NOV 27 – REPORT ON VISIT TO MUMIA

Written by Suzanne Ross:

I just came back from visiting Mumia two days ago, and am witness to the fact that we have all experienced a miracle. Sisters and brothers, comrades, and friends, we are saving Mumia’s life. He looked so healthy and radiant, so much like he used to, and he sounded so good. We both celebrated, again and again, his survival from the biggest threat to his life that he had yet experienced.

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Mumia and many of us thought for sure, that he was going to die. Didn’t he look like he was about to die? Remember those ghoulish frightening pictures with Mumia sitting in a wheelchair, looking like he could hardly hold up his head? THEY WERE TRYING TO KILL HIM AND ALMOST SUCCEEDED. But the power of our movement, and the thousands who called, wrote, demonstrated, and prayed for Mumia’s life, defeated this monstrous enemy that wanted him dead, that wanted him destroyed before our very eyes. Mumia says that even when he was at his sickest, he could feel that love and energy of the people fighting for him and wanting him so badly to live.   He says it gave him such strength.

No, Mumia is not cured. He still itches and still experiences pain, he’s still in the infirmary where for about six months he has never gotten any fresh air or sunshine, he still needs to cover his body twice or three times a day with Vaseline and another cream to ease the itching, and he continues to need the palliative baths he takes two or three times a week. Plus, that itching could get worse again because the underlying problem of Hep C has not been addressed.

Now having nearly succeeded in killing Mumia, these evil spokespeople and enforcers say that Mumia is not sick enough to receive the drug that’s known to cure more than 90% of the people who have Hep C and follow the 60 or 90-day regimen. No, of course Mumia is not “sick enough”, as the Department of Corrections (DOC) is claiming, for those who wanted him DEAD and nearly succeeded in killing him.

Remember, Mumia only got Hep C because the police tried to kill him in 1981 when they shot him in the lungs, and beat him mercilessly after he was shot and en route to the hospital. He need emergency surgery and blood transfusions. It was then that he was infected through those infusions.

Subsequently, while in prison on a death sentence, they tried to execute Mumia three times, once in 1994 but the peoples’ struggle got Governor Casey not to sign the warrant. Then in 1995 and 1999 Governor Thomas Ridge signed two more death warrants and in both cases set an execution date. Ridge campaigned for office on a “Kill Mumia” platform. He subsequently became head of Homeland Security and now, in the post-Paris era, is a cheerleader for increased repression.

We finally got Mumia off Death Row in 2012, and that was a great defeat for them. They had to scramble for a new strategy. They tried keeping him in isolation. But we went straight to DOC headquarters with a sizable group and threatened to come back and fight this relentlessly. The next morning they put Mumia in general population.

Maureen Faulkner, mourning Mumia’s release from Death Row, issued a thinly veiled invitation for other prisoners to “take care” of him. But Mumia’s fellow prisoners love, respect, and protect him. He’s received amazing support from those like Major Tillery who confronted the prison warden with a demand that Mumia get medical attention when he was very sick and still in general population, for which he paid a high price: thrown into isolation and transferred to another prison. Others have shown care and love for Mumia throughout his sickness.

In 2014 the State resumed a deadly strategy. We don’t know all the details. We can only guess what their evil plans were. We can only conclude that for almost a year they were again trying to execute Mumia, not by medical NEGLECT as has been said, but by medical MALEVOLENCE.   Those of us who visited Mumia during his illness could hardly avoid noticing how much his skin looked as though it had been radiated. We remembered only too well that Puerto Rican Nationalist leader, Pedro Albizu Campos, was actually exposed to radiation while in prison for fighting for his people’s independence, until he developed cancer and died.

Mumia developed a medically induced diabetes through the Department of Corrections’ treatment for his skin problem. They gave him a medication that the minute he took it felt like his whole body, including his head, got blown up to the point that he felt he had to straighten his head as much as possible in order to be able to breathe. Through this same ‘medical’ malfeasance Mumia, who had never had diabetes before, suddenly had such a high blood sugar level that he was rushed to the hospital in a near-coma state. He almost died from a diabetes they induced but did not tell him he had until he was rushed to the hospital with a dangerously very high blood sugar level. The medical personnel at the infirmary had actually known of the high blood sugar weeks earlier when they did screening tests upon his admission but neither told him or his family of this threatening condition.

And now these very same perpetrators of attempted murder are saying Mumia is not sick enough to get this medication. Does he need to die before they will consider him ‘sick enough’? Mumia is still not out of danger. He has Hepatitis C which could cause other symptoms to emerge, including the reemergence of the unbearable painful itching, or the increased damage to his liver, or some other development that they themselves could cause. Are we supposed to accept the Department of Corrections’ (DOC’s)saying that Mumia is not sick enough to get this drug when Mumia’s consulting doctor, Dr. Joseph Harris, has stated unequivocally that Mumia needs this treatment as soon as possible? We have consulted with dozens of other doctors who have agreed that Mumia should get this treatment right away. Even the American Liver Association has made it clear that this new medicine should be administered as soon as the illness is detected, in other words as soon as possible. Are we supposed to give the DOC another chance to kill our beloved and precious brother?

NO WAY! WE DEMAND TREATMENT NOW FOR MUMIA AND THE 10,000 OTHER PENNSYLVANIA PRISONERS WITH HEP C! We demand that the DOC recognize the basic human right, established internationally and even in the US, that those in state custody, in this case in prison, are entitled to the medical care they need. We will accept nothing less.

JOIN US IN SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA ON DEC 18TH!!!

DATE: FRI DEC 18TH

TIME: 9:30 AM

WHERE: THE WILLIAM J. NEALON FEDERAL BUILDING,

                 235 N. Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503

FOR MORE INFO IN PHILA: 215 724-1618

FOR MORE INFO IN NYC ESPECIALLY RE TRAVEL: CALL 212 330-8029 ASAP

Our lawyers will be demanding that Mumia and the 10,000 other PA prisoners with this condition, get this treatment immediately. The DOC’s argument that Mumia and the others have to be sicker to get this medicine goes against mainstream medical opinion today. The DOC, that nearly killed Mumia, can hardly be trusted to have Mumia’s interests in mind when they argue, against all the other medical opinions we’ve heard, that Mumia should not get this treatment  

JOIN US IN SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA!!! JOIN US IN TELLING THE JUDGE ON DECEMBER 18TH THAT HE MUST RULE IN FAVOR OF MUMIA AND ORDER THE DOC TO IMMEDIATELY PROVIDE THE NEEDED TREATMENT TO MUMIA AND THE 10,000 OTHER PRISONERS WITH HEP C.!