Philadelphie - samedi 8 décembre
manifestation en faveur de Mumia Abu-Jamal : arme au poing, la police attaque ...

600 personnes étaient rassemblées pour marquer cette triste date. En effet Mumia entre dans sa 20eme année d'incarcération. Un rassemblement devant l'Hôtel de ville, des prises de parole à l'angle de Locust suivi d'une marche jusqu'au Ethical Culture Center.
A Quelques blocs du centre, des personnes se trouvant au milieu du cortège ont été attaqué par la police. Certains ont été jeté à terre. Les policiers ont utilisé leurs bâtons pour frapper les gens. Un policier à braquer son arme au visage d'un manifestant. Un autre manifestant a été emmené de force par le cou.

Au moins 7 personnes ont été arrêté pour incitation à l'émeute, notamment 2 personnes travaillant avec l'ICFFMAJ (International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal) de Philadelphie et un membre de Refuse & Resist de Chicago. Trois d'entres elles ont été amené à l'hôpital

Une caution de 160 000 $ à été demandé (10% de cette somme est nécessaire à leur libération).


Abu-Jamal rally leads to melee
Seven marchers were arrested in a Center City clash with police. Accounts
By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Kristin Holmes and L. Stuart Ditzen

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal clashed with police in Center City yesterday during a rally marking the 20th anniversary of Abu-Jamal's arrest for the murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Police said seven Abu-Jamal adherents were arrested as they grappled with police shortly after 2:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Walnut Street. The rally drew several hundred Abu-Jamal supporters, some of whom had come from as far away as Paris.

Police spokeswoman Carmen Torres said two officers and two protesters were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Torres said those arrested, all from out of state, were charged with rioting and assaulting police. Their names were not released. There were differing versions of what caused the outbreak.

Torres gave this account: A man participating in the march kicked a parked Jeep on Walnut Street, prompting a woman in the vehicle to get out and confront him. The marcher punched her and ran. A police officer who saw the incident and chased the assailant was sprayed with "an unknown substance" which, Torres said, may have been Mace.

Suzanne Ross of the New York chapter of the Free Mumia Coalition said the melee began when a police officer on a motorcycle was inadvertently bumped by a marcher.

Police said the melee was briefly out of control, but order was restored within minutes.

The marchers had set out from City Hall, proceeded to 13th and Locust Streets where Faulkner was shot and Abu-Jamal was arrested on Dec. 9, 1981, and were heading for a gathering at the Ethical Society building on Rittenhouse Square.

Abu-Jamal, a former radio commentator, was convicted and sentenced to death
for Faulkner's murder.

An international following has grown up over the years among people who oppose the death penalty and who believe Abu-Jamal may be innocent. The city of Paris even named him an honorary citizen last week. But Abu-Jamal has never directly claimed innocence. Nor has he admitted guilt. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court twice has reviewed his case and upheld his conviction.

Abu-Jamal was at the scene of Faulkner's murder and the officer was shot with Abu-Jamal's gun.

Many police and prosecutors, adamantly convinced of Abu-Jamal's guilt, have grown weary - and angry - at the continuing fanfare over his case. A ceremony to honor Faulkner is to be held at noon today at 13th and Locust Streets as a sidewalk plaque commemorating his death is dedicated. Faulkner's widow, Maureen, who lives in Southern California, is expected to attend. Many police and city officials also are likely to be there. Married one year when her 25-year-old husband was killed, she has crusaded for years to quell the notion that Abu-Jamal is innocent. The 20-year anniversary of the killing seemed to magnify the strong feeling on both sides. For Maureen Faulkner, it is 20 times longer than her brief marriage.

For supporters of Abu-Jamal, it's "20 stolen years."

The sidewalk dedication today will be followed by a Memorial Mass at 2 p.m. at St. Barnabas Roman Catholic Church in Southwest Philadelphia, the Faulkners' parish. It will be a homecoming for Faulkner, 45, who left the city in 1984 and now manages a medical office in Camarillo, Cal."Twenty years have passed and we still don't have closure," she said last week. "I know it's going to be an emotional day for me, especially the church."

Faulkner said she has not been in St. Barnabas since her husband's funeral."Danny loved that parish. He was a devout Catholic. I can remember going there every Sunday with Danny and then going out for breakfast afterward."

Abu-Jamal's lawyers released a statement earlier this year from a man named Arnold Beverly who said he killed Faulkner after being hired by corrupt police and business owners seeking to end Faulkner's interference with neighborhood vice.

It is a confession that Abu-Jamal's former legal team did not believe and that prosecutors called "absurd." But Abu-Jamal's new lawyers have seized upon Beverly's confession - an unsworn statement that has not been tested in court - as the basis of a riskier legal gambit. Instead of just seeking a new trial, his lawyers now say he should be freed because he is "actually innocent." Legally, the defense has gone nowhere and Abu-Jamal's latest challenge of his conviction and death sentence moves on at glacial speed.

The incident that led to Faulkner's murder began about 4 a.m. that day 20 years ago when the decorated five-year police veteran pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother, William Cook, in a traffic stop. Abu-Jamal, now 46, then between radio station jobs and driving a taxi, spotted Faulkner and his brother, parked his cab and ran to the scene. Prosecutors say police responding to a call of an officer down found Faulkner mortally wounded with a bullet wound in the face, and Abu-Jamal slumped on the curb, shot with Faulkner's handgun. Abu-Jamal's gun, with five spent shells, was nearby.

The 15-by-18-inch plaque to be dedicated today bears a replica of Faulkner's badge 4699 and reads: "In memory of Daniel 'Danny' Faulkner. Murdered at this spot in the line of duty protecting the citizens of Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 1981. Dedicated Dec. 9, 2001, by his family and friends." The plaque was paid for by Center City lawyer James J. Binns who owns a restaurant at the corner.

Joseph A. Slobodzian's e-mail is


Réponse au Philadelphia Inquirer

Your story on the "Mumia Melee" was inaccurate and left out what I saw. I drove in from Princeton, New Jersey, for this peaceful rally. And it was peaceful, symbolized for me by the many parents guiding their children through the streets in a 2-hour act of solidarity for Mumia. I did not see how the conflict with police started, but by the time I got to the scene I saw police rioting, charging into the crowd of people simply to terrorize. I saw one burly officer rush a small, young woman, pick her up, shake her until she was terrorized, then push her back into the crowd. I saw others with faces twitching, eager to swing their clubs, both physically and emotionally out of control. Most distressing, I saw police supervisors on the sidewalks seeing their officers improper actions, and doing nothing. I returned to Princeton leaving one of my friends among those jailed by the police. He was doing nothing but shouting out to the police to calm down. And he's now charged with "felony riot?" Something's wrong in Philadelphia. I am ready to testify against the police for their riotous ways.

Mark Taylor