"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 bribe 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."