International Dockworkers Council IDC Demands Healthcare For Mumia And His Freedom

International Dockworkers Council IDC Demands Healthcare For Mumia And His Freedom

The IDC (International Dockworkers Council) is an association formed by organisations of dockworkers from all over the world. It is defined by its basic principles as being a unitary, independent, democratic, assembly-based working-class organisation.

Barcelona, 18 May 2015

Brothers and Sisters,

Journalist, framed-up black political prisoner and honorary NABET/CWA member, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is now in the hospital for the second time in two months. He was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, May 12th and is seriously ill. If we do not take action on his behalf immediately, it could result in his death, which the state of Pennsylvania has been attempting to do for some 34 years when he was placed on death row.

Mumia was transferred to the hospital for the first time on March 30 after two months of medical neglect from the SCI Mahanoy prison authorities of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He was close to going into a diabetic coma and had kidney failure. He has lost 70 pounds and has difficulty breathing, walking and talking. There are open wounds, sores and rashes on his skin and his body parts are swelling up. When he was discharged back into prison, he collapsed on the floor of the infirmary bathroom and lay on the floor for 45 minutes before being found. His condition is life-threatening.

Now he is lying on a bed in hospital for the second time, handcuffed to the bed even though he can barely move. His family, friends and lawyers are being denied visits to him, and even though he has a serious medical condition, the prison authorities refuse to allow his doctor to inspect him.

Brother Abu-Jamal has never hesitated to support working and oppressed people. In 1997, he refused to be interviewed in his jail cell by an ABC Television News team which was scabbing on a NABET/CWA strike of technicians. Mumia respected a picket line from behind bars in a death-row cell and gave up publicity for his own case!

Mumia has also spoken up to defend workers all over the world. In 1998, he supported the efforts of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to organize and defend solidarity actions for the besieged Liverpool dockers. In 2012, he condemned the ANC government for ordering police to kill 34 striking miners, now known as the Marikana Massacre. It was the worst killing in South Africa since Sharpeville. Mumia did not hesitate to speak out in defense of the miners in a May Day 2014 address to the ILWU and NUMSA, pointing out that this massacre was a global turning point in the struggle against of neo-liberal capitalism.

The fight for a world based on justice and equality knows no borders. The labor movement around the world has the power to save Mumia's life and we must use it now. In 1999, longshore workers in San Francisco shut down all ports on the West Coast and led a march of 25,000 people to demand freedom for Mumia. Oakland teachers held teach-ins in schools about Mumia and the death penalty. Teachers in Rio de Janeiro organized a work stoppage applauded by Ossie Davis. It is desperately necessary that we organize together to win Mumia's freedom!

We demand forthwith the following from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections:

1) Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man, must be released immediately to get competent medical care!

2) Mumia must be given medical treatment from a doctor of his choice. His doctor should be allowed to conduct an on-site medical examination, to communicate by phone with Mumia, and to communicate freely with prison medical staff.

3) Mumia must be permitted daily visits by his family, friends and lawyers.

4) Provide Mumia with healthful food that meets his medical needs and doesn’t exacerbate diabetes.

5) Conduct an independent investigation of healthcare treatment inside the Pennsylvania prison system.

Brother Abu-Jamal has supported labor struggles many times. Now it is our turn to come to his aid.


In solidarity,

Jordi Aragunde Miguens
IDC General Coordinator