Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Defeat the Media War on MOVE!

Sis Marpessa Kupendua, MOVE Supporter

MOVE is the most committed family of revolutionaries I have ever known because they uphold that all forms of life be free of repression and all forms of terrorism. They are also the victims of one of the most vicious and diabolical media campaigns ever waged against an organization.

The malicious portrayals of MOVE by the Philadelphia media as subhuman and violent are insidious and very well documented. Kitty Caparella, among many others, wrote despicable lies about MOVE on a daily basis from 1977 through the August 8, 1978 police siege on their home and continued sporadically through the May 13, 1985 bombing. MOVE was repeatedly mischaracterized as a 'cult" that was 'brainwashed' into behaving in a programmed manner, insane and devoid of logic. The virus of hate within these pre-packaged talking points sped zinging across the wires to be repeated as a mantra in every media outlet. These messages proclaimed that it was MOVE who were responsible for the attacks upon their own selves by police who invaded their own property! Clever wordplay changed the ‘bombing of MOVE’ to ‘the MOVE Bombing’ and continues to be referred to as such to this day.

This is the power of the press, which distorts reality to suit its own hellacious purposes, even unto the murders of innocent babies. As the flames raged on May 13, 1985, there was BREAKING NEWS – breathless reports that there were male MOVE members seen fleeing the burning house and escaping down the alley, so you betta watch out! A dangerous MOVE (boogie)man might just get ya! Many dreadlocked Black men in Philly and surrounding areas were either laying low or chopping off their hair while the panicked public had visions of these burning, running men that the media had dropped into through their heads. It will never be known how many Black men suffered as the murderous lynch mob rained down terror on MOVE that terrible ‘Mother’s’ day.

News reports focused less on the murder victims and more on the neighbors who had lost their homes. Human interest stories abounded, such as the neighbor who lost his jazz record collection and all those good-hearted Philadelphians who donated records to him. Glossy pamphlets appeared on the Septa train featuring an elderly couple from the neighborhood selling fire insurance because "You just never know what might happen!” (for real!).

The sci-fi invasion of the brain-snatchers caused far too many to unwittingly ingest and repeat this shitstem's sick media propaganda without blinking.

It's outrageous that this city had no problem sacrificing 61 homes in its zeal to murder MOVE people, but we all know that material possessions are not more valuable than people's lives, right! Since we also know that that it's truly HEINOUS that 11 men, women and children were murdered on that day, we have to conclude that they are not equal! Far too often the media blurs the conversation to simply state, "the MOVE bombing and destruction of 61 homes." Who was responsible for the bombing? Where is the mention of the stolen lives? Who, then, are the true brainwash victims?

Although the cellphone video evidence in the police murder of 22 years young Oscar Grant was able to at least garner an unprecedented trial for one of the killer cops who murdered him in San Francisco on New Years Day, 2009, the violent siege on MOVE in 1978 as well as the massacre of MOVE people in 1985 were both captured on news cameras and shown worldwide with no arrests of ANY of the perpetrators. MOVE people are also still being denied the right to bring their people home from the bowels of this shitstem after 32 LONG YEARS of wrongful incarceration!
We can and must double, triple and quadruple the creation of our own independent media, many of us have the gifts and talents to do so right from our home computers, blogs, cameras, etc., to build videos, organize events, speak-outs, demonstrations, and we better take advantage of this technology while we still have it! Did you know that at one point when the movement to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal was at its height in the mid 90's, Mumia was refused a simple pencil and paper? This man in a cell within a cell on death row, clinking and clanking with shackles and chains, became a frightening prospect when armed with a writing utensil! If he can do it in there, we can do more, we MUST and WILL do more!

Produce and deliver information to your communities and talk with people on a regular basis to give them a different conversation than that which they’re used to hearing. We've got to be on it as hard and as consistently as mainstream media and put out correct information to rebut their every attack. Those who are already doing independent media through newspapers, radio shows and other means depend on us to subscribe to and advertise in their newspapers and we must support their fundraisers for all forms of RESISTANCE media, they need us and we need them! We must also support our truth-telling journalists when they come under attack as without them we are left at the mercy of mainstream media. And we already know what that’s like, right? Ask MOVE.

Let the lessons of MOVE not be lost upon us, they are excellent teachers and have always stressed the importance of putting out information as a regular and consistent activity.

When there is information that must get out, people must know where to get it, and it must be there for them. As the MOVE organization says, THE POWER OF TRUTH IS FINAL! The ONLY way to defeat a lie is through the truth!
And if we don't fight
if we don't resist
if we don't organize and unify and
get the power to control our own lives
Then we will wear
the exaggerated look of captivity
the stylized look of submission
the bizarre look of suicide
the dehumanized look of fear
and the decomposed look of repression
forever and ever and ever
And there it is

(From "There it Is" by Jayne Cortez)

Never forget 1985! Now is the time to free the MOVE 9!
Friday May 13, Join the MOVE organization to watch “MOVE: A Confrontation” to understand the unjust incarceration of the MOVE 9 and how the battle for their release leads to the bombing of MOVE in 1985.
L-13 Gladfelter Hall, Temple University
1115 W. Berks Street, Philadelphia 6-9 pm

Saturday May 14, join us for a rally Broad & Chestnut sts, Philadelphia 12-3 pm

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What's Time or Money Got to Do With It?

Never forget 1985! Now is the time to free the MOVE 9!

Friday May 13, Join the MOVE organization to watch “MOVE: A Confrontation” to understand the unjust incarceration of the MOVE 9 and how the battle for their release leads to the bombing of MOVE in 1985.
L-13 Gladfelter Hall, Temple University
1115 W. Berks Street, Philadelphia 6-9 pm

Saturday May 14, join us for a rally Broad & Chestnut sts, Philadelphia 12-3 pm

What’s Time or Money Got to Do with It?
Phil Africa, MOVE 9
You may have heard about our family going to the D.A. last year to have murder charges filed against city officials and police involved in the murders of eleven of our family members on May 13th 1985. The D.A.’s office refused to carry out the filing of murder charges against its bosses and murderous racist buddies. A situation very familiar to all of us poor folks and people of color who have ever tried to have officials held responsible for crimes committed against us through out history. Nothing has changed from the older days of slavery til’ today. The double standard of how the poor and of color are mistreated compared to Monies & Official people still stands more than ever!

In a system where they still hunt Nazis for war crimes from World War 2, where soldiers are still being killed and killing long after the war created on lies in Iraq is suppose to be over, there are hundreds of people held captive on death rows waiting to be murdered many years after the crimes they were accused of committing have passes, but when it come to going after those who’ve murdered MOVE folks, the only thing of importance to this system is time, dollars and cents. In a system that is well known for its revengeful, violent attitude of never forget/never forgive and drive to hunt down those it sees as responsible no matter how long it takes or how much it cost when something is sees as wrong is done to it, for it to say our charges were “investigated decades ago” and that it is a legitimate policy decision for the D.A.’s office to save resources by not investigating a matter again” is racist and insane. Neither of the issues sighted by the D.A. and upheld by common pleas Judge Palumbo had anything to do with justice or being right. They both were the pattern response to Black and Poor folks complaints when they are against this system and its agents, that time and money are those in office only concern!
Of course both excuses are crap! This state has over fifty-one thousand people locked up in prison and adding more each day! At a time when other states prison populations are going down, this state is sky rocketing! The federal government stated that all crimes are down across the nation, yet Pennsylvania continues to lock people up and keep them locked up to the point where they have to build even more prisons, costing the tax payer more money.

One of the prisons alone is expected to cost $127 million, so three would put around $381 million. This system admits these three new prisons will be filled as soon as they are completed in about three years! And these officials got the nerve to talk about “saying scarce resources” as their reason for not wanting to investigate the murders of 11 move members that includes five children. Everyone should be outrages about this foul injustice.

Like with the case of Oscar Grant out in LA, as long as this system thinks that it can murder Black folks, poor folks at will and get only a slap on the wrist if convicted, they have no motivation to stop. These official criminals that hide behind the labels of Judge/DA/Mayor/Governor/Police Officer and misuse those positions/labels to commit crimes that non-officials go to jail for every day, must be stopped! These officials must be made to realize that they are public servants and when they cease to do the will of the public, the people, when they are exposed as being the same as slave plantation overseers, then they must be removed as any overseer should be removed. Keep in mind what John Africa teach “that just because its legal, don’t make it right”, LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA! That Judge and DA can talk all the legal crap they want, but it don’t make their rulings right. It is not right that they try to act like “time” has something to do with justice, that money has anything to do with justice, because they do not. 11 MOVE people were murdered on May 13th, 1985 and everyone knows that any honest investigation must be viewed as a accomplice in those murders. That’s how they roll when it comes to poor folks who they claim can hinder an investigation. What’s time or money got to do with justice making sure that those who are responsible for the murders of 11 people don’t get away! Bringing the guilty to justice should be the only concern. Clearly that’s not how the judges and D.A.’s office feels. Now if it were a cop who’d been murdered we all know the D.A. and Judge would be singing another tune! They would be kicking down doors, having Black males face down in the streets, the Mayor would be on the news vowing to capture those they think are responsible, every cop would be towing the Blue Line of saying they will never forgive or forget and swearing to look for the killer no matter how long it took or how much money it cost. Time or money would never be an issue. But when its Black lives we’re talking about, poor people’s lives we’re talking about.

Folks don’t let these people get away with murder! Don’t let these same people who have pulled every lie and trick they could invent to put and keep innocent MOVE people in jail for over 32 years at a cost of well over 5 million dollars for crimes this system know that we did not commit, get away with 11 murders and that the world knows that this system committed!

Like I said, Time and Cost got nothing to do with seeing that justice is done! People must demand that those responsible for the murders of 11 MOVE people including 5 children be made to face the charges like all those they hunt down daily for far less!

Let me make this clear, we in MOVE are not looking for justice from this system, John Africa has exposed this system for being completely corrupt with no justice to give, how could it, when it is founded on the foundation of rape, murder, slave, genocide, lies and oppression. People need to see that there is No justice in this system and need to stop allowing this system to ride hard over people as if it is just, fair, balanced, when all this system is, is a LIE! Each time we expose this system for being the racist, unjust monster that it is, we are doing the work needed to wake people up to stop allowing this system to get away with the crimes it constantly commits. LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA’S REVOLUTION AND DOWN WITH THIS ROTTEN REFORM WORLD SYSTEM! Free All Political & Class prisoners! Unity is Power!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ona MOVE for the MOVE 9!

“...it is time to put what I have learned into practice; freedom will only be won by the sweat on our brows”
—Safiya Bukhari

Seven years ago, as a junior in college in Virginia, I met this Elder named Leroy who was the janitor at the school library. After about five minutes of conversation, he asked of my origins. I replied, “home of the moonshine, Franklin, Virginia”. After turning the question back on him, he responded―”I am from Philly, home of a Black mayor throwing a bomb on some Black folks house.”

That was my first piece of information about MOVE.

Five Years
ago, I moved to Philly and I was surprised to see the light being dimmed on the MOVE 9’s case. It was one of the biggest cases of injustice in Philadelphia, and people had seem to forget that not only one, but nine of their own political prisoners were doing a 30-100 year bid in prison.

I remember watching the gritty, Black and White, documentary, “MOVE: Confrontation in Philadelphia” and feeling the outrage of the community after the August 8, 1978 incident. People were in the streets talking and fighting back against Rizzo and his gestapo police. They understood the injustice towards the MOVE 9! Fast forward thirty years later and while engaging in dialogue with people around the MOVE 9 case, I hear time and time again, ―”they are still incarcerated?”, “Hold up, you mean to tell me there are people in prison right now who are apart of MOVE?”

This type of brain drain is very devastating to an important case such as this one that needs support in the form of people power in demanding the MOVE 9’s freedom!

Everyday, I am making more of a personal commitment to the MOVE 9, while working towards enlightening my community about this case and putting out the information to ensure that our brothers and sisters of the MOVE 9 will make it back to us as well.

Even if you do not agree with the principles of the MOVE organization, or support their stance, we can agree that our political prisoners must come home! We must take the initiative to enlighten one another about the MOVE 9 and strategize on how we can bring Chuck, Mike, Janet, Janine, Debbie, Delbert, Phil, and Eddie home (and justice for Sis Merle as well). Along the way, hopefully we can enlighten others to find it in their conscience to make a MOVE for the MOVE 9! 34 years is too long!!!!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Remembering May 13th!

The MOVE Organization will have events marking May 13th and continuing the fight for the release of the MOVE 9.

Friday May 13, Screening "August 8, 1978" to understand the unjust incarceration of the MOVE 9 and how that lead to the bombing on May 13, 1985
L-13 Gladfelter Hall, Temple University, 1115 W. Berks Ave, Phila
6-9 pm

Saturday May 14, Demonstration at Broad & Chestnut Sts
12-3 pm

The Questioning Incarceration Coalition will meet tomorrow, April 28 from 6-7 pm at the A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Among other agenda items, we will be coordinating support and logistics for these events. Be there if you can help out!

At this time of year the MOVE Organization always appreciates donations to help cover the costs of the MOVE 9's living expenses. Phil Africa especially always appreciates funds to help cover the costs of the art supplies he uses to make political art and donate to organizations globally. He's also cut back on calling his family due to high phone card costs. All our political prisoners could use any funds you can provide. Go to Jpay.com to make a contribution. All the MOVE 9's information is available on www.onamove.com.See More

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Tribute to a Fallen Warrior: Merle Africa

Merle Austin Africa was the embodiment of strength, endurance and a welcoming spirit. A radiant smile was a partner of her commitment. A Black Woman, a MOVE member. A rebel, revolutionary. Bright, beautiful, genuine. The perfect sister.

It was thirteen years ago today—March 13th, that Merle passed away at the prison for women in Northwestern Pennsylvania in Cambridge Springs. She had been in prison for twenty straight years, doing a sentence of 30-100 years for essentially not renouncing the teachings of John African and turning on MOVE.

Merle maintained her innocence along with her family/co-defendants who 33 years in prison. Merle was a human being who was the soul of the family; her laughter was infectious. She must never be forgotten and in that spirit. I wish to reach out to all who embrace our sisters for their enduring spirit and centuries long dedication to the resistance of racism, misogamy and all forms of White Supremacy.

Too many of our unsung heroes go unnoticed or under-appreciated. We do not want Merle in that category. Merle was robbed of twenty years of her life. John Africa said if you rob someone of their life—impose on their contentment, you have in fact killed that person. She was murdered by the state.

Our concerted efforts to educate must be relentless as we strive to get justice and redress for all of these loses. And we must continue to link Merle’s persecution as a political prisoner and Black Women to all of our Political Prisoners and Women being oppressed. Over all objectives is our quest for eventual freedom for all and our God given right o determine for ourselves.

Merle died on March 13th, thirteen years ago. Those thirteen years and the date of her death are significant and eerie by itself. Those numbers bear a real, historical relation to MOVE and a chronology that started when MOVE members were arrested March 13th, 1981; our home bombed and eleven members murdered May 13th, 1985 and of course, her death, March 13th 1998.

If this bleak account is disturbing—as it should be—let us unify our effort wherever we can in honoring Merle and keeping her spirit alive as we re-double our efforts to fight for the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of war and human beings.

Free All Political Prisoners

Chuck Africa, MOVE 9
Iresha Picot, MOVE Supporter

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Philadelphia's War on MOVE is a War on the Black Community!

International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement invites the community out to the film screening of MOVE: A Documentary with Post-Discussion from Pam Africa, minister of confrontation of the MOVE organization and chairwoman of the International Concern Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal

MOVE: A Documentary goes behind the 1978 and 1985 attack on the Philadelphia revolutionary organization MOVE and the repression they suffered from the racist and brutal policies of the Philadelphia police department and the US justice system.

January 19th, 2010
Uhuru Solidarity Center
3733 Lancaster Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104
$3-$5 suggested donation

For more information contact Iresha.Picot@gmail.com