[Ppnews] Tribute to a Fallen Warrior: Merle Africa

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Mar 13 16:22:50 EDT 2011

From:  Sis. Iresha Picot via Sis. Marpessa

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 & Iresha Picot

(Also check out Sis. Merle's page at 

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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