This call comes from Ramona Africa. New Yorkers, please call the Hotline at 212-330-8029 to travel with the NY Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
ONA MOVE, All!
As I'm sure you all know, this August 8th marks 32 years of unjust imprisonment for The MOVE 9. Our main activity is to pressure the parole board about their release but we won't let August 8th go by without reminding people what that day represents. We will gather at 11th and Market Sts. from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm on Saturday August 7th. We will have info to distribute to people and will be available to talk to people about The MOVE 9. Hope to see you there--Ramona
Just to remind folks of the August 8, 1978 events, reprinted below is an August 8, 2004 Mumia Commentary. You can hear this in Mumia's voice at http://www.prisonradio.org/maj/maj_8_8_04move.html
The Move 9; 26 yrs. in Hell
WHAT A FAMILY WE ARE WHEN WE'RE ONE FORCE, ONE UNIT, A POWERFUL FORCE THAT NO SYSTEM CAN EQUAL, FOR WE HAVE THE POWER OF LIFE AS OUR ALLY, MY MAMA, OUR MAMA, THE LIFE FORCE OF MOVE, NO DIVISIONAL THING CAN EVER DEFEAT US AS LONG AS WE HONOR THE GRIP OF THE FAMILY ....
*John Africa*, MOVE Founder
For 26 years now, a group of revolutionaries known as the MOVE 9, have been encaged within prisons all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all of whom face continuing sentences of 100 years, despite evidence of their innocence.
These men and women are all members of the MOVE Organization, who were captured, dragged through a show trial in Philadelphia Courts, and sentenced to a century in cages by the notorious Judge Edwin Malmed, who when asked, in a talk show radio interview to name those who were guilty of the crime of murder (of which all 9 were convicted), replied, "I haven't the faintest idea."
This writer knows this because it was I who asked him that question, and I who received the astonishing answer, on the air!
He would tell other reporters, "They were tried as a family, and I sentenced them as a family." It would seem that a more accurate response would be, 'I sentenced them because they *are* a family.'
They were convicted of being united, not in crime, but in rebellion against the system and in resistance to the armed assaults of the State.
They were convicted of being MOVE members.
Here's why I say that: On August 8th, 1978, when the police unleashed an armed assault on MOVE's home and headquarters in West Philadelphia, it ended the assault with the arrest of not 9 young men and women, but 12. Several of the women, young mothers, were, quite understandably, terrorized by the kind of violence they saw by the police, and quietly left the MOVE Organization. As soon as they renounced their memberships in MOVE, charges against them were dropped! Why, unless their very 'crimes' were nothing more than membership?
Understand that none of the MOVE women were charged with weapons offenses, yet all of them were sentenced identically to the men, who were given weapons charges.
For 26 years, both MOVE men and women of the MOVE 9, have continued their work, by living according to the Teachings of John Africa, despite their cruel incarcerations. Many are indeed Ministers of that Teaching, and work to counsel people in the prisons who are trying to withstand the onslaught of repression.
On March 13th, 1998, the brave and brilliant Merle Africa had her life stolen by 20 years in state dungeons. To many, many women in the prison system, she is remembered for her warmth and caring, but also for her spirit of resistance to prison injustices. Her death did not stop her spirit, which radiated through all who knew her, whether in, or out, of prison.
On August 8th, 1978, MOVE folks were protecting themselves from a vicious, premeditated, police and paramilitary act of urban war upon their home and offices. Under what America claims is its 'law', one has an alleged right to self-defense. But, when people actually do so, they are given all kinds of nasty names by the corporate media.
Not surprisingly, when the State hurts people,...