Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mumia update 4 / 7 / 15

Mumia is in very poor health and has been back in the prison infirmary since Wednesday, April 2, 2015.  His transfer back to the prison is an attempt to sever Mumia from the widespread attention this recent crisis has garnered in the media. It was also an attempt to shut down the movement’s vigil at the hospital. 

When Mumia arrived in the hospital on March 30th he was in diabetic shock. His blood sugar level was at 779.  Diabetic coma, which is potentially fatal, registers at 800.

His sodium level was alarmingly high at 168 and potentially fatal.  His sodium levels have now been normalized, but he has not yet been seen by an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist.) The doctors at the hospital reiterated that there was no diabetes specialist available. Our major demand is that he be examined immediately by an independent team of medical specialists, chosem by his family and supporters. 


A small group of family and supporters visited with Mumia in the prison on April 3rd. At that time he seemed sicker and less alert than when we saw him in the hospital. His blood sugar on that day was at 336. He has lost approximately 50lbs since we last saw him in January. He was in a wheel chair, his speech was intermittently slurred, and by the end of the one-hour visit he had difficulty breathing.

Sing the petition here to get him immediate, independent and specialized medical assistance.
CALL AND CONTACT NOW:
Secretary of PA Corrections, John E. Wetzel
Governor Tom Wolf
phone: 717 787-2500   fax: 717 772-8284
SCI-Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes


TIMELINE OF EVENTS


1.  In early January of this year Mumia had to be shaken out of a deep sleep by guards during count. For not being awake during count he was punished for two weeks. No visitors, phone calls or yard were allowed.  This was the beginning of a precipitous decline in his health.

2. During those two weeks he became ill with a severe skin disorder that was diagnosed as eczema by the doctors in the prison infirmary. Mumia refused visitors because he was in pain, his skin was leathery, raw, and bloody, and he was falling asleep during visits.

3. The medication he was given produced a severe reaction. His skin ruptured. He was placed in the infirmary for two weeks. During this time he was given a battery of medical tests including, since February, three blood tests.

4. On the morning of Monday, March 30th Mumia walked to the infirmary where he fainted. He was taken to the ICU of a nearby hospital, the Schuylkill Medical Center. When he arrived at the hospital he was in diabetic shock. His blood sugar level was 779.  Had it been 800, he would have been in a coma. He remained shackled to the bedpost during his entire stay.

5. On that same day, March 30th, Heidi Boghosian (former Director, National Lawyers Guild, Mumia’s Legal Team) and Johanna Fernandez (Professor of History, Baruch College, Mumia’s Legal Team) arrived at the prison for a visit. They were deeply concerned about his health after a phone conversation Fernandez had with Mumia on Friday, March 27th during which his voice sounded severely stressed. Upon arrival at the prison they were told that they couldn't see him. They pressed the issue and were finally told that he was hospitalized. They immediately alerted his wife and supporters. His wife called the prison and found out that he had been transferred to a local hospital and was in diabetic shock. 

6. Boghosian and Fernandez found the hospital and went to the ICU where they immediately encountered a phalanx of prison guards watching over one of the rooms in the ICU. A nurse confirmed that Mumia was there.

7. On that same day the Third Circuit Court was hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the Revictimization Relief Act, otherwise known as the Mumia Silencing Law.

The court hearing was taking place about an hour away in Harrisburg, PA. A carload of supporters including Pam Africa (International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal), Noelle Hanrahan (Prison Radio) and Mumia's Brother Keith Cook joined Boghosian and Fernandez, at the ICU

8. His brother, Keith Cook, was not allowed in, nor did he get any substantive information about Mumia's medical condition.

9. Supporters stayed at the hospital and kept watch in the waiting room of the ICU. Later the next day, March 31, his wife Wadiya Jamal and brother Keith Cook were allowed a 30-minute visit each, separately.

10. After a campaign of calls, the doctors/nurses finally started talking to his family. Medical staff informed us that had Mumia arrived 10 minutes later, he would have fallen into a diabetic coma. They also said that his sodium level was extremely high at 168.


11. Pam Africa called a press conference in front of the hospital. Approximately eight media outlets, including the AP and Philadelphia affiliates showed up and reported sympathetically on the story. One example can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/family-mumia-abu-jamal-treated-diabetes-complications-30032185

12. The next day, on Wednesday, April 1, the prison changed the rules and did not allow his wife and oldest brother in. We pressed to have other members of his family see him. Mumia's younger brother, Bill Cook, and his son, Jamal Hart, were allowed very short visits. His son stormed out of the room in shock at his father's condition. He was distressed to see his father shackled, in pain and distress. Bill Cook reported that Mumia was shaking throughout the visit, that his breathing was labored, and that he was in generally terrible shape.

13. That same day, on Wed April 1, at 7PM Mumia was transferred back to the prison's infirmary. 


14. On Thursday, April 2, his family and supporters were denied visits in the prison because, according to prison officials, his medical condition did not allow it. On that same day, Mumia collapsed in the prison infirmary bathroom and was found 45 minutes later on the floor by a doctor and another prisoner.

15. On Friday April 3rd, after pressure mounted against the changing policies of the prison (non-stop calls to the prison and an on-site demonstrations) the prison allowed five people to visit him together for one hour. Mumia was brought to the visiting room in a wheel chair.  Given his condition, the visit should have taken place in the infirmary. His spirit was strong, but his body was clearly in need of urgent medical attention. As of today, he has not yet been seen by a diabetes specialist and his blood sugar continues to fluxuate dangerously, reaching 336 on April 3rd.   Yet, in spite of this dangerously high level he was given spaghetti for lunch.  He was very weak and had difficulty breathing by the end of the one-hour visit. His skin is completely disfigured—hardened and jet black all over his body, except for his face. His speech was slurred during parts of our conversation, he was trembling and had difficulty breathing by the end of the visit.  Since January he has lost at least 80lbs.

16. Mumia needs to see a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist), dermatologist, and nutritionist immediately, chosen by his family and closest supporters.  Mumia is innocent and needs to be brought home immediately.  

17. There are an estimated 80,000 prisoners with diabetes in the US prisons, and medical neglect of prisoners is rampant. We call for a full investigation of prison healthcare in Pennsylvania. The state’s medical services are for profit and have been so neglectful and abusive that its entire healthcare operations warrant independent review. The unexpected and unexplained sudden death of Phil Africa of the MOVE 9 last year, while he was under prison medical supervision, is but one of many examples of the physical jeopardy, even mortal danger, faced by prisoners across the nation undergoin

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Keep The Pressure on Pennsylvania Prison Officials FOR MUMIA

 DOC Main No.: 001-717-728-2573
• E-mail: Superintendent John Kerestes: 570-773 2158,  ra-contactdoc@pa.gov
• E-mail Secretary Wetzel: 717-728 4109ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov

2. Gouverneur Thomas Wolf:
GOV. OFFICE BY PHONE: 001-717-787-2500
GOV. OFFICE BY FAX: 001-717-772-8284
GOV. OFFICE BY EMAIL: governor@pa.gov

Further there is:
To reach the Office of Special Investigations and Intelligence directly without being worried about anonymity, call:
(717) 728-2033

MONDAY-FRIDAY8:30 A.M. TO 5 P.M.

IN WRITING:
Written reports of alleged employee-on-inmate abuse also may be sent to:
OSII EMAIL:  RA-REPORTINMATEABUSE@PA.GOV


MAKE YOUR CALLS , EMAILS, FAXES, ETC  FOR MUMIA

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Move Organization and International Concerned Family and Friends Statement On The Current Situation At Hand With Mumia

MUMIA'S LIFE IN DANGER: FROM ICFFMAJ AND MOVE
This government has been trying to murder Mumia for 34 years. The power of this movement stopped his execution in 1995 and 1999, and got him off of death row. Now they’re deliberately trying to murder him through medical neglect and intentional torture. This situation is urgent and couldn’t be more serious. Mumia is currently in a wheelchair, two days ago he couldn’t stand up, his speech is slurred, and he can barely hold a bottle of water. This isn’t just medical neglect, this is a continuation of the premeditated murder that was set in place when Mumia was shot in the chest, was rammed headfirst into a steel pole, and was then railroaded through the courts and onto deathrow. Just two months ago Phil Africa died under similar suspicious circumstances. We have absolutely no time to waste.
People must treat this as if Mumia’s death warrant has been signed and the execution date is tomorrow, because that’s their intention. They have absolutely no intention of freeing Mumia, and they have no interest in letting him live a long life in prison continuing to be an example of resistance for the world. They want Mumia dead, and if they can do it by medical neglect they will. The only reason Mumia wasn’t executed in 1995, the only reason he was moved off of death row is because the pressure for justice for Mumia was too strong. The only way Mumia is going to live through this attack on his life is if all people step up and immediately demand healthier diet for Mumia and the ability to have outside medical care. We aren’t asking for anything here that hasn’t been done in Pennsylvania prisons before. There are diets in place for people dealing with health problems and they aren’t even giving him that. Since he was prematurely taken from the hospital and put back in the prison where these problems started his blood sugar levels have been rising because they are only giving him foods like pasta that are dangerous with diabetes.
Their intention with all of these side attacks is to distract people from the main point, which is that Mumia is innocent and shouldn’t have served one day in prison in the first place. The sacrifice that Mumia and the MOVE 9 are making, and that Phil and Merle Africa have already given their lives for, is for the benefit of everyone. People must stand up and reciprocate that commitment, today. If you don’t act today his death warrant could be carried out tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

4/1 Mumia Update

UPDATE: Prison just created atrocious hospital visitation rules: 1 visit per week from each family member! His brother and wife are currently being denied access!
We need to continue calling and pressuring SCI Mahanoy Superintendent Kerestes to allow family visits while Mumia is in critical condition. Please make the calls. They were incredibly successful yesterday!
Say you are calling about prisoner Wesley Cook, ‪#‎AM8335‬
Mahanoy State Correctional Institute Superintendent John Kerestes, 570-773-2158
Pennsylvania Bureau of Health Care Director Chris Oppman, 717-728-5311
Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, 717-728-4109
Schuylkill Medical Center Superintendent Mark Lory, 570-621-5000

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Mumia Update

Update as of 11:35 AM - Ramona Africa reports that Mumia's spouse, Wadiya, is visiting him now. We are awaiting word on his medical condition which we will alert everyone to as soon as we know. Some doctors came out to say that his condition is "stable" but that is insufficient information.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Press release on Mumia's current situation

Press Release: Mumia is Hospitalized, no information given to family
Contact: Betsey Piette
610-348-8017
International Action Center
Mumia is hospitalized without any visitation or contact
For Immediate Release
Who: Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM 8335
What: Mumia is held in Hospital with no information given nor visitation for family
Where: Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA
When: Since 1pm, March 30, 2015
At 1pm EST today, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal had a medical emergency and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA.
Weary of events such as the recent death of MOVE leader Phil Africa, who passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, PA in January, supporters of Mumia immediately travelled to the hospital to learn more about his condition. Mumia’s brother, Keith Cook, who was part of a delegation to the PA Capitol today to challenge the Revictimization Relief Act - which denies First Amendment rights to PA prisoners - was not allowed to visit his brother. Even Mumia’s wife has received almost no information and has not been allowed to visit Mumia.
In an attempt to learn more about Mumia’s condition, around 15 supporters of Mumia are feet away from Mumia’s hospital door at the Schuykill Medical Center, yet four police officers are standing in their way from answers. Hundreds of supporters have called SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes, which led his office to turn off his phone line, forcing concerned people to leave messages.
Mumia’s life is in danger. We encourage media and people concerned with Mumia’s health to contact the following individuals and institutions responsible for the health care of PA prisoners and demand answers and family visitation rights in this urgent case.
Please call in reference to Mumia’s legal name, “Wesley Cook.”

Richard Ellers
Director, PA Department of Corrections Health Care Services
rellers@pa.gov
(717) 728-5311
John Wetzel
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
(717) 728-4109
Schuylkill Medical Center
700 E Norwegian St, Pottsville, PA
(570) 621-4000
SCI Mahanoy
Superindendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158

As soon as we know more, we will be sending out an updated release to the media. This is a press release from the Philadelphia International Action Center, which works with MOVE, the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, and others to free Mumia Abu-Jamal."

Action Alert Mumia Abu Jamal Hospitalized

UPDATE- Urgent Action Alert: Mumia Abu-Jamal in Medical Center
We all called, so SCI Mahanoy shut down their phones.
Now please call these numbers to demand that Mumia's family can see him at Schuylkill Medical Center immediately.
Call these numbers now to demand hospital visitation rights for Mumia's family:
Richard Ellers
Director, PA Department of Corrections Health Care Services
rellers@pa.gov
(717) 728-5311
John Wetzel
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
(717) 728-4109
Schuylkill Medical Center
420 S Jackson St, Pottsville, PA
(570) 621-5000
SCI Mahanoy
Superindendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158

At 1pm EST today, Mumia Abu-Jamal had a medical emergency and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA. We need your immediate help to make sure that Mumia's family will be able to visit him NOW.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maiga on Phil part one

Phil

When I first met Phil, I was preparing myself to really hate men.

Like many women, I'd been hurt in a variety of ways by men. To cope with the hurt, I was shutting down and becoming less available. There were a few relationships in my life that helped me figure out different ways to be self-protective but to not shut off from safe and healthy intimacy. Obviously, marrying Kevin was fundamental. In a different way, becoming close to Phil taught me how to recognize and cultivate nourishing friendships.

On the surface, Phil and I should not have been able to relate to one another. I'm now 33 but at first meeting I was probably 22. I'm white from the 'burbs. Phil is a Black man who grew up poor in Philly. He was incarcerated for the duration of the time we knew one another.


And Phil got where I was coming from. Hell, he was suspicious of most men too! If anything, he taught me how to be more cautious, conscious, and aware. He was clear and instructive in offering me ways to keep myself safe. He always told me to value myself, respect myself, and listen to my intuition. 

As he gave me these tools to feel empowered and secure, his example showed me a man who was warm, familiar, and respectful. He treated me like was a close niece. He gave me advice, listened, and offered warm shelter. He was playful and messed with me when I was too serious. He called me to check up on me. He kept me busy when he saw that my mind was obsessing. He painted pictures and drew sketches for me. He gave me attention. He gave me aspects of himself and his experience. He urged me to be close to my husband, Kevin, and told me how much he cherished his wife, Janine. He constantly reminded me to be available to growing in love. He told me to engage love like we would exercise-- to let ourselves get stronger in the practice. To be changed by it.

Maiga on Phil part two


We had several art shows of his work. The above photo is from last August, when we had a unique exhibit. People emailed a copy of one of Phil's pieces. I blew it up and displayed on the walls. Each contributor also wrote about where they displayed the piece, what it meant to them, and it's reach. Some had taken the art pieces on tour in Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico. Others had shared it in community spaces throughout the US. The reach was profound.


Folks came in off the street and learned more about Phil. They learned that despite being incarcerated for the last 35 years of his life that he never stopped living. He never let his circumstances limit him. He stayed close to his wife. He developed friendships with people like me. He inspired and connected with numerous people all over the globe. He kept us close to him and we cherished the link.

One time, I saw a bear while I drove up to visit him. When I was going through a particularly rough patch, Phil drew a card (that I later framed. It's still on my living room wall) that he and his brother, Del, signed. They said, "Your Grizzlies have got you." And they are my grizzlies. They're warm, fierce, grizzled men. They taught me that there are beautiful men out there that I can cherish, trust, and grow with.

In Phil's honor, Kevin and I had grizzlies tattooed on our arms.

Before Thanksgiving, our beloved, nearly 20-year-old cat, Laz passed. I knew it was coming and wrote Phil before hand. He replied to me, "Don't dwell over it. When it happens, it'll happen, and you'll just have to be ready to be strong and deal with it. Don't get your mind set to fall apart. Be prepared to deal with reality. I'm not trying to tell you it's going to be easy, just that it's going to be and not to plan on falling apart. Just know you get to be strong and keep on moving. With you, all I see is you still hold onto things that happen to you, which is not good. It will make you feel like things are piling up on you, when what is really happening is that you're not letting things to go like you should. You've got to deal with stuff and then move on by letting the past go. The India trip will keep you motivated and take some pressure off you. Being happy

Maiga on Phil part three


His words helped me navigate Laz's transition. When Laz passed, I wrote Phil to tell him. On 12/2/14, he wrote me a reply, the last letter I received from him. He wrote, "We have been trained to see Life moving on in a cycle as a sad thing. When you look at the old cultures, those with religions more Earth/Nature based, you see how they celebrated the cycle of life. I'm glad y'all had family around to help y'all so that y'all were able to help move Laz along in the cycle without any suffering. That was the most important thing. No one or nothing stays on this level forever, that would go *against* Life's cycle. It would throw things *out* of balance. I know Laz is glad that he had y'all to be there for him when his time to move on came. You have to work to never feel like you're 'without'."

And once more, Phil offers me exactly the advice I need to move through transition. He provides the sage counsel to now mourn his transition, understanding that he too is Life. He too still is, but not in the form I've come to know and love. I hold his words close, his memory close, and cherish his presence in my life. I'm grateful to have known him and to know that he is at peace. I'm still fighting for freedom. I'm still moving. I'm still loving.

We love you, Phil.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reflections On The Full And Dynamic Life Of Phil Africa

“Ona MOVE Kevin!
Hey Now Bro! I got your letter and wanted to write right back so you’d know it was good to hear from ya. Always good to hear from those you are active in the work needed to right the things this rotten system has caused to be wrong. To make a righteous change in this world one must be willing to work for it and to stand up against all that is wrong.”
Those lines began the first letter I received from MOVE 9 political prisoner, Phil Africa. I was 16 and his letter of encouragement kept me motivated for weeks. Phil had that effect on people. I continued to write and visit with him over the years, unfortunately less so the past few years. I was as shocked as everyone else when I heard that he passed away on Saturday. To say that it didn’t seem like it should be his time is an understatement. If you’ve had the privilege to spend time with Phil you know that to think of his high energy level slowing down is like thinking about the sun going out. Though he has spent the last 36 years in prison, eating prison food, spending time in solitary confinement, and experienced the abhorrent conditions that come from a life imprisoned, Phil was vibrant, his skin glowed, he talked a mile a minute and he was excited to be alive.
Writing about Phil is frustrating because he’s a hard person to describe. I only knew him through visits and letters, but I really feel that I got to know him. I wish more people had had that opportunity. Phil’s hard to describe because he embodied forces that we usually think of as contradictory. He was big, strong as hell, very protective, and I’m sure he’d be damned intimidating if the situation required it. He was MOVE’s First Minister of Defense for a reason. However, he was bursting with love, humor, and positive energy in a way that was physically palpable as soon as you came near him. He had a calm, clear thinking, collected vibe that relaxed those around him.
Phil was like a metronome, a very fast metronome. His steady pace and consistent energy level gave me something to measure myself against. He wrote letters with whoever wrote him – hundreds of people. If you sent Phil a letter you’d usually have at least one or two typed (hopefully, otherwise good luck with his handwriting!) pages back within a week. There were many times when he wrote to me twice before I responded to the first letter. I’m incredibly thankful to have a binder of his letters on my shelf. I’ll be reflecting on them for years to come. In letters and in person Phil was always moving things forward. If you wrote him about a problem he’d offer pragmatic advice to proceed and didn’t humor weakness if you were stubborn to move on. This discipline was coupled with an incredible sensitivity and concern.
I’m lucky to have so many fond memories of Phil. It helps that he had a lot of unforgettable habits that will help aid in keeping the memories clear. As soon as we’d arrive in the prison visiting room, after we had hugged, he step back and thoroughly examine me. He’d squeeze my bicep and nod encouragingly or tip his head to the side humorously if he thought I hadn’t been exercising. He’d look closely at my face and say “You alright man?” After we’d stocked up on food from the prison machines he’d sit across the table, give a knowing look, tilt his head back and smile in the most distinctive way, almost like he was observing the whole thing from the future, like he already knew what you were going to say and he was quite entertained by it.
The past few days it’s been tough telling people about Phil who didn’t know him. I’ve been glad to be able to share my experiences, but there’s just no translating them. I think for many folks it’s hard to get past the label “prisoner.” That word becomes the primary identifying factor. I understand that. Without the privileges I’ve had to get to know so many people who happen to be imprisoned I think I would have the same stumbling block. If I was making a list of a hundred things Phil was though, prisoner wouldn’t make the top 100. He never allowed himself to be imprisoned. He didn’t put his life on hold after he was sentenced, he continued right along in the work of his life. He put in long days, typing deep into the night. He kept a strict exercise regimen, called into radio shows, mentored other inmates, and learned to paint. He wrote until typewriters broke and he painted until there were no more supplies. He became a damned good painter. And if you were on a visit or on the phone, he talked. He talked very quickly and very intentionally. The number of words that went into a 15 minute call with Phil would fill up an hour of normal conversation. He was passionate and he was excited. And that is why it is so damned hard to believe that the last letter that I got from him is the last I will get from him. His words and actions will continue reverberating on and on into the future though. As I type these words now the waves of his life are still moving through mine and the

The Endless incarceration Of The Move 9




They were convicted to 30 to 100 years in prison for murder in the 3rd degree, the members of the „MOVE 9“: the 4 women Debbie, Janine, Janet, and Merle Africa, and the 5 men Delbert, Phil, Mike, Chuck, and Edward Africa. In 1998, Merle Africa died in custody, and it is only in January 2015 that one of the men, Phil Africa, also succumbed to the conditions in prison.

What horrific crime are these people accused of, such that every single survivor by now has had to spent almost double the time in prison that Nazi criminal Albert Speer had to and more time than most mass murderers in Europe?

The MOVE organization emerged in 1972 in Philadelphia under the spiritual leadership of John Africa, who, like the other members, changed his name and adopted the surname “Africa” in order to distance himself from his former “slave name” and to point to the origin of humanity in Africa.

MOVE (the name is no abbreviation, but simply means “movement”) was given to a sort of “back-to-nature” ideology, but apart from that, it was a decidedly anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist group, which by this very nature was a thorn in the side of the authorities. Their protests, particularly against the abuse of animals, but also against all sorts of dignitaries of politics led to countless arrests and prosecutions, and by the mid-1970s, MOVE had become “enemy of the state no. 1” in Philadelphia.

Politics and media descended into a virtual smear campaign against the movement, even though there were hardly any concrete accusations against it. The police acted with particular sadism. Between 1974 and 1976, four female MOVE members suffered miscarriages following violent abuse by the police. In March 1974, the newly-born baby Life Africa died from scull injuries inflicted by police nightsticks.

One of the few journalist to give a voice to MOVE members themselves in his reports was a radio reporter who by now in no longer an unknown quantity, namely, Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Towards the end of the 1970s, the background just sketched led to total confrontation. In March 1978, the city administration instigated a two-month siege against the “head quarter” of MOVE to “smoke them out,” which could be ended only by the rallying around MOVE by their neighbors, who decisively took the side of MOVE despite often harsh critic of the organizations perceived “backward” and “unhygienic” lifestyle.

At the beginning of August, Mayor Rizzo posed an ultimatum to MOVE to either immediately leave the house or to be evicted. After the uncompromising rejection by MOVE the house was violently stormed in the morning of August 8, 1978. More than 600 cops surrounded the house, and both a crane and a bulldozer were used as battering rams, which forced those in the house including their children to seek refuge in the basement.

In the basement, they all were soon in danger of drowning, since the Fire Department soon flooded their refuge with water from high pressure hoses, forcing the beleaguered to do what they could to keep the children and pets above the water which by then reached to the basement windows. Thereafter, there was a two-minute fusillade of shots which wounded MOVE members, firefighters, cops, and passers-by, and that killed Police Officer James Ramp.

The people under siege were soon forced to leave the basement. After brutal maltreatment, they were arrested, and later on, they were accused of multiple accounts of physical assault and the murder of James Ramp. The trial was the longest and most costly in the history of Philadelphia and was no less unfair than the one against Mumia Abu-Jamal one year later. Two statements should be sufficient to characterize it.

Thus, immediately after the events Mayor Frank Rizzo fulminated: “The only way we're going to end them is--get that death penalty back in, put them in the electric chair and I'll pull the switch.” With that, a fair trial in Philadelphia was practically no longer in the cards.

Quite fittingly, the trial judge excluded all evidence pushed by the defense and ruled in all the material brought by the prosecution. Testimony saying that MOVE didn’t begin the shooting or hints that the MOVE members locked in the basement had hardly been able to fire any shots at all, he confidently ignored, only to find ALL of the MOVE members guilty in the end and to subject them to the draconian sentence already mentioned.

Asked, how nine people could shoot and kill one man, he responded: “They were tried as a family, so I convicted them as a family” – a breathtaking proposition coming from a judge, and, in principle, a sure reason for overturning the trial result.

But neither this nor the fact that there has long been testimony saying that the shot that killed James Ramp had been accidental “friendly fire” is enough to bring Philadelphia’s criminal justice system to its senses. There seems to be no chance for a new trial for the MOVE 9. And not even for a release after the minimum sentence of 30 years already reached in 2008. The Kafkaesque official reason: The accused would first have to confess their guilt – even though at most one of them killed Ramp, and most likely none of them did.

As in the case of Mumia, the motive seems to be revenge on the part of the representatives of the status quo, and if they have their way, after Merle and Phil Africa, the remaining “MOVE 7” will also die in prison. The only hope for them lies in making this absurd miscarriage of justice more widely known, generating the outrage that it should automatically spark. The movement for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal considers this as one of its most important tasks for the future.


Michael Schiffmann

February 2015

The German original version of this article will appear in the 2015 issue of the annual special supplement for the “March 18 - International Day of the Political Prisoner,” of the quarterlyRote Hilfe, published by the German prisoner support organization Red Aid,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Eddie Africa on the life of Phil Africa

Opening Quote From Strategic Revolution

Quote JOHN  AFRICA Move is STRONG  WILLED , CLEAR VISIONED , ONE MINDED true in dedication , Move don't STAGGER , WAIVER, STUMBLE or FALL SHORT  with THE MOVE ORG . A step FORWARD is s step GAINED and a step LOST for the SYSTEM . Because  The Move Organization will not take a step backward, our aim is Revolution, our trust is MOMMA , our DRIVE is CONSISTENCY , our TARGET  THIS SYSTEM  and we will NOT BE STOPPED for we have the COURAGE OF LIFE ,THE UNDERSTANDING  of TRUE LAW and THE POWER OF GOD IN BOTH FISTS .

END QUOTE JOHN AFRICA

LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA  FOREVER !

I am at mahanoy prison now and Phil's friends here are many , they give me their thoughts of sorrow about Phil and I understand , I will miss my brother but I still feel his presence next to me. I can look at UJU , his son and see Phil , I can look at Neen and see Phil  Delbert, Janet Debbie, Mike, Mona , Carlos, Ria , Bert, Zack, Mary, Mo, Theresa , Chad,  Maria , All MOVE Children. Gary , Maiga , Kevin, Fred, Abdul , Mumia , Orie all our friends and supporters as Phil was taught to revere family life wherever whoever it was without prejudicial categorization Phil's example is a good one .  I remember some of our talks about love and marriage and he would talk of neen with a smile on his face and a clear bond of love in his eyes as he thought about her , he is a good example of a loving husband , he is not perfect but he strived for it as we all do, his friends are many , prisoners and staff , they gravitated to him, some of them not understanding why as the stories told about us were supposed to turn folks against us but the lies that are told don't match MOVE'S behavior how we really are in person.

Eddie and Phil AFRICA were at CAMP HILL together for years and go back forty years together .

On The Move

My brother Phil Africa is a good man , a father, husband , brother , a good solider . I sit here thinking of him and I'm smiling , I can hear his voice , see his laugh ,and it touches me in a good way , The memories of our brother are countless and I think of them a lot even before he moved on to Momma's  cycle , at times I would lean on him to get past some particular problem he would give me MOVE LAW to make me strong and a smile to show his love . We spent a lot of time and instead of feeling down about him I will use his life to strengthen mine I think of our family and friends and I know we will be alright . I love you Phil now and forever as the bond of family is on going

To quote JOHN AFRICA

Quote This system can never break the family that generate in Move People they can only stretch it, for however faint the connection until the connection is broken . We are  still connected and because it is impossible to break the connection of Move People they can say they have broken The MOVE FAMILY 'S connection but  that is like sayin that the earth's connection to the sun is broken just because you see it as cloudy .  End Quote

JOHN AFRICA

Long LIVE PHIL AFRICA

Long LIVE JOHN AFRICA'S REVOLUTION

LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA FOREVER

Your Brother For Life

Eddie Africa