Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MOVE 9 Women Political Prisoners Denied Parole in Pennsylvania


Statement From MOVE in Response to Denial

Today, April 22, 2008, MOVE women that survived the August 8, 1978 police attempt to kill off MOVE were denied parole by the Pennsylvania Department of Probation and Parole.

The parole board says that MOVE women were denied parole because they minimized or denied the nature and circumstances of the offense; refused to accept responsibility; lacked remorse and because the prosecutors office said MOVE should not be paroled because we act outside the “law”.

In fact, it’s the parole board that is “acting outside the law” by demanding that any inmate (especially those that have maintained their innocence from the very beginning) say that they are guilty when they are not.

MOVE is innocent, we ain’t guilty, we ain’t gonna say we’re guilty and the parole board has no authority to demand that we lie and say we’re guilty. That is the height of arrogance when the parole board knows that countless people are convicted in the courts daily, are sent to jail and end up being released after 20, 25, 30 years because they are innocent just like they said they were.

Where would any “remorse” come from when you are innocent? Why would anybody take responsibility for a crime that they didn’t commit? Where is the wrong in denying something that you did not do.

It is obvious that these officials are sending a very clear message to the people. The message is that they’re gonna do whatever they want to do and they don’t care about the truth , they don’t care that they’re breaking they very laws that they claim to have MOVE and millions of others in prison for breaking and they don’t even care that people know that they’re the ones that are breaking the law.

Lynn Abraham (the district attorney of Philadelphia that used to be a judge) says that MOVE “acts outside the law” so we should stay in prison? In fact, She acted outside the law when she signed warrants for MOVE in May of 1977 even though the police commissioner said MOVE had committed no crime.

Then mayor, Rizzo, “acted outside the law” on August 8, 1978 when he ordered MOVE HQ., vital evidence in a murder trial, the “scene of the crime” destroyed. The courts “acted outside the law” when they proceeded with the trial after destroying the scene of the crime because when they destroyed the evidence they destroyed the bases for any trial.

Judge Malmed, the trial judge in the August 8th murder trial “acted outside the law” when he sentenced 9 innocent MOVE people to a maximum 900 years in prison for a crime that he could not say or prove that any 1 of the 9 committed, a crime that he admitted publicly that he didn’t have the “faintest idea” who committed.

Lynn Abraham “acted outside the law” when she knowingly signed fraudulent warrants for cops to come out and murder innocent MOVE people in May of 1985. The proof of just how fraudulent those warrants were lie in the fact that every single charge listed in those warrants were dismissed as having no basis, every single charge.

Is there any question why MOVE people are so bitter, so full of fight and so motivated to keep revolting against this rotten ass system? JOHN AFRICA has opened our eyes and HE keeps us motivated, keeps us full of fight. They can hurt MOVE because we’re alive, we have feelings, but thanks to JOHN AFRICA they WILL NEVER STOP MOVE!


No paroles for 3 MOVE members

By Emilie Lounsberry

Three female MOVE members who have been behind bars since the 1978 shootout that killed Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp and injured seven others were denied parole this morning, according to a spokesman for the state Board of Probation and Parole.

Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Hollaway Africa and Jeanene Phillips Africa were just informed of the decision and the reasons for the rejection, spokesman Leo Dunn said.

Dunn said each was informed they had minimized or denied the "nature and circumstances" of the offense, "refused to accept responsibility" and lacked remorse.

He said the fourth reason for the rejections was the "negative recommendation" by the prosecutor.

Decisions are still pending for four other MOVE members eligible for parole consideration this month. Five of nine votes would be required for parole to be granted.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office urged the board to require the defendants to serve the maximum of their 30- to 100-year prison terms.

The seven were among nine MOVE members convicted in a 19-week trial in 1980. An eighth defendant will be eligible for parole next year; a ninth died in prison.

All nine were found guilty of third-degree murder in the shooting death of Ramp and the attempted murders of the others shot and injured that day, when police tried to evict 12 adults and 11 children from their headquarters at 33d and Pearl Streets in Poweltown Village.

The 1978 confrontation was a pivotal moment in the city's torturous history with the radical group and ultimately set the stage for another disaster - the May 1985 fire that killed 11 MOVE members, including five children, and destroyed 61 houses in West Philadelphia. The 11 were killed after police dropped a bomb on the MOVE headquarters and decided to let it burn.
Contact staff writer Emilie Lounsberry at 215-854-4828 or elounsberry@phillynews.com.

The Injustice Continues: MOVE 9 women denied parole

By Hans Bennett

The Philadelphia Inquirer announced today that the three remaining MOVE 9 women (Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Hollaway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa) were denied parole by the PA Parole Board. The Inquirer quotes parole board spokesperson Leo Dunn as saying that parole had been denied because the three MOVE prisoners had "minimized or denied the 'nature and circumstances' of the offense, 'refused to accept responsibility' and lacked remorse. He said the fourth reason for the rejections was the 'negative recommendation' by the prosecutor."

The parole board used several of the stipulations that MOVE spokesperson Ramona Africa had predicted that they would try and use to deny parole, including that they "refused to accept responsibility" and lacked remorse.... The unfairness and arguable illegality of this is so obvious, because how can you expect someone to "admit guilt" when they've always said they are innocent? Where does remorse come from if someone is actually innocent?

The "nature and circumstances" stipulation is a blatant re-sentence, since the serious nature of the charges were considered by the judge at the time when he ruled that MOVE should be eligible for parole after 30 years. How can this fairly be used to deny parole?

A further outrage is that the women never even faced weapons charges, unlike the male MOVE 9 prisoners. Because of this, it had been thought by many observers that the women would have a better chance of receiving parole.

Therefore, if this is any indication, it does not look good for the MOVE 9 men, for whom the parole decision is still pending. If supporters want to make a difference and hold the parole board accountable for these blatantly unconstitutional parole stipulations, we must increase public pressure.

This blatantly unfair decision can only serve to validate the argument that the MOVE 9 are indeed "political prisoners".

At move9parole.blogspot.com there are resources for contacting the parole board. As well as articles, and a new video-series focusing on MOVE 9 parole that feature new interviews with Ramona and Mike Africa Jr. mixed in with archival footage from the recent documentary on MOVE by Cohort Media, narrated by Howard Zinn.

Letter from MOVE Supporter:
Mr. Congressman Conyers,

If this Decision which came out today on the day of primary election in Phiiladelphia is true than myself and others around the world are more than upset and see that there is no justice in Pennsylvania. Your Friend -Ed Rendell has a very heavy handed role in the injustice against Mumia Abu-Jamal and MOVE going back to the 1970s which instigated severe police brutality against MOVE.

I have gave you over the years telephone books of information concerning the injustice against MOVE the same as with Arlin Spector. Repeatedly I have asked that hearings with supoena power be held.

This last weekend was the 15th anniversary of Waco a very similiar situation like what has happened with MOVE. All that were in prison for there role in Waco where cops were slain despite the fact those people were defending themselves had less years of sentence of than the MOVE 9 have been charged with the accusation of firing one bullet.

Plus all of them Waco pisoners are out free today! You can go to the website http://www.abu-jamal-news.com to see the evidence that the MOVE 9 are innocent! Others around the world see that the MOVE 9 are innocent. There were hearings for Waco of which Arlin Spector demanded but yet becuase of the cops prejudice the MOVE 9 are denied. It is quite clear that the cops put their weight against the MOVE members that had their parole hearings and on the decison.

So now will you have hearings for MOVE because you have the power to call for it like you did expeditely with the Jena 6? I know your friend Ed Rendell has in his leadership of the DNC stomping the ground for Hillary but there is no excuse for injustice especially after more that 30 years.- Sabrina Friends of MOVE

Baltimore/Washington and Intl concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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