by Mumia Abu-Jamal
It happened a long time ago. Aug. 8, 1978, to be exact. Over 35 years ago.
when Philadelphia police raided the MOVE house and headquarters in
Powelton Village, West Philadelphia, firing hundreds of rounds of
gunfire into the home.
Remarkably, when MOVE people were forced to exit the building, they
were mostly unharmed, with several suffering severe beatings upon
exiting the premises.
After months of trial, nine MOVE men and women (five men and four
women), were convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to 30 to 100
Never before in Pennsylvania’s long history has such a sentence been
rendered, but as the late trial judge, Edwin Malmed stated, “They were
tried as a family, so I sentenced them as a family.”
That was 35 years ago, and today, MOVE men and women remain in jail –
five years past their minimums. It doesn’t matter what their prison
behavior or record is. They have been exemplary prisoners.
But, because they remain MOVE, parole, essentially, doesn’t apply.
Oh, they have hearings. But nothing comes of it, besides more denials.
They were attacked for political reasons, prosecuted for political
reasons, and sentenced the way they were for political reasons.
Their innocence? Irrelevant.
And now, five years past parole. Politics, again.
Who can deny that they are political prisoners, persecuted because of their religious belief in the teachings of John Africa?
In truth, they are spiritual prisoners: imprisoned because of their faith.
It is past time for their freedom.
Note: To help fight for the freedom of MOVE, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2013 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s latest book, “The
Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,”
co-authored by Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, available
from Third World Press, TWPBooks.com. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit www.blockreportradio.com.
Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and
interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM
8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.