Friday, February 18, 2005

MOVE Wants To Debate!

MOVE Wants to Debate: That’s News to Me!
By Tony Allen
"...its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened. Then again, every major change in policy demands a corresponding change of doctrine and a revelation of prominent historical figures. This kind of thing happens everywhere, but is clearly likelier to lead to outright falsification in societies where only one opinion is permissible at any given moment. Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth"
-George Orwell "The Prevention of Literature"

Recently, I was in receipt of an email from a long-time MOVE hack indicating to me that Sue Africa and Ramona Africa wanted to debate my wife and myself at a MOVE fund-raiser in March in Philadelphia regarding "allegations" that I have made against MOVE.
Now, I don’t believe this to be a sincere overture on their part and I think it worth a minute of my time to explain to people why I think this way.
During my time in MOVE and since my departure, I have watched the members and supporters of the group develop and circulate the most vulgar and dishonest conspiracy theories, most of them directed at innocent people who had dared to wander into MOVE’s orbit and challenge the group’s notion of reality. I observed the incubation of sheer paranoia and rumor-mongering orchestrated by MOVE’s leadership in order to manipulate their flock into believing the unbelievable.
I have also been on the receiving end of some pretty crude attempts at censorship on MOVE’s part. It is this censorious nature that betrays MOVE’s authoritarian tendencies and solipistic desire to be insulated from reality.
Truth be told, MOVE has had dozens of chances to address the issues that I have raised against them and it has been MOVE that has tried, at every juncture, to squash the debate and silence those who would raise the issues.
When I first began to be the specter that would haunt MOVE members, they responded in typical thug-like fashion and sent, via-email, stupid and barbaric threats of violence against my wife and I. When this failed to generate the desired result of silence, they switched to the tried and true tactic of vicious ad-hominem attacks and labeled me an infiltrator and a closeted racist. MOVE was attempting to use the old Stalin-esque approach of replacing the merit of an argument, or a position, with a question about motivation.
When this approach also failed, MOVE began to pretend that I, and my arguments, simply did not exist. This policy of avoidance has been their modus operandi up until now, when they have concocted this little charade of wanting to "debate" the issues. I use the word charade deliberately because I know for certain that MOVE doesn’t want to dispute my charges anymore now than when I first raised them so many months ago.
What MOVE’s leaders are attempting to do is project a facade of willingness after so long living a policy of shameful avoidance, threats, and other attempts of intimidation. It is perverse and they know it and their faithful must know it as well.
For everyone who knows of my situation should also know that I have left Philadelphia without telling anyone where I have gone, precisely so I can avoid MOVE’s violence and, thus, would never knowingly put myself within the reach of people who I know have killed before.
They have done their best to silence me and they have done their best to avoid directly taking on the issues that I have raised. I would be foolish to think that they would have anything planned for their little debate other than more calculated deception and obfuscation.
Furthermore, MOVE has had plenty of chances to "debate" me and they have chosen the cowards route. When I posted my charges regularly on a pro-MOVE message board at MOVE members and their closest supporters were nowhere to be found. In fact after a short time of me posting on the board the entire message board was taken down without explanation from the sites owners.
MOVE had yet another opportunity to answer some of my charges when the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story about my extrication from the group earlier this year. What did MOVE have to say about me and my charges then? According to Ramona Africa who now claims she wants "to debate" me, she would not "discuss" me or answer the allegations that I had leveled against the group for whom she is the spokesperson for.
MOVE, again, recently had the ability to "debate" some of the charges against them when a supporter of theirs advertised a new message board where people could discuss the issues of MOVE and Mumia Abu-Jamal. . I posted on this forum and my posts were deleted as quickly as I posted them, as were posts of others who had challenged the notion of MOVE’s and Mumia’s innocence.
Most recently an apparent MOVE supporter posted the following at the Philly IMC website demanding the censorship of my work while at the same time attempting to libel me as some kind of police apologist.:
"Philly IMC activists, do you edit your website for racism? Can you see anything wrong with the firebombing of MOVE??? I don’t blame anyone for not reading this boring racist compilation of police lies, but you don’t need to smell dogshit to move it off your front lawn. I highly recommend editing "Realities of MOVE," and any subsequent postings by "Tony Allen." If activists don’t educate themselves about COINTELPRO, and don’t protect one another from it , especially our comrades in prison, we will all become victims of the vampires that run the US system."
None of this adds up to MOVE wanting to debate anything other than the best way to try and shut me up. And the fact is that I am not, and never have been, on the "system’s" payroll and have no hidden agenda.
In fact, I have a very open one. I believe that the MOVE Organization is a violent and authoritarian sect whose ideals are neither progressive, revolutionary, or novel, but rather stupid, nihilistic, and deeply hypocritical. This conviction stems from my own personal experience with MOVE, a knowledge of the group’s history, and a deep sense of antipathy towards the kind of fascism that MOVE is attempting to inject into the progressive political scene. This is a group deserving of scorn and reproach not adulation and hero worship and I will quickly tell anyone this without the promise of a paycheck.
But what accounts for the "change of heart" so to speak that MOVE has had towards a disputation of my polemics. Actually nothing. This is just a change in tactics in order to appease their supporters who must be, by now, feeling a growing sense of frustration at their own inability to rebuke my claims and halt my keystrokes.
The question as to why does MOVE not take me on must have started to irritate MOVE’s leaders to the point that thy felt the need to attempt some kind of face saving game. The result is a transparently disingenuous attempt to further negate discourse while at the same time trying to turn the tables against me and make it look like I am one the one afraid of discussion....yet, another example of a MOVE spectacle of cowardice sloppily disguised as unimpeachable bravery. It is as typical for this group as it is sickening.
So if MOVE wants to debate me, I say bring it on. For I have tried to coax MOVE members and their close supporters into defending their backwards ideology for some time now and they have refused to do so in multiple forums and on dozens of occasions.
I say, let them come forth and defend the virtual enslavement of their own children. Let them explain why a group that is allegedly committed to the preservation of life is awash in blood. Let them explain the fraud that they have attempted to perpetuate on the public. Let them explain what happened to John Gilbride and why they continue to try and intimidate his family into not speaking out about his death. Let’s do it up. The sooner the better.
Does this mean that I will I go to Philadelphia and get yelled and screamed at and have no chance to retort and plead my case? I know a set-up when I see one and besides that, call me sensitive but, I take it personally when someone wants to threaten my life, that of my family, and than has the audacity to demand that I come to their town, and go in front of their crowd, and look them in the eye, and have a civil discussion.
I don’t know any rational person who would fault me for not wanting to enter into that kind of situation, but than again when you are talking about MOVE members and their close supporters, you are not talking about people who can be reasoned with.
Rather, I say meet me at a discussion board of MOVE’s choice. Somewhere where a passionate discourse can thrive and be free of MOVE’s poor attempts at censorship. A place where posters can raise issues and ask questions of anyone and where there can be candid debates free of intimidation and threats. A place where anyone is welcome regardless of their position.
Why not bring back the MOVE discussion board at There is already a website up there. Or we can go to the site which is dedicated to informing the public about cults. It really doesn’t matter to me where, just so long as people are free to say what they want. So how about it Ramona, Sue, how about you Alberta? You wanna debate? I am all for it, but something tells me that you aren’t.


At 12:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you hear that....silence. I believe, according to what I have read, MOVE would not put itself in a position to debate online. I have tried to ask questions of them on other sites only to have my posts deleted. I guess if it's not an in your face,voluble one way ain't gonna happen:)
By their not answering you, speaks volumes

At 2:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. If MOVE did not have anything to hide they would debate you online.

Only guilty people would need to stay silent so that they would not slip up and say something that could be used against them.

At 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would be a little cautious too if:

You family was firebombed.
Your family was sentenced to 25 years in jail with no evidence, one member killed in jail.
Your family member was on death row about to be executed.

At 11:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you waste time debating charges that you thought were totally off base and ridiculous?

I know I wouldn't.

FREE the MOVE 9!


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