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ATTENTION, MOVE! This is America!

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Second is the “serious nature of offense” clause. “This is patently illegal too because the judge took this into consideration and when the sentence was issued, it meant that barring any misconduct, problems, new charges, etc. this prisoner was to be released on their minimum. To deny that is basically a re-sentence. We’re dealing with these issues because when our family comes up for parole, we don’t want to hear this nonsense.”

MOVE held a conference May 12, and is organizing another for later in August, dealing with this issue of parole for political prisoners. Ramona also urges to people to support Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeal before the Federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals: “This brother’s life is on the line here. … He became a target of the government because he was the only journalist that consistently reported on the truth about what was going on with MOVE. Mumia gave us his support uncompromisingly throughout the years and that is why we give him our support and loyalty now.”

Mumia Abu-Jamal writes today, “The muted public response to the mass murder of MOVE members has set the stage for acceptable state violence against radicals, against blacks, and against all deemed socially unacceptable. … The twisted mentalities at work here are akin to those of Nazi Germany, or perhaps more appropriately, of My Lai, of Vietnam, of Baghdad, the spirit behind the mindlessly murderous mantra that echoed out of Da Nang: ‘We had to destroy the village in order to save it.’ ”

Over the years, MOVE has never been left in peace. The 1978 and 1985 police destruction of MOVE’s homes; the arrest and capital sentence of reporter Mumia Abu-Jamal, who covered the MOVE conflicts; the 1998 death of Merle Africa in prison; and the 2002 custody battle over Zachary Gilbride Africa are only a few examples of MOVE’s long history of confronting the system. This tradition is best summed up by MOVE founder John Africa in his 1981 speech to the jury before he was acquitted of federal weapons charges in the famous criminal trial, “John Africa vs. The System”:

“It is past time for all poor people to release themselves from the deceptive strangulation of society…This system has failed you yesterday, failed you today, and has created conditions for failure tomorrow, for society is wrong, the system is reeling, the courts of this complex are filled with imbalance. Cops are insane, the judges enslaving, the lawyers are just as the judges they confront. … trained by the system to be as the system, to do for the system, exploit with the system, and MOVE ain’t gonna close our eyes to this monster.”

This article appears in the July issue of WW4 Report:

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View the new documentary MOVE online at:

Hans Bennett ( is a Philadelphia-based photojournalist who has been documenting the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, the MOVE 9, and all political prisoners, for over 5 years. Bennett is also the co-founder of Journalists for Mumia, whose new website is:

MOVE’s website is

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Hans Bennett is a multi-media journalist mostly focusing on the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. An archive of his work is available at and he is also co-founder of "Journalists for Mumia," (more...)

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