The Daily Caller News Foundation is attending the 17th annual White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia, held April 15-17. The following is part of a series of articles concerning events at the conference.
The White Privilege Conference (WPC) got off to an inspired start on its second day, with a series of opening speeches that included praise for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and calls for the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Pam Africa is a member of MOVE, an activist organization in Philadelphia. The group is best known for all of its members having the surname “Africa,” and for literally being bombed by Philadelphia police back in 1985 during a gunfight, a stunt that burned dozens of houses and killed 11 members of the group, including several children. Pam was one of only two survivors from the attack, and was given a platform to speak to WPC Saturday morning. She used her platform to tout her group’s resistance to the U.S. government and to demand justice for Abu-Jamal.
“The government, for those who don’t know, dropped a bomb [on us] … to stop us from fighting this government,” Africa said, not mentioning that their fight against the government was quite literal, involving a 24-hour gun battle. “But it only made us fight that much more. They tried to kill off every child in my organization, but the children in our organization is [sic] growing up stronger, are committed more to taking this racist government down.”
Most of Africa’s remarks, though, focused not on MOVE but instead on the prevalence of hepatitis C in poor communities, while also requesting assistance for Abu-Jamal.
“Mumia Abu-Jamal is sittin’ on death row,” Africa said. “He is desperately in need of our help.” While Abu-Jamal is in fact no longer on death row, Africa said it makes little difference because he is steadily dying from hepatitis C.
Abu-Jamal has been in prison since 1981, when he was arrested and subsequently convicted for the murder of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. Originally sentenced to death, Abu-Jamal had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment in 2011.
Abu-Jamal has become a cause célèbre for progressives around the world, who argue that he was the victim of racism and was wrongfully railroaded through the justice system. He has been given several awards by political organizations around the world, has a street in St. Denis, France named after him, and has been named an honorary citizen of over two dozen cities around the world. (RELATED: Teacher Fired Over Class Letters To Cop-Killer)
The evidence against Abu-Jamal is very formidable, though. Abu-Jamal was arrested at the scene wearing a shoulder holster, and was lying next to a gun of the same type that was used to shoot Faulkner. Said gun had fired 5 bullets, the same number that were fired into Faulkner. Abu-Jamal was also seriously wounded by a shot from Faulkner’s gun. Multiple witnesses identified Abu-Jamal as the shooter, while Abu-Jamal could produce no witnesses testifying otherwise at the time.
But Africa and others represented Abu-Jamal as obviously innocent. Jasiri X, an activist hip-hopper from Pittsburgh who also spoke Saturday morning, said Abu-Jamal was framed by the government.
Unsurprisingly, Africa’s belief the government framed Abu-Jamal means she is also radical in other ways.
“Long live revolution, and let’s take this motherfucker down,” Africa said to conclude her remarks, winning huge applause from the audience.
The cheers for Abu-Jamal come one day after the convention similarly rallied support for the mother of Frank McQueen, who was killed by police after shooting a police officer responding to a domestic violence call. His mother, Delphine Matthews, maintains that was a non-violent man (despite a lengthy rap sheet) and requested money to assist her legal battle. WPC attendees raised over $1,000 to donate to Matthews.
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