I asked Janine Africa how she coped with losing two young sons during clashes with law enforcement. As a teen, Joe-Joe Bowen was a member of Philly's 30th and Norris Street gang. Once inside, they pulled pistols on the guards, taking two of them hostage and commandeering a prison van for the escape. Passersby were accosted with a torrent of expletives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Workers World suspended printing and mailing of the newspaper on March 19. To hear it firsthand, from an elder ill with a life-threatening disease, is even more painful. Life went on like this for years, and had acquired its own normality, almost a certain tranquility. Shoatz described conditions in the prison COVID unit in a recent phone conversation. MOVE 9 member Mike Africa, Sr., spoke at the event: “If you’re in a state like Maroon is [with cancer], it’s especially crucial that he gets the nourishment he needs to battle that disease. Unlike Del Africa’s email, she wrote to me by hand, sending the letter by mail as she has continued to do over the ensuing 18 months. 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”. SPECIALCOLLECTION Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act 519b7f96993294098d512d3c Attachment Size HAZNERS, VILIS VOL. “I had nothing to do with killing a cop in 1978. “There was no shooting from our side,” he told me. The Fraternal Order of Policeblames the BLA for the murders of 13 police officers. 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. It compares to the Spanish imperial Reconcentration Policy in Cuba, when 30 percent of those forced into enclosures died, to the U.S.-operated reconcentrados or “zones of protection” in the Philippines, and to the Israeli occupation of Gaza. 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. I went down, and after that I don’t remember anything ’til I came to and a dude was dragging me by my hair and cops started kicking me in the head.”. When I visited him in Dallas there they hung, salt-and-peppered now, proudly down to his hips. “There were no windows, just a section of the wall with frosted panes. Little Phil and four other children burned to death. Their city had just bombed its … The photograph is one of the standout images of the 1970s black liberation struggle. In June, the first of the nine to win parole, Debbie Africa, was released from a Pennsylvania women’s prison. 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 … Print subscriptions will still be extended in consideration of the temporary suspension of printing and the currently more limited print schedule. Two police officers begin kicking him on his head which bounces between them like a ball. Then on 13 May 1985, seven years after Janine Africa was imprisoned, she received further terrible news. Scuffling ensued between some Move residents and police. In a system of mass incarceration that reportedly holds 2.5 million people in cages on any given day, over 275,000 U.S. prisoners are reported to have contracted COVID-19. Supporters have waged massive political and legal struggles to get even basic treatment for each of these symptoms. “I feel overjoyed that Debbie is out,” he wrote to me. Birthdays, holidays, the new year mean nothing to her. August 23, 1943. Del Africa also heard bad news on 13 May 1985. They are the ones who were wrong.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. 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. A white police officer is jabbing a shotgun at him with the muzzle inches from his throat. Janine was shoved and her baby, whom she had named Life, was knocked out of her arms to the ground. That’s ten times the infection rate worldwide. I got to be able to get to the toilet. A member of the New Black Panther Party who was charged with voter intimidation in the 2008 election for standing outside a Philadelphia polling site was back Tuesday morning – … “A family of revolutionaries” is how Del Africa once described it to me. The toxic, unsanitary conditions in prisons mean that the continued imprisonment of Russell Maroon Shoatz and other human beings is an atrocity. MOVE is a black militant anarcho-primitivist group founded in 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart). “Everybody knows how strong Move men are. “I keep saying to myself: ‘I will not fall apart. Along with former Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army members, they amount to the unfinished business of the black liberation struggle. As the 40th anniversary approaches, six of the Move 9 are still behind bars, Del Africa included. There were the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and urban riots, and we had violent groups like the Black Liberation Army, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weather Underground, the Black Panther Party and MOVE. Until last month when Debbie Africa was granted parole and set free. Russell "Maroon" Shoatz (born August 23, 1943) is a convicted murderer, a founding member of the Black Unity Council, a former member of the Black Panther Party, and a "soldier" in the Black Liberation Army. The board said they showed “lack of remorse” for the death of Ramp in the 1978 siege. Who was Dred Scott? Janine Africa can be heard in the police footage screaming. For the women in particular the prosecution did not even argue the four had handled firearms or had been involved in the actual shooting of Ramp. In 1977, she was convicted of the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in a trial that her supporters argue was unfair. Other executions have been stopped by legal challenges or political pressure –. 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. Yet he too was turned down for parole last year and must wait another four years before his next chance to convince the parole board that he can safely be returned to society. He once said of the Move radicals: “You are dealing with criminals, barbarians, you are safer in the jungle!” Another Rizzo classic was: “Break their heads is right. Remembering Sue Davis: Comrade, fighter, writer (1942-2020). I came to and a dude was dragging me by my hair and cops started kicking me in the head. That was remarkable in itself coming from a woman who is not only approaching the 40th anniversary of her incarceration but has had two of her children killed in confrontations with police. To say that U.S. prisons are concentration camps is no exaggeration – it is historical reality. Another cop swung his shotgun and broke my jaw. Her departure came as a jolt. 1_0004.pdf 6.13 MB ... army units from the Finnish Gulf to the Black Sea. “I’m supposed to be in a single cell. And we did so uncompromisingly. 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. While serving a life sentence for the murder she escaped from prison in 1979. According to Robert Daley, who has written a soon‐to‐bepublished book about the Black Liberation Army, “Target Blue,” the group coalesced around Richard Moore, who … The name, styled in all-capital letters, is not an acronym. She was reticent. “It’s strange not having Deb here,” Janine said. I had come to interview him as part of a two-year project in which I made contact with eight black liberationists who have all experienced long prison sentences. You couldn’t tell when it was night or day, they kept the lights on 24/7. For real. An African American man, his hair in dreadlocks, chest bare, stands with arms outstretched as though emulating Jesus on the cross. There was one other member of their gang: fittingly given the history of the organization, a dog called Chevy. Subscribers should have received a printed paper in September and October. He was three weeks old. The Black Liberation Army and the Killers: After four years that included a lengthy manhunt, interrogation and interviews, evidence collection, legal procedures, and a mistrial resulting from a hung jury, Herman Bell, Albert Washington and Anthony Bottom were found guilty of homicide in the first degree of the two police officers on April 10, 1975. They try to break yours, you break theirs first.”. When the 1978 siege happened, there were 12 adults and 11 children in the Move house in Powelton Village – and 48 dogs. I reported to the guards. Cops then, like now, were under fire – figuratively and literally. Buffalo protesters denounce capitalist failure in COVID-19 crisis, My year as a Workers World candidate – a commentary. The Black Liberation Army was an organization that grew out of the Black Panther Party, composed of former Black Panther Party members, operating from about 1971-1980. RIP.”. “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. So too did six adults including Move’s founder, John Africa, AKA Vincent Leaphart. What to do now? That they don’t give it to him is just some cruel stuff. Ed Pilkington tells the surreal story of the Move 9 – and what happened to them next, Tue 31 Jul 2018 09.00 BST The Black Liberation Army COINTELPRO’s destruction of the BPP forced many members underground and gave rise to the Black Liberation Army (BLA) – a New Afrikan guerrilla organization. Joseph earned his BA from the University of Kansas while at Leavenworth. But imprisonment itself is a form of execution, a cruel and torturous and gradual method. Delbert Orr Africa died in June 2020, only six months after his release. I was a founding member of The Black Unity Council, a Philadelphia grouping that eventually merged with the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1969. Composed entirely of Black Panthers who served as members of both groups, the organization's program was one of war against the United States government, and its stated goal was to "take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United … After 48 years of imprisonment, Shoatz, 77, is currently held at SCI Dallas in Luzerne County, Penn. They’ve both experienced long stretches in solitary confinement, a brand of punishment that the UN has decried as a form of torture. The unconventional nature of the Move community which drove some neighbors to despair in turn led to demands for their eviction, and ultimately to the fatal siege. The group lived in a communal setting in West Philadelphia, abiding by philosophies of anarcho-primitivism. 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”. Assata Shakur is a former member of the Black Liberation Army. Mayor Goode made a formal apology for the disaster the following year. Unlike the Black Panther party which formally dissolved in 1982, Move is still a living entity. Finally, in 2017, after a protracted legal battle won by Abu-Jamal and supporters, the state’s Department of Corrections was forced to provide hep C treatment to prisoners in its custody. 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. 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. … Deeply committed as they were to each other, the Move “family” undoubtedly had the ability to incense those around them. Everyone says they can’t do nothin’ about it. 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… A recording of Shoatz’s call was broadcast at a Dec. 11 on-line teach-in for Russell Maroon Shoatz, “We Are Maroon!” hosted by Kempis Ghani Songster and Lavinia “Vee” Davis. 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. ( 1943-08-23) (age 77) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. His skull appears to have been crushed, and he died later that day in her arms. They liked to project their revolutionary message at high volume from a bullhorn at all hours of night and day. A Black Liberation Army political communiqué becomes symptomatic of an undertaking that threatens authorization itself. 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. Every prisoner mentioned here is a Black political activist framed by the Philadelphia Police Department during or immediately after the tenure of Mayor Frank Rizzo. As the smoke rose from 6221 Osage Avenue, Philadelphia residents watched through their windows or television screens in a state of stunned disbelief. However, the continued killing of Black men and boys has served to force the average black person in America to arm themselves. In 1983, Del Africa was put into the “hole” – an isolation cell – because he refused to have his dreadlocks cut. 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