As Over 1,000 Turn Out in Philadelphia for Mumia Abu-Jamal
PHILADELPHIA COPS AMBUSH RALLY,
BEATING & PEPPER-SPRAYING MUMIA SUPPORTERS
Ten Arrested; One Left Rally In An Ambulance
The International Action Center (IAC) condemns in the
strongest terms the Philadelphia police's unprovoked and
brutal attack on today's thousand-plus march in support of
death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
According to one eyewitness account, on behalf of a
right-wing heckler of the rally, bicycle cops towards the
back of the march rode into the middle of the crowd,
dismounted their bikes and, wielding guns and batons,
started indiscriminately beating, pepper-spraying and
arresting people. Guns were pointed at peoples' heads;
others were thrown against cars.
The crowd was marching from the corner of 13th and Locust,
where 20 years ago Abu-Jamal was arrested for a crime, the
shooting of police officer Daniel Faulkner, he says he did
not commit. Today at that location protesters viewed the
videotaped confession of Arnold Beverly, who has publicly
admitted to killing Officer Faulkner for the mob.
As police drew their billy clubs and guns, protesters
surrounded the cops to try to protect those being arrested
and/or attacked and chanted, "Let them go! Let them go!"
and "Shame! Shame!" Police attacked some of these
Several IAC members were among those attacked, with some
being maced and others receiving several blows from police
batons. Further eyewitness reports include a woman being
dragged for at least a block, choking and with her skin
exposed. One person was taken off in an ambulance. In one
incident, an African American reporter photographing the
events from on top a car was grabbed and pulled to the
ground; the attack left a dent in the car.
After the attacks, the march proceeded to the final indoor
rally at Philadelphia's Ethical Society, where more spoke
out in favor of Mumia's demand for his release based
primarily on Beverly's confession. Protesters saw the
attacks as further efforts on the part of the
Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police to prevent the
truth about Mumia's case from emerging. Those present
also watched fresh video footage of the police attacks.
Currently a number of protesters who traveled to
Philadelphia are staying there to provide legal and
political support to those who have been falsely
IAC, 39 W. 14th St. Room 206, NYC, NY 10011 212-633-6646,
Fax: 212-633-2889, www.iacenter.org
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