Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Tale of Three Cities

A messgae from Google Group Via-Resistancia arrived last night:

The city of Philadelphia has filed a complaint charging the cities of Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis with "justifying a crime" (apologie de crime), as a result of the honors they have bestowed on Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African-American condemned to death in July 1982, for the December 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Gilbert Collard an attorney from Marseilles, along with Martin Bozmarov of the New York Bar, are representing the interests of the city of Philadelphia, and have sent the official complaints to the courts of both Paris and Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis).

Mr. Collard stressed that this has nothing to do with fighting those opposed to the death penalty. Rather, he explained, Philadelphia deems it abnormal to accord honorary citizenship, or the name of a street, to a convicted criminal.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954, was made an honorary citizen of Paris in October 2003 in the presence of Angela Davis. Bertrand Delanoë, socialist mayor of Paris, praised the occasion as the first of its kind since 1971 when Pablo Picasso received the honor, and added his denunciation of "this barbarity called the death penalty." A street in Seine-Saint-Denis was also named after a man some consider to be a "political prisoner".

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, whose execution has been twice delayed, in 1995 and 1999, by the efforts of groups who rallied in support of him, has been on death row for 24 years.

In her speech at the ceremony bestowing Parisian citizenship on Mumia, Angela Davis made the following remarks:

The movement for the liberation of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row for more than 20 years, has taken on new meaning in light of American unilateralism, the aggression against the Iraqi people, and the racist attacks against immigrants, all of which merely erode even further the vestiges of democracy in America.

Mumia was our guide and showed us the best possible way to mourn the victims of September 11: a mourning not stamped with nationalism, xenophobia and violence, but rather with a spirit of peace and world-wide solidarity. Mumia showed us how to denounce the war and the state-supported violence which is the complement to the epidemic of violence done to the bodies of women...

In my opinion, what has touched us the most in Mumia Abu-Jamal is his profound sense of humanity, the fact that he is conscious that his own destiny is tied to that of thousands of men and women who are in death row in the United States and around the world...

Regarding the death penalty, and assuming one is for it, is it right to execute him now that a quarter of a century has elapsed? I struggle with this, because I can see both sides, but tend to lean in favor of execution.

Photo of Mumia's citizenship and text of Angela Davis' speech from Mumianow.



At November 12, 2006 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maitre Gilbert Collard is no slouch. Think of a hybrid of F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran.

Collard is quite media savvy and seems to pop up in many, many high profile cases.

He's a good attorney to boot.

Better here than Philadelphia, as the old saying goes.

At November 12, 2006 10:10 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ anonymous

I guess the issue is whether Paris and SSD have done something illegal by honoring Mumia, and whether or not the lawyers can reverse what has been done. A mere apology to Phila. for causing grief would be ridiculous.

Do you know if a crime, misdemeanor, or infraction has actually been committed? Are there rules governing the choice of "honorary citizen" or "name-giver to a street"?

At November 12, 2006 11:58 PM, Blogger Tony Allen said...

As a former Jamal supporter but still an opponent of the death penalty I covered this story on my blog pretty heavily.

Being that PA has only used the death penalty three times since reinstating it in the 70's the likelhood of Jamal meeting his end there isn't very high.

The real issue is how long are people going to buy into his line of b.s.

At November 13, 2006 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-- Do you know if a crime, misdemeanor, or infraction has actually been committed? Are there rules governing the choice of "honorary citizen" or "name-giver to a street"? –

No idea for either question..

The Mayor of Paris, one Bertrand Delanoe, is busily trying to garner good press which he hopes to transform into votes at the next election. He and his city council have been renaming streets and squares which have the names of "racists": a politician or two who were allegedly "slavers" or "collaborators", for example.

Recently he has caused a square or a street to be named after Theodor Herzl, the originator of Zionism, and Coluche (born Michel Colucci) a leftist 1970s/1980s standup comedian who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Coluche also founded the "Restaurants du Cœur" for the disadvantaged.

Delanoe's naming this Mumia fellow an "honorary citizen" means that he is casting the net wide for votes.

A good anti-Delanoe website is

At November 13, 2006 2:04 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ tony allen

Thanks for your input. People have been buying into the b.s. for a long time. Political Correctness is a powerful toxin. I do tend to agree that he will not be executed, but I don't think he'll ever stop the "I am a martyr" propaganda.

I also fear that somewhere along the line, a judge may throw out the case or grant him parole. Although that never happened with Manson.


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