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General News    H2'ed 4/23/12

Occupy The Justice Department Implicates Obama Administration Integrity

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Message Linn Washington

One of the issues driving protesters participating in the April 24, 2012 Occupy The Justice Department demonstration is an issue that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder knows well -- prosecutorial misconduct.

Holder knows this misconduct issue well because he has criticized it during congressional testimony, as recently as March 2012 when commenting on a special prosecutor's report castigating the wrongdoing of federal prosecutors.

That wrongdoing, Holder acknowledged, unlawfully tainted the corruption investigation and 2008 trail of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens -- convicted of corruption in his home state of Alaska.

Protesters, including fiery Philadelphia activist Pam Africa, want Holder to take action against the prosecutorial misconduct evident in scores of unjust convictions improperly imprisoning political prisoners across America, most of them jailed for two or more decades.

Those political prisoners -- ignored domestically while exalted abroad -- include Native American activist Leonard Peltier, Puerto Rican Nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Cuban 5, author/activist Mumia Abu-Jamal and other former Black Panther Party members like the Omaha Two (Ed Poindexter and Mondo W. Langa).

Demands of the Occupy The Justice Department protesters include the immediate release of Mumia Abu-Jamal, freeing all political prisoners, ending the racist death penalty and ending solitary confinement and torture.

Individuals and incidents underlying those demands are within the purview of USAG Holder to investigate and/or to act immediately to resolve.

April 24th is the birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal, perhaps the most recognized U.S. political prisoner worldwide.

Abu-Jamal, for example, was the subject of two demonstrations held recently outside the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, one of which included extending a 2,200-foot banner around that embassy building.

Pam Africa is the head of International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal -- the Philadelphia-based organization at the center of the international movement seeking Abu-Jamal's release.

Africa is the dynamo who most Philadelphia police, prosecutors, politicians and many pastors love to hate because of her strident advocacy on behalf of imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and MOVE members sentenced for a fatal 1978 shootout.

The advocacy of Pam Africa on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal -- helping construct support networks while confronting incessant opposition -- contributed to the climate where U.S. federal courts late last year finally killed the death sentence Abu-Jamal received following his controversial 1982 conviction for killing a policeman.

Abu-Jamal is now fighting against a life-without-parole sentence.

That elimination of Abu-Jamal's government-endorsed death chagrined powerful figures across Pennsylvania and around America who had shamefully bent-&-broken laws (deliberately sabotaging court proceedings) in their various efforts to execute Abu-Jamal, known as the Voice-of-the-Voiceless.

While winning freedom for Abu-Jamal and the MOVE 9 is a definitive focus of Pam Africa's advocacy she is frequently found on "front-lines' nationwide fighting for ending mistreatment of people regardless of their color and creed.

"Pam Africa is in each and every struggle for social justice in Philadelphia, the U.S. and abroad. It's not just Mumia," said Latino activist/writer Berta Joubert-Ceci while chairing a recent program featuring former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in West Philadelphia.

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Linn Washington is a weekly columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune and This Can't Be Happening. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and failings of the news media. He teaches multi-media urban (more...)
 
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