By Matt Stacionis
A group of NIU students and DeKalb residents gathered Thursday at King Memorial Commons in protest of what they believe is the wrongful imprisonment of journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who currently awaits execution at a Philadelphia prison after his conviction for the murder of a police officer.
Protestors march in front of the Holmes Student Center
Thursday afternoon to call
Members of the group, like many others nationwide, think that
Abu-Jamal was not given a fair trial
“I’m a strong opponent against criminal injustices,” Marxist-Humanist
Forum member Ronald Hale said.
Radio journalist Abu-Jamal’s voice was what led him to trouble
with prominent members of
“We’re out here not necessarily to prove his innocence, but [to] say, ‘Give him a fair trial,’” Hale said.
Abu-Jamal was barred for the majority of his own trial. He also
was appointed a lawyer, who was
The former member of the Black Panther organization, and later
a strong supporter of the group
“I believe every man is equal, and they deserve fair treatment in America,” Hale said. “If you take a look into Philadelphia politics at that time, it was very racist – racist mayor, racist police.”
FBI officials had surveillance on Abu-Jamal since he was 15 and
also have accumulated
Cele Meyer, coordinator of the DeKalb InterFaith Network for Peace and Justice, thinks that Abu-Jamal is one of many “political prisoners” that America currently is holding hostage. She also said Abu-Jamal was imprisoned for his association with MOVE, a group that allegedly had the Abu-Jamal house bombed with the authorization from Rizzo himself.
“I read the flier, and that convinced me that something needed to be done,” said Lorraine Scurti of the Northern Coalition for Peace. “I feel it needs to be brought to our attention, and I think it’s the university and community’s responsibility to distribute this kind of information.”