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Mumia and MOVE


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#1 John Dolva

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:14 AM


Ecosocialism, Mumia and MOVE
Sunday, August 8, 2010

By Derek Wall

Posted Image

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal — on death row for more than 30 years in Pennsylvania for a murder he didn't commit — is an iconic figure. Yet while the struggle for his freedom continues, less attention is given to his role as a political leader.

While Mumia has not, to my knowledge, used the term ecosocialist, his passionate message to the US Social Forum on June 22 had a clear ecosocialist content.

Referring to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he said: “If ever there were a time to honestly question the madness at the heart of capitalism, it is now, as people are repulsed by what they are seeing, week after week, and now month after month, of environmental wreckage, corporate greed, and government subservience.

“Because, in truth, this is what capitalism, unbridled, unregulated, looks like: the spoilage of the natural world for private gain.”

Mumia signs this and many of his messages with the words “Ona Move! Long Live John Africa!” In doing so, he acknowledges the political influence of the controversial radical Philadelphia radical group, MOVE, an influence reflected in his ecosocialism.

His work in exposing the violence with which the authorities suppressed MOVE was the primary reason for Mumia being targeted and framed.

During the 1970s, Mumia, a former Black Panther Party activist working as a radio journalist, became aware, like many people in Philadelphia, of a group variously described as “violent black nationalists”, a “religious cult” or plain terrorists — the MOVE organisation founded by an illiterate carpenter, Vincent Leaphart, who took the name John Africa.

MOVE activists typically they took the surname Africa because they believed all humanity comes from Africa. Although their members were mainly black, others were white or Hispanic.

John Africa constructed a spirituality based on reverence for all life. MOVE was passionate about animal rights, indeed one of their first confrontations came during an anti-zoo demonstration.

MOVE members lived communally. In Philadelphia, the police had earlier taken on the Black Panthers with extreme violence.

MOVE was now targeted by the authorities. Group members would demonstrate, be beaten for doing so and the conflict dramatically escalated. In April 1976 the police horrifyingly killed MOVE member Janine Africa’s baby, Life Africa.

In 1978, police fired 10,000 bullets during a siege of a MOVE community. A police officer was killed by a bullet that witnesses say was fired from outside the MOVE building. Nine MOVE members were charged with killing the officer and still remain in prison in 2010.

This escalation of state violence peaked with the FBI bombing a MOVE community in 1985, killing 11 people — six adults and five children. The only adult survivor, Ramona Africa, was promptly imprisoned.

Mumia noted: “I have seen every substantive so-called constitutional right twisted, shredded and torn when it comes to MOVE. Since the early 1970s, I've seen male and female MOVE members beaten till bloody and bones broken, locked beneath the jails, caged while pregnant, beaten into miscarriage, starved by municipal decree, sentenced to a century in prisons, homes demolished by bomb, by crane, by cannon, by fire. But I've never seen them broken.”

He observed that he too had been influenced by the negative image of MOVE before meeting and talking with them.

“What I found were idealistic, committed, strong, unshakeable men and women who had a deep spirit-level aversion to everything this system represents. To them, this system was a death system involved in a deathly war.

“To them, everything this system radiated was poison — from its technological waste, to its destruction of the air and water, to its destruction of the very genetic pool of human life and animal life and all life. MOVE opposed all this bitterly and unrelentingly, without compromise.”

Mumia remains, despite decades of imprisonment in US dungeons, a prophet in the true sense — a voice articulating a politics that challenges capitalism and imperialism while speaking for the earth.

We must redouble our efforts to free Mumia but we must also make sure his remarkable voice, which articulates a radical vision with poetry and clarity, is heard.

[Derek Wall is a is a former Principal Speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales and an activist, writer and economist. He is also a member of the eco-socialist network Green Left and maintains the blog . He will speak via video link at the Climate Change Social Change conference, Melbourne University, November 5-7. Visit www.ccsc2010.wordpress.com for details.]

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From GLW issue 848


#2 William Kelly

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:06 AM

Mumia killed a cop.

And if he didn't, his brother did, and he took the rap.

Somebody killed the cop and he was convicted of it.

MOVE was a fake revolutionary group. They were all on welfare, on the dole, collecting unemployment, squating in a crack house and living on Big Macs. Ask anybody from Philadelphia who was there at the time, and they'll tell you the same. They weren't a threat to take over the government of Philadelphia, that's for sure. They didn't have to bomb them from a helicopter, all they had to do was shut off their supply of Big Macs.

John Judge and others tell me Mumia's a political prisoner.

I say he's a cop killer, just like Joanne Chesmard, who killed NJ State Trooper.

They say Oswald killed a cop, but I don't think so. I think it was a frameup and
he took the rap.

BK

Edited by William Kelly, 12 August 2010 - 06:10 AM.


#3 John Dolva

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

As an opponent to the death penalty, judicial or ectra judicial I find this development heartening.




Thursday, December 8, 2011

Posted Image

Mumia Abu-Jamal.




United States: Mumia death penalty push dropped, Desmond Tutu demands his freedom



In response to the news that the Philadelphia District Attorny's office has dropped its push to apply the death penalty to Mumia Abu-Jumal, framed for the 1981 murder of a police officer, FreeMumia.com released the statement below.

* * *

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal: “Now that it is clear that Mumia should never have been on death row in the first place, justice will not be served by relegating him to prison for the rest of his life -- yet another form of death sentence.

"Based on even a minimal following of international human rights standards, Mumia must now be released. I therefore join the call, and ask others to follow, asking District Attorney Seth Williams to rise to the challenge of reconciliation, human rights, and justice: drop this case now, and allow Mumia Abu-Jamal to be immediately released, with full time served.”

The news that the DA’s Office of Philadelphia is no longer seeking the death penalty for Mumia is no news to supporters of the nearly 30 year Pennsylvania Death Row prisoner.

However, because Mumia has for 30 years been subjected to torture on death row and because he is innocent, justice for Mumia will not be served by life imprisonment, but by his release from prison.

Mumia’s case is like thousands of other cases in Philadelphia in which the prosecutor, the judge, and the police conspired to obtain a conviction.

One of the most important and least known facts of this case is the existence of a fourth person at the crime scene, Kenneth Freeman. Within hours of the shooting, a driver’s license application found in Officer Faulkner’s shirt pocket led the police to Freeman, who was identified as the shooter in a line-up.

Yet Freeman’s presence at the scene was concealed, first by Inspector Alfonso Giordano and later, at trial, by Prosecutor Joe McGill.

Recently, the US Department of Justice asserted that withholding evidence of innocence by the prosecutor warrants the overturning of a conviction.

The police investigation that led to Mumia’s conviction was also riddled with corruption and tampering with evidence. The recently discovered Polokoff photographs that were taken at the crime scene, reveal that officer James Forbes, who testified in court that he had properly handled the guns allegedly retrieved at the crime scene, appears holding the guns with his bare hands.

The photos also discredit cabdriver Robert Chobert as a witness; his taxi, contrary to his testimony, is pictured facing away from the fallen officer’s car. This evidence hasn’t been reviewed by any court.

Our call to Seth Williams is that he honor DA Lynn Abraham’s 1995 promise to the city of Philadelphia that she would discard any cases where evidence surfaces that even one of the officers involved in an investigation lied in court or in written reports.

The D.A. may think that the case can be laid to rest by sending Mumia off to life in prison. But an aroused public, with the Supreme Court ruling the death sentence to be unconstitutional, is ready to challenge anew the entire trial.

The same judge, jury, and DA that were involved in the unlawful sentencing process committed equally egregious violations in the conviction. This is not an ending, it is a new beginning for the movement supporting Abu-Jamal’s quest for release.


From GLW issue 906


#4 Len Colby

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

Mumia killed a cop.

And if he didn't, his brother did, and he took the rap.

Somebody killed the cop and he was convicted of it.

MOVE was a fake revolutionary group. They were all on welfare, on the dole, collecting unemployment, squating in a crack house and living on Big Macs. Ask anybody from Philadelphia who was there at the time, and they'll tell you the same. They weren't a threat to take over the government of Philadelphia, that's for sure. They didn't have to bomb them from a helicopter, all they had to do was shut off their supply of Big Macs.

John Judge and others tell me Mumia's a political prisoner.

I say he's a cop killer, just like Joanne Chesmard, who killed NJ State Trooper.

They say Oswald killed a cop, but I don't think so. I think it was a frameup and
he took the rap.

BK


I agree the evidence against him is overwhelming. I don't agree with the death penalty but let him rot behind bars




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