Mumia Abu-Jamal, Black Panther, City College, pro-Palestinian, New York City

Incarcerated Black Panther Praises Student Protestors In Live Address

Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke to the students advocating for a free Palestine.

Power to the People! Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal praises student protestors advocating for a free Palestine in a live address from prison.

Abu-Jamal encouraged the student protestors at the City University of New York during his call to them on April 26. His words affirmed their commitment to the pro-Palestine movement.

“It is a wonderful thing that you have decided not to be silent and decided to speak out against the repression that you see with your own eyes,” explained Abu-Jamal, as detailed by The Guardian. “You are part of something massive, and you are part of something that is on the right side of history.”

The CUNY student protests join a wider movement across college campuses for school administrations to divest from Israel. Fellow students at Columbia University have faced arrest by the NYPD and school suspension for participating in the solidarity protest. Unlike the Ivy League institution, CUNY serves as the largest public urban college in the country. Abu-Jamal encouraged the protestors to “not bow” to those oppressing their rights.

“You’re against a colonial regime that steals the land from the people who are Indigenous to that area,” the 70-year-old explained. “I urge you to speak out against the terrorism that is afflicted upon Gaza with all of your might, all of your will, and all of your strength. Do not bow to those who want you to be silent.”

Abu-Jamal was a prominent Black activist and radical journalist at the height of the Black Liberation struggle. He helped establish the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panther Party. In 1982, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. His death occurred during an exchange of gunfire after the officer stopped Abu-Jamal’s brother.

Despite being on death row for years, flaws within the case led to a 2011 overturning of the conviction. In 2022, a Philadelphia judge denied the request for a new trial. Abu-Jamal still serves a life sentence without parole at the Mahanoy State Prison in Pennsylvania.

Abu-Jamal continued to write through his time in prison, speaking on the legacy of the Black Panther Party. The students also chanted “brick by brick, wall by wall, free Mumia Abu-Jamal” in support of the proclaimed political prisoner.

“The people of Gaza are fighting to be free from generations of occupation so it is not enough, brothers and sisters, it is not enough to demand a ceasefire. Make your demand cease occupation, cease occupation, and let that be your battle cry because that is the call of history of which all of you are part,” the former Black Panther concluded. “You are part of something magnanimous, magnificent and soul changing, and history changing. Do not let go of this moment, make it bigger, make it more massive, make it more powerful, make it echo up into the stars. I am thrilled by your work – I love you.”

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