'Free Mumia' heard in Moscow

By Larissa Kritskaya

Three hundred people marched on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on March 17 to demand freedom for political prisoners in the United States. The Peoples Communist Movement of Russia organized the demonstration. Young people led the march carrying a banner that read, "Free the political prisoners, the freedom fighters."

Speakers at the protest included A. Reaniks of the Central Committee of the Communist Party; P. Oleg Fedukov of the anti-capitalist labor federation Zashita (Defense); Elena Gromova of the Stop NATO Movement; Leonid Petrovsky of the PCM; and Viktor Anpilov of the Workers' Russia movement.

"We have the names of 200 American people, locked up in U.S. prisons for years for their political points of view," Anpilov told the crowd. "They are anti-war activists and anti-racist protesters. People who devoted their lives to the struggle against the ruling capitalist system in the USA. Foremost among them is the word-renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal."

Anpilov also reminded the crowd about Russian anti-capitalist political prisoners Igor Gubkin, Nadejda Raks, T. Nechorosheva and E. Limonov. He condemned U.S. war policy around the world and called for solidarity with the people of Palestine.

"We have an obligation before the world to restore the Soviet Union that was stolen from our children," said PCM leader Petrovsky. "We will be united with the world of oppressed people who are fighting against imperialism. International unity will bring us victory."

The protesters delivered a letter calling for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal to the U.S. Embassy.

A solidarity message from the U.S.-based International Action Center, translated into Russian, was distributed on the streets of Moscow. The message exposed the hypocrisy of the U.S. proclaiming itself the international guardian of human rights when it has the death penalty, the world's largest prison system, epidemic police brutality and rampant racist oppression.