Del Africa, 72, and I talked for three hours in the prison visitors’ room. “There are times when I think about Life and my son Phil, but I don’t keep those thoughts in my mind long because they hurt.”. “I’m looking at 22 [people] who look like [they’re in] a refugee camp. The BLA continued the struggle by waging urban guerrilla war across the U.S. through highly mobile strike teams. They snuck her out at 5.00 in the morning. Mumia Abu-Jamal has nearly had his life stolen by the prison-industrial complex many times. “We demonstrated against puppy mills, zoos, circuses, any form of enslavement of animals. An African American man, his hair in dreadlocks, chest bare, stands with arms outstretched as though emulating Jesus on the cross. As a teen, Joe-Joe Bowen was a member of Philly's 30th and Norris Street gang. Soon after Move adults and naked children began emerging from the smoke-ridden basement. Forty years ago, Philadelphia erupted in one of the most dramatic shoot-outs of the black liberation struggle. I got to be able to get to the toilet. He once said of the Move radicals: “You are dealing with criminals, barbarians, you are safer in the jungle!” Another Rizzo classic was: “Break their heads is right. “I don’t like talking about the night Life was killed,” she wrote in April. Throughout, the Move prisoners have drawn strength from companionship with other members of the nine. Move members were battered by water cannon as they took refuge in the basement of the building. The ranks of the Move 9 have slowly been depleted over the years. “Everybody knows how strong Move men are. He also told me what happened the second after that photo was taken, as though he were narrating the next few frames of a news reel. But it was the Black Liberation Army, known as the BLA and a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party, that posed the greatest threat to police. It looked like a war zone. “No, never going to do that,” he said. Eventually Del Africa won the right to keep his dreads. Dark times …”. Other names. “That would be akin to making them right. Janine shared a cell with two other surviving Move women – Debbie Africa and Janet Holloway Africa – in Cambridge Springs women’s prison in Pennsylvania. I reported to the nurses. In 2015 the state Department of Health found the cancer rate there was “significantly higher than expected.” Shoatz survived prostate cancer only to develop Stage Four colon cancer in 2019. Maroon, Russell Maroon Shoatz, The Implacable. That’s how it’s been since our arrest in 1978,” she said. RIP.”. Summary: The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was an underground, black nationalist militant organization that operated from 1970 to 1981. Rizzo bragged he would “show them more firepower than they’ve ever seen”. “I just cried,” he said during my prison visit. While the number of Black liberation leaders locked up since the heyday of the Black Panthers is dwindling—with the surviving seven members of the Move 9 in Philadelphia having all been released on parole in the past two years—many, such as Edward Poindexter, who marked his fiftieth year in prison this August, still remain. “It’s strange not having Deb here,” Janine said. She too died in the fire. The photograph is one of the standout images of the 1970s black liberation struggle. Joseph earned his BA from the University of Kansas while at Leavenworth. A member of the New Black Panther Party who was charged with voter intimidation in the 2008 election for standing outside a Philadelphia polling site was back Tuesday morning – … The black liberation group MOVE was founded in 1972 by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart). You might characterise them as black liberationists-cum-eco warriors. Another officer clasps a police helmet in his right hand as if preparing to whack him over the head with it. “We read, we play cards, we watch TV. The utter horror and indignity of the situation Shoatz is enduring shocks the conscience. After 48 years of imprisonment, Shoatz, 77, is currently held at SCI Dallas in Luzerne County, Penn. “Her release is a breakthrough! A Black Liberation Army political communiqué becomes symptomatic of an undertaking that threatens authorization itself. They are the ones who were wrong.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. But a grand jury cleared all officials of criminal liability for the 1985 bombing that killed 11 people, including five children. As they approach the 40th anniversary of the siege and of their subsequent captivity, Del and Janine Africa described to me how they’ve coped for so long doing time for a crime they insist they did not commit. “I’m supposed to be in a single cell. All rights reserved. Philadelphia police had dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a Move house on Osage Avenue in the west of Philadelphia in an attempt to force the black radicals to evacuate the premises after long-running battles with the authorities. According to Robert Daley, who has written a soon‐to‐bepublished book about the Black Liberation Army, “Target Blue,” the group coalesced around Richard Moore, who … Once inside, they pulled pistols on the guards, taking two of them hostage and commandeering a prison van for the escape. To frame Black activists, Frank Rizzo used a well-known recipe – blaming revolutionaries for the death of cops. In 1976, Philadelphia police officers turned up at the Move house in Powelton Village having been called out to a disturbance. … I can’t be sick, messin’ on myself. Mass death through a policy of willful neglect in U.S. prisons is written all over this moment. The prison COVID unit in a state of stunned disbelief by philosophies of.! 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