black liberation army philadelphia

black liberation army philadelphia

Move members are still imprisoned, he wrote, “just because we steadfastly refused to abandon our Belief in the Revolutionary Teachings of Move’s Founder” and because of “our refusal to bow down to this murderous, racist, sexist rotten-ass system”. They each agreed to embark on an ongoing conversation with me about their political beliefs today and their battle to secure their own freedom. Since 1972 — nearly half a century ago — Russell Maroon Shoatz has languished in a prison cell built on stolen land, poisoned and irradiated by the fossil fuel industry. … I can’t be sick, messin’ on myself. as in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, rescued from the death chamber through the power exerted by millions of people who took to the streets internationally. All Move members take the last name “Africa” to denote their commitment to race equality and their strong bond to what they regard as their Move “family”. Russell Shoatz, framed for killing a cop in 1972; Chuck, Mike, Debbie, Phil, Merle, Janet, Janine, Delbert, and Eddie Africa – all framed for killing a cop in 1978; Mumia Abu-Jamal, framed for killing a cop in 1981. After 48 years of imprisonment, Shoatz, 77, is currently held at SCI Dallas in Luzerne County, Penn. I see it finally opening the door a crack.”. We demonstrated against police brutality. They said the shooting had been started when gunfire erupted from the basement where the Move members were gathered, a theory supported by some eyewitnesses. When I visited him in Dallas there they hung, salt-and-peppered now, proudly down to his hips. The Black Liberation Army was a violent, radical group that attempted to fight for independence from the United States government in the late 1960's and early 1970's. In November, he tested positive for COVID-19. Dark times …”. Once inside, they pulled pistols on the guards, taking two of them hostage and commandeering a prison van for the escape. RIP.”. Del Africa also heard bad news on 13 May 1985. The black man is Delbert Orr Africa, Del for short. History proves that the capitalist state ruthlessly eliminates any challenge to its power and authority. Her departure came as a jolt. I asked Janine Africa how she coped with losing two young sons during clashes with law enforcement. But it was the Black Liberation Army, known as the BLA and a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party, that posed the greatest threat to police. … They might not. Life went on like this for years, and had acquired its own normality, almost a certain tranquility. Have they shown any remorse for what happened to my daughter in 1985?”. Two police officers begin kicking him on his head which bounces between them like a ball. Slavery never ended, it was just disguised.”. In August of 1970, at the height of the nationwide repression of the New African liberation movement, 4 others and I became fugitives (known as the While the number of Black liberation leaders locked up since the heyday of the Black Panthers is dwindling—with the surviving seven members of the Move 9 in Philadelphia having all been released on parole in the past two years—many, such as Edward Poindexter, who marked his fiftieth year in prison this August, still remain. “As I emerged from the basement I had the presence of mind to let them see I was unarmed, so I took my shirt off,” the black man said. That’s how it’s been since our arrest in 1978,” she said. Next, Del Africa appears, his hands outstretched in that Jesus pose. When Move refused to vacate the premises having been issued with an eviction order, Rizzo said he would impose a blockade on the house so tight “even a fly wouldn’t get in”. Like many of the 19 black liberationists still behind bars, Del Africa is caught in a trap attached to the crime for which he was convicted. John Africa was known as the “dog man”, as he was rarely seen without one. He spoke rapidly and intensely, as though he needed to get it all out, relating how he had joined the Black Panther party in Chicago and then switched to the Move organisation after relocating to Philadelphia. Joe-Joe Bowen is a Black Liberation Army (BLA) Prisoner of War, serving two life sentences for actions carried out against a prison warden and deputy warden, as well as, an attempted prison break, which resulted in a five-day standoff. There was a similar robustness to the first response I received in December 2016 after reaching out to Janine Phillips Africa, one of the four women among the Move 9. - Ashanti Austin, Former Political Prisoner, Black Panther Party and Black Liberation army member, prison abolitionist, anarchist and member of Jericho Campaign to Free Political Prisoners. Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen is one of the many all-but-forgotten frontline soldiers in the liberation struggle. “I feel overjoyed that Debbie is out,” he wrote to me. And they know it. When assassination is not an option, the capitalist state will carry out executions in the many prison concentration camps it operates for this purpose. Ramona Africa, who contracted lymphoma after serving seven years, was charged in 1985 with “rioting” for the crime of surviving the May 13 police bombing of  Osage Avenue in the city. Ed Pilkington tells the surreal story of the Move 9 – and what happened to them next, Tue 31 Jul 2018 09.00 BST Like, dang! He relieved the stress and boredom by organizing black history quizzes for other inmates held in the isolation wing. That anger, it brought such a feeling of helplessness. Black liberation, animal liberation – the two are as one with Move. They called each other “sisters” and did everything together. Remembering Sue Davis: Comrade, fighter, writer (1942-2020). According to a Justice Department report on BLA activity, the Black Liberation Army is suspected of involvement in over 70 incidents of violence between 1970 and 1976. The contrast of Debbie’s release with her denial was “either to make us resent Deb or make me feel hopeless and break us down. Nationality. In an attempt to evict them from the property, hundreds of officers had just stormed the building, pummeling it with water cannons and gunfire, and in the maelstrom a police officer had been killed and several other first responders injured. “There were no windows, just a section of the wall with frosted panes. However, the continued killing of Black men and boys has served to force the average black person in America to arm themselves. Each was sentenced to 30 years to life, though to this day they protest their innocence. Several commentators, some of whom vividly recalled the 1978 siege, sent blessings to the deceased police officer and his family. “We exposed the crimes of government officials on every level,” Janine Africa wrote to me. Whereas the conditions for a Black Liberation Army supported by the masses was not yet ripe in the 1970’s and in the 1990’s, regardless of whether or not the political consciousness has reached a high level, masses of Black people are already armed now. “Smashed my eye. “There are times when I think about Life and my son Phil, but I don’t keep those thoughts in my mind long because they hurt.”. I wanted to wreak as much havoc as I could until they put me down. When the 1978 siege happened, there were 12 adults and 11 children in the Move house in Powelton Village – and 48 dogs. Delbert Orr Africa died in June 2020, only six months after his release. An online news conference called by Mobilization for Mumia, Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Black Philly Radical Collective, the Black Alliance for Peace, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and an array of other civil rights and progressive organizations put a spotlight on the current stage of the struggle to free political prisoner and award-winning radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal as … Africa Sr., like many MOVE members, is an avid athlete who, Mumia Abu-Jamal said, “could run like others walk.” But even the MOVE 9 have experienced life-threatening health problems as the result of decades incarcerated in toxic Pennsylvania prisons. ( 1943-08-23) (age 77) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Then on 13 May 1985, seven years after Janine Africa was imprisoned, she received further terrible news. “I keep expecting her to walk in from work. “I don’t like talking about the night Life was killed,” she wrote in April. The group that formed in the early 1970s melded the revolutionary ideology of the Black Panthers with the nature- and animal-loving communalism of 1960s hippies. In 1983, Del Africa was put into the “hole” – an isolation cell – because he refused to have his dreadlocks cut. Chevy misses her, he keeps sniffing her bed.”. “It’s strange not having Deb here,” Janine said. On its side, the city was led at that time by the Frank Rizzo, Goode’s predecessor as Philadelphia mayor, a former police commissioner who liked to talk tough and was fond of dog-whistle politics. Questions such as: when was the Brown v Board of Education ruling in the US supreme court? On November 2nd, three BLA members signed into the facility as guests. Emphatic in MOVE’s philosophy, which is centered on life and the protection of living creatures, is physical fitness and maintaining a healthy, just diet. He stayed in the hole for six years. They snuck her out at 5.00 in the morning. She too died in the fire. Their city had just bombed its … As they approach the 40th anniversary of the siege and of their subsequent captivity, Del and Janine Africa described to me how they’ve coped for so long doing time for a crime they insist they did not commit. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Del Africa insisted when I interviewed him that though Move had guns in the house, none of them were operative. “I keep saying to myself: ‘I will not fall apart. Would he show remorse to the parole board if he felt it would secure his release? 2019 Black Separatist hate groups View all groups by state and by ideology. Last modified on Mon 3 Feb 2020 12.47 GMT. “How can I have any remorse for something I never did?” he said. While serving a life sentence for the murder she escaped from prison in 1979. In June, the first of the nine to win parole, Debbie Africa, was released from a Pennsylvania women’s prison. And I was working in the kitchen and I still became anemic! The black liberation group MOVE was founded in 1972 by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart). In the 1960s and 70s, the political police force known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the Black liberation struggle and the Black Panther Party as the greatest domestic threat to the U.S. empire, as well as targeting the American Indian Movement and those it identified as its leaders. Birthdays, holidays, the new year mean nothing to her. On October 22, 1970, the BLA is believed to have planted a bomb in St. Brendan's Church in San Francisco while it was full of mourners attending the funeral of San Francisco police officer Harold Hamilton, who had been killed in the line of duty while res… African liberation movement. Because I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed.”. Joseph was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Janine Africa wrote to me a few days after she learnt of the denial, speculating that games were being played with her mind. Police and fire officers are seen scattering in all directions as bullets whistle overhead seemingly in all directions. He was prosecuted as one of the Panther 21. As it turns out, that police officer really had been about to whack him. Prosecutors accused the Move 9 of collaboratively killing Ramp, even though he died from one bullet. In short, a bad Mama Jamma! Philadelphia police had dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a Move house on Osage Avenue in the west of Philadelphia in an attempt to force the black radicals to evacuate the premises after long-running battles with the authorities. The camera pans in on him as he lies on the street after he was hit with the police helmet. Chuck Africa, the last of the MOVE 9 members released in early 2020, contracted cancer after 42 years in prison. “We read, we play cards, we watch TV. “A cop hit me with his helmet,” he said. That they don’t give it to him is just some cruel stuff. It was 8 August 1978 and he had just emerged from the basement of the house in Philadelphia that his black revolutionary group, Move, used as a communal home. Whatever their tactic, it isn’t working!”, Debbie’s release also made a profound impact on Del Africa. In 1979, M19 and members of the Black Liberation Army devised a plan to break Shakur out of the maximum-security prison. The board said they showed “lack of remorse” for the death of Ramp in the 1978 siege.

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