Students Should Research Case

Matt Espinoza-Watson is a student at the Boalt School of Law, Amy Corbin is a UC Berkeley graduate student and Chuck McNally is a UC Berkeley student. Respond at [email protected]

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Last week the Berkeley College Republicans and The Berkeley Conservative Foundation held a forum to prove that Mumia Abu Jamal is a cop killer and should be executed ("Shouting for Mumia," Sept. 28). This forum was just one small part of an ongoing campaign sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police, a national fraternal order of police and their associates, to execute Jamal and uphold the current economic and social system that is in place in the U.S.

For one to get a true picture of what this forum meant to those who showed up to protest it, one must take a look at what these groups are saying. We think that most people will realize what is going on when they take a look at the stuff that these people are writing about Jamal, but if you are left confused by what you read or see, we would challenge you to look no further than what is around us.

If you get a chance to actually sit down and think about this kind of stuff, you will find that what lies on the surface of things is simply not true. On the surface the Fraternal Order, the "Republicrats" (presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore), the campus conservatives, and the UCPD, would like you to believe that they are on your side and that they are merely neutral people looking out for your best interests. But upon second glance, you will find that any attempt to really debate Jamal's case or the justice system in general is avoided by these groups. Dig deeper and you will notice that there is a lot that goes unsaid. You will hear no debate this year in the political elections about Jamal, or the growing number of people on death row, or in jail.

You may ask, "Why?" Well, it is simple, with all the big money that the major candidates are taking, why would they want to talk about the realities many face as the gap between the rich and poor grows bigger and bigger. Why would candidates want to talk about the attacks on low income people, people of color, indigenous people, disabled people, the queer community, and women? Could you imagine what would happen if people actually talked about the UCPD's blatant and ongoing racial profiling and attacks on the first amendment rights of those who protest?

We challenge you to check out both sides of the story, to read about the history of Philadelphia at the time that Jamal was convicted of killing police officer Daniel Faulkner, and to read and listen to the voices of millions of people around the world as they call for Jamal's freedom and the abolishment of the death penalty.


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