Call now to demand freedom & medical care for Mumia


From the Enewsletter of Prison Radio:

Dear friend, 

April 29, 2015

On Monday morning Mumia Abu-Jamal was ordered back to the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy in Pennsylvania. All that day his attorney Bret Grote was at the prison.  No visitors were allowed, he and Pam Africa could not see Mumia.  There has been no contact with Mumia since Sunday, by his family, doctors, lawyers or supporters and there is grave concern that his condition, untreated and mistreated by prison infirmary doctors, could result in his death.

All Out to the Capital

The Dept. of Corrections has turned down Mumia’s petition to be given a accurate diagnosis of his condition(s) and his need to be seen by appropriate medical specialists.  His doctor has been prevented from talking to treatment staff and visiting Mumia.   

On Wednesday, April 29th we will be holding a press conference at Gov. Tom Wolf’s office in Harrisburg, PA at the Capitol Rotunda at 11am. 

At this point we do not know what is happening with Mumia. Keep your eyes on Mumia! Demand family visitation, and legal access.  We must speak out for our brother Mumia, just as he has always spoken out for us. 

Call now to demand freedom & medical care for Mumia:


Often when we call in, prison and state officials have taken their lines off the hook. Know that every single action matters, even when they don’t pick up. If they don’t answer, please leave a voicemail:

John Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections: (717) 728-4109
Governor Tom Wolf: (717) 787-2500
SCI Mahanoy: (570) 773-2158, then dial zero
for a more complete list of addresses and faxes etc visit www.prison Radio.org

Pa.’s Mumia Abu Jamal-inspired ‘revictimization’ law is ‘manifestly unconstitutional,’ U.S. judge rules

From: Pennlive, April 28th, 2015

Calling it “manifestly unconstitutional,” a federal judge on Tuesday overturned a new state law that proponents said was designed to prevent criminals from “revictimizing” those harmed by their wrongdoing.

In ruling against the Revictimization Relief Act, U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner found that the law, enacted last year, is too broad, too vague and blatantly violates the free speech protections of the U.S. Constitution.

Backers of the law already are mustering for an appeal of Conner’s ruling, however.

The act was in large part a reaction to last year’s decision by Goddard College in Vermont to invite Mumia Abu Jamal, who was convicted of the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer, to speak at its commencement.

As adopted by the Legislature, the law was aimed at barring those convicted of, and in some cases accused of, crimes from speaking or acting in ways that would re-traumatize their victims. The measure granted crime victims or prosecutors acting on their behalf the right to seek injunctive relief in court to “stop any conduct by an offender or former inmate that perpetuates a crime’s effects on the victim.”

Plaintiffs ranging from Jamal to the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Prison Legal News, various media organizations and current and former prisoners challenged the law’s legality during a hearing before Conner in Harrisburg last month.

Read the rest here.

Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experience

This comes from Decarcerate PA‘s website. It sounds like an illegal move to silence people’s voices. What about the victims of police violence? Will they not be ‘victimised’ by their attackers’ presence everywhere, incl. the police and former police who have written this proposed law? Vermont College is not even in PA, so is Mumia Abu-Jamal, also not allowed to speak in other states, countries? This law is just an act of vengeance.  

[Here is another article about this anti-human rights attack of politicians in Pennsylvania]

Pennsylvania Legislators threaten to silence people in prison. TAKE ACTION today
On Oct 14th: call your legislators!

Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experiences. Last week, PA Representative Mike Vereb introduced a bill (HB2533) called the “Revictimization Relief Act,” which would allow victims, District Attorneys, and the Attorney General to sue people who have been convicted of “personal injury” crimes for speaking out publicly if it causes the victim of the crime “mental anguish.”

The bill was written in response to political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s commencement speech at Goddard College, and is a clear attempt to silence Mumia and other prisoners and formerly incarcerated people. We believe that this legislation is not actually an attempt to help victims, but a cynical move by legislators to stop people in prison from speaking out against an unjust system.

While to us this seems like a clear violation of the first amendment, unfortunately the PA General Assembly doesn’t appear to agree, and they have fast-tracked the bill for approval and amended another bill (SB508) to include the same language. The legislation could be voted on as early as Wednesday.

If this bill passes, it will be a huge blow to the movement against mass incarceration. People inside prisons play a leading role in these struggles, and their perspectives, analysis, and strategies are essential to our work. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who write books, contribute to newspapers, or even write for our Voices from the Inside section would run the risk of legal consequences just for sharing their ideas.

That’s why we are asking you to take action TUESDAY OCTOBER 14 by calling Pennsylvania lawmakers to tell them that prisoners should not be denied the right to speak.

Please call your legislators and demand that they vote NO on HB2533 and SB508. You can look up contact information at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/.

We are also asking folks to call the following Senate leaders and ask them to stop the bill from moving forward:

Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne  (717) 787-1349
Senate Minority Whip Anthony Williams  (717) 787-5970
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi  (717) 787-4712
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (717) 787-7683

– See more at: http://decarceratepa.info/freespeech#sthash.OJAHxMbA.dpuf

Long Distance Revolutionary: New Documentary Movie about Mumia Abu-Jamal starts showing in theatres from Feb. 1st

This Documentary about the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal including the voices of renowned actors and activists in interviews, is being screened from february 1st in theatres in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Alberta (Canada) and other places.  The director is Stephen Vittoria.

Check out if the movie Long Distance Revolutionary is playing in your area, and check out the website. Chris Hedges interviewed Mumia himself. Here is the trailer on Youtube:

Two tributes to John ‘J-Rock’ Carter, murdered by Pennsylvania prison guards

From: SF Bay View, Sept 10, 2012

One by Mumia Abu-Jamal, the other by J-Rock’s friend and comrade, S. Muhammad Hyland
The real John Carter

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

John “J-Rock” Carter

Several months ago, a movie was released: a science-fiction flick featuring a superhuman fighting nasty aliens on a forbidding planet somewhere in the cosmos.

As a sci-fi fan I confess interest, but I never heard of the title character, John Carter. (I later learned that the story was based on the lesser-known works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, known for the “Tarzan” books.)

In fact, as the movie was seeking an audience, another John Carter was facing a deadly force of prison guards, armed with weapons of mayhem. Carter was locked in a prison cell as it was being pumped full of pepper spray.

This John Carter had spent over half his life in Pennsylvania prison cells following a robbery-murder conviction after he was certified by the courts as an adult despite his juvenile age.

Irony over irony abounds, for this John Carter seems to have predicted his own demise in a letter he wrote to members of the U.S. Congress seeking passage of a bill outlawing juvenile life terms.

In his June 2009 letter, John Carter wrote the following:

“Now years go by as I struggle to evolve and mature within a cell I now view as my casket. Some days I’m hopeless … some days I’m focused. But every day I realize that after 14 years I am no longer growing …. I am deteriorating … emotionally … physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Instead of living, I simply exist until my heart stops beating, my lungs stop breathing, and my soul is called into the next life. I ask myself on occasion – is this the form of damnation other human beings wish upon troubled youth? Are we in a society that believes in a forgiving God, but the same society will turn around and be UNFORGIVING to a child’s trespass?”

Photo: SCI Rockview is an old prison, built in 1912. This 1940 view was printed as a postcard.

Witnesses from the hole at Rockview Prison say John Carter barricaded himself in his cell, and armored guards attacked the cell, pumping at least three canisters of pepper spray into the windowless, enclosed area – not only burning his eyes, mouth and nose, but depriving him of any usable oxygen.

When the door was breached, guards rushed in using electrified stun shields to subdue him, repeatedly.

Those in view said the 35-year-old man was carried out, his knees and head dragging on the ground.

His friends called him “J-Rock.”

But his name was John Carter on state records recording his death on April 26, 2012.
“Instead of living, I simply exist until my heart stops beating, my lungs stop breathing, and my soul is called into the next life. I ask myself on occasion – is this the form of damnation other human beings wish upon troubled youth? Are we in a society that believes in a forgiving God, but the same society will turn around and be UNFORGIVING to a child’s trespass?”

The real John Carter was a juvenile lifer who was sentenced at 16 years old under a law that the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled was unconstitutional in Alabama v. Miller.

Irony of Ironies. J-Rock never lived to see it.

Source: “In Memory of John Carter,” The Movement (official newsletter of the Human Rights Coalition, Philadelphia) Summer 2012: #151, p.47

© Copyright 2012 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s latest book, “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,” co-authored by Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, available from Third World Press, TWPBooks.com. Keep updated at http://www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit http://www.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit http://www.blockreportradio.com. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.

Remembering the contributions of a dedicated soldier

by S. Muhammad Hyland

SCI Rockview, known as Pennsylvania’s “Big House,” was the first prison in the state to use the electric chair. This is the main building.

“Now years go by as I struggle to evolve and mature within a cell I now view as my casket. Some days I’m hopeless … some days I’m focused. But every day I realize that after 14 years I am no longer growing … I am deteriorating – emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. Instead of living, I simply exist, until my heart stops beating, my lungs stop breathing, and my soul is called to the next life.”

Those words were part of a letter written by my friend and comrade John “J-Rock” Carter. He sent that letter to members of the United States Congress in 2009, attempting to appeal to their humanity, by asking them to support H.R. 2289, a bill that would grant relief to juveniles sentenced to serve life sentences without the possibility of parole. At the time, he was only 29 years old, already entering his 14th year behind the walls of a state penitentiary. At the age of 16, he was sentenced to serve a life term without the possibility of parole.

And the racist, fascist, pig prison patrol at SCI Rockview made sure that he completed that sentence.

“Now years go by as I struggle to evolve and mature within a cell I now view as my casket. Some days I’m hopeless … some days I’m focused. But every day I realize that after 14 years I am no longer growing … I am deteriorating – emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.”

My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of J-Rock, who was the latest victim of fascist Amerika’s unchecked brutality against prisoners – specifically minority prisoners – all across Amerika.

Prisoners are sent to “the hole” – solitary confinement – like this unit in a Pennsylvania prison most often, they say, for protesting prison conditions, especially if they’re Black or Brown.

During a cell extraction, J-Rock was murdered by racist pigs for allegedly refusing to cuff up and exit his cell. A number of reports reveal that he did agree to be handcuffed, but the pigs – looking for some “action” – refused to follow protocol and opted for the more inhumane extraction. The Vietnam-raid, SWAT-style techniques to extract a “piece of shit murderer” from his cell proved to be too appealing to a bunch of bloodthirsty racists.

For the record, John Carter was a victim. He was sentenced to serve life without parole for participating in a robbery where an innocent man was killed. He always took responsibility for his actions. Still, his case put on full display two – of many – components of Amerikan society that have been neglected over and over.

First, Amerika’s readiness to send juvenile offenders away to rot inside of modernized dungeons for the rest of their lives, without the possibility of parole, or any chance to redeem themselves for a mistake they made at a time in their lives when every doctor on earth agrees that their brains weren’t developed enough to appreciate the consequences of their actions.

Secondly, as the Prison Industrial Complex has become big business, the incentive to rehabilitate has long been abandoned, replaced by longer sentences, harsher conditions and tough guy overseer pigs, whose job it is to intimidate, harass, brutalize and terrorize prisoners who openly take issue with this abuse and act against it. J-Rock was one of those people!
Prisoners in SCI Rockview who are not in solitary confinement work in the Big House Products factory manufacturing products used throughout the state. – Photo: Dave Bonta
The Amerikan public is ignorant to the goings-on behind prison walls, and that ignorance has plenty of purpose. If the public had knowledge of the injustices taking place inside of these Amerikan torture camps, they would work to destroy this $70 billion per year industry.

The problem is that they don’t know. They don’t know that prisoners are commodities – exactly as slaves were. They don’t know that educational and vocational programming has been eliminated, replaced with service-style jobs in maintenance and plumbing, paying prisoners 19 cents per hour – a ploy to keep prison operational costs low.

They don’t know that if you refuse to be a slave, you’re automatically labeled as a “trouble maker” and targeted throughout your incarceration – ultimately landing in the Restricted Housing Unit, or “hole,” just like J-Rock was. And the “hole” has one purpose and one purpose only: to break the minds, bodies and souls of the women, children and men placed in them! The hope is that a rebellious prisoner can be forced into submission and compliance through the terrorist tactics that are sanctioned all throughout DOC policy.

Some fight back, and live to tell about it.

Others end up like my comrade J-Rock.
A guard patrols one of the tiers at SCI Rockview. – Photo: Daily Collegian
It’s much more common than people think. My little brother, Walter Rushing, was a victim of SCI Rockview’s “no tolerance” policy when he was “found” dead in his cell in the “hole.” Of “natural causes.” At age 24. He, like J-Rock, was unwilling to accept Rockview’s brutality.

This system within prison reflects a violent societal norm – less subtle, much more intense – and willingly kept out of view of the only people who possess the power and ability to change it. It reflects capitalism’s need to ride the backs of the under-represented in order to keep the “fat cats” on Wall Street in a position of power.

Without these tentacles of intimidation, the “fat cats” wouldn’t exist. And until we confront this power, everybody will continue to suffer – the incarcerated and the “free” – but especially the youth. And since the media is part of the conspiracy to keep the public out of the loop, think about this:

Up until a short while ago – until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to serve a sentence of life without the possibility of parole – the only other nation on this planet to sentence juveniles to serve life was Somalia.

It’s time for the public to be educated about the realities of prison and the criminal injustice system. This education will save tons of money and, more importantly, lives.
S. Muhammad Hyland
J-Rock fought for justice. He put himself on the front line of the struggle against inhumanity – and paid for it with his life. But his contribution will never be overlooked, ignored or down-played.

Many people deserve credit for the Supreme Court’s ruling. He is one of them. I just wish that he was still alive so he could one day enjoy the fruits of his labor, along with his family.
It’s time for the public to be educated about the realities of prison and the criminal injustice system.

The struggle to abolish prisons will continue. The court’s ruling was just the first step. But myself and my comrades – in and out of prison – will continue to move forward in the spirit and memory of a truly dedicated soldier and humanitarian.

Rest in peace, John J-Rock Carter, March 5, 1979-April 26, 2012.

Send our brother some love and light: S. Muhammad Hyland, FX1537, SCI Greene, 175 Progress Drive, Waynesburg, PA 15370. Read more at www.facebook.com/rebelnotes.

Obituary for William Singletary, Witness of Mumia’s Innocence

Obituary for William Singletary
December 31, 2011
Introductory note: I learned from William Singletary’s wife, Jeannette, that he died this morning. Bill was a courageous man who lived fighting to make the truth known —that Mumia is innocent in the shooting death of police officer Daniel Faulkner. For that Bill suffered severe personal and financial consequences. I’ve known Bill since June 1990 when he came forward with his eyewitness testimony for Mumia and as a witness at the PCRA hearing in 1995, when I was co-counsel for Mumia.
Please circulate this as widely as possible.
In the struggle for Mumia’s freedom, Rachel Wolkenstein

William Dale Singletary, Witness of Mumia’s Innocence

(February 3, 1950 – December 31, 2011)

William Dale Singletary died on December 31, 2011 at the age of sixty-one. Being an eyewitness to the murder of Daniel Faulkner, and his unwavering insistence that Mumia was not the shooter, forever changed his life.

His wife Jeannette had a final message from Bill to Mumia and all his supporters: “I didn’t know Mumia personally, but love him like a brother. I know what he’s gone through and he is innocent. I would give up everything for Mumia to be free.”

William Singletary was one of the first victims of the police vendetta against Mumia. At the Round House immediately following the December 9, 1981 shooting, homicide detectives interrogated Bill for hours and threatened him with bodily harm and the end of his business unless he either said he saw Mumia shot Daniel Faulkner or that he didn’t witness the shooting at all. He wasn’t allowed to leave the Round House until he wrote what the police wanted. Bill, a Vietnam veteran, was the owner of a car repair and towing company. In the months before Mumia’s trial police officers appeared at Bill’s business with drawn guns, hassled his drivers and trashed his workplace. This harassment forced him to close his business and Bill was driven from Philadelphia out of fear for his life and the safety of his family.

In 1995 William Singletary testified at Mumia’s PCRA hearing to his true eyewitness account. The Philadelphia’s Daily News front-page story after Bill’s August 11, 1995 testimony was headlined, “For Mumia … Best Comes Last. Final defense witness claims another man murdered Officer Faulkner. Witness: Mumia Innocent.”

On the stand under oath, Bill described that Mumia did not shoot police officer Faulkner and arrived after Faulkner was shot. He said a tall passenger in Bill Cook’s VW wearing a green army jacket shot Faulkner. Cynthia White, the prosecution’s star witness, was not on the scene, but came up to Bill afterwards. He testified that numbers of police, including “white shirts” appeared within moments of the shooting. Bill also graphically described how the police viciously beat and kicked Mumia, who was shot and critically wounded, before throwing him into the police wagon.

Bill testified that detectives tore up his witness statements at the Round House. “A Detective Green told me to write what he wanted me to write or they would take me in the elevator and beat me up.” The prosecution aided the suppression of the truth that Mumia was not the shooter, and fabricated a statement from a police office that Bill was not on the scene during the shooting.

William Singletary’s testimony was a key component of the evidence produced at the three PCRA hearings in 1995, 1996 and 1997 that the prosecution’s case for Mumia’s conviction had no basis in reality. The purported eyewitness statements, ballistics evidence and supposed confession resulted from police and prosecutorial coercion, suppression, favors and outright fabrication. “Hanging judge” Albert Sabo dismissed William Singletary’s testimony as incredible.

It is a testament to the integrity and courage of William Singletary that he came forward to testify in Mumia’s defense. He gave much of his life to the fight for the truth in Mumia’s case—that Mumia is innocent in the shooting death of police officer Daniel Faulkner and that Mumia’s arrest, conviction and death sentence resulted from a police and prosecutorial frame-up.

William Singletary was living in North Carolina when he died. He is survived by his wife Jeannette and daughter Sheadale.