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VISIT TO MUMIA

2017/05/01

mumiaKEITH COOK & SUZANNE ROSS VISIT WITH MUMIA
Dear Comrades, Friends & Supporters: Ona Move! We did it again! Our swift and forceful response, got us what we wanted and what we were entitled to: information about where Mumia was and the opportunity to see him. As I said when we left the courtroom on Monday in Philly, we’re on a roll. The immediacy of our pressure on the prison and the DOC regarding Mumia’s disappearance from our radar, and the volume of that response, with calls to the prison starting last night, and continuing all day today, forced the prison to meet our demand: tell us where Mumia is and allow Keith Cook, Mumia’s brother, and me to see Mumia. Within minutes of Mumia’s return from Geisinger Hospital where he had tests done today, he was brought to the visiting room and waited for us.
On the medical: Mumia had an endoscopy to assess whether his esophagus had deteriorated in any way. You’ll remember that the DOC’s ridiculous Hep C protocol required careful monitoring but NO treatment. Thus they were trying to assess whether Mumia had the esophageal varicies (that is, bleeding of the esophagus which is tantamount to death and warrants, according to the DOC, careful assessment). The Kafkesque logic of refusing Mumia treatment, finally being forced to provide it, and yet now still following their “protocol” which Judge Mariani had called “unconstitutional” is in keeping with the irrationality of how the DOC tried to maintain its control. Then, too, they may be trying to show how carefully they are monitoring Mumia to lighten their defeat in the face our lawyers’ pursuit of compensation for Mumia for their incompetence, inhumanity, and near killing of Mumia. Happily, Mumia’s esophagus shows no sign of deterioration, and he has no varicies.
On the arrangements for the visit: I had called the infirmary at Mahanoy early this morning and spoke to Mr./Dr. Steinhart, the Director of the infirmary. He wouldn’t give me any information, including as to whether or not Mumia was in the infirmary, as he said he could only give that to family members. I told him Mumia’s brother and I would be at Mahanoy shortly and that we wanted to see Mumia and he could then give the information we wanted to Keith, clearly a family member. Steinhart said we probably couldn’t see Mumia this morning but most likely would be able to see him in the afternoon. When I got to Mahanoy, a little before Keith did, and went to sign in, the people at the desk said Mumia was at Mahanoy and I should take a seat. Within minutes Jane Hinman, the assistant to the Superintendent, came out, greeted me graciously, and said the Superintendent had asked her to let us know that we would be able to visit with Mumia.
Soon after, the CO’s at the desk, two of whom I’ve seen many times before, told us (by this time Keith was with me) that we would be processed within 20 minutes or so, after countdown, did not look at our ID, and literally rushed us in, assuring us that we would be the last to leave and that we would have at least a 2 1/2 hour visit. Given the usual prison milieu, our treatment felt regal.
Mumia was in great spirits, relieved that he did not have the varicies and that his esophagus had remained stable despite the cirrhosis. Again and again, he waxed poetic about the strength and power of our movement. We were all convinced that the “graciousness” of the prison staff, on all levels, came from a decision to not provoke us any further. They did not want trouble, and knew they would have it if they did not accommodate us.
The three of us celebrated over a lunch of organic spinach salad, tried to assess Monday’s court hearing and where it would go, and ended with part of Assata’s famous quote, the mantra of young fighters today, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.” We have sure had some significant victories. Onto more victories!
(The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home)

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