Wednesday, April 13, 2011

California Teachers say Free Mumia!

I have to admit, I am more familiar with the work of the California Teachers Association (CTA), but apparently, there is also a California Federation of Teachers (CFT). During their recent annual convention, the CFT got down to business and approved a resolution where they expressed their support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the perennial death row inmate who in 1982 was convicted and sentenced to death for the brutal 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

In the almost 30 years since Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook) was sentenced to death, he has become a cause celebre for the lunatic fringe. The morally bankrupt people at the CFT are convinced that Mumia Abu Jamal is innocent of his crime and that he is a political prisoner.

Just check out their resolution:

Resolution 19
Reaffirm support for death row journalist
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Whereas, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial in Philadelphia was characterized by illegal suppression of evidence, police coercion, illegal exclusion of black jurors, and unfair and unconstitutional rulings by
the judge; and
Whereas, the trial judge, Albert Sabo, has been quoted in a sworn statement to have vowed at the time of the trial to help the prosecution ‘fry the n-----;’ and
Whereas, subsequent appellate rulings have bent the law out of shape to sustain the guilty verdict of that trial; and
Whereas, the appellate courts have also refused to consider strong evidence of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s innocence that has emerged continuously in the years subsequent to the trial; and
Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court, in denying relief to Mumia Abu-Jamal, ignored key precedents such as its own ruling in Batson v Kentucky, which was supposed to prevent exclusion of jurors on the basis of race; and
Whereas, Mumia Abu-Jamal still is incarcerated on Death Row while awaiting a decision from the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals that could remove a stay on his execution; and
Whereas, Mumia Abu-Jamal has for decades as a journalist fought courageously against racism and police brutality and for the human rights of all people and has taken strong stands in support of working people involved in labor struggles and in support of well-funded, quality, public education;
Whereas, the continued unjust incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents a threat to the civil rights of all people; and
Whereas, the CFT has at a previous Convention voiced its support for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers reaffirm its support and demand that the courts consider the evidence of innocence of Mumia Abu-Jamal; and
Be it further resolved, that the CFT introduce and advocate on behalf of a resolution at the 2012 AFT Convention reaffirming the AFT’s support for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal should he not have been cleared of charges and released by that time.

If you just read that and nothing else, you might think that this poor guy got railroaded. But then of course, there is the other side of the story. These Mumia myths put forward by the CST and the rest of the "Free Mumia" crowd are thoroughly debunked here in case you are interested.

In the meantime, while our educational system is falling down in ruins around us, this is what some of our teachers are focusing on. Ludicrous shenanigans like these sometimes make me ashamed to tell people I am a teacher.

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