German Conference On Political Repression Discusses Mumia Abu-Jamal
From October 8 - 10 people gathered in the German city of Hamburg for an international congress on political repression. "New Roads of Solidarity": http://www.antirepkongresshh2010.tk/
In two events Mumia Abu-Jamal was discussed.
In the first one, different activists gave reports on experiences with political repression. Among them Dr. Michael Schiffmann from Heidelberg, who spoke on long time political prisoners in the US, especially from the Black Panther Party, the BLA or the MOVE 9. He introduced some prisoners to the audience and highlighted the common thread in all of their prison sentences: no evidence at all, combined with a political agenda was enough to get these activists in prison for most of their life.
Afterwards someone from the Berlin Free Mumia coalition gave a report on the prison industrial complex and the death penalty in the US. While the audience seemed to be very much aware of the immense human rights violations regarding both subjects they were stunned by the fact, that the US is "the jailer" of the planet, who according to the UN, imprisons more than 20% of all prisoners worldwide. The obvious tradition from slavery to the prison industry was well understood. In Europe various states are just beginning to establish a similar industry, such as the UK, Poland and Germany.
Afterwards both described the urgent situation of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who's life is on the line again in a November 9th U.S. Court of Appeals hearing. The need to increase the solidarity with Mumia now was pointed out. About 80 people from all over Germany signed a letter to Mumia, took info material and discussed practical steps. One of them will be a FREE MUMIA demonstration in Berlin on December 11, 2010 marching from the borough of Kreuzberg to the US Embassy in the city centre.
In the closing event of the conference Mumia's recorded message was played to an audience of appr. 350 people. Michael Schiffmann introduced Mumia's speech. Afterwards loud applause arouse and the audience seemed to be very moved that someone in the isolation of death row was able to address them especially.