May 27, 2008
As the former president of the Ossining NAACP for 8 yrs and now vice president under chapter suspension I felt compelled to write this letter after being received in Paris, France by common by dignitaries attending the unveiling of a new street called Rue Mumia Abu Jamal. Naming a street for Mumia Ab-Jamal who they believe is innocent. I was also with Harry Belafonte when he made the video that was played saluting the people of France for this historic event and stating he believed in Mumia’s innocents.
For a little bit of background for the readers let me say. Our chapter is located in a racist town called Ossining New York the home of Sing Sing prison. From the late 1800’s New York State has executed 695 people 9 of them women. Sing Sing prison has executed 615 of that total. Some innocent. The Ossining NAACP started a youth program in the prison whereby youth could actually dialogue with inmates who would have been executed if the death penalty had not been outlawed in the mid 60s in New York State. My I say the last execution was that of an African American male. Our of that program came Steven Hawkins a well known former NAACP Legal Defense Fund Lawyer, Death Penalty lawyer and former lawyer for Mumia Abu-Jamal. So it was a natural thing for our chapter so support Mumia and submit the result ion over many blockades that were set up
After demonstrating at the NAACP national convention, in 2004 in Philadelphia Pa. along with members of the International Concerned Families and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and other organizations A resolution was passed by the national organization supporting a new and fair trial for Mumia and called upon all its units nationally and internationally to support that call.
The only thing that has happened is that the Ossining chapter of NAACP, the chapter that brought the original resolution was suspended on bogus charges that stem from the resolution and demonstrations at the national convention(NY times Sunday 7/17/ 2005) According to the Amsterdam News article by Hope Clive 2/9/05 When she called Julian Bond he said knew nothing about the suspension by Hazel N. Dukes president of the New York Conference of branches. We never got a hearing or chance to explain our side of the story.
The case of Mumia Abu Jamal has now been put on a fast track and the Fraternal Order of Police and their Uncle Toms and Tomasina's have gone on a campaign to kill Mumia. We wrote to Julian Bond asking for a meeting with the national leadership. The response we got back from Dennis Hayes the general counsel of NAACP was they were too busy ,but would meet soon with Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania about the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
While in France a French government official invited us to sit in on an action session that Dennis Hayes and other NAACP officials were attending. The French were trying to find out how to handle the uprisings in the Afrikan community. We could not because of prior commitments. Anyway the NAACP delegates had no answer because they are out of the loop just as they are in America.
We wanted to tell the NAACP leadership that Governor Ed Rendell has always been a rabidly pro-death penalty person. When he was DA and Mayor of Philadelphia Rendell’s offices oversaw and validated the frame-up of Mumia. Rendell in his campaign for Governor vowed to sign the papers to execute Mumia if he were elected. Rendell was the DA during the first attack on MOVEs house in 1978.
He worked with Rizzo and the Philadelphia police to destroy the MOVE house before it could be thoroughly examined for evidence to negate the lies about MOVE.
The NAACP chose to sit down with this devil before sitting down with Pam and Ramona Afrika Dr. Suzanne Ross and Sundiata Sadiq.
We hope the new CEO Ben Jealous will re-instate the 69yr old Ossining Chapter, and put an end to this foolishness and class collaborationist policy of the Association.
The Ossining NAACP is still functioning. Not officially but still we rise The brutality against our children in this town by the police has escalated. We are still on call. We will still stand with Mumia and all our Political prisoners after this suspension is dealt with.
NYC Coalition to Free Mumia Abu Jamal
Life member and Former president Ossining Chapter NAACP (in suspension)