Water in Mahanoy Correctional Institute (Eddie Africa & Mumia) is Severely Polluted

Saturday, April 01, 2017
By Lamont Lilly, Workers World,
Interview – Segment of Part 2 of 2.

Lamont Lilly: I heard that the prison where Mumia Abu-Jamal is being detained doesn’t have clean drinking water. Is that true? You also have family members in that prison. What have you heard about this?

Polluted water in Dixie cupsRamona: Lamont, let me tell you. I know people have heard about Flint, Michigan but contaminated water is not just in Flint. The prison that our brother Eddie Africa and Mumia are in is called Mahanoy Correctional Institute. The water there is so so bad! It is so bad that they started giving the inmates, (and this is ridiculous), three little Dixie cups of water with each meal. That’s nine little Dixie cups of water per day because the regular water is not drinkable. This is what they’re giving them, nine little Dixie cups of water per day? It’s unreal! Most people have no idea this is going on.

Where my brother Mike Africa is being incarcerated, at Graterford Prison here in Pennsylvania the water is really bad there, too. He convinced the “Lifer’s Association” to sell bottled water. It’s one of their fundraisers. But he pays like close to US $20 for a case of water. That’s ridiculous. He’s spending 60 bucks a month for water.

They were telling the guards, straight up, don’t drink the water; bring your own. My brother Mike works in the kitchen there, and he was telling me that in the guard’s dining room they have filters on the water spigots, but not for the inmates, of course. That is the state of what’s happening in this country, not just with Mumia, but in prisons all over this country.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to really, and I mean REALLY, get the message that this system and those running it are not operating in our interests, in the interests of the people. Their only interest is money and keeping this system going. I don’t know when people are really going to get that, but we can’t look to this system for anything.

…I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to realize that we don’t need this system. We can’t use or get anything from this system. It’s the system that needs us — that relies on the people, not the other way around. We have to let this system go and make up our minds to do for ourselves because we sure aren’t getting anything from this system. Nothing!

Thank you, Lamont. Long live the revolution! Free Mumia! Ona move!

Read entire interview:  http://www.workers.org/2017/03/26/former-u-s-political-prisoner-ramona-africa-discusses-mumia-abu-jamals-incarceration-u-s-prisons-and-donald-trump/#.WTORPhPytE4

Eddie Africa Denied Parole by Pennsylvania Parole Board Against Community Wishes

February 23, 2016

Ona Move

Eddie Africa

Eddie Africa

When The Move 9 became eligible for parole in 2008 The Pennsylvania Parole Board took on the responsibility of officials of this system in keeping innocent Move Members in prison for the rest of their lives. From 2008 up until as recent as this past week, all of The Move 9 have been denied parole . We received a call last night from our brother Eddie Africa who was calling to let us know he was denied yet again by The Pennsylvania Parole Board and was given a two year hit where he would not go before the board again until 2018.

The Parole Board has cited the issue of Eddie being a risk to the safety of the community. At Eddie’s parole hearing the Parole Board was presented with a petition of 300 signatures of members of the community who would welcome him on parole into the community and who in fact felt no threat to their safety with Eddie in the community. It’s obvious that this community that the Parole Board is talking about is none other than the law enforcement community across the country who have mobilized against parole for Move Members .

This clearly shows that the Parole Board has no regards to the community of Philadelphia and their input on anything as they only value the input of law enforcement officials who they are obviously working in conjunction with to keep our family in prison. Eddie sounded strong as always and he has not been deterred by this and neither are we. The fight continues to win parole for our family as we prepare for our sisters May 2016 parole hearings.

Ona Move,
The Justice And Accountability Campaign

In the meantime we urge people to Sign the Petition we aimed at U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch as we demand that the Justice Department investigate the wrongful and ongoing imprisonment of The Move 9.  Please sign on at:  https://www.causes.com/campaigns/92454-free-the-move-9.

The Pennsylvania Parole Board and Its Conflict of Interest Against Eddie Africa

The Pennsylvania Parole Board is unfairly denying parole to Eddie Africa.  What we are asking people to do is:
1. Call the Pennsylvania (PA) Parole Board at (717) 772-4343, and

2. Email The PA Parole Board at:  ra-pbppopc@pa.gov and demand immediate parole for Eddie Africa at his upcoming parole hearing.

These are key points that people can make when calling and writing via email

(1) You are concerned over the clear conflict of interest over the fact that Parole Board Chairman Michael L. Green was appointed to the Parole Board ten years ago by then PA Governor Ed Rendell whose office prosecuted Edward and his co defendants in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Mr Green has final judgement over this decision over parole in which he has shown clear bias for parole for the MOVE 9 in the past as a regular hearing examiner.

(2) Pamela Gray another member of the PA Parole Board has extreme ties to law enforcement in Pennsylvania which serves as a conflict of interest to have her sit over this hearing due to the fact that Edward and the rest of the MOVE 9 case revolves around the murder of a cop.

(3) Edward Africa has a home and employment plan set up for him upon his release .

(4) Edward has completed all the required programs to make parole and also has an excellent prison conduct record in which he has kept down gang and racial violence inside of Pennsylvania prisons.

Ona Move
The Justice And Accountability Campaign
October 23, 2015

Call Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for Parole for Eddie Africa!

In the past months Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf has made many public statements criticizing the Pennsylvania (PA) Parole Board and calling for much needed reform in how the parole process is carried out by the board. It is rare for a newly sworn Governor in any state to call for reform measures in the parole process. Is Governor Wolf just speaking liberal talk? Or is he ready to take true action by correcting the wrongs that keep men and women in prison past their minimum sentences?

There have been many cases in which men and women throughout Pennsylvania have been denied by the parole board 5, 6, 7–as many as ten times–still not able to come home to their families and communities. In 2008 Edward Goodman Africa and seven other men and women known collectively as the Move 9 became parole eligible after serving 30 years of their minimum sentence of 30 to 100 years. Since 2008 to as recent as June 2015, all of the Move 9 have been denied parole under very clear bias at the hands of the PA Parole Board.

Our Brother Eddie’s parole hearing was scheduled for October 2015 but for some reason was pushed to November 2015. We are very concerned due to the fact that Eddie, like the rest of our Move family, has not had a one fair parole hearing since 2008 nor does the parole board intend to give Eddie and the rest of the Move 9 a fair parole hearing.  Since Governor Wolf wants to make calls for reform in the Pennsylvania Parole system we are going to now encourage him to turn his words to into actions for Eddie Africa.

This Monday we are asking people interested in justice to contact Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf via phone call (717) 787-2500 or email: Governor@pa.gov and demand immediate parole for Edward Goodman Africa, #AM4974. When emailing or calling Governor Wolf  these are key points:

  1. Upon Parole Edward Africa has employment and housing secured.
  2. Edward has an excellent prison conduct record in which he has kept down racial and gang violence for the 37 years he has been in prison and has not had a write up in 16 years now.
  3. Parole Board member Leslie Gray, a former law enforcement official with strong ties to current law enforcement, creates a clear conflict of interest sitting over this hearing; it has been shown over past hearings that having past law enforcement officials sitting over these hearings, example Lloyd White and Randy Feathers.
  4. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has given negative reviews for parole for Edward despite having nothing to do with the prosecution of Edward and the Move 9 in 1980 as Seth Williams was only 14 years old when they were prosecuted.

Let’s put the pressure on Governor Wolf this Monday to push his words for reform in seeing that Edward Goodman Africa is finally granted parole seven years after reaching his minimum sentence. Also we are urging people to sign the petition we have aimed at The United States Justice Department In The Case Of The Move 9. People can sign at https://www.causes.com/campaigns/92454-free-the-move-9.

Support Parole for Eddie Africa

In November 2015 our Brother Eddie Africa is set to make another appearance before the Pennsylvania State Parole Board. Your letters of support is urgently needed. All of the information is below as follows:

We are asking for your support at this critical stage to secure the freedom Eddie deserves.  Feel free to use parts of the sample letter below. Please write in your own words and with your own experiences of/with Eddie.

NOTE: Please send all letters of support to Orie Ross, P.O. Box 575, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0575 so they can be reviewed and sent to the Parole Board. 

Sample Letter:

Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA 17104

September 3, 2015

Regarding October 2015 Parole Hearing for: Edward Goodman #AM-4974

Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

As a concerned citizen interested in helping Mr. Goodman successfully transition into life outside prison, I am writing to ask that you please grant him parole.  He has served now  37 years of a 30-100 year sentence, even though the average sentence for his charges is 10-15 years.  He is still in prison years after his minimum sentence despite having no major disciplinary problems in the last three decades.  The notice provided to Mr. Goodman for his last parole denial lists the reasons for the denial as: “Your minimization/denial of the nature and circumstances of the offense(s) committed,” “Your refusal to accept responsibility for the offense(s) committed” and “The negative recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney.”

I understand the severe nature of the crime of which Mr. Goodman was convicted, however, I am concerned that Mr. Goodman maintaining his innocence is seen as an attempt to minimize or deny the nature and circumstances of the offense(s) or refuse to take responsibility, even while there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was fired from a location where it is well known he was nowhere near.  This phenomenon is referred to as “the innocent prisoner’s dilemma” implying that it is unfair and unethical to require someone who may have been wrongly convicted to provide false admission of guilt or remorse.  Please take this dilemma into consideration.

I also understand that Mr. Goodman has not been recommended for parole by the institution where he is held despite having a clear disciplinary record for many years.  In fact, the only time he received a disciplinary infraction in the last fifteen years was for not cutting his hair.  He has completed all of the institutional programs he was asked to complete and has volunteered for others. Please take into consideration his good conduct as well as him having housing and employment secured upon his release. These factors, along with strong family and community support, make it very unlikely that Mr. Goodman will recidivate and I firmly believe that he is an excellent candidate for parole.  I will personally help him acclimate in any way I can upon his release.

Mr. Goodman has now spent most of his life in prison, and the recidivism rate for people released at his age is very low. Please grant parole and allow him to be a part of, and contribute to, society as free citizen, a loving father and grandfather.

Sincerely,

[Name and signature]