It is probably a bad sign for the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia that the MOVE front-group cannot even keep a website up.
For years, the pre-eminent advocacy entity for Jamal has been ICFFMAJ.
However, the group has been plagued for years by mis-management of funds and from the dictatorial rampages of it’s leader, and MOVE member, Pam Africa.
One could argue that the decline of ICFFMAJ began with the firing of former Jamal attorney Leonard Weinglass. But in reality the demise of the group began much earlier.
It was a long standing practice of the ICFFMAJ to either subvert or attempt to control other pro-Jamal groups, wherein minor conflicts were overblown and exploited to the point that many people in the "Free Mumia" cause just threw up their hands and walked away. This was the case with the group "Equal Justice", which was actually instrumental in bringing Jamal’s case to the forefront of leftist politics. However, the group, in particular it’s coordinator, Jane Henderson got on the bad side of Pam Africa and was subsequently forced to walk away from Jamal’s cause. This incident with "Equal Justice" occurred all the way back in 1996 and was indicative of the way that Pam Africa attempted to exert control of the "movement", even if this "control" would be to Jamal’s long-term detriment.
Another hallmark of ICFFMAJ was the shaking down of black politicians in Philadelphia. Pam Africa would quite literally stalk various politicos around the city attempting to curry favor with them with either her indelible charm or by being profanely annoying. Whatever got the job done.
This was still going on when I left the "movement", but I have the sneaking suspicion that many of these politicians who have to face real problems likely grew tired of Pam’s guilt trips and harassment told her where she should go.
At one time ICFFMAJ had a rather large office that was filled with "donated" computers, fax machines, copiers, etc...As far as I know this is no longer the case.
Instead, the Mumia apparatus has been largely outsourced to New York City. An hour and a half a way geographically, but a million miles away from the reality of what occurred back on 13th and Locust in 1981.
Now, there is not even a website in Philadelphia dedicated to Mumia. That should tell you something considering that in a city that is more than 40% black that there is virtually no support for Mumia..
People have emailed me inquiring as to what has happened to the website of ICFFMAJ and I must confess that I do not know with any exactitude what happened. What has been publicly released by the "movement" came in the form of a statement on the front page of New York Coalition to Free Mumia
which noted that the webmaster of mumia.org was suffering from "personal problems". This statement has been removed as of today and now it is clear that the New York Coalition website is now also that of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia.
This is certainly good news. Not only is this yet another indicator that the faux cause of "freeing Mumia" is suffering from diminishing returns and is sinking further down into the ether, but also demonstrates MOVE’s waning control and support from even Jamal supporters.
Now it is a fact that the webmaster of mumia.org, Fatirah Ali, was completely under the thumb of Pam Africa. She very literally posted on the site any bit of trash that she was told to regardless of fact or even relevancy to Jamal’s case. Fatirah was also, or perhaps remains, a determined supporter of MOVE and mumia.org served as much as a site for Mumia as it did for MOVE.
During the MOVE terror campaign against John Gilbride mumia.org was the primary conduit for MOVE’s propaganda as it was updated more often than that of MOVE’s own site. And given the amount of traffic that the Mumia site garnered, far more people were subjected to MOVE’s vitriolic against John Gilbride than they otherwise would have. Mumia himself wrote a commentary about the conflict that in retrospect was actually rather prophetic.
In it he wrote that "MOVE will not submit to this uninformed, unjust, and profoundly biased opinion, just because it is produced by a politician who occasionally dons a black robe".
Indeed, MOVE did not submit to the judges ruling. Instead they murdered John and Fatirah and mumia.org helped to pave the way for John’s demise and than worked to spin wild conspiratorial tales that had no basis in reality that were designed to steer people away from the facts of MOVE’s un-holy war against John and those he loved. The conflict that ended with him being blown apart in his own drive way.
Since than it has been business as usual at mumia.org. The usual Mumia essays and the occasional story from some Jamal acolyte somewhere, mixed in with the paranoid rants about the persecution of the "movement" by the loathsome Fraternal Order of Police.
Than, a few months ago, I caught up with Fatirah as she was posting pro-Mumia rants on a message board of a Philadelphia radio station
. True to form I began taking her to task and much to her obvious dismay, some of the other posters on the site were writing in agreement with me. This apparently infuriated Fatirah because these were African-American posters bashing her and her hero Mumia on a website based in Philadelphia.
I caught her in a number of flat out lies and she did what people normally do when they are factually deficient, they make personal attacks. Unfazed, I continued onwards and had her so frustrated that she even went to mumia.org and made a personal appeal for people to help her at the message board in attempts to refute me. She had no takers and this must have made her even more angry as she took to pathetically "flaming" this blog’s comment section with articles that I had written while I was involved with MOVE. None of this was particularly shocking to me.
What did surprise me was when a unsigned and completely un-hinged attack on me showed up on the mumia.org site. I say surprised because it has long been a policy of MOVE and the dead-enders of the Mumia cause to ignore my assertions and pretty much pretend that I do not exist. This slanderous attack on me (un-signed clearly to protect the author from what I can assure you would have been a lawsuit), was a complete break from the MOVE party line and if I had to take a guess was done without anyone in MOVE knowing about it until it was already up on the site.
Whether Fatirah wrote the piece or not I do not know. But she did post it on the site as well as the message board on where we had been going back and forth. And being that she was in such a near, hysterical frenzy to get at me, I would bet more than a couple of bucks that she was the author of said piece.
What I do know for certain is that not long after this article went up on mumia.org, that the website went blank and was that way for nearly a month without explanation. There were also no more posts on the message board by Fatirah. It was as if she just vanished. Good riddance. But why she left I don’t know. Was it "personal problems" as was claimed by the NY Mumia site, or was it something else?
Another thing I know for certain is that MOVE has done everything in it’s power to keep people from discussing John Gilbride
and the fact remains that if people look me up online than they will inevitably be led to information pertaining to the circumstances of John’s murder. And as much as my criticisms may sting MOVE, these refutations of MOVE’s cultism is nothing compared to the ominous cloud of suspicion that lingers over the sect insofar as bad press goes.
Was Fatirah, a loyal and long-serving devotee of Jamal pushed out of her job as Jamal webmaster by witlessly directing people towards information about John? If this was the case than I think that cloud over the MOVE cult just got darker.
Whatever the reason for the demise of mumia.org I think we can all celebrate the fact that another cyber-shrine to an un-repentant murderer is out of business.