[Ppnews] New articles about MOVE by Dr. Lenore Jean Daniels

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 21 17:59:41 EDT 2009

There are two new articles about MOVE, written by 
Philadelphia journalist Dr. Lenore Jean Daniels, 
which are now featured at 
At top here are the links to the original 
articles, and the full text for each is pasted 
below (permission is granted to reprint as long 
as the original sources are cited)

 From BlackCommentator.com:


 From News One:


Malcolm, the MOVE Family, and the Movement You Can Believe In

Represent Our Resistance

By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD

BlackC<http://ommentator.com>ommentator.com Editorial Board

The history which bears and determines us has the 
form of war rather than that of a language: 
relations of power, not relations of meaning.

-Michel Foucault

We’re not up against people because they’re 
white. But we’re against those who practice 
racism. We’re against those who drop bombs on 
people because their color happens to be of a 
different shade than yours. And because we’re 
against it, the press says we’re violent. We’re 
not for violence. We’re for peace. But the people 
that we’re up against are for violence. You can’t 
be peaceful when you’re dealing with them.

-Malcolm X

May 19, 2009. It is the anniversary of Malcolm 
X’s birthday. Malcolm’s life should empower us everyday.

When he was a street hustler, Little Red could 
never have envisioned what he would become or 
what he means for many of us today. Malcolm 
described himself as “hip” then. In 
Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, he said:

“Shorty would take me to groovy, frantic scenes 
in different chicks’ and cats’ pads, where with 
the lights and juke down mellow, everybody blew 
gage and juiced back and jumped. I met chicks who 
were fine as May wine, and cats, who were hip to all the happenings.

Little Red informed Malcolm X. The latter never 
forgot the lessons he learned from the former.

Years later, when Malcolm stood looking out at 
predominantly Black working-class audiences, he 
knew the social, political, economical pit 
established for most of them to reside beneath 
the shadow of tyranny. He could face the shadow, 
too, without cowering or trembling in fear and 
speak: “Look up,” he told the audience. “You 
sustain this shadow of tyranny. All of you, all at once, blow it away!”

It wasn’t easy. Nothing is. At every opportunity 
he had to remind a defeated spirit that it had 
power to blow the shadow away. “Anything I do 
today,” he said, “I regard as urgent.”

Malcolm saw a crisis then, and it required his 
urgent attention. If he had had more time, if he 
had been allowed to organize and educate the 
masses to recognize their condition as an 
international crisis affecting all Black people, 
if he had had more time to then galvanize Black 
leadership around the masses to present the case 
of Black people to the United Nations, would we 
have not experienced the catastrophe of a 
multi-prong, international assault on Black 
people - one that even many Black leaders now pretend to ignore?

That the shadow would grow stronger on our fear, 
Malcolm knew. He saw the potential for us to 
accept an ever growing pit in which we would 
become accustom to living, in fear because over 
time, we would not be able to distinguish between 
our humanity and their definition of existence as criminals, terrorists.

The shadow now is a very real entity. Anywhere we 
go now, the shadow precedes us; it follows our 
steps; it surrounds us on all sides.

As Black people, Africans and Africans in the 
Diaspora, are linked to the other masses of 
pit-dwellers, the Brown, Red, and Yellow masses, 
and collectively, our desperation is usable in 
the service of a corporate empire.

We are “disposable” outright. We are the 
“disposable,” ordered to dig deeper holes and 
reside as the “captured,” far in the shadow, 
providing cheap labor and profits for the 
corporate empire, if we resist. The greatest 
conspiracy theory of them all: freedom and 
justice is for all - under the shadow!

We get confused; the shadow can be so 
overwhelming. We begin to identify ourselves with 
it, become absorbed in it, and think we’re it! We 
are not the shadow! It is a way of existence that 
is unacceptable for many or many of us would 
still be on the cotton or tobacco plantations.

It was certainly unacceptable for John Africa and 
the group of freedom fighters. In 
Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the 
USA, Mumia Abu Jamal recalls John Africa’s 
closing statement in his 1981 court trial:

“The MOVE organization lives by the principle of 
life, the origin, the source. My Mama, or the 
person you heard referred to as mother nature - 
that’s my mama (sic). That is your mama, too. 
Because I’m fighting for air that you’ve got to 
breathe (sic). Yeah, you do. And if it gets too 
polluted, you’re not going to breathe that air. 
And I’m fighting for water that you’ve got [to] 
clean, and if it gets any worse, you’re not going 
to be drinking that water. I’m fighting for food 
that you’ve got to eat. And you know, you’ve got 
to eat it and if it gets any worse, you’re not going to be eating that food.

We are not fighting people. We are not out there 
fighting cops for the sake of fighting cops. 
Those cops are fighting us and they are fighting 
us because they want to uphold this industry.

For being naturalists, for their refusal to live 
under the shadow, the Philadelphia MOVE 
organization became outright “disposable” people.

“They want to exterminate us,” Ramona Africa told 
me in a phone interview. Exterminate resistance.

Ramona Africa is a member of MOVE and the 
survivor who saved Birdie Africa (then 12 years 
old) by escaping the burning building at 1662 
Osage Avenue in Philadelphia after the police 
illegally dropped a C-4 bomb on their home.

On the 24th anniversary of that police assault in 
May 13, 1985, Ms. Africa is still on the 
battlefield. John Africa, along with 4 other 
adults and 5 children were killed in that 
firestorm. Along with the FBI and Police 
Commissioner, Gregor Sambor, the first Black 
mayor of Philadelphia, Wilson Goode, condoned the 
illegal bombing of the MOVE home. Goode held a 
press conference while the Africa family was 
under siege. Goode told his audience he was ready 
“to seize control of the house
by any means necessary.”

MOVE members and supporters had been working to 
free 9 of their family members falsely charges 
and “jointly sentenced in the 1978 killing of 
Officer James Ramp after a year-long police 
stakeout of MOVE’s Powelton Village home,” writes 
Hans Bennett in “Attention, MOVE: This is 
America! - At the 24th Anniversary of the May 13 
Massacre, MOVE organizes for 2009 Parole Hearings.” He quotes Ms. Africa:

“The government came out to Powelton Village in 
1978 not to arrest, but to kill. Having failed to 
do that, my family was unjustly convicted of a 
murder that the government knows they didn’t 
commit, and imprisoned them with 30-100 year 
sentences. Later, when we as a family dared to 
speak up against this, they came out to our home 
again and dropped a bomb on us, burned babies alive.

Ramona Africa, severely burned, was charged with 
“conspiracy to riot” and served 7 years of a 7 
year sentence. She could have received a shorter 
sentence, she told me. They had a question for 
me: “Would I agree to no contact with MOVE?”

Today, Ms. Africa is working to free the MOVE 9. 
They could be out too if they agreed to denounce MOVE!

But you can’t kill a revolution!

“We have traveled world-wide and people want to 
know when will we open a chapter?”

MOVE plans to open chapters throughout the U.S., 
and chapters in Spain, France, and Cuba.

“We have spoken to students at Vassar, Harvard, 
and the University of Pennsylvania and other campuses.”

People denounce the tactics of oppression used 
against MOVE and other resistance organizations 
and they want to learn and become involved - 
because they are involved, Ramona Africa told me. 
Silence, fear, and inaction are responses greatly 
appreciated by the corporate world.

But Ms. Africa notes how some people have been 
“duped, “as John Africa used to say, into 
believing they “must abide by legality. Your 
rights are embedded in legality. How can you 
think that abiding by rules of your oppressors” 
would set you free? John Africa taught the 
members of MOVE to recognize who benefits from this legality and who suffers.

“When poor people and Black people are sent to 
jail, the first thing they are asked is what did you do?”

What did you do? That’s acceptance talking. 
That’s regulating injustice from within the pit. 
That’s ignorance and fear talking!

“First time I went to court, when I came in, the judge was polite.”

“‘Good morning, Ms. Africa. You have not been 
found guilty of anything. This is a preliminary hearing.’”

He read the charges.

“‘Do you understand?’”

“I said, No I don’t understand. “I’m in 
handcuffs. I understand I am innocent until 
proven guilty. Did you come in handcuffs?”

The system can’t survive with serious resistance, 
Ms. Africa said. “They tried to bride us off with 
money and positions. Then they came with violence 
and an artillery of war” - the bombing of the MOVE home in 1985.

“Revolution is total. No one can coordinate your life for you.”

The imprisoned members of MOVE are still called 
MOVE 9 - Janine, Debbie, Janet, Delbert, Mike, 
Phil, Eddie, and Chuck Africa. Ms. Africa 
explained: “Our sister Merle has passed. But we still remember her.”

Merle complained of a stomach ache, and she was 
ordered to remain in her cell. Later that night, 
she was served a plate at her cell door.

Then Merle was found dead.

“We are focused on the release of our family 
first. We keep contacting the parole board and 
keeping the pressure on them. They’ve gotten away 
with keeping innocent people in prison.”

The authorities would love for the MOVE members 
to “accept responsibility” and agree to 
wrongdoing. “Why would you say you are guilty, if you are innocent?”

“What about the Constitution and the Fifth 
Amendment that says nobody can be made to incriminate themselves?”

“If you have a home plan or a job plan then you 
are to be released. But the courts keep people beyond their sentences.”

“People do respond. Just because people aren’t 
active as they should be, doesn’t mean their 
sentiments aren’t with you. We have to turn that feeling into action.”

What’s the best way you can honor Malcolm and the 
memory of those 5 children and 6 adults?

Rallies are held in Philadelphia to educate the 
people and to organize support for the release of 
the MOVE 9. If this isn’t happening in your city, 
then what are you waiting on? Regard the release 
of the MOVE 9 as “urgent” business. Join Ramona 
Africa and the MOVE family and all who struggle 
for the rights of the people. The pit, created by 
your fear, is not your home! The power is with 
you. Look up, and tell the audience: You sustain 
this shadow of tyranny. All of you, all at once, blow it away!

Give Sister Ramona a call: (215) 387-4107 and go 
to <http://onamove.com>onamove.com or 
Then wish Malcolm a happy birthday!

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, 
Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer, for 
over thirty years of commentary, resistance 
criticism and cultural theory, and short stories 
with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of 
cultural narrative violence and its antithesis, 
resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication 
to justice and equality, she has served as a 
coordinator of student and community resistance 
projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea 
of an equalitarian community and facilitator of 
student-teacher communities behind the walls of 
academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels 
holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with 
a specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, 
class narratives) from Loyola University, 
Chicago. Click 
to contact Dr. Daniels.

OPINION: White Supremacy & Law and Order

By Lenore Daniels May 13, 2009

And you call me a hate teacher. Why, you taught 
us to hate ourselves. You taught the world to 
hate a whole race of people... --Malcolm X

Kwame Ture said to white youths who came down to 
Mississippi and Alabama to organize with SNCC: Go 
back home. Educate and organize whites, and let 
Blacks educate and organize the people to fight 
for their own freedom.  Let those who have been 
denied their human and civil rights fight for 
it.  But educate the white community about white 
supremacy.  Organize them to fight against white 
supremacy.  Collectively, there would be an 
united front of freedom fighters and anti-war, 
anti-imperialist white progressives.

And you know what happened? Progress! The 
rhetoric of Black power frightened many young 
whites who went home only to adapt to the very 
real white power structure:  A new era of "law 
and order," in which the government legislated a 
strategy of prohibition specifically targeting 
Black Americans. We uphold our laws and the order 
of white over Black! Black politicians 
rhetorically calling for unity in the presence of 
Black (predominantly Democratic!) voters, behind 
closed doors, agreed to the new era’s agenda of law and order.

In Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo became Police 
Commissioner from 1968-1972 on the "iron fist" 
platform.  According the independent journalist 
Hans Bennett, Rizzo boasted his police force 
would be "so repressive that he’d make Attila the 
Hun look like a faggot" ("Attention MOVE! This is 
America"). Rizzo was fair: He targeted the entire 
Black community, but he had a particular hatred for MOVE and its members.

Rizzo’s "iron fist" philosophy remained in effect.

In Jailhouse Lawyers, Mumia Abu Jamal recalls 
MOVE’s "distinctly multiracial" membership.

It would not be odd, from a MOVE perspective, to 
see Chinese MOVE mothers, Puerto Rican MOVE 
fathers, or white MOVE daughters. According to 
John Africa’s worldview, MOVE wasn’t nationalist 
but naturalist, open in principle to all human beings.

Such an arraignment, an ordering of people, 
defies the new era of law and order.

With Rizzo in power, repression focused on Black 
Philadelphians and MOVE especially suffering 
under a barrage of home raids, police automatic 
weapons and arrest, "the white faces, the Chinese 
faces, the brown faces quietly, often 
tearfully-yet fearfully-disappeared from the front lines," writes Mumia.

In 1981, with the arrest of John Africa, 
co-founder, Donald Glassey waved the white flag 
and testified against Africa and MOVE. Mumia 
writes, "Glassey later admitted to wearing a body 
wire for the government in an attempt to set up other MOVE members."

John Africa represented himself and the jury 
found him not guilty.  But that would not be the 
end of attacks on an independent-thinking group 
of Black Americans known as MOVE.

At the height of Ronald Reagan’s reign, and, 
despite the election of the city’s first Black 
Mayor, Wilson Goode, the Philadelphia Police 
Department was determined to put an end to the organization.

On May 13, 1985, police and bomb squads arrived 
at 6221 Osage. The voice on the loudspeaker said, 
"This is America!" As Bennett writes in "An 
‘Unconscionable’ Act: Remembering May 13, 1985$B!m(B:

The two bomb squads repeatedly detonated 
explosives in the side walls, and then destroyed 
the front of the house. But the confrontation 
came to a standstill by the afternoon, with MOVE still inside.

Where’s Mayor Wilson Goode?

Linn Washington, Philadelphia Tribune columnist 
and Temple University Professor discovered that a 
MOVE member not present in the house, Jerry 
Africa, "attempted to negotiate with Mayor Goode 
during the standoff." Jerry Africa, civil rights 
activist Randolph Means, and former Common Please 
Court Judge Robert Williams, writes Bennett, 
tried to reach Goode repeatedly by phone.

He [Jerry Africa] wanted to tell Goode that MOVE 
would disengage from the confrontation if Goode 
would agree to an investigation of the Aug. 8, 1978-related MOVE convictions.

Mayor Goode "would not take their call." But the 
first Black mayor of Philadelphia held a press 
conference to declare "he was now ready "to seize 
control of the house...by any means necessary."

No, this is not Malcolm! This is law and order at work.

The afternoon standstill ended when Philadelphia 
police dropped a C-4 bomb on the home, which 
started a fire that authorities allowed to burn. 
According to Bennett, the bomb was "illegally 
supplied by the FBI" ("Attention MOVE! This is 
America"). By the end of May 13, 1985, the police 
assault had killed 5 children and 6 adults, including John Africa.

I see 2337 West Monroe, in the city where I was 
born and raised, Chicago. 1969.  Dozens of 
Chicago Police working with the FBI forcefully 
entered the home there, firing and executing a 
sleeping Fred Hampton. Mark Clark was able to 
respond with one shot after police entered the 
home. In Philadelphia, years later, Police 
Commissioner Gregor Sambor used the same line of 
defense: MOVE fired first with automatic 
weaponry! However, "the only weapons found in 
MOVE’s house were two pistols, a shotgun, and a 
.22 caliber rifle: no automatic weapons."

The MOVE Commission concluded that the women, 
children and at least two of the men may have 
been in the basement and, most likely, they were 
burned alive or shot by police as they tried to 
exit the house. Yes, police fired at the 
residents as they tried to escape!  It is also 
possible that 1 or 2 of the men died in the 
morning before the bomb was dropped on the house. 
Bennett writes, the "police used over 10,000 
rounds of ammunition, including 4,500 rounds from 
M-16s; 1,500 from Uzis; and 2,240 from M-60 machine guns."

Some 60 homes in the Black middle class 
neighborhood were destroyed. Ramona Africa, the 
remaining survivor, who barely escaped and who 
suffered severe burns, was charged, writes 
Bennett, with conspiracy to riot and "multiple 
counts of single and aggravated assault." 
Survivors of the police assault at 2337 West 
Monroe in Chicago received similar charges: 
aggravated assault and attempted murder of those 
who forcefully entered their home to kill.

Ramona Africa served 7 years of a 7 year 
sentence, refusing to renounce-she must 
renounce-herself, her family, her people-MOVE in 
exchange for parole. In the 1986 trial, Ramona 
told Bennett, jurors were told that they would 
hear of "wrongdoing" by the police and other 
government officials at another trial.

Don’t worry about that now.  Focus on this Black American!

And, of course, another trial focusing on white 
"wrongdoing" never materialized. As Ramona says, 
"not a single official, police officer, or 
anybody...has ever been held accountable for the murder of my family."

The corporate media, the propaganda arm of the 
government, teaches one and all to consider those 
Black Americans who want to feed Black children, 
who want to educate them to defend their spirit 
and guard themselves against police assaults a 
vicious lot of criminals. They refuse to adapt to 
the policies of the "iron fist" on the Black, 
Brown, Red, Yellow, Muslim, poor, and working 
class. How do you deal with the memory of this 
crime against a people by its government?  Do you 
ignore it, pretend it never happened, lockstep into law and order stupor?

The events of May 13, 1985 resulted in the deaths 
of 11 people, but exposed that for many whites 
and, Blacks who capitulate, Black Americans are 
never entitled to think and exist outside a 
system of thought and behavior that defames them. 
The Martin Luther King who spoke of dreams was 
fine, but the King who spoke of American 
aggression and violence, America’s pursuit of oil 
and other material resources at the expense of 
Black equality had to be silenced.

I will close with "An Open Letter to Steven 
Marche of Esquire," May 8, 2009, written by 
rapper, Prodigy, from prison. I will quote from a 
photo copy of his handwritten letter in which 
Prodigy responds to Marche’s charge that white 
supremacy is nothing more than a "conspiracy theory."

The fact is Mr. Marche, the conspiracy to 
physically and mentally enslave the Black race so 
that these European vampires and their offspring 
can live like Kings and Queens in the ‘New 
World,’ is very much so fact, not theory...

So this conspiracy affects the entire population 
of the planet. It’s far from ‘toxic paranoia and 
narcissism’ that you claim it to be in your article, Mr. Marche...

This isn’t some delusion of personal persecution. 
No, this is very real and factual global 
persecution of people’s mind’s, body’s, and soul’s (sic)...

Their game of covert, physical and mental slavery 
is so deeply inbedded (sp) in our society and 
subconscious minds, that (sic) it now run’s on 
auto-pilot.  We all actually do their job for 
them by submitting to a poisonous way of life...
If each person would commit to a personal change 
of their own bad habits, to a more healthy, 
inteligent (sp) way of life, we would see our 
world transform into a much better place...

It’s time to wake up a[nd] start living an American reality...
I forgive you for your ignorance and 
contradictions, after all, we’re working on 
‘fixing ourselves’ aren’t we? Peace-Prodigy

Asante Sana, Prodigy!

Freedom Archives
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San Francisco, CA 94110

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