2/9/2009 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Court Watch for Eduardo Cardenas
  • Rally for Ahmed Guled
  • RNC 8 Defense Committee
  • Update in the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal

COURT WATCH URGENTLY NEEDED!
SUPPORT RAID RESPONSE TEAM MEMBER EDUARDO CARDENAS
Thursday, February 12
9:30 a.m.
Hennepin County Government Center
300 S 6th Street, Minneapolis

Our good friend, Eduardo Cardenas, goes to court on Thursday and he needs a packed court room to ensure justice.

Eduardo is part of a raid response team through Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAC), a kind of copwatch team that arrives on the scene anytime there is a raid by BICE (federal anti-immigrant agency).  He was responding to a call on July 29th when he found Minneapolis cops harassing three Somali men.  Eduardo took photos from a safe distance.  When it was clear that the men would not be arrested and cops were leaving the area, Eduardo approached the men to ask why they had been stopped.  Cops then attacked Eduardo, slamming him into a wall and seizing his wallet and phone against his will.  One of the cops erased the pictures he had taken.  Eduardo was charged with obstructing legal process and disorderly conduct, some of the same charges Darryl Robinson was slapped with when he was brutalized during a shelter copwatch.  Clearly these attacks are aimed at discouraging people from capturing police conduct on film.

To everyone's amazement, the prosecution still has not dropped the charges against Eduardo.  Perhaps they need to understand that many people in this community stand with Eduardo and will not let him go down on these bogus charges.  Please do your best to be there with Eduardo on Thursday.


ANOTHER TRAGIC DEATH AT THE HANDS OF THE MPD
TIME TO TAKE THE STREETS AND SAY "NO MORE"!
Rally and Memorial
Wednesday, February 11
4:30 p.m.
Corner of Morgan Ave S and Golden Valley Road, Minneapolis
(next to North Commons Park)

The police have murdered yet another member of our community. Once again the victim was a person of color, Ahmed Guled a young Somali.

As usual the police are attempting to justify continuous attacks on the community by calling the victim a criminal and labeling their actions as "justifiable homicide."

The authorities have a history of lying about the facts in similar incidents so we will not provide them any benefit of doubt in this incident, nor the murders of citizens that are sure to happen in the future until the community comes together to stop it.

We must act now and defend ourselves against state sponsored death of community members in all forms.

Communities United Against Police Brutality has organized a demonstration on the spot of this latest death at the hands of police. Please join us this Wednesday, February 11 at 4:30pm, North Commons Park, (corner of Golden Valley Rd. and Morgan Ave.) and help us tell the police they we will not tolerate continuous violence at their hands.


RNC 8 DEFENSE COMMITTEE MEETING
Sunday, February 15
4:00 p.m.
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis

This Sunday, we will kick off the new RNC 8 Defense Committee with a meeting to set up our structure, pick a snazzy name, and start to plan activities around getting rid of the Minnesota Patriot Act and supporting the RNC 8's demand for justice.  Please join us in getting this important new group off the ground.


UPDATE IN THE CASE OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
Date: February 8, 2009
From: Robert R. Bryan, lead counsel
Subject: Mumia Abu-Jamal, death row - U.S. Supreme Court

New case filing in Supreme Court

On February 4, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed and accepted for filing the Petition for Writ of Certiorari, with supporting Appendix, that I had submitted December 19, 2008 on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal. (AbuJamal v. Beard, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08-8483.) A copy of the petition is available HERE. The central issue in this case is racism in jury selection. The prosecution systematically removed people from sitting on the trial jury purely because of the color of their skin, that is, being black. The bigotry that killed Martin Luther King, Jr., so many years ago, has been rampant in the case of my client and is a central part of the state's quest to murder him in the name of the law.

Prosecution's separate Supreme Court petition

In an entirely separate case (Beard v. Abu-Jamal, Sup. Ct. No. 08-652), the prosecution is seeking to overturn the victory we achieved last year in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 520 F.3d 272 (3rd Cir. 2008).) In that ruling the court ordered a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. Our Brief In Opposition will be filed in the Supreme Court on February 13, 2009.

Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense

The legal defense for Mumia needs help. The costs for our litigation in two case before the Supreme Court are substantial. To help, please make your checks payable to the "National Lawyers Guild Foundation" (indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). The donations are tax deductible, and should be mailed to:

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012

Conclusion

Mumia remains on Pennsylvania's death row. We are in an epic struggle in which his life hangs in the balance. What occurs now in the Supreme Court will determine whether Mumia will have a new jury trial, or die at the hands of the executioner.

As I have previously pointed out, Mumia is in greater danger than at any time since his 1981 arrest. Your support and activism is needed. This great journalist and author does not belong on death row or in prison. We must not rest until he is free.

Yours very truly,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal


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