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MOVE demonstration         August 8, 1980

Wilson Goode

Seeking Justice

After the August 8th confrontation, MOVE's primary activity became securing the release of innocent members facing not only 30 - 100 year sentences, but the wrath of a vindictive prison system and it's abusive guards.  Several members went on hunger strikes to obtain the basic rights other inmates received.  Both the police department's callous attitude and MOVE's determination and commitment only intensified after Rizzo's January 1980 departure from office.

In January 1970 and again in 1980, MOVE held large outdoor rallies on the anniversary of August 8th to draw attention to the injustices the city continued to perpetrate.  MOVE also published their own newspaper,
the First Day, to correct widespread misconceptions.

According to MOVE belief, one cannot expect to receive justice from a system that has none and continues to demonstrate it blatant lack of justice time and time again.  Nevertheless, MOVE diligently appealed the August 8th convictions so as not to be accused of abandoning the prescribed grievance procedures before taking a confrontational stance.
Higher courts denied all appeals.

MOVE then sought to meet with any city officials who would hear out their complaint against the legal system.  Common Pleas Court Presi- dent Judge Edward Bradley admitted there were inconsistencies in the August 8th convictions but declined to take any action.  District At-
torney Ed Rendell outright refused to meet with MOVE or with lawyers willing to discuss the case on MOVE's behalf.    Councilman Lucien Blackwell and city council chairman Joseph Coleman were noncom-

Beginning in 1982, MOVE met several times with city managing direc-
tor Wilson Goode who entered and won the mayoral election during 1983.  After reviewing MOVE's claims, Goode agreed that MOVE had been denied justice and promised to remedy the situation, but not until after he took office as mayor.  Such words and promises from a politician meant nothing to MOVE.  Based on his actions and deeds, Goode had turned his back on the injustice.

   Mumia is hospitalized after being shot, arrested and beaten by police

 ------------- ------------------------
                    Judge Albert Sabo                  Prosecutor Joseph McGill

Mumia Abu-Jamal  -  Part 1
One of the few media people to accurately report on MOVE and make a serious effort to understand the organization was Mumia Abu-Jamal, a
highly respected Philadelphia journalist and president of the local chapter of the Association of Black Journalists.  Throughout the 1978 confrontation and resulting trials, his in-depth MOVE coverage often left him at odds with his employers.  Rather than compromise his integrity as a journalist, he began free-lance reporting while driving a cab at night to support his family.  On December 9th, 1981 around 4:00 am, Mumia
was driving through downtown Philadelphia, when he came upon William Cook, his own brother, whose car had been stopped by a police officer.  What happened in the next few minutes has become obscured by conflicting testimony, altered or missing evidence, and misleading inflammatory publicity.  By the time back-up police arrived on the scene, gunshots had been fired, Mumia was badly wounded, and Officer Daniel Faulkner was dead.  During his arrest and subsequent hospital-
ization, Mumia was abused and beaten by police.  His brother was charged with aggravated assault, though later testimony and evidence indicated the officer had beat Williams over the head with a flashlight
hard enough to draw blood.

Charged with first degree murder, Mumia maintained his innocence and, like MOVE members in trials he had reported on, exercised his
constitutional right to argue his own case.  The high-publicity trial was
presided over by Judge Albert Sabo who quickly denied Mumia's request to be represented by JOHN AFRICA.  During jury selection, Mumia put
his well honed interview skills to use.  As his impressive dignity and eloquence became apparent to prospective jurors, Sabo stripped Mumia of his right to conduct the defense and ordered the court appointed at-
torney, Anthony Jackson, to take over the case.  Mumia then refused to participate in a blatant railroading and his version of the crime scene events was never recounted.

Some eyewitnesses saw a man running from the scene who was never identified by police.  Others gave descriptions of the gunman that did not match Mumia's appearance.  The political nature of the case became apparent when prosecutor Joseph Mcgill argued that Mumia deserved the death penalty because of statements he made over 12 years earlier as a Black Panther spokesman.  The jury, from which over 10 Blacks were systematically excluded and on which two Blacks remained,
returned a verdict of guilty and a sentence of death.

Pam Africa on Osage Avenue

Osage Avenue
MOVE operates on the principal that hard work pays off in good health.
Long hours of legal and political work did not prevent members from keeping up their normal day to day activities which included a special dedication to relieving the suffering of animals.  MOVE put out hun- dreds of pounds of food for birds, dogs, squirrels, and fish on a daily basis.


During the early 1980's several MOVE members and many children lived in a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue on the western edge of the city.  Baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables were put outside to encour- age passing children and adults to eat strong food rather than junk food.
MOVE also built stoves and supplied firewood to people without heat, checked on the elderly living alone and built dog houses for pet owners who kept their dogs outside in the winter.  In warmer months one of MOVE's fundraising activities was a thriving watermelon business.  The fruits were transported on large hand-made wooden carts that provided a hearty workout as members pulled them through the streets.  MOVE let customers sample each watermelon before buying and always re-
placed any that were unsatisfactory.

Long hours of hard work kept MOVE always on the move, and main- tained the strong family bond the organization revered.  Yet one of the most troubling ordeals during the years on Osage Avenue was the task of comforting and reassuring the children of imprisoned members, when the pain of separation from their parents left them grief-stricken
and crying.

MOVE's house at 6221 Osage Avenue

Ramona, Frank, Conrad, and Teresa Africa

The City Turns A Deaf Ear
By the end of 1983, government officials on all levels had proved in- effective and unwilling to take any action against the unjust imprison- ment of innocent MOVE members.  The media ignored the issue alto-
gether.  On December 25, 1983 MOVE by-passed the news blackout in a direct appeal to the public by using loudspeakers on their house to inform people of the injustices and the city's conspiracy against them.
When some Osage Avenue residents complained about the noise, MOVE
told them they should put pressure on the city to do something about the innocent people in jail, because allowing such an injustice to go unchal-
lenged meant anyone, including the neighbors themselves, could be set-
up, framed and locked away.  The neighbors instead put their trust in the government and sought a way to get MOVE out of the neighborhood.

A few weeks later Wilson Goode took office as mayor.  While many
Philadelphians were glowing with pride at the installment of the city's
first Black mayor, behind the scenes Goode reneged on his earlier pro-
mise to MOVE and took no action as another confrontation took shape.
Anticipating how far the city would go to silence them, MOVE began
fortifying their Osage Avenue home.  Meanwhile, the police make preparations for a murderous assault by secretly obtaining from the FBI over 37 pounds of powerful military explosives "C-4", in violation of police regulations, FBI policies, and federal laws regarding the transfer of explosives.

As months wore on, news stories began covering MOVE once again but focused on the Osage Avenue neighbors' disagreements with MOVE rather than MOVE's long standing legal dispute with the city.  After MOVE held a meeting with Osage residents in May of 1984 to explain
their position, police stepped up their intimidation and harassment campaign.  Between June and October, Alfonso Africa was arrested and beaten bloody several times by police, and shot (non-fatally) during one
arrest.  On August 8, 1984, hundreds of police and firemen spent the day surrounding the Osage block in what came to be viewed as a dry run for the later disaster, but MOVE would not be provoked.  Frustration with city officials' inability to resolve the conflict, the Osage neighbors asked Governor Dick Thornburgh to intervene but he refused to get involved.
(and when he later headed the U.S. Justice Department, Thornburgh declined to investigate the very May 13, 1985 catastrophe he could have averted.)

 Some of the weapons used by Philadelphia police (from top)
M-16 assault rifle, M-60 machine gun, 50 caliber machine gun

Police snipers at rooftop assault post

Police blow-up the front porch as the assault begins


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