Archives for April 2015
Steve Vittoria’s new video “Mumia Is Dying In Prison/He Needs Us Now” with journalist Sonali Kolhatkar. Circulate far and wide in social media et al. Watch it now!
Statement from the MOVE Organization and International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal
On 4/27/15 our brother, Mumia Abu Jamal was ordered back to the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy in Pennsylvania. Ever since yesterday Mumia has been held incommunicado at the hands of prison officials. At this point we do not know what is happening with Mumia. Yesterday his lawyer, Bret Grote was not allowed in to see him– his own lawyer! Mumia’s attorney, Bret Grote and a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Johanna Fernandez, both people who are supposed to have authorized access inside the prison at any time according to the DOC rules were denied.
Prison officials want to keep Mumia isolated from outside visitors and to keep pictures of the medical neglect being inflicted upon Mumia by prison officials from being seen by the public. These sadists do not wanna be exposed for their role in premeditated murder. What the police failed to do on 12/9/81 and what this government failed to do in 8/1995 and 10/1999 prison officials are trying to do now and that’s murder Mumia.
They are keeping him isolated from the world and slowly killing him. We cannot allow this to happen and it’s up to us to stop the state from committing murder just like we did in 95 and 99!
Keep the pressure on! We must speak out for our freedom fighter brother Mumia, just as he has always spoke out for us. We can’t afford to relax with this situation for one minute. Make no mistake: they will murder Mumia if they think they can get away with it.
From Prison Radio:
Quick Sheet to calling Prison & State Officials
Often when we call in, prison and state officials have taken their lines off the hook. Know that every single call matters, even when they don’t pick up. Here are three numbers that usually work; please focus on calling:
John Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections: (717) 728-4109
Governor Tom Wolf: (717) 787-2500
SCI Mahanoy: (570) 773-2158, then dial zero
Wetzel’s number will go to voicemail. Wolf’s number will usually be answered. Mahanoy, extension 0, will usually be answered. We’re asking everyone to call these numbers repeatedly for 15 minutes per day.
If you get voicemail, leave a message.
If answered, say as much as you can before they end the call. Please call that same number and do it again. Our experience is that after calling the same number multiple times, whomever answers the phone will eventually talk to you, if only to try to persuade you to stop calling. This is your opportunity to fully state your concern and demands for freedom and lifesaving medical care.
MOVE and ICFFMAJ Statement on the Prison’s Attempt to Murder Mumia
This government is actively killing Mumia right now at SCI Mahanoy. When Mumia was transferred to general population in December of 2012, Maureen Faulkner and the Fraternal Order of Police made it clear that they intended for him to die there. Maureen Faulkner stated that now the time “doesn’t seem so far off” before Mumia “stands before his ultimate judge.” She hinted that she hoped he’d be killed by another inmate. They are currently carrying out that exact plan with prison doctors! Mumia was held in isolation for thirty years. When they saw that he had emerged from that strong, healthy, and determined, they decided to come at him another way. Despite being shot and beaten on December 9th, 1981, Mumia survived. They failed at executing him despite two execution dates, and after thirty years of isolation they couldn’t break his spirit. Mumia’s medical condition goes far beyond medical neglect or incompetence– this is deliberate murder.
Mumia’s wife, Wadiya Jamal, visited him twice this week and witnessed that his condition is way worse than the previous week. Mumia came into the visiting room walking baby steps, in severe pain, and talking slowly and quietly. His face was sunken in, his skin is blackened like a burn victim with open wounds, and his arms, torso, legs and testicles are severely swollen with skin that is tightened and hard from swelling. Sitting down and standing up are both painful.
Prison doctors say they don’t know exactly what’s wrong with Mumia and yet they won’t allow outside doctors in to see him. It isn’t that they don’t know, it’s that they know exactly what’s happening and it is exactly what they intend to happen! One of the drugs Mumia is being given, Cyclosporine, is known to lower the immune system and to cause many of the symptoms Mumia is being tortured by: chills, aches, problems with speech or walking, muscle weakness, tremors or muscle spasms. Mumia is suffering horribly and he is stuck choosing between having no medical care or being treated by the people employed by an institution which is set on his murder. The only solution is for Mumia to be home with his family!
It’s no accident that this attack on Mumia comes as people are rising up across the country to protest the police murders of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray and many more. Mumia’s voice has been key in educating the world about these killings and in uniting people in struggle. As masses of people are rising up in rebellion they need Mumia silenced more now than ever. We must unite like never before to fight against this police terrorism and bring Mumia home! Mumia has given his life for this movement, he has sacrificed everything for true justice, now is the time to pay it back!
Flood The Phone lines of John Kerestes superintendent of SCI Mahonoy and demand that Mumia be allowed to see an outside doctor and get the complete adequate medical care he needs immediately
Demand that Mumia Abu-Jamal see an outside doctor ASAP.
Tom Wolf, PA Gvrnr: 717-787-2500 | governor@PA.gov | 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg PA 17120
DEMAND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA RELEASE MUMIA FROM PRISON SO THAT HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS CAN PROVIDE HIM WITH THE MEDICAL CARE HE NEEDS!
Click below to contribute in getting Mumia the immediate medical care he needs
Pam Africa and Mumia’s lawyer Bret Grote (Abolitionist Law Center) attempted to visit Mumia at SCI Mahanoy today. The prison barred all visitors today for “health and security reasons”.
And this morning Mumia was given a mandatory order to report to the infirmary where he was readmitted.
As I was at Prison Radio’s studio in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon, the phone rang. Mumia called in with a message for his supporters. He reached out to us; it’s now time for us to reach out to him. His effort to record a commentary is a testimony to his courage and resilience. Please know that he remains critically ill and needs our support to get lifesaving medical care.
Stop the attempted murder of Mumia through medical neglect!
Keep the pressure on!
On Friday, April 24, Mumia Abu-Jamal was visited by his spouse, Wadiya Jamal, who reported that his condition has worsened. She saw him again today and he appears even more gravely ill. Everyone is asked to call the prison and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections immediately. If they hang up, call again. Please continue to call on Sunday, Monday and throughout the coming week.
Mumia was released from the prison infirmary three days ago even though he was in no condition to be in general population. His request to be seen by independent medical specialists was denied by the PA Department of Corrections. Yet he is in need of 24-hour care and supervision. He is too weak and in this state he may not be able ask for help. He may lose consciousness.
This is what happened before he was rushed to the hospital on March 30 when another prisoner, Major George Tillery, complained to the guards that Mumia needed immediate medical attention. In retaliation the prison moved Tillery to another unit.
Mumia has severe swelling in his neck, chest and legs. His skin rash is worse than ever with open sores. No longer in a wheelchair, he can only take baby steps. He was nodding off during the visits with his wife and unable to feed himself. These are symptoms that could be associated with hyper glucose levels, diabetic shock, diabetic coma, and with kidney stress and failure.
Please call the numbers below, and any other numbers you have for the Prison and the Governor. Along with Mumia’s name his prison number is AM 8335 Call local news sources in your area that would report on this crisis. Share this email with your contact lists. Get out the information via any social media you use especially Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MumiaMustLive.
Demand that prison officials call Mumia’s wife and his lawyer Bret Grote to discuss his condition. Demand that Mumia Abu-Jamal see a competent doctor immediately, that he be taken to the hospital for emergency care and not be left to go into a diabetic coma.
It is clear that Pennsylvania prison officials are intent on carrying out their plans to murder Mumia through medical neglect. This situation is urgent. Every call matters Every action matters. We need to be in the streets. Call your friends, your neighbors. We must speak out now before it’s too late.
Central Office by phone: (717) 728-2573
Michael Klopotoski, Deputy Secretary Eastern Region
(717) 728-4122 or 4123
Theron Perez, Chief Counsel, PA Department of Corrections (717) 728-7763
Shirley Moore Smeal, Executive Deputy Secretary (717) 728-4110
PA Department of Corrections General, News, etc: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit with Mumia & Medical Update
With Great Pride
April 11, 2015
On Thursday April 9, 2015 I visited my husband Mumia Abu-Jamal at SCI Mahanoy, with Rachel Wolkenstein my lawyer and sister.I had seen Mumia in the ICU at the hospital, where he was sitting upright, hand cuffed to a chair. I saw the photos taken of Mumia during the visit on Monday, April 6 with my sister Pam Africa, Abdul Jon and Johanna Fernandez. I cried when I saw those photos. But I still wasn’t prepared for how Mumia looked seeing him in the prison visiting room, he was worse. I felt my husband is about to die. …
I’ve never seen eczema look like that before – this beautiful brown skin, and I know his whole body from his head to his toes, for his body to be like we saw it today and how thin and weak he is…. [See the pictures we took of him showing the bumps and scabs on his arms.] Mumia’s skin was itching and he started scratching and I said to him let me do it and I started patting and that eased it. I was doing it for him and talking to him at the same time. But he’s in pain and I’ve had enough children that I can feel where infection is in your body. I can touch a certain wound or bruise and I can feel heat – that means infection is there.
Mumia said another prisoner, Major Tillery, kept after Mumia, telling him he was really sick, being damaged physically and emotionally; that Mumia needed real medical help. Major told Mumia that he was “fucked up” and “out of it.” Major Tillery filed grievances about the prison conditions leading to skin rashes. Major Tillery had gone directly to SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes and point blank said he needed to get Mumia to the hospital. Major Tillery told the Superintendent, “Mumia is dying.” Kerestes told Major Tillery to “take care of himself.”Major answered back, “taking care of Mumia is taking care of myself.” We just learned that yesterday morning Major Tillery was transferred out of Mahanoy to SCI Frackville, where he had previously been kept in the hole. This is retaliation for fighting for Mumia.
Send your message back to me via Facebook at:
Write to me at: Wadiya Jamal, PO Box 19404, Kingsessing Station, Philadelphia, Pa. 19143-9998
There was medical neglect and mistreatment of Mumia. In January Mumia asked for treatment for an increasingly serious skin problem that spread over his entire body. He was treated with antibiotics and steroids, both crèmes and pills.
Mumia had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic they gave him. His body broke out violently in blisters. From the steroids Mumia described swelling up from his feet to his head, like a balloon, his skin ready to bust. He had trouble breathing.
Mumia told us a prison doctor said he looked like he was “in a suit of armor,” his skin was so tight and crusted, his chest raised up to his chin, to create space to breathe.”
It was Mumia who told the doctors he was having an allergic reaction to the medicine he was given. Mumia had at least three blood tests and also ultrasounds. Ultrasounds showed he had a patch of pneumonia and gallstones. Mumia was admitted into the prison infirmary for a week in February. On February 17 Mumia weighed 268 pounds. When he was discharged from the infirmary a week later he had lost over twenty pounds. On March 30, when he was taken to the hospital in a diabetic shock, his weight had dropped to 184 pounds. That’s a loss of 80 pounds in five weeks. His blood sugar levels registered high since at least February. Mumia’s blood pressure was high and the prison was monitoring it periodically.
Blood tests taken on March 6, showed his blood sugar level of over 400. This is a dangerously high level indicating a medical emergency. Almost three weeks later on March 30, Mumia went into diabetic shock—his sugar glucose when he got to the hospital ICU was near 800, which can be fatal. When Mumia collapsed he had gone to the infirmary for a blood pressure check. His sodium level was also dangerously high and he was dehydrated. If Mumia had gone into the diabetic shock at night in his cell, he would likely have died.
Mumia was not previously a diabetic. This condition grew within a period of about three months during treatment for his skin—which is still covered with scabs. He was told he had eczema because there is a family history. But we heard from other prisoners that they had a similar developing skin condition and grievances were filed at the prison, but no responses.
Wadiya was given medical updates a few times from the Chief Medical Care Adminstrator at SCI Mahanoy. But since Wednesday, April 8, he was not available or his phone line not answered.
Mumia’s physical condition is far from stable. His blood sugar levels are in great flux now, from quite low (below 70) and back up to highs in the 200s.
Mumia told us the special diet he is now given is a 2500 daily calorie diet, with some meats, cereal, white bread and fruit, mostly oranges. But a diabetic diet is not a question of calories, but what foods are made available for him as part of a particularized diet, exercise and regulation of his blood sugars as best for him.
We are all fighting to get a specialist to examine Mumia and set up a treatment plan for him. The question will be what it will take to get that enforced over a continued period of time.
Check Mumia’s Facebook and the websites of organizations fighting for Mumia: International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Move organization, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.com, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.com for more information.
WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE PRESSURE.
Let SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes and Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel know we insist that Mumia have medical specialists of his own choosing examine and treat him.
Superintendent John Kerestes
Chief Health Care Administrator Steinhardt
Director, PA Department of Corrections Health Care Services
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
Support and Contribute to the Indiegogo online campaign to raise money to help pay from the legal and medical campaign for Mumia, including costs for Mumia’s family, friends and core organizers to travel to see Mumia.
Stop the Execution By Medical Neglect of Mumia Abu-Jamal!
– Rally at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 West 125th St
Fri., April 10, 2015, 5:00PM – 6:30 PM
– Indoor meeting at 7 PM, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 521 West 126th St, between Old Broadway & Amsterdam Ave, Harlem, NY
Here is a report from Mumia’s visitors yesterday: Pam Africa, Johanna Fernandez and Abdul Jon.
“Mumia was very ill when we saw him last Friday, April 3, 2015. For that reason, Pam Africa insisted that we return to SCI Mahanoy today, Monday, April 6, to check on him.
His blood sugar registered in the mid 200s today and continues to fluctuate, and although Mumia is still very weak, he was better than on Friday. He told us that the doctors gave him a double shot of insulin right before he came out for the visit, likely in an effort to make him appear temporarily more energetic than he is. This concerns us because insulin overdose is a possibility in these instances. Again Mumia has not yet been seen by a diabetes specialist, although the general practitioner told him today that perhaps he needs to see a nutritionist. This is a sign that our muckraking is working, since the news has gotten around that he was given spaghetti for lunch when his blood sugar registered at 336.
However, despite this modest progress Mumia struggled to get out of his wheelchair so that we could take a photo of him. He remained in the wheelchair for the rest of the visit.
Mumia also told us that his mind is filled with a million things each day, but he only has the mental and physical capacity to focus on just one thought. He said that he has learned that because he has always had a strong constitution, he had failed to appreciate the centrality of life’s energy force to living. He also shared something that must have been profoundly humiliating and difficult to come to terms with.
Last Thursday, Mumia tried to go to the bathroom in the infirmary. Because he was so weak, he was not able to sustain himself on his feet. He slid down to the floor and waited there, helplessly and unable to call for assistance, for 45 minutes until he was found by a doctor and another prisoner.
We shared a touching moment with Mumia in an effort to raise his spirits. Two teachers delivered letters to us that their students had written to Mumia. One batch came from a 3rd grade class taught by Ms. Marylin Zuniga in Orange, New Jersey. The other batch was from a group of high school students in the Philadelphia Student Union, which fights for school reform and is led by Mr. Hiram Rivera.
It had been a long time since we had seen Mumia smile. He chuckled as he read excerpts from these touching letters.
We share these photos to give you a sense of the gravity of Mumia’s condition. He has lost over 50lbs and his entire body is covered with a hard, leathery layer of jet-black skin, that is bloody, painful and itchy.
Report from The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
Superintendent John Kerestes
Chief Health Care Administrator Steinhardt
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
At this moment there are dozens of protestors standing outside the front gates of Camp Hill, headquarters of the Department of Corrections of Pennsylvania, right outside Harrisburg. Pennsylvania Secretary of Department of Corrections, John Wetzel, refuses to meet with protestors claiming “you do not have an appointment.” Of course, he is refusing to give an appointment to anyone who is trying to help Mumia access proper health care. Call the Dept. of Corrections (DOC) and demand Mumia be seen by an independent diabetes specialist doctor (Endocrinologist) and a Dermatologist, for a useful examination. DOC doctors with little diabetes experience are the ones who misdiagnosed Mumia in the first place and continue to neglect him and refuse a diabetic-appropriate diet for Mumia (they keep giving him pasta to eat! instead of fruit and vegetables). They are trying to kill Mumia through medical mistreatment. Call John Wetzel, Dept of Corrections at 717-728-4109. Email him: RA-CRPAdocSecretary@PA.gov. Spread the word.
At this very moment Pam Africa, Ramona Africa, Johanna Fernandez and many more are outside Mumia’s prison SCI Mahanoy with the same demands–and also trying to visit Mumia. They are very visible and effective, but need phone calls to back them up. Call Superintendent of SCI Mahanoy, John Kerestes: 570-773-2158.
For more detailed reporting see: http://www.freemumia.com/2015/04/mumia-hospitalized/