During the times of physical slavery, the overseers would punish his enslaved captors who would attempt to be a self-determining people, by publicly executing and making examples out of them.
This terrorist tactic by slave makers was meant to instill fear in order to discourage others that had similar plans to physically free themselves from their oppressors, from following through.
The terrifying tyranny which was being imposed upon a people which chose to fight for their freedom, by the imperialist a couple hundred years ago, has never ceased.
This past May 13th marked the 25th anniversary of the Philadelphia-based MOVE Organization having their Constitutional, as well as Human, Rights violated by the United Snakes of Amerikkka’s para-military force and other local officials.
To commemorate this tragic event various seminars have been conducted which addressed the terrorism that many police often inflicts on urban communities.
Ongoing efforts to spread the word about the tragedy and police tyranny continued on at Harlem’s Assata Shakur/Guillermo Morales Center this past week. An anti-police-terrorism training seminar enlightened those in attendance about protocols to be utilized when approached and/or attacked by the pigz.
Learn & Watch More About This Catastrophe After The Break!!! [More]
In light of the recent 25th anniversary, much reference was made to the terrorist attack on the MOVE Organization’s home. Prior to speakers addressing the topic at hand, video footage of a recent MOVE gatherings was played for viewers, including the initial stop in Philly.
“’Til this day, not one single official has been held accountable for the murders of our family! Yet the prisons are full with people accused of murder, with far less evidence. The whole world saw what these officials did!” -asserted Ramona Africa – who survived the terrorist attack by the Philadelphia pigz – to open a special press conference at Philly’s American Friends Center back on May 12th.
She announced that, along with her MOVE comrades, they had filed murder complaints against certain city personnel for the deadly police fire-bombing. “Since there’s no statute of limitations on murder in Pennsylvania, we decided to file these murder charges against officials for the murder of our family!”
Human Rights determine that all people are free to experience life however they deem to do so – free from oppression, and according to the U.S. Constitution, all citizens of the United Snakes of Amerikkka are entitled to certain unalienable rights; such as… the right to assemble, the right to bear arms and the right to privacy – just to mention a few.
Its 1st Amendment specifies the freedom of speech, freedom of the press and free exercise of religion, as well as a few others. Additionally, many indigenous cultures are sometimes synonymously construed as being a religion, depending upon who is doing the interpreting.
A day after Mother’s Day 1985, Wilson [no] Goode – Philadelphia’s first Amerikkkanized Afrikan mayor – and the city’s police department ambushed the “back-to-natural-being/living/thinking” MOVE Organization as they again attempted to deny them of their Human and Constitutional Right to express their way-of-life as they see fit.
Although the cops claimed that they raided 6221 Osage Ave. in West Philly because of neighbours’ gripes about the living conditions at the property – complaining that they were unruly and unsanitary – MOVE maintains that they have continuously been terrorized by the Philly pigs ever since the organization was established, by John Africa, in 1972.
“The cops said that they went to Osage Ave. because of complaints from the neighbours about us… but what people probably don’t know is that at the same time, cops were out at our home in Chester, Pennsylvania… attacking them, tear gassing them. Did neighbours complain about them?
I thought the issue was Osage Ave.? What were they doing out in Chester?” -Ramona rhetorically questioned. “See, they get caught in their own web of lies and have yet to explain what they were doing in Chester! Understand who is telling the truth here!”
Although the mainstream media often attempts to propagandize the general public about positive Black movements, usually misinforming and misleading them, the grassroots group clarifies their own objectives:
“MOVE’s work is to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil, and to put an end to the enslavement of life – people, animals, any form of life. The purpose of John Africa’s revolution is to show people how corrupt, rotten, criminally enslaving, this system is; show people – through John Africa’s teachings – the truth, that this system is the cause of all their problems:
Alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, wife abuse, child p^%@ography, every problem in the world – and to set the example of revolution for people to follow when they realize how they’ve been oppressed, repressed, duped, tricked, by this system, this government and see the need to rid themselves of this cancerous system, as MOVE does.”
MOVE Confrontation In Philly
The police department’s overall abuse of power was well known within the confines of the concrete jungle that is commonly confused as being “The City of Brotherly Love.” MOVE’s position on the 1985 bombing is that they were again targeted by the pigs in retaliation for their outspoken stance against police-executions, police-corruption and other illicit activities, which were previously led by then-mayor and former head of police, Frank Rizzo, during the ‘70s.
“It’s important to know that this didn’t just fall out of the sky like rain… there’s a history!” –noted renowned journalist Linn Washington. “Things got so bad in the ‘70s that the federal government came in and filed a lawsuit against Rizzo, 4 of his top guys and 17 top members of the police department!”
Throughout Rizzo’s regime in the ‘70s, numerous accounts of police murdering innocent men, women and children – those born and yet to be born – had already been documented, culminating on August 8 1978. After a year-long starvation tactic, and illegal police-searches and surveillance of their Powelton Village home, to ensure that there were no guns or explosives present, riot-gear equipped storm troopers invaded the MOVE home at dawn.
1 pig was killed by ‘friendly-fire’ from a fellow cop, yet 9 MOVE family members were blamed, framed and convicted for that death, each receiving 30-100 years-sentences.
Also, a few years later, revolutionary journalist and ardent MOVE supporter – Mumia Abu Jamal – was incarcerated, and is currently on death row, behind trumped-up charges for allegedly murdering a Philadelphia cop on the night of December 9th 1981. Sentenced to die, Jamal has awaited verdict after excruciating verdict throughout the extensively drawn out appeals process – for almost 3 decades now. Mumia’s case brought more attention to the already intense scrutiny which the self-determining MOVE Organization was already under.
Ramona Africa Speaking On The Anniversary Of The Bombing & The MOVE 9
On Monday, May 13th 1985, the MOVE collective’s home at 6221 Osage Ave. was ambushed by the Philly pigs. Even with prior knowledge that young children were present, they still fired tear-gas canisters into the home. They also tore parts of the roof off and sprayed the building down with powerful streams of H2O shot from water cannons mounted on city fire trucks.
Around this same time, a police helicopter dropped a 4lb C4 dynamite-explosive-bomb on the roof, which ignited a fire, resulting in… not only the whole building being engulfed in flames – killing 11 MOVE members: including its founder – John Africa, 5 other adults and 5 children – but also incinerating an entire city block – destroying approximately 60 homes, leaving over 300 people homeless – as the nation watched the horrific tragedy unfold on TV, in disbelief.
Ramona and one child, Birdie Africa, were the only survivors. As the fire raged inside, police began firing thousands of rounds of hot lead into the house, preventing MOVE family members from escaping the torching inferno.
“Let’s be clear that we call it what it is. If this happened anywhere else, internationally, there’d be an uproar talking about… ‘This is terrorism!’ Legally speaking – at minimum – we can define this as an act of murder… but politically speaking – speaking in reality – this is an act of terrorism!” -assessed Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. – Prisoners Of Conscience Committee, whose father was brutally executed by Chicago police in a pre-dawn raid while at home, December 4th 1969.
“This government literally dropped a bomb on an entire community, and we’re not talking about across seas… we’re talking about right here in Philadelphia! These same criminals who played a key role in this act of terrorism of dropping this bomb… their careers have thrived [after this]!”
The following year, on March 6th, an investigative MOVE commission determined that Philadelphia police and officials acted carelessly, resulting in 11 MOVE members losing their lives, reporting that – “Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable.”
In a civil suit a decade later, a jury in a U.S. Federal Court ordered the City of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million to relatives of the deceased and surviving MOVE members from the incident. The jury determined that the city used excessive force and violated the members’ Constitutional Rights, which protected them against unreasonable search and seizure.
This May 12th, a press conference was held in Philadelphia where Ramona Africa announced the murder charges to be waged against those responsible: ex-mayor–Wilson Goode, ex-governor-Ed Rendell, DA-Lynn Abrahams, police commissioner-Greg Sambor, and others, for the deaths of 11 of her family members.
Washington, who was present at both bombings in ’78 and ‘85, explains:
“This all started with what is politely called ‘double standards of justice. MOVE gets crushed, and those who do the crushing get off. You saw the bomb being dropped! You saw the fire burning! You saw the aftermath of it!!! If you don’t want to call it a holocaust??? You could call it a catastrophe!!! There’s a crime in the Pennsylvania crime code called ‘risking a catastrophe’ and there’s also one called ‘reckless endangerment’, not requiring criminal intent, regardless of the outcome. Creating a risk… is just as guilty!”
Ramona closed by explaining:
“We are not hallucinating by any means that this is a way of getting justice from the system. The system doesn’t have any justice to give! We are doing this to keep the pressure on these people about our family, to continue to expose them, and to keep the issue out there!
Our family sits in jail doing 30 – 100 years, but nobody sits in prison next to our family? Or next to Mumia Abu Jamal on death-row for the murders of our family? We’re going to continue to expose these devils!
Police brutality remains a problem in the U.S., and will continue to be, until folks rise up and say – ‘We’re not taking it anymore!’ We want people to leave today’s activity fully committing themselves towards stopping this reign of terror and ending police terrorism and murder. That’s what today’s about!
If you say that you’re opposed to [police] murder period! To terrorism period! It’s not enough to say it… you have to be engaged in it, to put an end to it! So let’s get to work! On the move! Long live revolution! Long live John Africa! Free the MOVE 9! Long live all those who fight for freedom!”
For more info: 212.330.8029 and www.onamove.com
The following was transcribed from an audio from Mumia Abu-Jamal that was played at the anniversary of The MOVE mass murders:
May 13th 1985 is more than a day of infamy, when a city waged war on its own alleged citizens, but also when a/the city committed massacre, and did so with perfect impunity. When babies were shot and burned alive with their mothers and fathers, and the killers rewarded with honours and pensions while politicians talked and the media mediated mass murder. On that day, the city, armed and assisted by the U.S. government, dropped a bomb on a house and called it law.
The fire department watched buildings ignite like matches in the desert and cut off water. The courts of the land turned a blind eye, daubed mud in their socket, and prosecuted Ramona Africa for having the nerve to survive an urban holocaust, jailing her for the crime of not burning to death. Eleven men, women and children died, and not one killer was even charged with a misdemeanor.
But on that day, more than MOVE members died. The city died, too. Its politicians died, its media died, its courts died, and its churches and houses of worship died, for they ceased to function, and they served power and money. In a very real sense, the city massacred itself, for one’s faith in such institutions died.
They became empty, hollow and dead, but for the shell. May 13th, 1985 is a day that shall live in infamy, but for far more reasons than the obvious. It was the death knell of a system committing suicide. It proved that a man called John Africa spoke powerful truths when he spoke about the nature of the system as corrupt, as flawed, as poisoned. Every day past that date has only proved it even more.
From death row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal!