American Democracy on Trial
Millions of television viewers are daily bombarded with propaganda through various programmes such as NCIS, Medical Detectives, etc, about how well equipped the American state is at uncovering murders and how well the American courts ensure justice for the people. The statue of liberty stands as an icon to democracy. Yet, within the walls of death row languishes an innocent man, Mumia Abu-Jamal. On the 17th May he will have his last opportunity to appeal; if it fails he will be executed. The entire American democracy is on trial here. How was it possible that for 24 years Mumia has been on death row, while the facts point to his being not guilty of any crime?
Mumia was falsely accused of having killed a policeman. There were a number of facts which demonstrate his innocence. For example: The prosecution claimed that the shot which killed Faulkner came from Mumia Abu-Jamal's legally registered .38-caliber weapon, contradicting the medical examiner's report that the bullet removed from Faulkner's brain was a .44-caliber. This fact was kept from the jury. Moreover, a ballistics expert found it incredible that police at the scene failed to test Mumia's gun to see if has been recently fired, or to test his hands for powder residue.
The world is dominated by the power of the US corporations. South Africa is no exception: Telkom, Woolworths, the banks, the mines all have varying degrees of part ownership by US capital. We call on Cosatu and all other unions, and all workers to raise, under threat of mass action, the demand for the immediate release of Mumia. We call on the working class to pressure the SABC to cancel all US television programmes until Mumia is freed. The case of Mumia shows that while the US projects a democratic face, the reality is one of brutal suppression of opposition to capitalist interests. It is noteworthy that the SA Human Rights Commission is silent on the pending execution of Mumia; the SA government sits on the UN security council and allows the mock trial and execution of Mumia to proceed without even a murmur. We can only conclude that the execution and slaughter of opposition to imperialism is what the UN is really about. If the SA government continues to sit on the UN security council under these conditions, their hands will also be covered with the blood of Mumia.
We call on the working class and the poor everywhere to rise up to the defence of Mumia. We have nothing to lose but our chains!