Via Sister Marpessa
From: Sis. Johanna Fernandez
I visited Mumia yesterday, December 15, in the new prison that houses
him, SCI Mahanoy. Even though he has been released from death row, he
remains in Administrative Custody while he awaits transfer to general
population. Because he is still in Administrative Custody and not yet
in general population, visits still take place behind the plexiglass
barrier characteristic of the no-contact visits to prisoners on death row.
Mumia boarded a vehicle to SCI- Mahanoy in the early morning hours of
December 14th at 4AM. Despite the dehumanizing character of the
heavily armored vehicle that transported him from SCI Greene to SCI
Mahanoy, Mumia delighted in the opportunity to see cows, horses, and
Pennsylvania's beautiful landscape during the 7 hour ride to Frackville, PA.
He described the last number of days as a "crazy whirlwind." Last
Friday alone, he spent 6 hours packing up books, letters, and other
belongings in preparation for what he believed was a move into
general population at SCI Greene. But the Department of Corrections
had other plans in mind. As you know, that same day, December 9, his
call came through at the National Constitution Center. At the
prompting of Pam Africa, the last 30 seconds of that call turned into
a rousing ovation to Mumia by the 1,100 people in attendance. This is
was he wrote in a letter about his experience that very same night on
December 9, "It's been minutes since I've hung up the phone, and I'm
still buzzing from the loving vibes zapping through the phone. It's
While in Administrative Custody at Mahanoy, Mumia is technically
in "the hole." This means that he has absolutely no human contact;
absolutely no belongings in his cell other than a rubber pen, 8
sheets of paper and 8 envelopes (4 of which he has used to write
letters to family and friends); he gets only one hour in the yard
and one visitor a week; and at night the lights in his small cell are
dimmed only slightly, and otherwise remain on all day.
Mumia noted that he missed the knock of his next door neighbor on the
Row at SCI Greene, Sugarbear, who called for him through a knocked on
the wall "at least 20 times a day."
Mumia noted that as he was being escorted to his cell at Mahanoy, the
majority of prisoners he saw in "the hole" were black and he
immediately thought of Michelle Alexander's evocative analysis and
descriptions of mass black imprisonment nationwide.
Mumia is committed to remaining mindful of the challenges of this new
period. He remains strong and hopeful about the possibilities of this
next phase of struggle, both in his personal day-to-day life, and in
the movement. He welcomes and is prepared for the change. Below
please also note a special note he dictated to OWS.
Mumia reiterated that despite his isolation and the alienating
character of his transfer to Mahanoy, he feels vibrations of love around him.
We await, impatiently, Mumia's transfer to general population and
call on the DA's office to complete the transfer immediately. PLEASE
NOTE: The DA's number and address below.
Let us remind the DA that Mumia should have been in general
population since 2001 when Judge Yohn overturned the death penalty in
his case; but the DA's office held him on death row for a decade
while it filed losing appeals. By law, Mumia should be in general
population, not in "the hole." We demand his immediate transfer.
With love and solidarity,
SETH WILLIAMS, Philadelphia DA
Three South Penn Square
Corner of Juniper and South Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3499
Mumia's Message to OWS as dictated while in Administrative Custody at
SCI Manahoy in Frackville, PA.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
My Friends of OWS,
My message will have to be brief. But let not this brevity take from
it, its strength.
You are the central movement of the hour. You're raising questions
that are in the hearts of millions. Your motto, "We are the 99%," has
been heard, heeded, and responded to by millions. You can be certain
that the 1% have heard you clearest of all.
Your work, however, is just beginning. You must deepen, strengthen,
and further your work until it truly reaches the 99%, almost all of
us: workers, black folk, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTs, immigrants,
Asians, artists, all of us, for we are integral parts of the 99%. I
salute you and hope fervently that you will grow beyond number.
Though I speak to you today by proxy, I'm confident that you will
here my voice soon.
Love, fun and music,