Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News   

RADIO INTERVIEW: Linn Washington, Jr. on Mumia, MOVE, and the Philly Media

By       (Page 1 of 15 pages)   No comments
Message Hans Bennett
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)



" I think the level of fanaticism with Mumia’s case is a reaction to the level of support that he has received internationally. Further, I think the intense reactions revolve around race, specifically racism…plus Abu-Jamal’s identification with the Black Panther Party and MOVE. 'Law & Order' types hate the Black Panthers. And Philly police hate MOVE. Focusing anger on Abu-Jamal gives police a counter to criticism directed against them for persistent police brutality ."
---Linn Washington, Jr.


Linn Washington, Jr. on Mumia Abu-Jamal, MOVE, and the Philly Media

---Dissecting May 13, 1985, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s May 17 oral arguments, the FOP, racism, police brutality, and mainstream media bias


Interview by Hans Bennett


“Attention, MOVE: This Is America!” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sambor declared through a loudspeaker 22 years ago, minutes before the May 13, 1985 police assault on the revolutionary MOVE organization’s home. This assault killed 5 children and 6 adults, including MOVE founder John Africa. After police shot over 10,000 rounds of bullets into their West Philadelphia home, a State Police helicopter dropped a C-4 bomb, illegally supplied by the FBI, on MOVE’s roof. The bomb started a fire that eventually destroyed 60 homes: the entire block of a middle-class black neighborhood. Carrying the young Birdie Africa, the only other survivor, Ramona Africa dodged gunfire and escaped from the fire with permanent burn scars.

The 1985 police bombing was the culmination of many years of political repression by Philadelphia authorities. At the time of the 1985 confrontation, MOVE was working to publicize the imprisonment of the “MOVE 9”: Janine, Debbie, Janet, Merle, Delbert, Mike, Phil, Eddie, and Chuck Africa. These nine MOVE members were jointly sentenced in the 1978 killing of Officer James Ramp after a year-long police stakeout of MOVE’s Powelton Village home. Their parole hearings come up in August, 2008.

In this interview, veteran black journalist Linn Washington, Jr. talks about reporting on the city of Philadelphia’s confrontations with MOVE, mostly focusing on the August 8, 1978 standoff, and the subsequent evidence used to convict the MOVE 9 prisoners.   Washington passionately critiques the mainstream Philadelphia media’s bias against MOVE: “when you look at the media coverage of MOVE, everything that was perceived as MOVE doing something wrong, was publicized.   In contrast, the attacks on MOVE, the injustices, and the deprivations that they endured never found any coverage in the mainstream media.”

On May 17, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case of Linn Washington’s former colleague, black death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.   Widely considered to be a political prisoner, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty."  


Abu-Jamal is a longtime supporter of the MOVE organization, dating back to his days as a Philadelphia journalist in the 1970s.   Since his imprisonment, MOVE has spearheaded the international support network for Abu-Jamal that is now organizing for a new trial.


Concerning the injustice in Abu-Jamal’s case, Washington is just as passionate in calling for a new trial, and in this interview, he documents the bias of the Philadelphia media: “It’s not for the press to take a position one way or the other, but it is the responsibility of the press to scrutinize all sides with the same rigor. One side (the Danny Faulkner side) can say anything they want, even if it makes no sense at all, yet it gets credibility and traction in the media.  On the other side, Abu-Jamal’s side can say anything they want, and irrespective of the substance and factual accuracy, and they get no coverage at all.”

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Hans Bennett Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

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...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author) An interview with Rob Kall

Organizing to Abolish the Prison-Industrial Complex

AUDIO & PRESS RELEASE: New Mumia Crime Scene Photos Unveiled for First Time in the US!

The Assassination of Fred Hampton -- a Book Review

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend