MOVE Supporters Arrested
(Two MOVE supporters were arrested although not for what they ought to be arrested for. What follows is the MOVE-version of the events...)
On Saturday, April 11th at 7:20 pm MOVE/Mumia supporters Kevin Price and Maiga Milbourne were arrested at 10th and South St. ( Philadelphia ) for putting up posters advertising the release ofMumia’s new book, “Jailhouse Lawyers”, with scotch tape. While in the act of taping a poster to a metal pole three police officers came from behind without warning and forced their arms behind their backs. They were tightly handcuffed and led to the South St. mini-station very nearby. Upon entering the building another officer asked why they were arrested. One of the arresting officers replied “they had Mumia signs.” From there they were taken to the 3rd district (11th and Federal) at 7:55 . The y stood facing a wall for 15 minutes and then were processed and released.
Their hearing is this Monday, 4/13 at 8:30 am . The charges are “improper distribution of handbills” (CO 10-723) and “Nails and other hard substances attached to utility poles” (CO 6905). These charges would be ridiculous enough if they were true but tape (no t hard substances) was used and the flyers were not being passed out.
At this point we are just writing to make folks aware. We will let you know if any action of support is requested. It is clear that after Mondays’(4/6) Supreme Court denial that the atmosphere surrounding Mumia’s case is very tense.
***For the record:
The arresting officers were Gress and Cole and the transporting officers were Polini and Jones (they were transported in squad car 38).***
Kevin and I were arraigned in court today. The prosecutor had to explain the charges to judge. He said, “they were hanging posters,” which we weren’t charged with. We represented ourselves and plead not guilty, and were given a trial date of Friday, May 29 at 8:30 am, at 1401 Arch St., second floor. Again, outsiders are not allowed in the courtroom but we welcome anyone who wants to flyer outside. During the arraignment MOVE members flyered outside the courtroom and used the time to do outreach.
We do find it ironic that in publicizing Mumia’s most recent book, “Jailhouse Lawyer’s,” a history of self-representation and self-defense, we were arrested and are now in a position to represent ourselves! It is an opportunity to hone our skills and further expose the court’s injustice.
We do want to reiterate that it’s important that Mumia supporters be very vigilant and aware right now. There is no coincidence that prison guards told Janet Africa that Mumia was dead, activists were arrested, and Channel 6 ran a hit piece on Mumia. This government is very jumpy right now. We need to keep pushing forward with an eye on one another’s backs! Thank you all so much for the support! We also just want to briefly shout out Orie Ross. We were never given a phone call, and if he hadn’t been so vigilant in making calls on our behalf we could have found ourselves in a much uglier situation. We’re truly grateful for our brother’s work. This movement is strong, full of love, and powerful! There is nowhere I’d rather be, and no people I’d rather march alongside.