Demand US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch investigate the wrongful ongoing imprisonment of the MOVE 9

Free the MOVE 9August 8, 2016 will officially mark 38 years since innocent MOVE Members have been unjustly jailed in Pennsylvania state prisons. The position of THE MOVE ORGANIZATION and SUPPORTERS of MOVE has not changed and that position is our family is innocent and we want them home and will not stop fighting until they are home. In 1998 our sister, Merle Africa, died in prison under mysterious circumstances. In 2015 our brother Phil Africa died in prison under mysterious circumstances. From the period of 2008 to as recent as June of 2016 all of our people have been denied parole on what seems to be a questionable bias issue, especially since their prison conduct has been exemplary.

In May of 2015 supporters of the Move 9 put together a petition aimed at United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch demanding an investigation into the wrongful ongoing imprisonment of the Move 9. There are many key facts that demand an investigation into this case by the U.S. Justice Dept.

(1) The Destruction of the Move house by police on August 8, 1978. The house was the scene of the crime and evidence there would easily show that all bullets were shot by the police into the MOVE house, that there were no operable guns in the house and no bullets fired out from the MOVE house.

(2) The Beating Of Delbert Africa By Philadelphia Police on August 8th 1978.
Delbert was visibly unarmed when he was ferociously beaten by police and hospitalized. Delbert’s his civil rights
were violated AND ON FILM, but no police were charged with any crime.

(3) No Move Members were charged with weapons charges after their arrest because they had no weapons–however they were sentenced for shooting a police officer!

(4) After Sentencing Move Members To 30-100 years in prison the trial judge the late Edwin S.Malmed admitted on public radio that he had not the faintest idea who killed officer James Ramp.

Judge Malmed in fact stated that he was sentencing Move Members to prison time for no other reason than being committed MOVE Members.

Sign the petition for a federal investigation now!


Contact these officials who are unfairly denying parole to the MOVE 9

People To Contact and Pressure

PA. Board of Probation And Parole
1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA. 17104
General: 717-787-5699
Inmate Inquiries: 717-772-4343

Leo Dunn (Chairman); Leslie Grey Esq. ; Everette Gillison Esq.; Craig R. Mckay; Theodore Johnson ; Edward L. Burke; Mark Koch; Linda Pastroff Rosenberg

Media-Related Inquiries: Sherry Tate, Director, 717-231-4411 (8am-5pm)/After 5pm and weekends 717 756-9842/ shtate@pa.gov
Laura Treaster, Deputy Director, 717-231-4411 (8am-4:15pm) ltreaster@pa.gov

More officials>>


Ramona Africa Interviewed by The Guardian newspaper from London

Media descended on Philadelphia last week for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) which exhorted Democratic Party faithful to back Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. Many media wanted to cover additional stories about Philadelphia and Ramona Africa gave several interviews. Check out this well-made video interview by The Guardian newspaper, all the way from London.

 

Saturday, March 26, 2016 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

MOVE Women & Sis. Anne

MOVE Women & Sis. Anne

Join the MOVE Organization for a very special tribute for The MOVE 9 Sisters. We prepare for their upcoming May 2016 parole hearings for Janet, Janine and Debbie Africa; we celebrate the work and sacrifices they have made during their 38 years of unjust imprisonment. Also, remembrance of our sister, the late Merle Africa, who died under mysterious circumstances in March 1998 at the State Correctional Institution in Cambridge Springs Pennsylvania after serving twenty years unjustly imprisoned.

Saturday, March 26, 2016 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: Kingsessing Recreational Center
4901 Kingsessing Avenue
Philadelphia, PA

MOVE women

Speakers: Ramona Africa, Pam Africa, The MOVE Family, Lynne Stewart, Amina Baraka, Phile Chinselou, Anthony Monterio, Leon Williams, Women who were incarcerated with The MOVE 9 Sisters.
Performers: MOVE Youth Rap Groups: Life and Raw
For more info email onamovellja@gmail.com and see The Move 9″ on Facebook and http://move9parole.blogspot.com
Get Flyer: 2016-03-26-MOVE-9-Sisters.jpg

Fri. May 13, 2016 from 6-9 pm

Stand with MOVE on May 13, 2016

(click for larger 8.5″ x 11″ flyer)

Stand together with the MOVE family on the 31st anniversary of the Philadelphia government bombing of the MOVE home on May 13, 1985. Remember the 11 murdered MOVE members, including John Africa and five children. Remember the framed-up MOVE 9 and demand their immediate parole. Cultural performances.
Location:
Abiding Truth Ministries Church
57th and  Washington Ave. (one block north of Baltimore Ave.) See map.
6-9 pm

Bombing Black People: The Philadelphia Police’s War on Move

Global Research News Hour Episode 129
By Michael Welch and Linn Washington
January 31, 2016

Click to hear audio:   audio-iconhttp://www.radio4all.net/files/scottprice666@hotmail.com/4319-1-GRNH_Jan_29_2016_episode_129_session_mixdown.mp3

“May 13, 1985 is a day that shall live in infamy, but for far more reasons than the obvious. It was the death knell of a system committing suicide. It proved that a man called John Africa spoke powerful truths when he spoke about the nature of the system as corrupt, as flawed, as poisoned. Every day past that date has only proved it even more. ” -Mumia Abu-Jamal, from a May 9 2010 radio essay

The only aerial bombing by police ever carried out on US soil was on May 13, 1985, when a Philadelphia police helicopter dropped military grade explosives on the house run by a group of self-styled revolutionaries known as Move. This group, which claims to adhere to principles of non-violence was founded by John Africa in 1972, and was composed mostly, but not exclusively, of African-Americans. They rejected the norms of 20th century American society in their dress, grooming, diet and lifestyles, and had come in conflict with authorities on several occasions.[1]

The 1985 bombing claimed the lives of five children and six adults including founder John Africa. Another adult named Ramona Africa, and a child named Birdie Africa were the only survivors of the assault. More than 250 people in the predominantly black middle class neighbourhood were left homeless after more than 60 other homes were destroyed as a result of the aerial bombing, and the fires that followed.[2]

This attack followed a previous assault on August 8, 1978. A police raid on the Move house, then located in the Philadelphia neighbourhood of Powelton village, resulted in the death of police officer James Ramp. The Courts held nine Move members responsible for the death and sentenced them to 30 to 100 years behind bars. [3]

Thirty-seven years later, two of the nine have died in prison under suspicious circumstances. Supporters of the Move 9, as they are called, are appealing to the Philadelphia Parole Board to set the remaining seven members free, now that they have all served their minimum sentences. [4][5]

In this installment of the Global Research News Hour we examine the attacks on Move in the context of a history of police and state repression of the black minority population of the US.

Ramona Africa showing burns from police bomb on her homeRamona Africa is the spokesperson for Move. She served seven years in prison on riot charges following the bombing by Philadelphia police. She and other plaintiffs eventually received a $1.5 million settlement from the city in connection with the incident. In this interview Ramona provides some background on the group and the police stand-offs in 1978 and 1985, and speaks at length about the unjust incarceration of nine Move members who she explains could not possibly have been responsible for the murder of police officer Ramp.

Linn WashingtonLinn Washington is a journalist and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University. He has covered Move almost from the group’s beginnings and was present on the scene as a reporter during the 1985 police action against the group. He will put the 1985 Bombing and the events that led up to it in their proper context and establish the failures, as he sees it, of the media to hold those in authority to account.

Mumia Abu-JamalMumia Abu-Jamal is a renowned journalist from Philadelphia who has been in prison since 1981 and is known as the “Voice of the Voiceless” for his award- winning reporting on police brutality and other social and racial epidemics that plague communities of color in Philadelphia and throughout the world.  Much of his journalism called attention to the blatant injustice and brutality he watched happen on a daily basis to MOVE, a revolutionary organization that works to protect all forms of life–human, animal, plant–and the Earth as a whole.

Incredibly, it’s been almost 30 years – 30 years! – since 9 MOVE men and women were unjustly consigned to prisons across Pennsylvania. Although known as the MOVE 9, there really are seven survivors of the August 8th, 1978 police assault on MOVE’s West Philadelphia home and headquarters. They are: Janine Africa, Mike Africa, Debbie Africa, Janet Africa, Eddie Africa, Chuck Africa and Delbert Africa. The late Merle Africa died at the women’s prison in Muncy, PA (near Williamsport, PA) under quite mysterious circumstances. Phil Africa passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, PA.

All 9 MOVE men and women were convicted in one of the longest (and most contentious) trials in city history, on dubious charges of 3rd degree murder of a city cop engaged in the raid on their home, and related charges. Even if all the charges were true (and they most certainly are not), the sentence 30 to 100 years can only be termed grossly excessive. At the time of trial, 3rd degree carried a sentence of 71/2 to 15 years –so essentially the MOVE people got more than double, and indeed, quadruple the maximum of what the statute provided. Indeed, the woman got the same sentences as the men, even though none of them faced weapons charges! There’s little real doubt that they’re in prison today because they’re MOVE members. Today, 30 years later, they should be entitled to their freedom–and they would be, but for the concerted campaign of cops and local media to keep them imprisoned for a century.

MOVE members continue to fight for their imprisoned brothers and sisters, and they ask that you join that struggle by supporting their parole demands. On the web, contact: onamovellja@aol.com for more information or see http://onamove.com. Or write the MOVE Organization, P.O. Box 19709, Philadelphia, PA, 19143. As many of you know, I covered the press conference of August 8th, 1978.

Every reporter present knows that within hours of that press conference, the police department issued a written press release giving a completely revised statement of how the cop met his death. That makes sense when you consider that the cop was most likely the victim of friendly fire, for the MOVE house had become a shooting gallery, with police expending literally hundreds of rounds during the raid. Moreover, when’s the last time you’ve seen a crime scene destroyed before nightfall, within hours of the shooting? It happened here. I also covered the trial, a parade of legalized injustice if ever there was one. Indeed, days after the trial, Judge Edwin S. Malmed took to the airwaves to defend his unjust rulings. On a radio talk show on WWDB-FM, I phoned him and asked him if he knew who killed the cop. He replied, live on air, “I haven’t the faintest idea.” Yet, this guy sent 9 people to prison for 30-to-100 years!
– by Mumia Abu-Jamal from a May 9 2010 radio essay

For more resources on Move, and how to help the Move 9, please visit the following sites:

http://onamove.com

http://move9parole.blogspot.ca

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.

Thirty Years After MOVE Bombing: What Has Law Enforcement Learned?

Linn Washington Jr.
May 13, 2015 , The Root

Today many Philadelphia residents, particularly those under 30 years old, are unaware of that history-staining 1985 police attack on members of MOVE, an anti-establishment group founded in 1972. Authorities deemed MOVE a radical organization. The 11 people incinerated were MOVE members, including the organization’s founder, John Africa.

On May 13, 1985, a fire started after Philadelphia police dropped an explosive on a building where members of the MOVE organization where hiding.

On May 13, 1985, a fire started after Philadelphia police dropped an explosive on a building where members of the MOVE organization where hiding. (movie still, Let The Fire Burn)

On May 13, 1985, police in Philadelphia—Pennsylvania’s largest city—dropped a powerful bomb containing military C4 explosives on a house occupied by six children and seven adults.

That aerial assault 30 years ago is one of the worst incidents of police brutality in modern America.

The bomb, dropped from a state police helicopter, sparked a fire.

Philadelphia’s then-Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor, along with then-Fire Commissioner William Richmond, barred firefighters from battling that blaze, pursuing a bizarre strategy to use the fire as a tactical weapon to drive the occupants from their barricaded house. Police had sought to arrest four adults inside the building on seven charges ranging from disorderly conduct to possession of explosives.

That decision to “let the fire burn” allowed the blaze to roar into a firestorm.

The inferno incinerated 11 inside the bombed building, including five children ages 7 to 13. That inferno also destroyed 60 other homes in the West Philadelphia neighborhood, leaving 250 people homeless. All of those killed in that inferno ignited by police were black, as were those left homeless by the inferno’s destruction.

Today many Philadelphia residents, particularly those under 30 years old, are unaware of that history-staining 1985 police attack on members of MOVE, an anti-establishment group founded in 1972. Authorities deemed MOVE a radical organization. The 11 people incinerated were MOVE members, including the organization’s founder, John Africa.

An Overlooked Atrocity

Incredibly, an aerial bombing in an American city by police rarely makes the lists of worst police-abuse incidents, despite its gruesome death toll and extensive destruction.

Many “worst lists” include the 1991 shooting of Amadou Diallo, who died during a 41-bullet fusillade from New York City police officers. Yet during the assault on May 13 that began at 5:50 a.m., Philadelphia police fired thousands of bullets into the MOVE house using a range of firearms, including machine guns. The confrontation went on until police dropped the bomb at 5:27 p.m.

The infamous 1985 bombing is far from an isolated incident in a dim past. The failure to hold Philadelphia authorities accountable for that deadly, destructive episode contributed to the impunity that drives the persistence of police brutality—brutality that has triggered massive protests across America since last year, after prosecutors in St. Louis and New York City manipulated grand juries away from indictments against the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

In America, prosecutors control the grand jury process without input from judges and other lawyers. Legal experts repeatedly criticize the failure of local prosecutors to charge police even when evidence documents indictable offenses. A 1991 article in the American Bar Association Journal criticized the “unwritten code” that prosecutors will not bring charges against police.

After that fatal 1985 raid, Philadelphia prosecutors manipulated a grand jury away from indictments against police. Prosecutors even refused to file perjury charges against police officers caught lying to the grand jury. Not a single Philadelphia police officer or city official faced prosecution for the death and destruction on May 13, 1985.

Philadelphia prosecutors saw no police wrongdoing in the deaths of those children. Their stance contradicted findings of a special investigating commission appointed by Philadelphia’s then-Mayor Wilson Goode (the first African American to hold the position) that described the deaths of the five MOVE children as “unjustified homicides.”

The city’s prosecutors claimed that bombing children was not illegal because the force from the police bomb “was applied only against” the adults, according to a May 1988 Philadelphia grand jury report. That convoluted reasoning rested on the pretense that the blast from the bomb affected only the adults inside the bombed building and not the children.

Although prosecutors refused to charge police and city officials, they did vigorously charge the lone surviving adult MOVE member, Ramona Africa. She served her entire seven-year sentence for conspiracy and riot because she refused state parole-board demands to renounce her MOVE membership as a condition for early release.

Ramona Africa, along with a MOVE child, escaped the fire. Both sustained serious burns.

The special commission concluded that police gunfire drove other fleeing MOVE members back into the inferno. However, prosecutors—again employing convoluted reasoning—claimed that some MOVE members returned to the blazing building either because they wrongly believed that the police were shooting or because they intended to commit suicide.

An Incendiary History of Conflict

In many ugly ways, the series of conflicts between MOVE and Philadelphia authorities constitute a case study in the failures of police, prosecutors and judges.

Those conflicts with the MOVE organization began in 1972 when Philadelphia experienced epidemic-level police abuses under then-Mayor Frank Rizzo, an ex-cop. Police under Rizzo targeted the often-disruptive MOVE for harsh enforcement of minor infractions. Yet prosecutors and judges ignored that brutal enforcement.

An Aug. 8, 1978, clash between Philadelphia police and MOVE in which a police officer died led to 30- to 100-year sentences for nine MOVE members. Those nine included four MOVE women who police testified were unarmed, holding only small children during that clash.

The judge who convicted the MOVE 9 admitted that he could not determine from trial evidence which male MOVE member had killed the police officer, but the judge declared that all nine deserved the same sentence, whether they were armed or unarmed.

MOVE’s campaign to win release of the nine imprisoned members set the stage for May 13, 1985. MOVE’s campaign strangely included intimidating and harassing its neighbors on the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia. The May 13 police raid on MOVE’s fortified 6221 Osage Ave. house was a belated effort to stop MOVE harassment of its neighbors, who had complained about the group for more than a year.

Afterward, Philadelphia prosecutors used a legally flawed premise to clear all police and civilian officials for their May 13 actions: No one possessed a clear intent to harm MOVE members. Although a legal prerequisite for crimes like arson or murder is intent, crimes like reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe are based on results, not intent.

Prosecutors proclaimed that dropping a bomb on children was not reckless, and allowing the fire to burn did not cause a catastrophe. Like the Philadelphia prosecutors who had failed to see obvious crimes, federal prosecutors found no civil rights violations in the fiery deaths of those five children.

When Ramona Africa sued city officials for the bombing and firestorm nearly 10 years after May 13, 1985, a federal judge ruled the bombing legal but allowed a jury to determine the legality of the fatal fire. When the federal jury ruled against Sambor and Richmond and imposed modest $600 fines for allowing the fire to burn, the federal judge voided the jury’s action by ruling that the two officials had “official immunity” from any liability. But the judge did not eliminate the jury’s verdict that ordered the city of Philadelphia to pay Ramona Africa and relatives of two of the MOVE members who perished in that inferno a total of $1.5 million.

Today the 6200 block of Osage Avenue has a macabre feel. More than half of the rebuilt homes are abandoned.

The black residents of Osage Avenue in 1985, whose life possessions were destroyed in the inferno, received insult and inactions from city officials and federal judges.

The persistence of police brutality proves that authorities across America did not learn an important lesson from that deadly May 1985 incident: Lawless law enforcement harms society.

Linn Washington Jr. is a Philadelphia-based journalist who covered the May 13, 1985, clash. He has reported on police brutality since 1975. Washington is a journalism professor at Temple University.

Debbie Africa Denied Parole for Sixth Time

Debbie Sims AfricaThe Philadelphia Fraternal Order Of Police in conjunction with The Pennsylvania Parole Board and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams have gone all out to ensure that innocent Move Members stay in prison for the rest of their lives. Despite having employment and housing both established and an excellent prison conduct record  and letters of support From people all over the world  The PA Parole Board under the orders of The Fraternal Order Of Police denied Debbie Africa parole for the sixth time.

Debbie a loving Grandmother of nine was denied based on the fact that she was considered a risk to the safety of the community even though their were hundreds of letters of support for parole for Debbie from the community. It was stated that due to the fact that Debbie would not accept guilt or show remorse for the crime that her and other Move Members were convicted of she was denied parole. You can look no further than the late trial Judge Edwin S. Malmed who admitted on public radio after sentencing Move Members to 30-100 years that he had not the faintest idea who killed Officer James Ramp and that he was sentencing Move people to prison for being Move members.

freethemove9-green-web-650x385pxAt this point this isn’t an issue of whether the Move 9 are guilty or innocent. They have all ready been proven innocent and people all over the world know this and these officials that are holding Move members hostage in prison know it. The bottom line is that a crime is being committed. Eight innocent people are being held hostage seven years past their minimum sentence under the orders of The Fraternal Order Of Police. They are doing this in the eyes of the public  for everyone to see. When Do You Say Enough Is Enough?

Debbie went before the board back in May 2014 and was denied parole back in June without her or the public knowing about her parole denial. Debbie was denied parole on 6/18/14 but did not receive her paperwork on the denial until August!  These legalized terrorists known as the Pennsylvania Board have been exposed for all of their wrongdoing in the eyes of the public and are feeling so much pressure over the issue of the Move 9 they are playing the dirtiest and foulest games to divert the public outcry over these parole denials and hearings.

They can no longer do what they do secretly and we are gonna further expose them and their filth. We are taking this campaign to the next level and are gonna keep exposing the crimes being committed by the Pennsylvania Board,  the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. This fight is far from over.

ONA MOVE
The Justice And Accountability Campaign

Overflow crowd supports the MOVE 9 on 36th Anniversary of Their Political Imprisonment

August 8, 2014 – 36th anniversary of the incarceration of the Move 9

CLICK THIS ARTICLE TITLE TO VIEW VIDEOS OF EVENT.


Ramona Africa speaks: Introduction.

 


Video with Dr. Walter Palmer, Professor and Mediator in 1977-78. Introduction by Ramona Africa (and briefly Michael Coard). (21:51)

 


Video with Activist-Attorney Michael Coard (Ramona Africa brief intro). (21:02)

 


Video with Activist-Attorney Alton Maddox. (18:53)

Report of the 11TH International Symposium Against Isolation (inc. MOVE & Mumia)

AMSTERDAM, 24-26 JANUARY, 2014

“ADVANCED DEMOCRACY” 

The first session was held under the title of “advanced democracy” on 25 January 2014.

Computer expert Jeromin explained how the system secretly listens people and sells their information using computer technology. He advised that people should stay away from quiz games and social media that overexposes personal information.

Deputy president of IADL Jan Fermon and his colleague Ties Prakken who were there while the people’s lawyers put fascism on a trial, shared their observations.

Lawyer Ties Prakken said that he was banned from entering Turkey because he visited Abdullah Öcalan in Roma. He also said that he learned that this exclusion order was still in force and when he wanted to enter into the country to observe the trial of lawyers of People’s Law Office (PLO) he was sent back with the same plane without being able to get off.

Jan Fermon had been in KCK trials before and he said that the Turkish state always invented fake evidences against the lawyers but in this PLO case it did not even feel the need to do so.

He said that the only ‘evidence’ against the lawyers of PLO was that they reminded their clients of their right to silence. He stated that there was no evidence in the file.

Taylan Tanay had been defending a case in Belgium with Fermon but even this was used as an evidence of him being a member of RPLP-F.

Another accusation made against lawyers was that they were working as a courier between the organization and the prisoners.

Fermon said that he was really impressed by the solidarity among the lawyers.

He said that 500 lawyers defended their colleagues and 3000 lawyers protested with their robes.

Saying that the accusations turned out to be a comedy, Fermon indicated that the lawyers are accused of singing the songs of Grup Yorum. He stressed that the solidarity among the lawyers was strengthened as a result.

Thomas Eipeldauer was also an observer in the same hearing.

He said that the accused lawyers declared that they were fighting against state and their struggle was legitimate.

He added that the lawyers have been defending the poor, Alewis, workers, students who demanded free education and all the oppressed. He stressed the police terror in Turkey.

Thomas Eipeldauer pointed out Karl Marx.

According to Hegel’s definition of the state, the state is above classes.

But Marx said that the state is the representative of a class.

This was what Mr. Kozagacli said in his defence.

 He ended up his talk quoting from Kozagacli: “It is a good thing that our enemies attack us. This shows that we hurt them.”

Introducing the Art Assembly in Turkey, Grup Yorum member Caner Bozkurt talked about the pressures on the artists who participated to the Gezi Uprising. He said that the Art Assembly in Turkey was formed before June Uprising but it became stronger together with Gezi.

He talked about the oppression faced by Grup Yorum.

According to him, the artists’ assembly is growing day by day and the artists will stand firmer against the oppression.

Neslihan Kızıl Şimşek, a member of people’s architects and engineers, explained the urban transformation.

She said that the urban transformation project is nothing but pillage and looting.

She indicated that the state is resorting to the law of disasters and earthquakes in order to demolish Küçük Armutlu district of Istanbul. But, she said, they also carried out some research and discovered that Armutlu is not one of the earthquake zones in Istanbul.

She also said that even if Armutlu is affected by an earthquake, it still will not be harmed as much as the skyscrapers.

They have projects to restore the buildings instead of evacuating the people.

She stressed that if there is an attack against Armutlu, they would fight behind the barricades with the people.

NEW FORMS OF STRUGGLE

The second session of the first day was titled “New Forms of Struggle”.

It began with a small surprise for the audience.

Betül Nazan Vangölü Kozağaçlı and Şükriye Erden, the “People´s Law Office” lawyers who were released participated the conference through an online call.

They expressed their regrets for not being able to participate to the symposium.

They informed the audience about their case.

They said that they will never be intimidated and they will continue struggling.

Şükriye Erden said that their case was defended by 3000 lawyers and stressed the solidarity.

From Antakya, Meltem Halaceli, who is a graduate of Arabic Language and History, said that she was in her hometown for a research and that she found herself in the midst of an uprising.

She said that three of the Gezi Martyrs were from Antakya and in Antakya people, even those who were apolitical, went outside to the streets to protest.

She talked about the German anti-fascist organization ALB Bloccupy Frankfurt.

Bloccupy Frankfurt’s basic idea is ”to occupy the European central bank that is located in the heart of the monster”, she said.

She said that the number of participants is growing, while the oppression and violence of the state grows as well. We expect a wide participation this year as well, she said.

She also made a call for the audience to participate.

Türkan Albayrak from Revolutionary Workers’ Movement (RWM) explained the Kazova resistance.

Waiting for their 4 months unpaid wage, the workers had found themselves thrown outside the factory, instead. The workers did not even know how to make a press declaration before but they started a resistance under the leadership of RWM.

They set up tents in front of the factory. Deciding to occupy the factory for three times, the workers were successful in their occupation in the third attempt. They tried to sell the equipments and machinery inside the factory but when they failed to do that, they decided to continue production after repairing the machinery that was destroyed by the bosses.

The occupation turned out to be a well-known resistance inside Turkey. Thanks to the great support of our people, they sold the sweaters they produced.

Thanks to the solidarity of the workers, Kazova resistance showed that the struggle must be based on legitimacy not legality.

Metin Yeğin, the journalist and writer, pointed out the links between June Uprising and Kazova resistance.

Gezi Uprising is considered to be an uprising of space, identity and ecology and this is a revolution, he said. 

According to him both the oppressors and the oppressed had the same conception.

It was an uprising of space, because the issue was the Gezi Park.

It was an uprising of identity, because all the martyrs were of Alevi origin.

For example, in Tuzluçayır, there was a resistance and there were clashes with the police.

It was an uprising of ecology, because everything began with the people’s desire to protect the park and trees.

Then everyone stood by the resistance.

Metin Yeğin talked about how to make policemen angry. They are not angry when the protesters shout “Killer Police”.

Instead, they get really angry when the protesters shout “Spray, spray the gas. Take off your helmet, leave your baton. Let’s see who’s the real tough guy.”

Metin Yeğin talked about his personal experiences during the resistance. He said that people from every section, every layer of the society, who normally will not stand side by side resisted shoulder to shoulder. Nationalist symbols and left-wing symbols were next to each other.

Main slogans were “shoulder to shoulder against fascism” and “we will resist and we will win”.

Kazova had born thanks to this resistance and then the factory occupation began.

A lecturer, Michael Marchman who is also a representative from Occupy Wall Street talked about the uprisings in USA.

Initially what the workers wanted to do was to express their discontent about unemployment. But they managed to spread the resistance throughout the country.

They were really happy when 1000 people participated to the first protest.

Then a wave of protests was all around USA.

Marchman said that for the first time 1 million people participated to the protests in USA and that they are looking for ways to revive this because it withered somehow. 

Lerzan Caner, a representative of TAYAD and a witness to the uprising, talked about the march that started in the Anatolian side of Istanbul and ended up with people crossing the Bhosporus bridge and the police attacked that met them in Beşiktaş.

There were also clashes with the police in the neighbourhoods of Istanbul, especially in Gazi and May Day district. She said that a car ran over a protester named Mehmet Ayvalıtaş during a demonstration in May Day district.

She said that we put lots of efforts to prevent the Gezi Uprising from going down and that we carried out some protests and activities in order to ask for justice and to reveal the murderers of Gezi martyrs. She said that they wanted to form a chain of justice for Berkin Elvan who has been in coma for more than 200 days but the police tried to prevent them with armoured vehicles. She said that they organized some actions together with Taksim Solidarity in front of Çağlayan Courthouse but the police attacked once again.

Neslihan Kızıl Şimşek, the representative of People’s Architects and Engineers, introduced their new project to the participants.

– People’s Gardens: They are trying to produce organic seed.

She said that they would test this in Armutlu and then they would disseminate it to other neighbourhoods.

We are not obliged to use the seeds, chemical medicines and fertilizers produced by the imperialist monopolies. We are not obliged to eat the foods produced in line with the GMO based agriculture and food policies that bring immense harm to the people and the nature. Thanks to People’s Gardens that we will establish in Küçük Armutlu, Esenyurt/Kıraç, Altınşehir Filistin neighborhoods, we will grow and eat our own food, she said.

 – Cemevi Project in Küçük Armutlu:

– Energy Generation project: We will not let the electricity distribution companies to steal from the people.We will produce our own electricity. Wind and solar energy will be used to generate electricity in a pilot slum located in Küçük Armutlu and owned by the parents of Hasan Ferit Gedik.

This is a concrete example of on-site restoration.

– Computer game: The establishment is stupefying our children and our youth, by making them addicted to the computer games.On the other hand, it is trying to impose their corrupt rotten culture.

Against this, we are programming a computer game that is about the revolutionaries and that exposes the corruption of the establishment. We will bring our own alternative to our children.

She also said that they would buy a caravan.

She said that they would buy a caravan so that they would be able to go wherever there are some protests about the dams, demolitions, wherever they are needed.

Finally, Ramona Africa, the representative of the MOVE movement took the floor.

30 years ago MOVE occupied some houses they legally rented. The police had violently dispersed them.

First, they tried to buy the protesters buy offering money. After failing to do so they dropped bombs (made of the plastic military explosive C-4 and the commercial product Tovex TR-2) on the occupied home that killed 11 MOVE members (five of whom were children)! When those in the home tried to run out they faced so many bullets they had to return to the fire. The police and fire department conspired to “let the fire burn” in order to kill the MOVE family. The raging inferno destroyed 61 houses and injured many.  No city officials were charged criminally, although the one adult survivor, Ramona Africa, served time. In a 1996 civil suit in US federal court, a jury ordered the City of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million to a survivor and relatives of two people killed in the bombing. The jury found that the city used excessive force and violated the members’ constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Today the MOVE family is growing and vibrant, their beautiful, healthy, happy children a testimony to John Africa’s teachings.

POPULAR UPRISING

The title of the third session was “Popular Uprising”.

Popular Front representative Ahmet Kulaksız said that Gezi Uprising did not emerge out of nothing and that it was actually a result of an accumulated tradition of resistance.

He said that Istanbul experienced numberless resistances and uprisings long before Gezi.

“Istanbul has been a city where the American marine corps were thrown into the sea.

Istanbul stood against the oppression of September 12.

You cannot think Istanbul without May 1, 1977 when 37 people were killed.

Taksim is one such place.

There are places that revolutionaries will never give up, and Gezi Park is one of them”, he said.

Istanbul has always been a kind of city that paid heavy prices and created resistances.

He emphasized that we were already in a continuous war in the poor neighbourhoods of Istanbul.

He talked about the process before the Gezi Uprising.

He talked about May Days of 1977 and 1989. Gezi Uprising is the result of 15-16 June, Gazi Uprising and all the other uprisings before it, he said.

Julian Cortes explained the landless peasants are landless because the paramilitary, drug cartels and the state oppression and terror.

In Colombia, there is no democracy, the left-wing parties take up very little space in the parliament and the state tries to destroy them with massacres and repression, he said.

The media is owned by the ruling classes, the bourgeoisie.

The majority of the country’s income is transferred to USA.

He said that the peace talks between FARC and Colombia state is held for the landless peasants but the state does nothing to solve this problem.

Cortes also talked about FARC and he said that the organization has emerged from the villages.

He claimed that if the land problem is solved then the organization will lay down arms.

He was asked about the form of international solidarity they want to see.

He said that the international struggle against the imperialist monopolies that exploit us should be strengthened.

Journalist Thomas Eipeldauer indicated the international character of the uprisings.

He showed that the protests in Argentina, Spain, Greece, Turkey have some common forms and methods.

– Urban transformation: Who will determine the cities and architectural designs? Capital, or people? Ali Ağaoğlu or RPLP-F?

– Increasing state oppression.

– The revolutionary organizations always take place in these uprisings.

Not only the demands but also the forms of resistance are very similar.

Of course, there are other people without any organization or experience in these uprisings, not only revolutionary organizations.

Among them there are people who have been protesting on the streets for the first time. They must be won to the side of the struggle in a permanent way.

They are trying to create some liberated zones in the neighbourhoods free from police intervention.

We should find ways to win over people who are not organized yet.

Like in Küçük Armutlu.

But the state will attack and the people must be trained in terms of their self-defence.

Please click this link to watch these discussions:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43080866

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43083617

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43082871

JANUARY 26, 2014

IMPERIALIST INTERVENTION

Imperialist intervention was discussed at the first session.

Mohammed Safa took the floor. Imperialism is dividing the Arab peoples, he said.

He pointed out that the Arab uprising ended up with no gains because the class perspective was missing. He said that the violence in the Middle East is still going on and Israel is happy with this.

He talked about Georges Ibrahim Abdallah who has been imprisoned for 30 years in France. He said that USA prevented France from releasing him. He concluded his words saying that the prisoners in isolation should not be forgotten and the solidarity must be strengthened.

Then June Kelly took the floor. She said that in Syria USA lied about the weapons of mass destruction and its actual purpose is to capture the resources of the country. She said that education and health is free in Syria.

She compared the wars in Serbia and Syria. She said that imperialism pursues a neo-colonial policy by confiscating the resources of the countries and provoking crises in order to arm itself better.

Saying that the wars in Syria and Irak tore the countries apart, historican and writer Karam Khella said that we should concentrate on what we can to together.

He said that the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was not criticized by the Northern countries, that the socialism has collapsed in the Northern countries but that there are still socialist countries in the South.

He pointed out that the actual warmonger is NATO itself. He stressed that we should work to take European countries outside NATO and today’s war are war between corporations.

He said that we should do something for Syria, otherwise Algeria, Mali and South Africa will be next. He said that every country will make its revolution according to its own traditions.

Desmond Ferrnandez from CAMPACC said that USA has direct intervention teams for Yemen, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Philippines, Turkey, Mexico and that these teams murder or forcedly disappear people.

He said that Obama continued the plans of Bush.

He pointed out that an article that appeared in Washington Post 4 weeks ago wrote that USA spent millions to eliminate FARC guerrillas. He said that FBI is tapping phones, that in England policemen stopped the Muslims and Kurds to interrogate them.

Imperialism is oppressing everybody, tapping everybody’s phones, that is why we should struggle against imperialism altogether, he said.

Algerian author Ahmed Bensada tried to prove with documents that the Arab uprisings were not spontaneous movements and that they were organized by US funded peaceful organizations.

Ade Banjoko from All-African People’s Revolutionary Party said that they are for the united struggle of the all Africa.  He pointed out that they are divided by the colonialists.

He reminded Amilcar Cabral’s words about the national liberation can only be realized when the forces of production are liberated. He said that imperialism is stealing the richness of African countries and leaving them with hunger and poverty.

He has given the example of Congo. He quoted Amilcar Cabral: “Imperialism has two weapons. One of them is violence, the other is lies.” He said that imperialists made decisions on behalf of Africa without inviting them in Berlin Conference. He noted that Africans became migrants because of poverty. He concluded his words by saying that we should organize, we should answer imperialism in an organized fashion and down with imperialism in Africa.

The representative of NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) explained how Haiyam storm was utilized by imperialism. Taifun storm had a speed of 315 km/h on November 8th and it affected 40 million people, killing 6 million. 4 million people lost their homes, 6 American warships and 10 thousand American soldiers arrived. What does this mean?

8 out of 110 regions in the Philippines are in the hands of guerrillas. U.S. wants a strategic area. It wants to take control of the Indian Ocean. There are problems with China. Also they want the nickel and gold of Philippines. International solidarity is very important for us. He said that they have supported the Ireland’s struggle for independence, Palestine and the Middle East.

He said that they are supporting Latin America as well.

He said that we use knowledge and education to work together. He concluded his words by saying that imperialism will be beaten and the peoples will win.

REFUGEE´S STRUGGLE

In the second session topic was immigration issues.

Vincent de Jong from the initiative All Included talked about the cruelties of Frontex. He explained how it controlled the borders. He said that Europe and Turkey undersigned an agreement about sending the migrants back to Turkey who were trying to reach Europe via Turkey.

Refugee Yoonis Osman Nuur from Somalia took the floor. He said that he has been in Netherlands for 10 years but his asylum requests are rejected.

He said that there is an organization called “We are Here” which occupies the houses. He said that they have established a cooperative.

Savaha Koolen: He talked about the assistance they provide to the asylum seekers, that they are working as lobbyists to raise awareness and providing education. He said that they are working in order to bring the asylum seekers into the society not to exclude them.

At the end of the Symposium’s first day, the movie F-Type was viewed.

Click on this link to watch videos:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43110797

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43110119

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43107695

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43106903

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43105712

POLITICAL PRISONERS

Political Prisoners was the title of the second session of the second day.

At the end of the session, a documentary depicting the life of Mumia Abu Jamal called “A Long Distance Revolutionary” was shown.

Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais represented the Irish Republican Sinn Fein. He said that Ireland is under occupation for 850 years. The isolation became heavier because of the new laws and the Irish prisoners are actually prisoners of war, he said.

He said that the Irish prisoners can only leave their sells for about 1 hour per day.

He pointed out that among the political prisoners there are people imprisoned for 4 years without any accusation.

He said that we should struggle for peace, freedom and justice and we should set up a network.

Faiz Baluch said that Baluchistan was independent until 1948 before it was invaded by Pakistan and that they were attacked by England in 1939.

After the invasion of Pakistan in March 27, 1948, Baluchistan was divided into three, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan claimed the parts of the country, he said.

He said that they escaped from Baluchistan to Afghanistan to continue the struggle and that they were imprisoned, 1500 people were killed, among them teachers, artists, lawyers, students, poets.

He said that the artists were poured some chemicals down their throats so that they were unable to sing once again.

Finally, he said that 24 families started a long march on October 27, 2013 and this march will continue. Telling that they will make a protest in front of the UN building, he asked for support from the symposium.

Colombian lawyer Lucas Restrepo said that he came from Colombia where50 lawyers were killed during 1980s. Although the lawyers are not killed nowadays, they are still prevented from getting into contact with their clients and their rights remained on paper, he said. He pointed out that the US is killing the guerrillas or isolate the prisoners with High Security Prisons in North America. The notebooks and pens of the prisoners are taken away and they are not allowed to read any books apart from the Bible. He said that a woman was imprisoned because her husband was a FARC member and her 7 year old daughter was killed.

If we do not want to perish, we must stay in contact in our fight, he concluded.

Tuncay Yılmaz from the Anatolian Federation mentioned about 129 a + b.

He said that laws became more strict after the RAF movement in 1970s.

He said that Ulricke Meinhof experienced a white torture and murdered afterwards. But they claimed that she hanged herself.

He talked about the operations that were carried out against them. He said that operations took place against them after the anti-racist concert on June 26.

Sevcan Adıgüzel spoke on behalf of the Solidarity Committe with Political Prisoners.

She informed that political prisoner Özgür Aslan lost his memory, saying that after 2008 this year a 2nd operation took place and the prosecutor asked for 1-7 years in imprisonment.

She mentioned that one of the prisoners in Europe was imprisoned because of selling the tickets of Grup Yorum, selling magazines and participating to democratic protests. And she reminded that one of the prisoners in France has Wernicke Korsakoff disease.

She said that “We are escaping from fascism, and we are put on trial by imperialism”.

She concluded by talking about the resistances of Şadi Özpolat and the prisoners in Greece. She said that we should write letters to the prisoners, we should be in solidarity with them.

Click the following links to watch:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43116253

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43117308

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43129963

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43131330

LATIN AMERICA

Antonio Carmona Baez, scholar of International Relations, Puerto Rican independence activist (Oscar Lopez Rivera Puerto Rican PP), Dutch solidarity group “Vrienden van Venezuela” conveyed the Venezuelan ambassador’s message.

Carlos Ernesto Rodríguez Etcheverry, 2nd Secretary to Cuban Embassy said: “After 1959 the methods of USA became harsher, because they could not tolerate the revolution. And they tried to destroy the Cuban revolution.

More than three thousand people died. Attacks have been made to the hotels in 1977. An Italian citizen died. And the Cubans wanted to go to Miami to collect information and to stop terrorist attacks. They wanted to get into contact with FBI in order to learn what is going on. They were caught and put into prison in 1988. They were given extremely long prison sentences, despite the lack of evidence.

The courts asked for a life sentence several times. Currently, one of them is together with his family, the other one will be released in 2015, but the others are still in prison.”

Gustavo Conde participated via video conference on behalf of the Marcha Patriotica. In his message he said: “We send greetings and solidarity from Colombia. We were humiliated during the talks in Havana. We are struggling for the freedom of our comrade Simon Trinidad.

We are fighting for our independence.”

Guillermo Moncada of the National Resistance Front of Honduras said: “Our organization was declared a terrorist organization. Paramilitary forces in Honduras are killing students and teachers on the street. There is anger in the people against imperialism. The imperialists never stop, so we should never stop. I would like to salute all the political prisoners. We should talk about our victories as well. Imperialism is trying to control our brains as well.

The military coup divided us into two: You are either for or against it.

Oppression grew, people were disappeared. We’re setting up a new party, it will be political organization of the the National Front.

We have 13 parliament members and 1 majors.

The ruling parties always cheated in the elections.

USA brought Fernandez to power. They are creating a disinformation with the aid of USA in order to show the dictatorship as democracy. People are fighting against the dictatorship.

People are dying in the street. Our country wants change. The national front is active since 2009, we should not remain silent.”

Leonardo Anton, photographer and popular educator from Brazil said: “In Porto Alegre World Social Forum was held in 2005.

120 thousand people were affected by the construction works of the world cup. They are trying to evacuate people by using this as an excuse.

World Cup and the urban transformation are intertwined issues.

He said that the Brazilian state evacuated people from their homes in order to be able to hold the World cup. They even do not leave football fields for the youngsters.”

Click the following links for the Latin America session: 

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43133367

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43135195