Feinberg made the remarks at the historic Free Mumia rally, Madison Square Garden, New York, May 7, 2000. (youtube.com/watch?v=zV4rxNZaF9M)
My name is Leslie Feinberg, and we came with rainbow flags for Mumia! We are here today to demand a new trial for Mumia. And we are here to stand with the family of Patrick Dorismond and all the victims of police brutality here today. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are no strangers to police and right-wing violence.
When Matthew Shepard was murdered, we marched through the streets with ten thousand men. And we made it clear that we were no less outraged by the racist lynching of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. Our march was violently attacked. We were beaten and arrested by the same New York police department that lynched our brothers Dorismond and Amadou Diallo.
An injury to one is an injury to all! This is why we are fighting to free Mumia.
And Mumia stands with rainbow flags! Death Row Mumia called for unity to stop homophobic killings. It took courage for him to stand up against gay-bashing. But it’s his courage. This is why he is a leader who inspires so many communities.
Now we also have to fight to free Imam Jamil al-Amin, formerly H. Rap Brown. Georgia seeks execution – and why? In order to deal a blow to the rising progressive movement.
We must not allow ourselves to be divided. The Jewish Defense Organization tried to put an end to this historic event. How dare this Klan-like group, which bombed and murdered, claim to speak on behalf of the Jewish people? May the voices of all anti-racist Jews, of all progressive whites, be heard loud and clear.
For so long, black and Latino communities have suffered one police killing after another. We have seen mass protests, even rebellions. But more white people need to protest. White people in particular have an additional responsibility in combating any manifestation of racism. We cannot allow the fight against racism to be the sole burden of Black, Latina, Arab, Asian and Indigenous communities.
Since the murder of Amadou Diallo, more white people have protested racist police killings. Not enough! But a new day is coming. We can see it. This is what the government fears. And that’s what they want to stop.
This is why we must unite with one fist, in greater numbers, in order to strike a mortal blow against racism, police brutality, far-right violence, the death penalty and forced labor in the prison-industrial complex!
We who believe in Mumia’s freedom will have no rest until she comes!
Patrick Dorismond was a 26-year-old black father of two, murdered by two NYPD undercover officers on March 16, 2000. His funeral in Brooklyn, joined by thousands of protesters, was attacked by the NYPD. The cops who killed Dorismond were acquitted by a grand jury, which ruled the shooting “accidental”.
Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and killed in a homophobic hate attack on October 6, 1998.
James Byrd Jr. was a 49-year-old black father of three who was brutally lynched by confessed white supremacists in Jasper, Texas on June 7, 1998. Two of the killers were the first white men to be sentenced to death for killing a black man in modern Texas history.
Amadou Diallo was a 23-year-old student and Guinean migrant, murdered by four NYPD undercover officers on February 4, 1999. Cops fired 41 shots at Diallo, who was unarmed, and was acquitted by a jury in Albany, New York, after a Bronx grand jury indicted them for murder.
Imam Jamil al-Amin is a political prisoner and former president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, charged with murder by police in Fulton County, Georgia. He has been incarcerated since 2002.