Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Dispatch From MOVE World And Censored By “In Prison My Whole Life” Actor

(William Francome with Ramona Africa)
Frequently, I come across some rather sad and false statements pertaining to either MOVE or Mumia. Generally speaking, I don’t respond to these examples of ignorance, but occasionally I do leave comments. For the most part, I don’t re-post these quasi "debates" on this site. However, it did occur to me that if one person is posting fallacious information about either MOVE or Mumia, that there are likely others who believe the same thing.

Here is one example from what amounts to being the de-facto website of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia, the Philly IMC. A commentator calling himself "Wathchdog" wrote the following in response to the article about MOVE’s treatment of African Americans, their comments are in italics:

Also, I have yet another incidence of censorship by those supportive of Mumia. Even I was kind of surprised by this one. It is none other than recent Sundance Film Festival contributor, and "star" of the "documentary" about Mumia, titled "In Prison My Whole Life". Just the latest example of how when faced with facts, Jamal supporters resort to the tactics of those they claim to oppose.

A Dispatch From "MOVE World"

Who is the threat? Feb 4, 6:38PM

I might be good to keep in mind that MOVE hasn't killed or caused the death of anyone...unless one accepts the sickening idea of "suicide by cop". However the entities that MOVE condemns, rejects and actively opposes have killed hundreds locally, and millions elsewhere...not to mention the beatings, injuries, torture, industrial poisonings, environmental pollution, wildlife extinctions, frauds, frame-ups, rights deprivations, and on and on and on. If I had to select a babysitter for my kids, the choice would be easier than easy...not even a question. MOVE isn't about hating People...but about rejecting and opposing what the homicidal establisment perpetrators of so many atrocities

DO. Note the difference.

Compare that to the rhetoric of "antimove". Watchdog>

MOVE coupled with ignorance is a threatFeb 4, 11:58PM

It is horribly disingenuous to take the position that "MOVE hasn’t killed or caused the death of anyone...unless one accepts the sickening idea of "suicide by cop". My stance on the "suicide by cop" is my conclusion of studying all available materials with regards to the tragedy of May 13th 1985.. The idea may indeed be "sickening", but I would invite you to offer a counter position, based upon facts, that explains the actions of John Africa and his devotees on that day and prior to it.

"Organic mediators", as the were called, who were not police of government officials begged and pleaded with MOVE members as it became clear that the confrontation John Africa had been preparing for over the past two years. If you read any of the books about the confrontation or the MOVE commission hearings, it is clear that the MOVE members were resigned to the idea that they would die in the coming days. During this time, MOVE members, even the ones facing charges were facing minor charges, could have very easily turned themselves in and with the exception of Frank Africa, who was wanted for a parole violation could have been arrested and been back home by the end of the day.

However, MOVE members in that house, being led by John Africa had clearly been preparing themselves and the home they stole from a former member for war. Two fortified bunkers, masked MOVE members running around housetops with weapons, threats of violence, including a promise to blow up the neighborhood, and a letter sent to city hall with a promise to kill the mayor are not the actions of a person with a regard for their own life or the lives of others. Another point, seldom made, is that with the exception of one child, all of the children in the Osage Avenue house were the children of imprisoned MOVE members. Essentially children who had nobody to speak for them or remove them from what was to be the center of a violent confrontation, initiated by MOVE.

This, when there were several other MOVE properties in and around Philadelphia for them to go. Placing the children in that house, at that point, displayed MOVE’s and particularly John Africa’s disregard for life. MOVE did not give those children a chance. Do you actually think that those kids wanted to be in what the adults knew when they opened fire on police and refused to leave the house or let the kids go would be a gunfight that MOVE could not possibly win. One can argue in principle that MOVE was acting in defense of self or out of principal. However, my view of self-defense does not include shooting at hundred of heavily armed police when you have a house of children with you. When you could have brought those children out, when they didn’t have to be there in the first place, etc...It was not self-defense, it was suicide and the murder of children.

To be sure, the police should have treated the children like the literal hostages that they were and I have said as much on numerous occasions. I believe this to the point that there should have been a few people from the city in a jail cell with Ramona. But, at the end of the day, MOVE members were ultimately responsible for their actions. That an Organization ostensibly dedicated to protecting life, it should raise eyebrows that it is surrounded in death. And while the above is my opinion based upon the wealth of information I obtained while in MOVE and since being out, the fact that MOVE members are in jail for the attempted murder of several police officers and firefighters and for the murder of James Ramp is not in dispute.

You may be taken in by MOVE’s conspiracy theories regarding the death of Ramp, but what they do not explain is how so many other firefighters and police officers were wounded. All by "friendly fire" to "frame" MOVE? It is absurd to think such a thing in the face of facts. The very same police and fireman who were hit by gunfire from MOVE knew where the shots were coming from as they had observed MOVE members in the basement with weapons. And when the firing started, the police and firefighters are on tape retreating from the area around the MOVE house after being struck by gunfire. The bullet that killed James Ramp was conclusively linked to a weapon purchased by a MOVE member. A number of witnesses heard and observed the gunfire and saw Ramp be shot down as he raced to assist another officer whom MOVE had shot down.

The ballistics evidence presented at trial completely repudiates the "ballistics evidence" MOVE tries to peddle to the public. And during the Osage Avenue confrontation MOVE boldly pronounced that they would do to those cops what they would do to James Ramp. That is just some of the evidence against MOVE. And if you are for the idea that "9 people should not be in jail for the murder of one man with one gun", I will not denounce you for being absurd. What I will say is that it is absurd to say that nobody in MOVE is responsible for killing James Ramp and the attempted murder of the other people on that day.

The same can be said for the tearing down of the house. Although I can understand the city not wanting it to become some kind of symbol or at the worst, leaving it to be re-occupied by MOVE, but I do wish it hadn’t been done as it has provided fodder for people not fully acquainted with the case to assume the worst.

Aside from James Ramp, and if you want to include murders by MOVE supporters, Daniel Faulkner, there is also anecdotal evidence concerning the deaths of others in MOVE’s orbit. After Osage Avenue, a former member of the sect came forward to make the claim that infants in the group had died of "unknown" causes as these children were disallowed from being taken to the hospital for treatment if they fell ill. She would further claim that MOVE used the deaths of these children for propaganda purposes by claiming they were killed as a result of attacks by police. Neither MOVE’s story nor the allegation can be confirmed given the fact that they refused to allow an autopsy on one particular child that they claimed was murdered in a police confrontation. This refusal to allow a deceased child to be examined out of MOVE’s anti-technology beliefs is the very same MOVE that, thru the use of racial eugenics, via in vitro-fertilization, allowed MOVE’s leader, Alberta Africa, a "white child".

And than there is John Gilbride. A man killed in the midst of a custody dispute with MOVE, before a visit that MOVE promised he would never had, after his life had been threatened by MOVE, and with authorities having ruled out all of the conspiracy theories tossed out by MOVE, the investigation is now focused in the most obvious direction, and it is my belief that justice for John will end with the arrest and conviction of someone connected to MOVE. Finally, it is a logical fallacy of grandiose proportion and certainly an argument "from the bottom" to point at the fictional monolith and come to some warped conclusion that MOVE would be a good "babysitter". I don’t think that I have ever come across such a weak argument as the one "watchdog" employs at the end of his/her comment.

So because there are bad things and bad people in the world, therefore MOVE should get a pass for all of the things they have done? Could it not be possible that yes there are corrupt cops etc...and that MOVE could also be an explicitly authoritarian cult?

Watchdog ought to keep in mind that whatever their purported "radical" credentials are, that unless they are a MOVE member or a close supporter, the group still considers them and everyone else not of MOVE, "the system".

Tony Allen

"Censored" By Another Jamal Supporter

Another issue of interest is the fact that my words have been banned from yet another website. This time, from the myspace page of William Francome, who is the "star" of the decidedly pro-Mumia film, "In Prison My Whole Life".

The irony of course is that I am sure Francome finds the idea of censorship of Mumia to be a travesty of justice, but has no trouble working to silence somebody whose only crime is that of speaking their mind. It is ok for a death-row murderer to say what they want, but not ok for someone who has never been convicted of any crime.

The true character of Francome and company remains not in their words about "freedom" and "justice", but in their practice of censorship of critics and unwillingness to defend the integrity of the work they produce.

Much like Mumia, they are cowards and I am glad that Francome and company have helped to make my point that much more clear.

Francome’s myspace page from where I was censored from can be seen at

What I find funny is that Francome deleted my post, but kept one referencing my post by pro-Mumia "author", Michael Schiffman who accuses me of not knowing what an "argument" is.
Maybe not, but I can defend my position without regarding to censorious tactics.


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