Visit With Mumia 12-14-2011
Submitted by admin2 on Fri, 2011-12-16 13:19
Call to Action and Report From Visit with Mumia at Manahoy
I visited Mumia yesterday, December 15, in the new prison that houses him, SCI Mahanoy. Even though he has been released from death row, he remains in Administrative Custody while he awaits transfer to general population. Because he is still in Administrative Custody and not yet in general population, visits still take place behind the plexiglass barrier characteristic of the no-contact visits to prisoners on death row.
Mumia boarded a vehicle to SCI- Mahanoy in the early morning hours of December 14th at 4AM. Despite the dehumanizing character of the heavily armored vehicle that transported him from SCI Greene to SCI Mahanoy, Mumia delighted in the opportunity to see cows, horses, and Pennsylvania's beautiful landscape during the 7 hour ride to Frackville, PA.
He described the last number of days as a "crazy whirlwind." Last Friday alone, he spent 6 hours packing up books, letters, and other belongings in preparation for what he believed was a move into general population at SCI Greene. But the Department of Corrections had other plans in mind. As you know, that same day, December 9, his call came through at the National Constitution Center. At the prompting of Pam Africa, the last 30 seconds of that call turned into a rousing ovation to Mumia by the 1,100 people in attendance. This is was he wrote in a letter about his experience that very same night on December 9, "It's been minutes since I've hung up the phone, and I'm still buzzing from the loving vibes zapping through the phone. It's really electric!"
While in Administrative Custody at Mahanoy, Mumia is technically in "the hole." This means that he has absolutely no human contact; absolutely no belongings in his cell other than a rubber pen, 8 sheets of paper and 8 envelopes (4 of which he has used to write letters to family and friends); he gets only one hour in the yard and one visitor a week; and at night the lights in his small cell are dimmed only slightly, and otherwise remain on all day.
Mumia noted that he missed the knock of his next door neighbor on the Row at SCI Greene, Sugarbear, who called for him through a knocked on the wall "at least 20 times a day."
Mumia noted that as he was being escorted to his cell at Mahanoy, the majority of prisoners he saw in "the hole" were black and he immediately thought of Michelle Alexander's evocative analysis and descriptions of mass black imprisonment nationwide.
Mumia is committed to remaining mindful of the challenges of this new period. He remains strong and hopeful about the possibilities of this next phase of struggle, both in his personal day-to-day life, and in the movement. He welcomes and is prepared for the change. Below please also note a special note he dictated to OWS.
Mumia reiterated that despite his isolation and the alienating character of his transfer to Mahanoy, he feels vibrations of love around him.
We await, impatiently, Mumia's transfer to general population and call on the DA's office to complete the transfer immediately. PLEASE NOTE: The DA's number and address below.
Let us remind the DA that Mumia should have been in general population since 2001 when Judge Yohn overturned the death penalty in his case; but the DA's office held him on death row for a decade while it filed losing appeals. By law, Mumia should be in general population, not in "the hole." We demand his immediate transfer.
With love and solidarity,
SETH WILLIAMS, Philadelphia DA
Three South Penn Square
Corner of Juniper and South Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3499
Mumia's Message to OWS as dictated while in Administrative Custody at SCI Manahoy in Frackville, PA.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
My Friends of OWS,
My message will have to be brief. But let not this brevity take from it, its strength.
You are the central movement of the hour. You're raising questions that are in the hearts of millions. Your motto, "We are the 99%," has been heard, heeded, and responded to by millions. You can be certain that the 1% have heard you clearest of all.
Your work, however, is just beginning. You must deepen, strengthen, and further your work until it truly reaches the 99%, almost all of us: workers, black folk, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTs, immigrants, Asians, artists, all of us, for we are integral parts of the 99%. I salute you and hope fervently that you will grow beyond number.
Though I speak to you today by proxy, I'm confident that you will here my voice soon.
Love, fun and music,