Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mumia Honored on His 56th Birthday on Pacifica Radio, 24 April 2010

From Sis. Kiilu:

- a report to the movement, by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Programming for and about the innocent death-row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, was initially called for by the World War II, US internment camp survivor, Yuri Kochiyama.   Kochiyama issued a letter asking for cards to be sent to Mumia, and for programming to happen on public radio on the 24th of April, Mumia's 56th birthday.  This is the 28th year of Mumia's incarceration for a crime he didn't commit--half his life!  The Pacifica National Board (PNB), the governing body of the network, responded by passing a resolution encouraging such programming on member stations of the Pacifica Network.  Two stations responded:  

1. KPFA, Berkeley, CA:

Two hours of programming happened on KPFA from 4 to 6 PM, on Mumia's birthday.  The 2 hours were moderated by journalist JR Valrey, of POCC Block Report Radio, and a frequent contributor on KPFA's Flashpoints.  The Apprenticeship Program contributed some supporting material to this segment.  JR spent a valuable 40 minutes interviewing Linn Washington, a journalist at the Philadelphia Tribune who has covered Mumia's case from the very beginning, in December 1981.  It was Washington who, visiting the site of the shooting of a cop early in the morning after, reported that the police had left the scene unguarded, leaving evidence unattended.  This reporting provided the first indications that the police had already begun to frame someone up for the crime, and hence had no need for securing evidence.

On the show, Washington covered the "mitigating factors" issue in the penalty phase of Mumia's 1982 trial. Corrupt and unfair on many levels, Mumia's trial was a mockery of justice from beginning to end. Witnesses who saw men fleeing the scene (who could not have included Mumia, who was shot, almost killed, and found at the scene) were never called.  Prosecution "witnesses" who never saw anything were forced to lie by corrupt police.  The judge, Albert Sabo, an out-racist, was overheard to say, "yeah, and I'm gonna help 'em fry the n____r"!

Among numerous other violations--which included excluding Mumia from his own trial---this judge issued false instructions to the jury in the penalty phase of the the trial.  He suggested that the jury had to be unanimous in deciding on mitigating factors (such as the fact that Mumia had no prior convictions for anything).  Such factors, if decided according to law, would have "mitigated" (ie, prevented) the jury from issuing a death sentence.  These false instructions conflicted with a Supreme Court ruling in Mills v Maryland, in which the Court had said that such factors required a simple majority only.

"The Mumia Exception"

Washington mentioned that federal courts have overturned 32 cases--of which 22 originated in Philadelphia, where Mumia was framed--in which mitigating circumstances were mishandled by state courts.

But in Mumia's case, the rules were changed!  After rejecting Mumia's appeal against his unjust conviction last year, the Supreme Court virtually threw out its own Mills v Maryland ruling in early in 2010, in order to defeat Mumia's case.  The Court sent the case back to the Third Circuit, with instruction to reconsider their Mills v Maryland reason for setting Mumia's death sentence aside.

It was Linn Washington who coined the term "the Mumia exception," to point out how the courts have consistently changed their own rules and precedents in order to maintain the frame-up of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

"Power flows from the barrel of a gun"

Washington also discussed the 1990 Supreme Court ruling, in which the court denied Mumia's appeal against the prosecutor's use of his (years earlier) membership in the Black Panther Party (BPP), also in the penalty phase of the trial.  This dealt with an obvious violation of Mumia's first amendment rights.  Mumia had stated at trial that he had been treated unfairly.  Such a statement by a defendant is not supposed to be subject to cross examination.  But judge Sabo, true to his identification as a "prosecutor in robes," allowed the prosecution to cross examine.  It was then that the prosecution entered an 8-year-old news piece against Mumia.  This report, taken out of context, attributed a famous quote by Mao Tse-tung to Mumia: "power flows from the barrel of a gun."

The Supreme Court rejected Mumia's appeal against this violation of his rights in 1990, but--in another example of the Mumia exception--reversed itself months later on two other cases!   Washington pointed out how the Court reversed itself on two cases on the same question--one of a racist prison gang member, and one of a devil-worshipper, both murderers.  In these cases, the "high" Court said that the prosecutor erred in using prior political association against a defendant, when in Mumia's case, they had not done so!

Chairman Fred Hampton Jr, Mumia's Daughter, & Suzanne Ross

JR also interviewed POCC Chairman Fred Hampton Jr, son of the murdered Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.  Hampton talked about the outrageous conditions faced by all prisoners in the US, especially prisoners of color and those falsely accused.

JR then interviewed Mumia's daughter Goldie, who was very moving. She discussed how this bogus case affects a family.  Mumia has grandchildren that he's never had the opportunity to touch!

Next up was Suzanne Ross, of the New York Coalition to Free Mumia, who explained and defended the petition which has been submitted to Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, on behalf of Mumia.  The petition calls for a civil rights investigation of Mumia's case by the US Justice Department.  Ross mentioned that the Justice Department has rejected this appeal (which was filed last year) in a recent letter.  But she said that, "we plan to go back on April 26th," with a new document proving a conspiracy (which is what is required in order to get around the Justice Dep't's 5-yr statute of limitations on such investigations).

Ross said that the idea of this petition originated with then-Congressman Ron Dellums, who followed up on the 1995 Congressional Black Caucus statement by demanding such a civil rights investigation from the Justice Dep't.  Ross apologized profusely for mentioning Dellums in a positive light, in consideration of his current actions.  Now the Mayor of Oakland, Dellums was more concerned with property values in downtown than he was with the black community, when he condemned protests against the police murder Oscar Grant.  Grant, a young black retail grocery worker was lying face-down on a subway platform on New Years Day 2009 when he was shot in the back for no reason!

The response to Dellums in 1995 from the Justice Department focussed on the fact that litigation in Mumia's case was still proceeding then.  Now (in 2009), according to Ross, the idea was revived because, with appeals exhausted, "the gig was up; there was nothing left."

JR then interviewed M1 from the rap group Dead Prez, who was very moved by his recent long interview with Mumia.  He got to talk to Mumia for hours, and was very impressed with Mumia's fantastic spirit, and ability to speak on many issues.  He planned to incorporate many things that Mumia said into his music.  Key quotes from Mumia were "everything is political," and, "the culture of resistance is revolutionary."

Jack Heyman of the ILWU

Jack Heyman's interview then came on.  Heyman is an executive board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, and the key leader of an historic West-Coast port shutdown to free Mumia in 1999.  In this action, primarily black longshore workers shut all the ports for one shift, and then marched in San Francisco chanting,  "An injury to one is an injury to all, free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"

Heyman, who is also a member of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, described the port shutdown in context of labor history.  In the 1920's and 30's, the communist-led International Labor Defense (ILD) fought the frame ups of Sacco and Vanzetti and the Scottsboro boys.  Interested in what's happening now, JR asked, "why is labor interested in Mumia?"  "Mumia represents an important part of the class struggle," said Heyman.  "Mumia stood with the working class by refusing to be interviewed about his own case by ABC's 20/20 during a lockout," despite the threat of a death sentence hanging over him.  And, as Heyman described, Mumia has consistently supported other workers' struggles over the years.  His commentaries have repeatedly been payed at workers' rallies.

Heyman also mentioned the Rio de Janeiro teachers in Brazil, who were the first internationally to hold a workers' stop-work action to free Mumia.  "Capital is global now," said Heyman.  He then mentioned the current struggle of locked out ILWU Rio Tinto miners, in Boron, CA.  Mining conglomerate Rio Tinto is international, with operations in South African and Canada as well as the US.

At the end, Jack mentioned that some people in the Mumia movement "have illusions" in appealing to Attorney General Holder. "We think that the system will never grant Mumia a new trial,"  said Heyman   "I agree with that," said JR.   Jack concluded by saying "we need to get back into the streets."

Mumia Abu-Jamal: "Law is the tool of those in power"

A short interview with Mumia completed the 2-hour segment.  About the "Mumia exception" issues mentioned earlier by Linn Washington, Mumia said that "the law is the tool of those in power, so it's not the law, it's power," that's decisive.  Mumia also commented on life on death row, which is "22 & 2." ie, mostly a life of complete isolation.  "Some men go mad," said Mumia, "and we've seen a spate of suicides."  He also mentioned the case of Amadou Diallo in New York, in which "shoot first and ask questions later" was the rule as cops killed an innocent, unarmed man in a hail of bullets while he stood in his own doorway in 1999.  These cops were acquitted, and later transferred to Albany.  "What does that say about their attitude to the people they're supposed to serve?" asked Mumia.

And finally, on KPFA, Mumia's own greeting to supporters celebrating his birthday was played on Flashpoints (5 PM weeknights), on Monday the 26th of April.  In this brief interview, Mumia said, "the movement is what keeps me alive."  "Build the movement," he concluded.  Right on!

More info on this programming is at 

2. WBAI, New York:

There was a one-hour program on Mumia on "Where We Live," with Sally O'Brien, on Thursday the 22nd.  It began with Mumia's birthday greeting to his supporters (see above) and then moved to a clip from the 1995 PCRA hearing, which O'Brien covered for Pacifica.  This was followed by 20 minutes with Linn Washington, an interview with Mumia's sister, and concluded with Suzanne Ross on the demand for a civil rights investigation.

Then on Saturday the 24th, NY State Senator Bill Perkins, Ramona Africa of the MOVE organization, and Suzanne Ross appeared on  "On the Count," a prison program hosted by Eddie Ellis, at 10:30 AM on Saturday the 24th.  Special birthday tributes to Mumia from Assata Shakur and Angela Davis were also on the show. 

See the web site at for more on this programming.

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is organized to promote a class-struggle defense for Mumia Abu-Jamal.  We have no confidence in the courts or Justice Department to grant Mumia a new trial, let alone free him.  For labor action to free Mumia!

Write Mumia at:

Mumia Abu Jamal
AM 8335
SCI Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg PA 15370.

Visit our web site at

Pam Africa in NY on May 6!

Afrikan International Merchants Agency (AIMA)
Present Queens of the Nile/Mothers of Our Struggle
(Against: Kidnapping-Murder-Rape-Police-Brutality-Poverty-Etc.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010
6 pm - 10 pm (Doors Open 5:00 pm)
1061 Atlantic Avenue @ Franklin Avenue

Keynote Speakers: 

Queen Mother Pam Africa
(Philadelphia) Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition

Walter Williams (Chicago, IL), Author, Origin of Christianity

Dr. George Bennett, Egyptologist
Topic: Afrikan Women of Antiquity & The 2010 Tour to Egypt

Divine Allah, National Youth Minister of the NBPP/Candidate for City Council of Trenton, NJ
Also Introducing:

The Marcus Garvey/Carlos Cooks Buy Black Campaign Youth Leadership Award
Afrikan Drummers - Poets - Singers

For Further Information: 
Queen Yaa Asantewaa  718.859.5143

C train to Franklin Avenue/Walk 2 Blocks to Atlantic Avenue

Ramona Africa at MOVE documentary event in NY May 2

From Sundiata Sadiq:

Date: 5/2/10 - 1-3 PM


343 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Info Line: 212.582.6050


Reservations: (TICKETS $10)

MOVE - (Dir. Ben Garry and Ryan McKenna, 2004, 55 mins.)

A documentary detailing the controversial history of the radical African-American commune, MOVE. Narrated by Howard Zinn and woven with interviews and archival material, this film foregrounds issues of Black identity, separatist living, political racism and police brutality that have become part of a contentious national debate since the 1985 fire-bombing.

Ramona Africa, the only Adult survivor of the bombing of the MOVE house will be present at the screening to respond to any questions as well as other members of the MOVE family whose parents are still in prison after 30 years.

Notes: Tickets can also be purchased by calling: NYCFMJC - 212-330-8029 -
Doors Open One Hour Before Showtime

2/3 train to 125th St.

Some Speakers at Birth Anniversary of Mumia Abu-Jamal!

From Sis. Fatirah:

Brother Robert Gray of the African American Freedom & Reconstruction League
on the Anniversary of Mumia's Birth, April 24, 2010.

Long time supporter sis Cheryl Wright speaks on why she believes Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent.

Attorney Leon Williams at Mumia's Birth Anniverary, talks about Mumia, the courts and explains upcoming legal actions for the MOVE family.

Ramona Africa explains events commemorating the murders of MOVE family members on May 13,1985 as well as legal actions that will take place surrounding the murders.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/28 Umar Johnson Show to Feature Pam and Ramona Africa!

From Pam Africa:









LISTEN LIVE: 215-554-6101



Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate
Pennsylvania Certified School Principal
215-989-9858 (P) / 215-827-5404 (F)


Thursday (4/22/10) night on WBAI-Pacifica Radio in New York (99.5FM - aired a one hour special n Mumia Abu Jamal which can be accessed on the stations archives at (8PM Thursday, April 22nd WHERE WE LIVE):

Produced by WHERE WE LIVE hosts Sally O'Brien and Dequi Kioni-Sadiki the 8pm (est) the program began with Mumia giving his birthday message to his supporters.

This was followed by an in-person interview with Mumia by Sally O'Brien on "The Role Of The Journalist" ("as griot, bringing forth the voices of the people")

a 5 minute report on the testimony of the day presented at the 1995 PCRA hearing in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas and reported to Pacifica National News by Sally O'Brien who covered the entire PCRA hearings for Pacifica. This report centers on testimony by Arnold Howard and about Ken Freeman.

a 20 minute live interview with Philadelphia journalist, columnist and professor Linn Washington speaking about judicial misconduct and irregularities in Mumia's case through out the years.
an excerpt of an interview with Lydia Wallace Barashango - sister of Mumia who speaks about her brother in his growing up years in North Philadelphia

and concludes with an interview with Suzanne Ross - Chair of the NY Free Mumia Abu Jamal Coalition who speaks about the call for a Civil rights investigation and the April 26th rally at the Justice Department in Washngton DC

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Get Your Bus Tickets NOW to DEMAND CIVIL RIGHTS for Mumia at the DOJ!


Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Racism is at the core of an unjust system
- do not let an innocent man be executed

The PAN AFRIKAN VOICE and the Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum invites all Afrikan/Working Class and Progressive People to a campaigning public meeting to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal.


Date & Time: 7 PM - WEDNESDAY 28th APRIL 2010
(Third Right Street From Brixton Tube Station)

Organised by:
George Jackson Socialist League
Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum
Democracy and Class Struggle

Supported by:
Fight Racism Fight Imperialism
World Peoples Resistance Movement (Britain)
Global Afrikan Congress
Co-ordination Committee of the Revolutionary Communists of Britain.

Invited Speakers:
Colin Burgon MP
RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Worker)
Radha d'Souza - Law Lecturer
Fight Racism Fight Imperialism
Indian Workers Association GB
Partisans Defence Committee
Global Women's Strike
Amnesty International
CAMPACC & others

All are welcome - Admission free - donations welcome

Mumia Abu-Jamal is in danger of execution as the Supreme Court on Tuesday January 2010 threw out a ruling that had set aside the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal the former Black Panther and internationally known political prisoner. We demand that Mumia Abu-Jamal who is innocent of all charges be released unconditionally and immediately.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on Pennsylvania's death row now approaching 30 years after being falsely accused of killing a policeman. Mumia Abu-Jamal was a radio journalist known as the "Voice of the Voiceless".

He exposed the racist and class oppression of the Afrikan and other oppressed working class. In 1985 he defended the Move family whose home had been bombed by a helicopter which killed 13 defenceless and innocent people including women and children.

Mumia Abu- Jamal's case is symptomatic of the racism and class nature of the criminal justice system both in US and the UK.

The criminal justice system in the UK is similarly brutal and racist. The so called War on Terror is in fact a War of Terror allowing people to be held without cause and for the Afrikan and Muslim community to be targeted.

The US prison population is now 2.5 million. While in Britain it is 100,000 and rising. As of now the brutal prison system in US and the UK is disproportionately filled with young Afrikan men.

Robert Bryan lawyer for Mumia Abu-Jamal says people continue to use the false term "reinstating the death penalty" concerning Mumia. He has always been under a death sentence.

When there has been a victory, the prosecution has gone to a higher court, thereby suspending the effect. In 2008 the Court of Appeals ruled reversed the death judgement. The State petitioned the Supreme Court, so the reversal of the death penalty never took effect.

What is clear today is that Mumia Abu-Jamal is in imminent danger and the way has been cleared for his execution by the decision on January 19th 2010.

There are approximately 2.5 Mjillion prisoners in the US gulag with thousands on death row approximately 50 % are Afrikans.

We the following organisations in Britain undertake to raise the profile of Mumia Abu-Jamal with publicity, demonstrations and meetings throughout 2010 and demand his unconditional release.

Join the campaign and build support in your Trade Union and workplace organisations.
Contact: Tongogara
BM Box 2978, London WC1 3XX

MXGM Celebrates Life of Sis. Safiya Asya Bukhari

From NY Jericho:

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Presents:

Celebrating the Life of Safiya Asya Bukhari
Freedom Fighter, International Freedom Fighter Supporter & Author of The War Before

Sunday, April 25th 1pm-4pm
Community Service Society
105 East 22nd St. at Park Ave.

Panel Discussion with:

Wonda Jones, Safiya Bukhari-Albert Nuh Washington Foundation, Safiya's Panther Cub

Ashanti Alston, former Political Prisoner, Jericho Movement, MXGM Member

Laura Whitehorn, former Political Prisoner, NY State Task Force on Political Prisoners

Benjamin Ramos Rosado, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign

Hosted by Sala Cyril (MXGM Member, Panther Cub)

Others to be confirmed

Free All Political Prisoners! •

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lynching Then, Lynching Now: the Roots of Racism & the Death Penalty in the U.S."

From Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC:

PRESENTING the CEDP's National Speaking Tour for 2009 - 2010
A National Speaking Tour of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Join us for a teach-in tour stop at City College of New York City, Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This year's tour looks at the historic link between the death penalty and lynching in the United States. Hear from those who have been freed from death row, activists and scholars on the role of racism in our criminal justice system and why the death penalty and unjust sentencing need to be abolished.

Visit the national Tour blog at


Marvin Reeves - Police torture victim and former IL prisoner, freed in 2009

Yusef Salaam – Exonerated in the Central Park Jogger case (NYC). Board member, Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Lawrence Hayes – Former NY death row prisoner

Marlene Martin - National Director, Campaign to End the Death Penalty

7 PM
137th Street & Amsterdam Avenue

The CCNY tour stop is sponsored by Amnesty International USA Local Group 11, Correctional Assoc. of New York, Drop the Rock, Educators for Mumia, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition-NYC, Grassroots Artists Movement (G.A.Me), International Socialist Organization The Paper (CCNY)
(list in formation -- email to endorse)

Mumia's FBI File Available for Download

For the first time in the history of Mumia's case, we now have electronic access to his much redacted 900 page FBI file which was all collected several years BEFORE there was any question of a crime or of killing a cop.  It is a record of the targeting of Mumia since the time he was 14 years old

Download the PDF files at:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Black is Back Coalition Mumia Event Today at 4:30!

Black is Back Mumia Event today!

Dr Suzanne Ross - (Co-Chair Free Mumia Abu JamalCoalition)
Sundiata Sadiq - (Former Pres. of NAACP Ossining NY Chapter, Now in 5th year of suspension)

Join us for an update on the case of Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. The court system has closed its doors to the possibility of a new trial for Mumia and has left only two alternatives for him: execution or life in prison without parole. We demand the Department of Justice conduct a civil rights investigation into the outrageous frame-up of Mumia. Come get all the facts as we prepare for a demonstration in front of the Department of Justice Monday, April 26, two days after Mumia's 56th birthday.

Sat. April 17th 4:30PM @ St Stephens Church - 1525 Newton ST NW Washington, DC 20010

Organized By: Black Is Back Coalition & Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)


From: Bro. Cliff:

Htp All:

In Baltimore on Saturday April 24, the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), a Pan-Afrikan Diaspora organization that was founded in 2006 to bring the Afrikan Diaspora together and organize us to pursue voting membership in the African Union as the Sixth Region (Diaspora), is sponsoring an Earth Day Commemoration in honor of Marshall "Eddie" Conway (Birthday April 23; Imprisoned 40 years) and Mumia Abu-Jamal (Borthday April 24; Imprisoned 29 years).

The event will provide information on their cases as well as the cases of other Political Prisoners of the United States. A key focus will be the Petition Drive for a Civil Rights Investigation and the April 26th Press Conference in Washington, DC for Mumia.

The event will be at the Maggie Quille Druid Heights Community Center, 2140 McCulloh Street, Baltimore (Harriet Tubman City), Maryland, 4:00 pm.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, feel free to contact SRDC at the following:


443-865-2723 (you may need to leave a message)

A flyer for the event is attached. Come and celebrate with us as we honor these courageous Champions of Justice who are truly Paying the Price for our freedom.

Peace and Power,
Bro. Cliff
Maryland State Facilitator and Representative
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC)
President, Kuumba Events and Communications
P.O. Box 1723, Baltimore, MD 21203-1723
Editor, KUUMBAReport Newsletter
Host, KuumbaRadioReport, Harambee Radio Network (

(E-mail Bro. Cliff for the PDF flyer for this event as well as a fantastic excerpt of May's Kuumba report available called "Still Paying the Price - Political Prisoners of the United States", please e-mail him for the PDF)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mail Art 4 Mumia - Celebrate Mumia's birthday!!

From:  Mumia NYC -

Amazing, beautiful, INSPIRING, and potent events are being planned for Mumia around the world!

Please let us know what you're planning!  If you've made a flyer, let us add it to the collection we have, each flyer speaks to someone!  Keep up the work, the communication, the rebellion, and the MOVEMENT!

Human Rights Coalition presents:
Mail Art 4 Mumia

Friday April 23 6-9pm
A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave

Support Mumia!

Flood the White House!

Mumia Abu-Jamal, the world's most well-known political prisoner, may be re-sentenced to death.

Demand a new, fair trial! Mail your solidarity!

Join us to create art to mail to the White House in support of Mumia's release.

Art supplies and refreshments provided.

For more info on this project:
Human Rights Coalition   215-921-3491
View event poster:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 24 - Mumia's Birthday - Events in NYC and Philly


Saturday, April 24, 2010
12:00-5:00 PM

American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA
$15.00 Donation

(Your donation will go towards transportaiton to Washington, DC on April 26 and toward the ongoing campaign to release Mumia.  If you can't attend, we still need your donations!!)

The Justice Dept said that if we could show there is evidence of an ongoing conspiracy to stop Mumia from having a fair trial, they could intervene.   We have the proof.  See the documents on line at and STAND WITH US on 4/26 in DC when we present them!

This is truly a not-to-be missed event that is growing by the day,so most definitely plan to be in the house for this crucial happening on the birthday of death row political prisonerand voice of the voiceless, Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Hold tight and get yourself ready for an afternoon with:

Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets, one of the grandfathers of hip-hop and badddest examples of revolutionary activism through culture on the planet!!

Sonia Sanchez, incredible and dynamic poet, professor, and committed activist who testified to the character of Mumia during his so-called "trial".

The incomparable Mama Charlotte O'Neal, international artist representing the UAACC projects on the mother continent to promote closer cultural ties around the world!

Mrs. Betty's Son (aka Shyste), dynamic Philly spoken word artist!

Prof. Linn Washington, brilliant activist and professor of journalism at Temple University, author of the must-read book Black Judges, former law clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Nix, freelance journalist with regular articles in the Philly Tribune

Atty. Leon Williams, who will be discussing filing of charges in the May 13th Bombing, editor and human rights activist

Atty. Michael Coard, Professor of Journalism, talk show host, teaches hip hop one-on-one, community law classes and PASCEP classes at Temple University

Ramona Africa, adult survivor of the 1985 bombing of the MOVE family by this government, former political prisoner, uncompromising Minister of Information for the MOVE organization

Sundiata Sadiq, President-in-Exile fo the Ossining, NY NAACP Chapter, Co-Chairperson of the NY Coalition to Free Mumia which spearheads the fast-growing Civil Rights Campaign to Release Mumia!

Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble!
Information on other political prisoners will be available for everyone in attendance!
Blessed are those who struggle / Oppression is worse than the grave
Better to die for a noble cause / than to live and die a slave (The Last Poets)



Saturday, April 24

2:30-6 p.m.
Program starts promptly at 3

St. Mary's Church
512 West 126th Street, NY
(between Old Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.)

Contact the International Action Center, 212-633-6646;
or the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, 212-330-8029. for Flyers + More!

Contact 215-476-8812 or 215-724-1618 in Philly or 718-325-4407 in NY

Free Mumia Rallies on Mumia's Birthday in Germany

Just a quick note: there will be a FREE MUMIA rally in Berlin on his birthday on April, 24. Some information in german is available here:

and a newspaper ad is attached.

In the cities of Kiel, Stuttgart and Hildesheim will be rallies or events to mark Mumia's birthday, too. More info:


Berlin Free Mumia Coalition

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pacifica Radio Network to Commemorate Birthday of U.S. Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

APRIL 12, 2010

Pacifica Radio Network (510) 849-2590

Also, via email:

Mitchel Cohen
Noelle Hanrahan

Radio Network to Commemorate Birthday of U.S. Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

Last week, the Pacifica Radio Network recommended that show hosts at all Pacifica stations "produce special programming on April 24th, the birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal, in order to highlight and bring attention to his case."

The resolution came before the National Board, which is the governing body of the Pacifica radio network and includes stations WBAI (New York), KPFA (Berkeley, California), KPFK (Los Angeles), WPFW (Washington D.C.) and KPFT (Houston).

April 24th will be the 56th birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the award-winning journalist who has spent the last 28 years of his life on death row in Pennsylvania. Abu-Jamal was convicted for the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer, Daniel Faulkner, in December, 1981 -- a crime Abu-Jamal insists he did not commit.

The resolution was presented by Alex Steinberg, a Director from WBAI (99.5 FM) and Chair of the station's Programming Committee, to the often fractious national board. In a surprising display of unity the resolution passed it unanimously.

Steinberg said that "it is part of the Pacifica network's core mission to draw attention to a case of injustice that has dragged on for 29 years and of the political uses to which the death penalty is being put."

Drawing connections to the Sacco and Vanzetti case in the 1920s and the Rosenberg case in the '50s, Steinberg continued: "The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal fits exactly into Pacifica's mission as a radio network, which is to to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between groups, and to use the radio to provide accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community."

The idea for commemorating Mumia Abu-Jamal's birthday on public radio stations was raised in a letter by Yuri Kochiyama, an activist and survivor of the U.S. government's internment camps of Japanese-Americans during World War II. It was further developed by Carole Seligman in California and by Mitchel Cohen, the Chair of the WBAI Local Station Board in New York, who worked with Steinberg on it, and received help from KPFA producer Noelle Hanrahan in formulating the idea for nation-wide programming for April 24th.

Hanrahan, who coordinates the Prison Project and has been supplying broadcasters with Abu-Jamal's commentaries for years, asks: "Why is the simple truth of life in prison and a searing perspective from death row perceived as such a threat? The answer lies in the fact that Mumia Abu-Jamal's voice reaches people, informs them and changes consciousness."

Efia Nwangaza, of Greenville South Carolina's WMXP (95.5 FM) and a representative of the over 140 stations affiliated with Pacifica Radio, supported Steinberg's resolution. "Encouraging programming that highlights Mumia Abu-Jamal's case is the kind of programming for which Pacifica is known and which best serves our nation," she said. "An informed electorate makes for a healthy democracy."

The Pacifica radio network has been at the forefront of informing listeners and challenging government censorship from its inception. Broadcasting the voices of prisoners including Mumia Abu-Jamal and investigating the conditions of imprisonment in the United States is in Pacifica's storied tradition of investigative, uncompromising, groundbreaking journalism.

When National Public Radio (NPR) censored Mumia Abu-Jamal's commentaries in 1994, canceling his debut as a featured regular commentator on All Things Considered at the behest of Senator Bob Dole, it was Democracy Now! and Pacifica radio that aired his voice across their national network.

As scholar Cornell West puts it, "Will we ever listen to, and learn from, our bloodstained prophets? Mumia Abu-Jamal speaks to us of the institutional injustice and spiritual impoverishment of our culture."

Mumia Abu-Jamal represents many others in death-row circumstances similar to his own, both in the fact of his case and in his writings, in which he discusses many other cases but rarely mentions himself. And he faces the same fate that many have faced before him and others still face -- that of being executed for a crime which, he insists, he did not commit.

Another Pacifica National Board Director from WBAI, Jennifer Jager, sums up her views on why she supported the resolution:

"Mumia Abu-Jamal was framed not because of any act he committed on that evil night in December  1981, but for his political writings exposing the corruption and lies of the police department in Philadelphia."

Indeed, in Feburary, 2000, the independent human rights group Amnesty International, among other organizations, released a report sharply criticizing the Fraternal Order of Police in Philadelphia in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Amnesty wrote: "Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in 1982 after a trial that failed to meet international standards. In this report Amnesty International conducts a full analysis of the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal including the background and atmosphere prevailing in the city of Philadelphia in 1982 and the possible political influences that may have prevented him from receiving an impartial and fair hearing."

Jager applauded the Pacifica Foundation "for having the courage and integrity to stand with Mumia and provide information about his case to the public. I am proud to serve on the board of this unique institution which provides true non-commercial free speech radio, and information you cannot hear anywhere else on the dial."

And WBAI Board Chair Mitchel Cohen concluded: "In my opinion, highlighting the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal not only exposes injustices present in this particular case but a racist pattern of abuse by the police and courts. These usurpations of civil liberties affect all of us; they are becoming increasingly evident in other cases as well  Troy Davis, Leonard Peltier and numerous others come to mind.

"This sort of national programming is what the Pacifica network is all about, why we do innovative radio to begin with, and why Pacifica is so important in today's America," Cohen said.

For background information and recordings of Mumia Abu-Jamal, please visit:

Noelle Hanrahan
Prison Radio


Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
(510) 763-2347

Saturday, April 10, 2010

MOVE: An Oral History

For years, the hostility between the city and the radical West Philly group MOVE had escalated. But nobody was prepared for the horrific way the fight would end one May afternoon in 1985. Now, 25 years later, the people who were there that day tell the still-unbelievable story

By Victor Fiorillo

IT WAS A standoff years in the making at 6221 Osage Avenue  the headquarters of a group called MOVE. The neighbors were fed up. The cops had warrants. And the members of the extremist back-to-nature organization had barricaded themselves inside. Their demand? Justice for nine MOVE members incarcerated  wrongly, some say  for the 1978 murder of Officer James Ramp. On May 13, 1985, shots rang out. Bystanders  including a young Michael Nutter  took cover. And then, as the sun began to set, a police helicopter flew in and released a bag filled with explosives onto the headquarters, making ours the only American city ever to drop a bomb on its own citizens. At the end of the day, 61 houses blazed, and 11 people  five of them children  died, the nightmarish images forever burned into Philadelphia’s consciousness. Next month marks the 25th anniversary of that day. Here, the people who lived through it tell the extraordinary story of the MOVE bombing.

Ramona Africa, MOVE spokesperson and the sole adult survivor of the 1985 fire: MOVE was formed in 1972 by John Africa. He gave us one common belief, in the all-importance of life. We had peaceful demonstrations: the Zoo, the circus, furriers, Dow, du Pont, and unsafe boarding homes for the elderly.

Andino R. Ward, father of Birdie Africa (now Michael Moses Ward), the sole child survivor of the 1985 fire: One day in the early ’70s, my wife Rhonda had a friend who was telling her about this group, MOVE. At this point, Rhonda and I were separated. Not long thereafter, I went to her mom’s house to pick up Mike. Her mom said they no longer lived there, she’s with MOVE. I went to the Powelton MOVE house, almost went to blows with John Africa. Then a guy came with a hatchet, so I got out of there. Later, Rhonda told me that her new family was MOVE, that John Africa was Mike’s father, that I could forget any involvement.

Michael Nutter, current mayor: In the late ’70s, there were various public activities involving MOVE. I was studying at Penn, and really only generally aware of them.

James Berghaier, retired Philly police officer: I’d see them acting up in the courtroom, but I didn’t give them any credibility.

Ramona Africa: The cops would come out and tell us we had to break down and go away. MOVE would not accept that.

Tigre Hill, director of The Barrel of a Gun, a forthcoming film about Mumia Abu-Jamal: John Africa came to be at a time of all the cults. Tim Leary. Jim Jones. John Africa wanted to blow up capitals. They were anti-cop, anti-government, anti-technology.

Sam Katz, three-time mayoral candidate: These folks made life in the neighborhood intolerable  they were disruptive of civil life to the extreme.

Angel Ortiz, former City Councilman: This was an intolerant time. If you were different, you were pursued. The MOVE members fit into that pattern. They were loud. But I don’t believe they were plotting subversive action against the state.

Ramona Africa: The government couldn’t explain their position, didn’t want to hear us. That’s when the beatings and unjust jailings started. MOVE men and women  pregnant women  were beat.

James Berghaier: And then there was the guns-on-the-porch incident.

Ramona Africa: We are not a violent people. We are uncompromisingly opposed to violence. But we do believe in self-defense. You’re violent if you don’t defend, because then you’re endorsing violence.

Andino Ward: In the mid-’70s, I went to the Powelton house. I tried to initiate conversation, and somebody shot at me. I took off running. I wouldn’t see my son for another 10 years.

Tigre Hill: Today you have this revisionist history of this peaceful group in West Philly. They were not peaceful.

Ramona Africa: In May of ’77, we took a stand after MOVE people were beat bloody. You come at us? We’re coming back at you. We took to a platform built in front of our house, and we displayed weapons.

James Berghaier: We got called in. The commissioner said, “I don’t want any crazy shootings. Find good positions. If shooting starts, do you have a problem taking them out?” I said no.

Charles “Tommy” Mellor, retired Philly police officer: I never heard of MOVE until ’77. When I saw them brandishing their weapons, I was taken aback. Them standing out there with automatic weapons, and no one was doing anything about it.

James Berghaier: From 1977 to 1978, 24 hours a day, we sat outside and listened to the rhetoric. If they came out, we were to apprehend.

Ramona Africa: Our main demand was that the members in jail for riot and weapons be released. Mayor Rizzo said he didn’t negotiate with terrorists, so we stood our ground.

Frank Rizzo Jr., son of then-mayor Frank Rizzo: My father made the decision to evict them with a court order.

Ramona Africa: They turned off our water, didn’t pick up our trash. Then on August 1st, the city said they wanted every MOVE person out, we had to give up our home, and we said no. It wasn’t about the house. They wanted to get rid of  to murder ­ MOVE.

William Richmond, former Philadelphia fire commissioner: In ’78, I was deputy chief in charge of research and planning, and we were involved in the planning process for that episode. I went on-site and looked at the geography, saw what problems we might encounter.

Tigre Hill: In 1978, I was 10. My mom and I drove to the compound to stop and look. There were TV trucks. Police barricades. The next day was the shoot-out.

Ramona Africa: In the middle of the night, hundreds of cops marched out with the fire department. Not to arrest, but to kill.

James Berghaier: Bullshit. I didn’t go out there to kill. I went in to put in my eight hours. I was there to call their bluff.

William Richmond: We set up deluge guns to knock down the wooden slats they had over the windows.

Ramona Africa: They pumped almost six feet of water into that basement, knowing there were men and women and babies and dogs in there.

James Berghaier: After Monsignor Devlin wasn’t able to talk them into coming out, the fire department started the deluge gun. I thought they were going to come out, I really did. I didn’t think they were that devoted. The worst thing you can do is underestimate your adversary.

Tommy Mellor: We broke down the fence surrounding the house. I was the third person through the front door. We eventually got to the basement with the tear gas.

James Berghaier: Pretty soon, gunfire erupts. I fired two or three rounds.

Tommy Mellor: Bullets were flying, hitting pipes. We were in water up to our waist, and there were rats and feces. It was a bad place to be.

William Richmond: When the shooting started, our firefighters were in the wrong place. We had a number hit. Whatever plan was in place didn’t flow.

Tommy Mellor: I couldn’t tell what was going on.

James Berghaier: I can’t say I saw a MOVE member shoot, and I can’t tell you I saw a cop shoot. But I did see the result of it. Officer Ramp was dead. After the shooting, the women came out with the kids. That was the end of it. They knocked the house down.

Ramona Africa: The cops emptied their guns and then emptied them again. James Ramp was on street level facing MOVE, and he was shot by a bullet traveling downward. Obviously, somebody above him killed him.

Tigre Hill: From all of the documentation I’ve seen, it’s clear that Ramp was killed by MOVE.

Angel Ortiz: Did the MOVE members shoot Ramp? This has never been fully answered. The MOVE compound was razed without proper forensic analysis.

Ramona Africa: A team came to demolish MOVE headquarters. They were accusing my family of killing a cop. That makes it the scene of a crime. Why destroy the evidence?

Frank Rizzo Jr.: A lot of people feel there was a police cover-up. Friendly fire. The person who killed Ramp was in the basement of that house. And the person who killed him, those people are in jail.

On August 4, 1981, nine MOVE members were sent to prison for the murder of Officer Ramp. In the years that followed, during which time MOVE supporter Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner, MOVE relocated its headquarters to 6221 Osage Avenue, and continued to fight for the MOVE 9, becoming even more of a thorn in the side of the neighbors, the city, and the new mayor, Wilson Goode.

Seth Williams, current district attorney: In the early ’80s, I was in high school at Central. MOVE bought a home on Osage. My house was just around the corner. I played basketball with the MOVE guys. There was no political talk. Just the trash-talking that goes on at pickup games in West Philly.

Angel Ortiz: When I joined Council in 1984, MOVE was still having problems. Neighbors complained about hygiene and loud music.

Charles Diamond, former priest at St. Carthage: The church was a half-block from Osage. They were constantly blaring messages. My congregants were hearing people running over their roofs at night.

Ramona Africa: We had met with Wilson Goode when he was managing director. But when Wilson became mayor, we couldn’t get near him. He wasn’t going to do anything for us. So we set up our microphone and started boarding up our home.

Theodore Price, former resident of neighboring 6250 Pine Street: I didn’t have too much confrontation with them. I worked nights. But I knew people who had lots of problems with them.

Ed Rendell, current governor and then--district attorney of Philadelphia: The neighbors were complaining about everything from loud noise to a horrible smell. All sorts of nuisance complaints.

Seth Williams: By the spring of ’85, they’re on bullhorns shouting obscenities all the time. People were fed up. The public forced the hand of the managing director [Leo Brooks] and police to do something.

Ramona Africa: The cops claimed we were bad neighbors. Since when has this government shown any interest in black people complaining about black people?

Ed Rendell: The police came to me and said, “What do we got here?” And I said, “You might advise the neighbors to come file a private criminal complaint.” But there were no felonies, probably nothing to get an arrest warrant on.

Angel Ortiz: You could see it developing if you had any sense. It was a police state. But I thought it could be handled.

James Berghaier: With Goode being the mayor, I thought the chances of negotiations would be greater. I thought it would get resolved.

Ed Rendell: Then weapons were brandished, I believe. And tied with the threats  it became actionable. Not major, but actionable.

Frank Powell, retired police lieutenant: Late April of ’85, we got word that the city wanted them out, to come up with a plan. I was the head of the bomb squad back then. So we got together  the bomb squad, the firearms training unit and the tactical -division. The plan was to go to the homes adjacent to the house  remember, this was a rowhouse  and blow small holes in the wall using a charge and inject tear gas.

Ed Rendell: I guess maybe 10 days before the fire, I went out there and talked to one or two members over the fence. I said, “Look, guys, you can’t go on like this. No good can come of this. Why don’t you just surrender?” They were very respectful, but they basically said no. And I didn’t have any further contact.

Frank Powell: MOVE had built a bunker on the roof of the house, and it was clearly a problem. It covered any operations on Osage. Police Commissioner Sambor asked me if I could get up on the roof and put a charge on the bunker. But I couldn’t. I’d be exposed to shooters in the bunker.

Bob Brady, current Congressman and then-deputy mayor for labor: I was in Goode’s office. There were a lot of people there. Richmond. Sambor. All these military men giving advice. I thought it would be a good idea if we got a boom crane to knock that bunker off. But somebody above my pay scale decided against it.

Ed Rendell: The police came to me in Goode’s office and showed me aerial photographs. There were weapons and big cans of oil on the roof. I authorized arrest and search warrants.

Wilson Goode, in testimony before the MOVE Commission, October 15, 1985: I directed [police commissioner Gregore Sambor] to be in charge of [a] … plan that would enable us to make arrests of such MOVE members as the D.A. was able to provide warrants for … the protection of police officers and firefighters and occupants of the house was paramount. … We did not want persons involved who may have a hot temper, who may emotionally have been attached to 1978. … What I said to him was … “I’m the mayor, and I must rely upon you to go and do a proper kind of plan.”

Gregore Sambor, former police commissioner, in testimony to the MOVE Commission, October 17, 1985: We had lessons from sad experience. In the spring of 1977, we had hoped that armed threats would disappear if pacified. By the fall of that year, we had thought that an indefinite state of siege would starve MOVE into submission. By August of 1978, we hoped that an overpowering police presence … would intimidate MOVE to peaceful surrender. The plan for May 13th was the most conservative, controlled, disciplined and safe operation that we could devise based upon these lessons. 

William Richmond: Late Friday, I get a call that there was a meeting at the police administration building on Saturday morning. At the meeting, we were told that Sambor would make a pronouncement by bullhorn for MOVE to exit the house. If they didn’t exit, we’d start the squirts and throw water at quite a volume to neutralize the bunkers. Then the police would get the tear gas in. But we hadn’t been out there. The planning was terrible.

James Berghaier: We were going to breach walls in the basement and second floors and use tear gas, leaving the first floor as an escape for MOVE people. And I think, I’m okay with this.

Theodore Price: On Sunday, May 12th, 1985, the police told us that we had to go somewhere and stay. I went to a hotel on Baltimore Avenue.

Ramona Africa: We knew something big was about to happen. Police told people to go out and visit family, that they could come back the next night. Boy, were they wrong.

Michael Nutter: In 1985, I was Councilman Ortiz’s chief of staff. He asked me to look into the situation that Sunday. There were police barricades, news vans, and a general sense of tension in the air. I talked through a screen door with Ramona Africa. She expressed that the family was upset about the members locked up, and they were prepared to take whatever actions necessary to try to make their release happen. Soon, there was increasing presence by the police, specialized officers, SWAT teams. I was out there most of the night.

Tommy Mellor: We get out to the house at 4 or 5 a.m on Monday. It was very quiet. Dark. Eerie. I was carrying a tear gas machine.

William Richmond: I rode out on the squirt truck. This was the first time I had seen the bunker or Osage. We positioned on 62nd Street. That’s when we saw the trees in our way, and I thought, The squirts aren’t going to reach.

Michael Nutter: Police presence significantly increased again. The power had been turned off. And then the commissioner made an announcement that the folks should come out of the house.

William Richmond: I’ll never forget it. “This is America …” he started.

Ramona Africa: He said, “Attention, MOVE. This is America. You have to abide by the laws and rules of America.”

Frank Powell: Then one of them gets on the loudspeaker and calls the commissioner a motherfucker.

Michael Nutter: At some point, what sounded like gunfire broke out. People were running for cover.

William Richmond: Once the shooting started, we turned on the squirts, but they were too far. We couldn’t neutralize those bunkers.

Tommy Mellor: What major city lets people build a bunker on their roof? You try to build a fence and L&I will shut you down.

William Richmond: The bunkers were critical. They overlooked everything. High ground, in military parlance.

Ramona Africa: Firefighters are sworn to protect life, but they were the first phase of the attack. The water was pouring into the house, and then we heard that the police were going to try to use tear gas.

James Berghaier: We used the charge in the wall next door, and Tommy Mellor started to put the pipe through but hit something.

Tommy Mellor: We didn’t realize how well-fortified the house was. I could barely make a dent in it to get the tear gas in.

James Berghaier: They had walls inside of walls. But we did get through and get gas on for a bit.

Marc Lamont Hill, Columbia University professor and former Fox News correspondent: I was only seven, living in Germantown. During the day, as things developed, the teachers were talking about it. I remember one was crying. They were upset.

Michael Moses Ward, formerly Birdie Africa, in 1985 testimony before the MOVE Commission: We was in the cellar for a while …  and tear gas started coming in and we got the blankets. And they was wet. And then we put them over our heads and started laying down.

Ramona Africa: They were shooting. They knew there was children. They had arrest warrants, yes, but we hadn’t been convicted of anything. And what they claimed to be arresting us for was not capital offenses. They had artillery of war. M16s. Sidearms. Sniper rifles with silencers  the weapon of an assassin.

James Berghaier: The bomb guys were using some sort of charge to try to breach the wall. We attempted to get back into the [neighboring] house, but the way it was explained to me, MOVE violated the integrity of the house by knocking down joists. The first floor of the house we had been in collapsed.

Frank Rizzo Jr.: My father never had much respect for Sambor. People thought my dad was excessive. But Sambor ran around in fatigues. Dad heard that they were planning to drop an explosive.

Frank Powell: Around 4 or 5 p.m., they call me into a meeting. Sambor asks if we could use a helicopter to blow the bunker off. I don’t know, I say. I never dropped a bomb out of a helicopter. What happens if they shoot the helicopter down and it lands on a house? What happens if I miss?

James Berghaier: We hear that a helicopter is going to drop a bomb. We’re supposed to take a defensive position. I blew it off: You’re not going to drop a bomb.

Tommy Mellor: They had pulled us out of the house, so I went to Cobbs Creek Parkway. Ducking bullets all day tires you out. I went to sleep in the dirt. Somebody woke me up, and I heard they were going to throw a device to knock the bunker off. Of all the strange things going on then, it didn’t seem strange.

Gregore Sambor, in testimony: The use of the device itself gives me the least pause. It was selected as a conservative and safe approach to what I perceived as a tactical necessity. I was assured that the device would not harm the occupants. What has imprinted that device on the mind of the city is, in fact, the method of delivery. If it had been carried or thrown into position or if it had been dropped from a crane, the perception of that action would be quite different.

William Richmond: So the decision was made to take a helicopter, and use a satchel charge  that’s the term for explosives in a gym bag. The helicopter made two or three passes with Frank Powell strapped in.

Frank Rizzo Jr.: I’ll never forget it. My father was in the family room, watching it all on TV. When he saw the state police helicopter, all the intelligence he had started coming together, and he said, “Son, they’re going to drop a bomb on this headquarters.”

Frank Powell: As soon as I dropped the satchel, the pilot got the hell out. The rotor wash blew it across the roof. I said, “Oh shit!” And then it went off. There was a football-shaped hole. It missed the bunker.

Michael Ward, in testimony: That is when the big bomb went off. It shook the whole house up.

William Richmond: Frank dropped it, which took a lot of moxie. The concussion knocked out windows of nearby homes. Debris went everywhere. Minutes later, someone said to me there was a fire on the roof. These things start small and build up over time.

Ed Rendell: When I heard that they used an incendiary device on the roof, I was amazed, because you could clearly see drums of oil up there. And it would seem to me to have been lunacy under those circumstances to drop an incendiary device. But they did. And as the afternoon rolled on and the fire started, it became almost a holocaust.

Frank Rizzo Jr.: When my father saw the fire department shut the water off, he couldn’t believe that anyone in the U.S. would use fire to force people from a building.

William Richmond: Originally, the police wanted to access the property via the hole in the roof. We couldn’t leave the squirts on, because we’d wash off police attempting to breach. And the squirts caused a tremendous amount of smoke  the fear was that MOVE members would exit shooting from different locations. There was a managing director’s directive in place. One commander in place: the police commissioner. We were under authority of police.

James Berghaier: There’s so much fire and smoke. We can’t tell what’s gunshots and what’s windows popping. And we hear over the radio that someone is coming out.

Tommy Mellor: And then Ramona comes out, surrounded by smoke. And Birdie comes out next.

James Berghaier: It was like fantasy. Like he came out of fire. He was barefoot. Ramona tried to pick him up but lost her grip. He landed on his head … I scooped him up. And Tommy took Ramona into custody.

Tommy Mellor: By this time, the fire had already spread to other houses.

Angel Ortiz: I was coming out the back of the Art Museum with Ed Rendell and my wife. We saw the plume of smoke, and Ed and I looked at each other. It was one hell of a fire.

Ed Rendell: Later that night was the spring Democratic dinner over at the Franklin Plaza, and we watched the houses in flames on one of the little TVs in the bar.

Seth Williams: My friends and I watched the fire in disbelief. It went from a minor tragedy to a catastrophic event. Eleven of my classmates lost their homes.

Tigre Hill: I came home from Archbishop Carroll. I lived  and still live  in Wynnefield. It was on TV, and from my house, which is a distance away, I could see the smoke. My mother and I, we were just so stunned.

Theodore Price: We had no idea what was going on, so we checked out of our hotel on Monday. When we got to the street, there was a whole lot of action. And after they dropped it, the fire starts trickling to each house. Boom! Boom! Boom!

Sam Katz: I was landing in an airplane in South Philly, and the sky was bright orange. I had no idea what it was. But it was a remarkable scene from up there. Then I was on the ground in my car, with KYW on. The whole thing just careened completely out of control.

Theodore Price: It burnt 61 houses. It looked like a war zone. My house was completely destroyed. I had just put in new siding and picture windows. I lived in that house since 1957. It was bought and paid for.

Wilson Goode, in a press conference that night: I stand fully accountable for the action that took place tonight. I will not try to place any blame on any one of my subordinates. I was aware of what was going on, and therefore, I support them in terms of their decisions. And therefore, the people of the city will have to judge the mayor, in fact, of what happened.

Gregore Sambor, in testimony: I remain convinced that any approach on May 13th would have presented an immediate and deadly danger. … It remains a fact that if MOVE members had simply come out of the building, they would be alive today. But they announced that morning that they would never surrender and that they would kill as many of us as they could.

Marc Lamont Hill: I’ve talked to Goode. He regrets his actions. I would argue that it’s the biggest regret he has in his life. It haunts him. I wouldn’t be surprised if his move to the clergy was prompted by his deep sense of regret and guilt.

Sam Katz: I don’t want to point the finger at who should be punished, but there was a moral breakdown here, both in the act and the aftermath. I think it affected Goode profoundly.

Wilson Goode, in a 2004 interview with Philadelphia magazine: In the whole scheme of things, MOVE was a bad day. It was a really bad day.

On March 6, 1986, the 11-member Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission  or MOVE Commission  issued a report condemning city officials, stating: “Dropping a bomb on an occupied rowhouse was unconscionable.” No criminal charges were filed against anyone in city government. Wilson Goode was reelected to a second term.

A burned Ramona Africa served seven years in prison for charges relating to the May 13th confrontation. Following her 1992 release, she won a civil case against the city for $500,000. Michael Ward was reunited with his father, Andino Ward, and later won a $1.5 million judgment against the city.

The 250 residents who lost their homes had yet another saga to endure: rebuilding, a process plagued by patronage, politics and incompetence. It continues, to some extent, to this day.

Many of the police officers involved were profoundly affected by their experience. James Berghaier quickly left the force due to post-traumatic stress disorder. Another officer committed suicide.

Mumia's Tribute to Paul Robeson

A special belated birthday treat for our honored ancestor, Bro. Paul Robeson, please check out this brief but very powerful 5 min. video clip of our Bro. speaking and then Mumia paying tribute to him. Thanks to Bro. Lumumba Bandele for posting this to Facebook and please freely share!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Sunday, April 18, 2010, 1-3pm
Clapp Hall, 4249 5th Ave.
Across from Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel
Pittsburgh, PA


So many of us in Pittsburgh have had the great fortune to know, learn from and stand together with Dennis Brutus and Howard Zinn on many issues and in many struggles. Through their writings, films and examples they can still inspire young people to take action and help seasoned activists to keep on working for social justice and peace for the rest of our lives.

Please join us at this tribute to our wonderful teachers, friends and fellow activists.

The program will include speakers, who were their dear friends and collaborators, including Staughton Lynd, "The People Speak" co-producer Lisa Smith, Celeste Taylor, Paul LeBlanc and Marcus Rediker, Chair of the Pitt History Department. In addition, Howard and Dennis will be present through videos.

We'll have an open mike for people to speak out or share a favorite poem or excerpt.

Their books will be on sale. Spread the word widely and help make this an afternoon of celebration and inspiration. For more info 412-241-6087.

25th Anniversary of Bombing of MOVE

05/12: 25th Anniversary of Bombing of MOVE! STOP POLICE TERROR!


This year marks 25 YEARS since the bombing of our FAMILY!  MOVE is delivering
MURDER complaints to Seth Williams (Philadelphia’s First Black District
Attorney) at 9:00am on May 12th, CHARGING officials with the VICIOUS MURDER of
11 INNOCENT MOVE family members!

There will be a 10:00 am press conference at the AFSC, located at 15th & Cherry
Sts., about the MURDER COMPLAINTS.

There will also be a 6:00 pm program at the African-American Museum, located at
7th & Arch Sts., which includes the screening of 2 Films On MOVE.

Following, on Sunday, May 16th, there will be a CHILDREN’S PLAY performed by
the MOVE children at The Rotunda, located at 40th& Walnut Sts., directly behind
the Bridge Movie Theatre.

For more INFO please contact:
P.O. BOX 19709
PHILA., PA. 19143 or call (215) 387-4107


Speakers: Dr Suzanne Ross - (Co-Chair Free Mumia Abu Jamal Coalition)
Sundiata Sadiq - (Former Pres. of NAACP Ossining NY Chapter, Now in 5th year of suspension)

Join us for an update on the case of Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. The court system has closed its doors to the possibility of a new trial for Mumia and has left only two alternatives for him: execution or life in prison without parole. We demand the Department of Justice conduct a civil rights investigation into the outrageous frame-up of Mumia. Come get all the facts as we prepare for a demonstration in front of the Department of Justice Monday, April 26, two days after Mumia's 56th birthday.

Sat. April 17th 4:30PM @ St Stephens Church - 1525 Newton ST NW Washington, DC 20010

Organized By: Black Is Back Coalition & Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Writers for Mumia Event on April 24, Mumia's Birthday, Build Up for April 26 in DC

Readings and Testimonials
by poets, playwrights, journalists,
book authors, wordsmiths, & activists

List in formation
Loretta Campbell
David Lindorff
Susan E. Davis
Sister Lupe
Shelley Ettinger
Edwuare X. Osayande
Jose Angel Figueroa Ndigo
Robert Gibbons
Louis Reyes Rivera
Rashidah Ismaili
Yusef Salaam
Atiba Kwabena
Nana Soul

Saturday, April 24
2:30 - 6:00 pm
Program starts promptly at 3

St. Mary's Church
512 West 126th Street
(between Old Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.)

Mumia Abu-Jamal now faces a most critical moment in his decades-long struggle to be granted a new trial based on solid, incontrovertible evidence of prosecutorial misconduct during the criminal court trial that led to his conviction on charges of killing a Philadelphia police officer. This past January, the Supreme Court overturned the Third Circuit Court of Appeals' 2008 decision to set aside the death penalty based on improper instructions given to the jurors. Instead, the high court has instructed the circuit court to "reconsider" its earlier decision, particularly reinstitution of the death penalty.

To celebrate Mumia's birthdate (April 24, 1954), the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the National Writers Union (NWU/New York Chapter) are organizing Writers for Mumia, an afternoon of readings and testimonials in Harlem. The event immediately precedes a rally scheduled for Monday, April 26, in front of the Justice Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. to demand a civil rights investigation of Mumia's case.

For more information contact Writers for Mumia through the International Action Center, 212-633-6646; or the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, 212-330-8029.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

4/3 Live from Death Row: Mumia at the Crossroads in the Age of Obama

Saturday, April 3, 2010
7:00pm - 10:00pm 
The Diana Center - Barnard College, Columbia University

Conference registration website link:

Reserve free tickets to the event at:

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist, humanist, advocate for social justice, and “Voice of the Voiceless” who has been wrongfully imprisoned on Pennsylvania’s death row for the last 28 years. A recent Supreme Court decision has made Mumia vulnerable to execution.

Mumia is at a crossroads, as are many in this “age of Obama.” Join us as we ignite a real conversation about the racialized character of mass incarceration in America, and of U.S. Human Rights violations nationally and internationally, which still have such grave consequences for peace, the world economy, gender relations, and the environment.

Location: The Event Oval at the Diana Center
3009 Broadway at 117th St
Off the 116th St Station on the 1 Train

Guest Speakers: 7-10 pm

--CORNEL WEST, Professor of Religion, Princeton University
--VIJAY PRASHAD, Historian, Trinity College
--JAMAL JOSEPH, Chair of Film Division, Columbia University School of Arts

We Will also be hosting educational and organizing workshops on Mumia's Case from 1-3 pm and 3-5 pm at Kent Hall, Columbia Campus.

Register for workshops here: