The white ruling class strategy since the end of the ruthless reign of Frank Rizzo, as former chief of police
and then mayor of Philadelphia, is to replace white faces with black faces and to support and prop up such
black faces to carry out the bidding of that power elite without regard to the continued oppression of the
black working class of the city of Philadelphia. This phenomenon in Africa politics is called ‘Neo-
Colonialism,’ that is replacing white faces with black faces to keep the masses of blacks in their place and
to maximize profits for the multi national business community.
In Phildelphia, enter its first black Mayor, first black Police Chief and now the first black District Attorney.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell describes District Attorney Seth Williams, as lawyer of
courage, intelligence and likeability. In other words, Governor Rendell sees DA Seth Williams as a ‘good
As a backdrop, we must remember the 26th anniversary of tragic events in the City of Brotherly Love. At
that time, the power elite attempted to destroy the MOVE organization with Wilson Goode, Philadelphia’s
first black mayor in office. In similar terms to Rendell’s description of Seth Williams, Goode was
described as a likeable, intelligent black man. Nevertheless, Goode did the unthinkable for his “masters”.
On May 13, 1985, he gave the order to the police to drop a bomb on the MOVE house on Osage Avenue
that killed eleven people: men women and children and destroyed an entire Black neighborhood…
In an article in New York Times Magazine, Lynne Abraham, Williams’s predecessor was called “tough on
crime” and “America’s deadliest DA” for her pursuit of the death penalty in capital cases. That article
never mentioned the innocent people who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death during her
tenure, who later had their convictions overturned after spending years on death row. One example is
Harold Wilson, a black man convicted of a triple homicide. Harold Wilson spent 16 years on death row,
until he was exonerated.
Even under the police state conditions imposed by Frank Rizzo, DA Abraham was unable to affect the legal
lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal, prize winning journalist, called the “Voice of the Voiceless”. During the
reign of terror in Philadelphia under Frank Rizzo, Mumia was framed for killing police officer Daniel
Faulkner on a Philadelphia street in December 1981. Mumia was ultimately convicted and sentenced to die
in 1995. Since 1982 Mumia has languished in a cell on death row and fortunately, as a result of a series of
appeals, Lynn Abraham was unable to see the legal lynching carried out.
The credit for preventing this miscarriage of justice goes to the people of Philadelphia, other cities, towns,
villages and folk in the United States and around the world who rose up in protest.
Enter stage right: Seth Williams who runs for DA of Philadelphia on a platform where he promised to seek
the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal and prosecute his execution. Of course, that stand gained
Williams the immediate support of the Fraternal Order of Police and big business. Stunningly, civil rights
organizations, such as Philadelphia chapter NAACP jumped aboard. Adding to the circus, Tigre Hill, a
local black filmmaker, produced a documentary film entitled “Barrel of a Gun” whose ridiculous premise
was that ever since he was a fifteen year old youth Mumia harbored a desire to kill a police officer.
Last month when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rendered its decision setting aside Mumia’s death
sentence, District Attorney Williams stated on local television that he received a call from Maureen
Faulkner, widow of slain officer Daniel Faulkner. A willing tool of Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of
Police, she asked DA Williams to appeal the Third Circuit’s unanimous decision to reduce Mumia’s
sentence to life in prison without parole stating that she can only have closure when she knows Mumia is
We watched as “Uncle” Seth Williams half choked saying “I will try Ms Faulkner because most people
don’t know the facts like we do.”
Neither Seth Williams nor Maureen Faulkner “knows” the facts of this case. Many investigative journalists
have discovered that the police began their manipulation of the evidence as soon as they arrived on the
crime scene in order to frame Mumia, who had been a thorn in their side for reporting about police
corruption and persecution of MOVE. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have
issued reports that show that Mumia’s trial was a kangaroo court.
Since Mumia’s conviction and imprisonment in the death house of SCI Green for three decades up to the
election of Philadelphia’s first black District Attorney, we still hear the cries throughout the world of
‘Brick by brick, wall by wall, We gonna free Mumia Abu-Jamal!”
SUNDIATA SADIQ co chair of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) 914 672 5807
May 8, 2011