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MOVE Parole Update

July 23, 2010

BY MICHAEL DAVIS AFRICA

On August 8, 1978 The MOVE Organization’s headquarters was attacked in a pre-dawn raid by over 600 Philadelphia cops and officials. They used machinery, grenades, shot thousands of bullets under screen of smoke, tear gas, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water shot from water cannons. During the attack, one cop was killed and several other cops and firemen were wounded, all by police fire. However, MOVE members were convicted and sentenced for the assault we all miraculously survived.

We were sentenced to 30-100 years in jail in a railroad trial. That 30 year minimum was up as of August 2008, and we were given a parole hearing. The parole board has twice denied us our freedom, making it perfectly clear to all those that didn’t understand their role, that they fully intend to finish up where the cops, d.a. and courts left off.

Now we are about to have our third parole hearing. Their rationale for denying us parole the first two times were failure to accept responsibility for the offenses committed, failure to show remorse, and a negative recommendation from the d.a.’s office. Having always maintained our innocence and a mountain of evidence that proves we never should have spent one day in jail, the parole board feel they have what they need to deny us our freedom forever.

The point, though, ain’t what the parole board will decide on this third time around. Anyone claiming to be conscious knows full well that the ‘decision’ they claim to be contemplating after any parole hearing for MOVE members in 2010, was already decided in 1978. So again, the point ain’t what the parole board will decide; the real issue is what the people will allow. The parole board, like all public officials make decisions in the people’s name, and if the people demand a different outcome, it will happen.

I’m not talking about the half-hearted soul-less protests of the usual so-called activists. “Firemen” who appear quickly on the scene to douse the righteous fire and indignation of the people in response to yet another police assault. With empty phony chants of “no justice, no peace,” for a couple of days, doing exactly what they’re paid to do, before slinking back into the shadows. Didn’t they say no justice, no peace in the case of Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, and on and on? You will often hear these so-called activists repeat the slogans of this system encouraging people to “support the troops,” while you have never heard them talk about supporting the real soldiers against repression. Have they ever campaigned to free the Move 9, the Angola 3, the San Francisco 8, the Cuban 5? Have you ever heard them shout for their masters to leave Assata Shakur alone, demand that this system recognize the righteous fight of Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, Elia Muhammad, the Black Panthers, our beloved founder John Africa, John Brown, or any other true activist? No!!

It is the people who pay the salaries of the parole board and it is the people who must demand an end of the imprisonment of the MOVE 9 as well as all other political prisoners. All those who sit back in the face of oppression to your brothers and sisters, remaining silent as poor folks’ children are murdered and sent away like slaves to the many prisons scattered throughout this rotten country, while refusing to support those who do resist and fight, only further encourages the system to keep assaulting. Today it’s MOVE. Tomorrow, it could be you.

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