30 Years Later: The Bombing Of MOVE Part 1
Jared Ball and Bashi Rose report from Philadelphia during the May 13th Commemoration of the Bombing of MOVE in 1985
JARED BALL: What’s up world, and welcome to this special edition of I Mix What I Like for The Real News Network. I’m Jared Ball.
We’re here in Philadelphia at the rally, march, and later the panel commemorating 30 years since the May 1985 bombing of the MOVE organization. Again, here in Philly up the road at Osage Avenue. This is also a rally in commemoration for all political prisoners, and specifically Mumia Abu-Jamal. So stay with us and check it out. This is what it looked and sounded like.
SPEAKER: We’re here in front of the 18th Police District [and here in] Philadelphia for the 30th year anniversary of the bombing of our family, of the MOVE organization, and I want to say one thing. The City of Philadelphia Police Department, they’re pulling black people by the scruff of their necks. Beating, kicking, maiming, killing, beating our family, our women into miscarriage. Locking our men up. And it ain’t just the MOVE Organization. It’s poor black people, poor white people, poor Latino people. People that can’t afford these motherfucking [inaud.] Mercedes-Benzes and all that shit that they think they can stomp upon. I just want to let this motherfucking police department know, no fucking more. The internet is here, and people are blasting your asses in front so the whole goddamn world can see them.
Racist motherfuckers. My brother Delbert Africa was beaten so bad they said he would never walk again. But long live John Africa, because he was shot, and it was in front of the national–it went worldwide, he was shot and beat by these racist motherfuckers. [Inaud.], motherfucker, I’m so glad you’re six feet underground because your wife blew your fucking brains out, because you was beating her, too. These police–I mean, Wilson motherfucking Good. Ask them how many times the police had to come out to his house because he was beating his wife. Motherfucker. These people don’t, they don’t care about us. But they don’t care about their own goddamn families, either.
On a MOVE.
SPEAKER: –are under attack, what do we do?
PROTESTERS: Stand up fight back!
SPEAKER: Black lives matter!
PROTESTERS: MOVE lives matter!
PROTESTERS: Self defense is not a crime. Free the MOVE 9. [Repeats]
BALL: All right, Jared Ball, Bashi Rose back again for I Mix What I Like and The Real News Network. Again, live from Philadelphia covering the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the MOVE house. And we’re here with Rain Africa. Just if you would, tell us what you think about what we’re doing here, what is going on with MOVE today, what would you like people to know about the MOVE organization, the MOVE movement, and the 30th anniversary we’re here commemorating.
RAIN AFRICA: Well, the MOVE organization was founded by John Africa. He’s the coordinator and founder of the MOVE organization. He was one of the 11 who was murdered May 13th, 1985. He has the teachings and the quotes that we live by even to this day. And it’s still such a powerful thing, where you can’t kill the messenger. You can kill the messenger, but you can’t kill the message. Because obviously, I was born 15 years after May 13th. I never met anyone in that house. My father was five years old at that time. But the message still lives on. It still goes on, and we’re 30 years later, we’re stronger than we ever were. Way stronger. It’s way more of us. It’s just amazing.
And the fact that MOVE cannot be broken. We can’t be broken. They have killed–sorry. But they have killed us, they’ve hurt our babies, they have kicked us into miscarriage. They’ve beat us, our men bloody, near death. But you can’t break us. We’re still here. We’re still fighting. The MOVE organization, we fight for all life forms. We don’t just fight for human rights or environmental rights. We don’t separate it.
We fight for all, and that’s what brought us to the clash with the Philadelphia police and the government, was that we spoke out, and we were peaceful with it, though. We spoke out the zoo, and we did elderly homes where they were neglecting the elderly in the early ’70s. So they would come out and they would make us move. Well, you can’t do that. You can’t speak out, because those are untouched subjects that they don’t want to speak out about. And it eventually led up to May 13th 1985, where they took a C4 bomb–and Lynne Abraham, a mayoral candidate, a bitch at that, is running for mayor now. She signed illegal warrants to come out that day. Warrants that had nothing, that were false, that had no basis to them. And then eventually after the killing of 11 people, also helped put Ramona Africa in prison for seven years. And she was a political prisoner at that time.
So we’re just, right now our goal is for people not to forget May 13th, but also to free our MOVE 9. And this year we have the passing of Phil Africa, they murdered him. In prison, one day he was absolutely fine, and then the next, six days later he was dead. Merle Africa they–.
BALL: Right, I was going to ask you, who do you have pictured here on these posters?
AFRICA: On this one I have Merle Africa. I think it’s a very prominent example of what’s going, happened to Phil also happened to her two years before I was born in 1998. She was also killed in the prison, and John–I have to wrap up, though. But John Africa said–.
BALL: We understand. We’re keeping it moving. MOVE is marching. On a MOVE, and all that good stuff.
AFRICA: All I want to say with ending it is long live John Africa, long live revolution, and long live the people who keep the revolution going.
BALL: Thank you very much. On a MOVE.
CHANTING: Black lives matter! MOVE lives matter! [Repeats]
PROTESTERS: We’re going to free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
BALL: All right everybody, this is Jared Ball, Bashi Rose, Real News Network. IMixWhatILike.org here with the Chairman, Fred Hampton Jr., here in Philadelphia, obviously trying to show support to a lot of different things. MOVE, Mumia, political prisoners. Tell everybody why you’re here, in particular.
FRED HAMPTON, JR, ACTIVIST: First of all, I’m honored and humbled to be here. I’m still [as with] Chairman Fred [haven’t seen] to say hi to the people. I’m just literally coming back from the West Coast, with Oakland, Sacramento, [kind of] all places, then we had Baltimore, and now here in Philadelphia, our major campaign–brother Marshall Eddie Conway, right on. I see you, my brother.
BALL: Come on interrupt, man.
HAMPTON: It’s good to see you. Good to see you out here. [Inaud.] Real talk.
BALL: And this is perfect.
HAMPTON: I had no idea, man, I had no idea. [I had to make up] for some hunger strikes I was on.
BALL: So this is perfect, because we’re recording our interview. So this is perfect. Eddie Conway works with us at The Real News as well, and this is a legendary meeting. We’re happy to be getting this on tape.
EDDIE CONWAY: That’s right, that’s right. Glad to be here with you.
HAMPTON: [Inaud.] Last time I seen him, on the prison visits. You know–.
CONWAY: Yeah, yeah, that’s right.
HAMPTON: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s when I’ve seen him, on the prison visits.
CONWAY: [Ten years].
BALL: So better, a little chubby and relatively free. That’s getting it on the [block], right. So, so we are–.
CONWAY: That’s right, keep doing the show. Keep doing it, that’s right.
HAMPTON: Still, still in fighting shape, though.
BALL: So to the young people in particular who we know we want to see this, what would the both of you have to say about why you’re here and why it’s important they remember this struggle and continue this kind of struggle? I’ll start with you, Chairman Fred, then we’ll come to brother Eddie Conway here in a second.
HAMPTON: As I just said, I’m [inaud.] of the people right now. It’s important that–you know what I’m saying, we talk about such terms as terrorism. That people [inaud.] put in the correct context. So the deal is a lot of the time when we say certain terms like terrorism, people automatically identify it with a situation like New York or September 11th. But we have a position that we say, African people in particular who are the OVs, they’re the original victims of terrorism, who have been terrorized under such euphemisms as gentrification, which really is nothing but land grabs. Or the growing prison-industrial complex, which really is the mass kidnapping of African and other colonized people, and placed inside those, you know, concentration camps. Even the term police brutality is a euphemism. We say that’s police terrorism. In fact, every day in one way or another’s September 11th for us.
And we say kind of like the Alcoholics Anonymous says. The first step in addressing the problem is recognizing that we have a problem. Being oppressed is embarrassing. Being oppressed is embarrassing, we do acknowledge that. However, we must heighten the level of [inaud.] [We understand] that we not only can be victims–we recognize they are victims, but they are fighting back victims. So that’s one thing to the youth and to our community in general. We have to acknowledge these [conflicts] and deal with them.
BALL: And where do people go to find your work and continue to follow and join and support, and all of that good stuff?
HAMPTON: Well, they call me the banned man. They’ve shut me out of all the major media in Chicago. They just took me off Facebook again. So hit me on my blog, www.chairmanfredjr.blogspot.com.
BALL: All right, that’s what’s up. Can I get one for my girls?
HAMPTON: Hey, keep your heads up, eyes open, and fists clenched. You all know how we do this. If we say what’s the call, free them all.
BALL: Eddie Conway, I know you’re here for The Real News, we’re doing some of the same work. But you are also someone who is celebrated in these spaces as again, original victim, as Fred Jr. just said. Recently, relatively, freed from the holocaust and the concentration camps, the prisons. Tell us a little bit why it’s important for you to be here both as a journalist and a participant.
CONWAY: Well, it’s important I think, one, to cover this. To have this story out. Because the major medias don’t report this kind of stuff. They don’t tell us that this stuff is going on all over the whole country. You know, so we need to have a voice of our own. That’s one of the reasons we’re here.
But the other reason is it’s symbolic. Like, I just did 44 years in the Maryland prison system as a political prisoner. Other political prisoners need to see this and understand that this is a victory of the people and that I’m here, they can be here, and eventually we’ll get them all here. But we also need to bring forth our history and let people know what happened to us in the history and how we were struggling, but also why they need to take up the banner, and they need to build and organize and move forward into the future, because it’s not over.
BALL: That’s what’s up. Marshall Eddie Conway, Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. I’m Jared Ball for The Real News Network, I Mix What I Like, Bashi Rose. Peace if you’re willing to fight for it, as his father used to say. We’ll catch you in the whirlwind. Peace, everybody.
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