JANINE AFRICA: MOVE MEMBER
[col. writ. 3/20/17] ©’17 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Janine Africa has been a member of the MOVE Organization since the 1970s.
On August 8th, 1978, she was in the house when it was raided by a heavily-armed phalanx of cops, armed with shotguns and automatic weapons.
Like most of those people in the house, they were arrested and charged with shooting one of the cops shooting at the house, the likely victim of ‘friendly fire’.
Never even charged with possession of a weapon, she, like all the other MOVE people, was charged, convicted and sentenced to an obscene 30-to-100 years!
She was married to the late Phil Africa, and despite these hardships, she is a committed MOVE member today, almost 40 years later.
When she looks out into the present, she notices how very little things have changed:
I’d like to talk about the values of MVOE, how important they still are because at one point I
had a reporter write and ask me, “Did I feel as though the values of MOVE were still relevant
today”. And I had to tell him, “Of course they are.” Things are still just as important to fight for
as it was in the ‘70s. You still have police brutality; you still have unjust imprisonment of
innocent people, political prisoners, you still have corrupt politicians,….you still have the stereotype
of the different minorities going on today, you still have animal abuse, you still have abuse of the
air, the water, the soil. Everything that John Africa had MOVE fighting against in the early 1970s
is still happening today.. In fact, things are worse today because now they are just shooting people
down in the streets and having it recorded on television and telling you that that’s not what you saw
and there’s nothing happening to the cops.
Like many MOVE people, she is crystal clear on her belief that Revolution is a necessity for all people, to save their lives, their health and their very sanity. Janine adds:
MOVE is still relevant to this day and age and people have got to see that. Just as we told them in
the 70s it still applies now. This is not a MOVE issue; this is an issue of justice, of righteousness
and if you let it happen to MOVE and other political prisoners, then it’s going to happen to you.
The people that are being shot down today are not revolutionaries. They are not people speaking
out against the government, they are your average citizens that just happen to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time and giving these cops an excuse to justify killing them.
Time has surely passed, yes: but many problems, she explains, haven’t just continued, they’ve gotten worse! “The system”, she argues, “is a cancer.”
You’ve been listening to MOVE member, Janine Africa, still ‘Ona Move!’