For most people, August 8th is merely a reference to the Beijing Olympics.
Because of the sheer passage of time, most people have forgotten August 8th, 1978, when police in Philadelphia unleashed a blitzkrieg against members of the MOVE Organization.
There, police fired hundreds of rounds into the house, fired tons of water, and after people were flushed from their house, several were beaten on the street. The cops who beat one man, Delbert Africa, for example, were ordered acquitted by a local judge, despite videotape!
When MOVE members went to trial, 9 men and women were railroaded on dubious charges for killing a cop who almost certainly was the subject of so-called friendly fire.
The city of Philadelphia made sure that this question couldn’t be resolved by literally tearing down MOVE’s house — allegedly an active crime scene — by nightfall.
But none of this mattered, for there was a railroad in process, and 9 MOVE people were sent to state gulags for 30 to 100 years!
Behind the attack on MOVE was certainly their radical lifestyle and opposition to state power, but there was also the dynamic of powerful real estate interests which wanted to expand their holdings to create a greater University City.
For MOVE, August 8th isn’t 30 years ago; it’s yesterday. It’s that close.
They need your support to end this injustice!
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an acclaimed American journalist and author who has been writing from Death Row for more than twenty-five years.
Mumia was sentenced to death after a trial that was so flagrantly racist that Amnesty International dedicated an entire report to describing how the trial "failed to meet minimum international standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings." The complete report is posted here on the Amnesty website.
Mumia is author of many books, including Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners vs. The USA, forthcoming from City Lights Books.