Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is A MOVE Member Teaching Your Children?

“For the movement, organized violence is the most efficient of the many protective walls which surround its fictitious world, whose “reality” is proved when a member fears leaving the movement more than he fears the consequences of his complicity in illegal actions, and feels more secure as a member than as an opponent.”

-“The Origins of Totalitarianism”
by Hannah Arendt

(Picture of MOVE member Mario Africa)

According to a website that advertised a 2005 “anti-war concert”, MOVE member Mario Africa is employed as a high school teacher with the Philadelphia School System. According to Mario’s biography that was posted on the site, he is “Presently a teacher of History and Creative Writing in the Philadelphia Public School system, Mario has also taught Spanish I & II at Camden County College, Latin America Through Film and Fiction at Temple University, and English at Escuela San José el Viejo in Antigua Guatemala, C.A.”

I tried to confirm Africa’s employment with the school system, but was unable to either confirm or deny his employment. Part of this difficulty is likely due to the fact that “Mario” is just one of many aliases that this dedicated and long time MOVE member puts to use. As to what his real name is, who the hell knows? But what is scary is that he might just be out there teaching your children.

It would be grotesque enough to find out that “Mario” could be poisoning the minds of young people with MOVE inspired hatred. What is even worse is that he is a key member of a group that denies it’s own children any semblance of an education. Mario himself, has two children in the group, one of whom had the misfortune to be born a girl into a sect that will force her to become pregnant the miniute she hits puberty.

But it is not just the fact that “Mario” is a committed MOVE hack that is un-nerving to me. It is also that I know he was up to his neck in the campaign to destroy the life of John Gilbride. According to court documents, Mario threatened Gilbride’s life just seventeen days before Gilbride’s still unsolved murder.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that when I came around MOVE, that it was Mario who served as a kind of “mentor” for me. At the time I found him to be an intelligent and articulate example of what MOVE could offer. I spent a good deal of time with Mario in my early years as a MOVE supporter and he appeared to me to be very dedicated to the sect. He also had a fondness for making candid, if not, prophetic remarks.

I can recall vividly an occasion when Mario quipped that all one needed in life is “a gun and a short conscience”. I also remember a conversation when he made the point that “if flying a helicopter and dropping a bomb on city hall would get he MOVE 9 free” that he would be happy to do it.

At the time I dismissed Mario’s comments as just being the bluff and bravado of a man who wanted to prove to everyone just how tough he was. Now, in light of the murder of John Gilbride I believe that his remarks had far more sinister undertones.

If Mario Africa is currently teaching children in the Philadelphia school system I don’t think it hyperbolic to make the point that these kids are in danger. Remember that it was MOVE members and supporters who used their own children as human shields in their pointless and violent confrontations with authorities. Do not doubt that if push comes to shove that MOVE members would not put your children in danger as well.


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