Is Philadelphia the cradle of
>liberty, or is it more like Mississippi in the 1950s?
>Third, we want to juxtapose what Mumia stands for with what George W. stands
>for. Who stands for what YOU stand for? Or as Alice Walker put it, "who do
>you want to walk into the 21st century with?"
>As it stands now, none of the activities planned for the RNC will do this.
>We should, however, participate in a number of these protests. But simply
>bringing Mumia into a lot of other actions as yet another issue is not going
>to cut it. Thus we are proposing that, while we tag the RNC as the
>Executioners' Ball from beginning to end, we call a special day of protest
>during the convention that would focus on the death penalty and Mumia. While
>a date has to be discussed by those taking it up, it is looking like Tuesday
>August 1 has a lot going for it.
>This would be a day of many different actions and activities, with both
>joint activities and different things being done by different forces, but
>with the common themes of opposition to the death penalty and stopping the
>execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. What would characterize the day (and the work
>leading up to it would be 1) the three political themes outlined above, 2)
>creative ways to involve lots of different people (not just things done by
>hard-core organizers), and 3) some actions that will tap the daring of the
>youth as well as people of all ages who think Mumia's execution must not
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