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Mumia supporters to rally on 36th anniversary of cop's death

On Saturday, Dec. 9, Mumia Abu-Jamal supporters will rally on the 36th anniversary of his arrest for the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Officer Daniel Faulkner, left, and Mumia Abu-Jamal (Provided)

One of Philly’s most infamous convicts and celebrated activists will be honored Saturday with a march by supporters through Center City.

Dec. 9 marks the 36th anniversary of the cold night when 25-year-old Philly cop Daniel Faulkner was murdered near 13th and Locust streets.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a cab driver, activist and affiliate of MOVE founder John Africa, was arrested and got the death penalty for Faulkner’s murder.

But in the wake of the MOVE bombing, Mumia became an emblem of the flawed criminal justice system, with many in the 90s beginning to call for his release and summoning him to deliver commencement speeches at various colleges.

“The people’s movement forced the government to take Abu-Jamal off death row in 2011 but we didn’t win his freedom – the state re-sentenced Mumia to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, organizers with Mobilization for Mumia said on the rally’s Facebook page. “When he came down with hepatitis C, the people fought for and won hep C treatment, but now he suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and he continues to suffer pain and severe itching from a skin ailment. ... Mumia's current legal case could lead to his freedom - with enough mass pressure.”

The march is preceded by a Friday evening teach-in at the Church of the Advocate on 1801 W. Diamond Street.

Mumia’s supporters will gather at the Rizzo statue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Their rally and march will be followed by a 2 p.m. forum on mass incarceration at the Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St., featuring speakers including local civil rights attorney Michael Coard and Akeem Browder, former Green Party mayoral candidate for New York City Akeem Browder, brother of the late Khalief Browder, whose suicide has been linked to the three years he spent on Rikers Island pre-trial as a juvenile on charges of stealing a backpack; and Temple professor, writer and activist Marc Lamont Hill.