Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 14:39:40 -0500
Sender: The African Global Experience <AGE-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Marpessa Kupendua <nattyreb@IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: !*New Marcus Garvey Movement Fasts w/Mumia + More

>Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 13:15:46 -0500 (EST)

>-Excerpts from Pan-African News Wire, Weekly Dispatch II, March 11, 1998-

March to Free Political Prisoners Garners Local Support

By Marcus Amick, Michigan Chronicle, 11–17 March 1998

Detroit, MI— A call for justice, liberation and amnesty was the focus of the recent forum held on the campus of Wayne State University. As part of a Black History Month tribute, Wayne State’s Pan-African Research and Documentation Center sponsored a rally to galvanize local support for Jericho ’98, an international movement to free individuals who have been imprisoned and exiled for their political stances, according to Abayomi Azikiwe, director of the Center.

The movement, which will culminate with a mass demonstration in the nation’s capital March 27, has been inspired by individuals such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, a prominent Black journalist who is currently on Death Row in Pennsylvania, and Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, the Black revolutionist who was recently released from prison. Jericho ’98, which is named after an old spiritual, is being spearheaded by the New African Liberation Front, a coalition of several nationalists groups. Organizers said the movement also aims to address issues such as the prison-industrial complex and police brutality, as well as political prisoners.

Pam Africa, coordinator for Abu-Jamal’s defense fund and a member of MOVE, a revolutionary nationalist group that has several members imprisoned, was the featured speaker at the forum. In a reveting speech, Africa talked about an agressive move to mobilize. Its about time that we stop clapping and do something. Its time to take a real serious stand for those who took a stand for us, Africa said. We’re not asking the government to give Mumia Abu-Jamal another trial, she added. We are demanding that he be released. The power is in the people.

A news clipping of a story, titled Jericho ‘98’: Demand Amnesty for Political Prisoners, distributed at the forum includes a list of 61 political prisoners and the list is still in formation. But Ron Scott, a local political activist and television producer, talked about Jericho ’98 as a movement to free and liberate thousands who are imprisoned. We have to understand...there are two types of political prisoners, said Scott. There are those directly involved in the repression of the government. Then there are those who are in prison because of their social, economic and political condition. We’re talking about a movement to challenge the system.

We have the oppurtunity to seize our collective power, added Joann Watson, former executive director of Detroit’s NAACP. We know the circumstances oppressing us are political. Malik Shabazz, who has led an agressive campaign for Black nationalism in the city as founder of the New Marcus Garvey Movement, urged Detroiters to get involved in the movement. We need to go to Washington to send a message, said Shabazz, discussing the Jericho ’98 march. We need to move ahead. We, as Black people, must stand up. It’s important that we get people involved.