'Free 'em all' Prison Radio benefit
Published Feb 24, 2010
On the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, over 150
people came out to champion U.S. political prisoner and freedom
fighter Mumia Abu-Jamal and other political prisoners of the U.S.
colonial empire. The Feb. 21 benefit in Oakland, Calif., for Prison
Radio which carries commentaries online of political prisoners
also highlighted the cases of J. R. Valrey and Holly Works, the two
remaining defendants in the police crackdown against the protests
last year following the police killing of Oscar Grant. On Feb. 22,
all charges were dropped against Valrey in a courtroom full of his supporters.
Speakers included Pam Africa, national spokesperson for International
Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Chairman Fred
Hampton Jr., founder of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee and son
of Fred Hampton, the heroic assassinated Black Panther leader; Ramona
Africa, survivor of the 1985 police bombing of the MOVE house in
Philadelphia, a former political prisoner and the minister of
communication of the MOVE organization; Jack Heyman, Local 10
executive board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse
Union and Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal member; and
J. R. Valrey, POCC minister of information. Valrey showed a sneak
preview of his film about the Grant killing, "Operation Small Axe."
Pam Africa brought the crowd to its feet when she said, "Mumia's life
is not in the hands of the government. It's in our hands." That
sentiment was echoed throughout the night. She talked about the long
history of struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Ramona Africa reminded everyone that this year marks the 25th
anniversary of the police bombing in which 11 people were killed.
"There's no one sitting on death row for the bombing of the MOVE
house," she stated.
Richard Brown, a former Black Panther Party member and a former
defendant in the San Francisco 8 case, said, "I am living proof that
the power resides in the hands of the people." Brown and four other
SF8 defendants had all charges dropped. He urged people to come to
court in San Francisco on April 19 to demand that charges be dropped
against the last remaining defendant, Francisco Torres.
Go to www.prisonradio.org.