Philadelphia—On October 13 the movement for social justice throughout the world won a critical victory for the democratic rights of African people, oppressed and freedom loving people everywhere when Diop Olugbala, International President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), walked out of his sentencing hearing in a Philadelphia courtroom with two years probation. He could have been sentenced to up to ten years in prison.
Diop’s co-defendant Shabaka Mnombatha was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation.
In a courtroom packed with about 50 supporters, neocolonial judge Roxanne Covington handed down the sentences despite the prosecutor’s insistence that Diop do prison or jail time.
Today’s victory followed months of demonstrations, letters, call-ins, mailings, and emails to the judge from hundreds of supporters from throughout the US and as far away as Sierra Leone, Peru and Spain.
A militant demonstration in support of Diop was also held in front of the US embassy in London today, to coincide with the militant demonstration that was held at the Philadelphia courthouse.
This worldwide outpouring of support for Diop’s case from a broad base of African people and our allies played a key role in forcing the judge to back down on the State’s plan to imprison Diop for his courageous stance against police violence and murder, homelessness, and for economic development in the oppressed and exploited African working class community.
During today’s sentencing, Diop gave an eloquent statement in his own defense, in which he refused to apologize for his actions protesting the conditions facing African people in this country.
(From a comment by Agnes Johnson to Kwasi Akyeampong posted on TheBlackList Pub)