[Pnews] MOVE political prisoner Delbert Africa Update
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 12 10:59:20 EDT 2019
From Joe Piette
1.Delbert Africa was released from Geisinger Hospital back to SCI Dallas
infirmary and he was allowed to make a phone call on Aug 8, the 41st
anniversary of the 1981 police attack which resulted in the false
charges and conviction of the MOVE 9.
2. On Aug 9, two carloads of MOVE supporters from Philadelphia and NJ,
plus another carload from NYC, converged on Geisinger Hospital in Wilkes
Barre, PA, to support Delbert Africa. We were met by an unexpectedly
welcoming staff who willingly gave us the medical forms we requested.
3.Meanwhile, two MOVE members were able to meet with Delbert for two
hours at SCI Dallas. As reported in a Philadelphia Tribune interview
below, “He’s weak. He’s got a lot of tubes hooked up to him and his legs
are swollen because he’s having kidney issues."
4.The carloads from Geisinger met up with the MOVE members at SCI Dallas
before heading back to our respective cities. Cindy from Food Not Bombs
- Solidarity provided a lunch.
5. Photos of Aug 9 actions at Geisinger Hospital in Wilkes Barre and at
6. Philadelphia Tribune article -
MOVE expresses growing concerns over imprisoned Delbert Africa's health
John N. Mitchell - August 11, 2019
For the better part of the last three weeks, members of the Black
liberation group MOVE and their sympathizers expressed a growing concern
over their inability to speak with sickly member Delbert Africa after he
was transferred from SCI Dallas to a nearby hospital.
Those fears were somewhat put to rest on Friday when MOVE members Carlos
Africa and William Africa spent two hours with Delbert Africa, 68, in a
visiting room at the prison. The two were part of a group of about 30
MOVE members and sympathizers who made a trip to the Luzerne County
prison on Friday to demand to see him.
“We just wanted to put eyes on him and speak with him,” Carlos Africa
said. “He’s weak. He’s got a lot of tubes hooked up to him and his legs
are swollen because he’s having kidney issues. He’s got a long way to
go. But for some reason, the prison had been keeping us in the dark
about his health.”
Delbert Africa is one of nine MOVE members sentenced in the August 1978
shooting death of Philadelphia police officer James Ramp during a
shootout between MOVE and police.
Janine Africa, who was released from prison earlier this year after
serving 41 years in connection with Ramp’s shooting, said that officials
at SCI Dallas stopped communicating with MOVE members on or about July
24. A week later, MOVE members were notified that Delbert was being
transferred to nearby Geisinger Medical Center to receive treatment. He
returned to SCI Dallas on Wednesday.
“They would not tell any of us where he was and how he was doing,”
Janine Africa said. “We know now that he is back at SCI Dallas. But we
haven’t seen his medical records yet and that’s a problem.”
Carlos Africa said SCI Dallas can release the medical records only to
next of kin, and none of the MOVE members are related to Delbert Africa
by blood or marriage. Delbert Africa’s daughter, Yvonne Orr, lives in
Chicago and is scheduled to visit her father this weekend, Carlos Africa
A spokesperson at SCI Dallas would not comment on the situation other
than to say, “His counsel is in touch with our counsel and they are
communicating at this time.”
MOVE members are suspicious of SCI Dallas because fellow member Phil
Africa, who was born William Phillips and married to Janine Africa, died
at the prison in January 2015. He had been treated at a nearby hospital
and died shortly after his return to the prison. He was 59 at the time
and the cause of death was listed as natural causes.
“His death was not natural,” Pam Africa said of Phil Africa. “This was
an example of how the system hates MOVE and will do anything to try to
Merle Africa, also one of the MOVE 9, died under similar circumstances
in 1998 while he was being held at SCI Muncy. He was 47.
Another reason for suspicion, Janine Africa said, is that Delbert Africa
is scheduled to appear before the Pennsylvania Parole Board next month.
Delbert Africa and Chuck Africa are the only remaining members of the
MOVE 9 still in jail for their role in Ramp’s death. The other four
living members have been released.
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