the move nine
many move members were killed; nine were falsely accused, convicted for the murder of a police person, sentenced to from thirty to a hundred years; merle africa died in prison in 1998; surviving and currently serving out this sentence are michael davis africa, charles simms africa, edward goodman africa, william philips africa, delbert orr africa, janet holloway africa, janine philips africa, debbie simms africa.

historical note - this group is/was based on the teachings of john africa, believing in life, protection of the environment from corporate misuse, caring for people, caring for animals, birds, fish, all living creatures; his teachings are pro-nature and anti-racist; the group usually provides a community resource centre in the philadelphia area, counseling prisoners, addicts, alcoholics, the poor, child raising, interrupted by police attacks and brutality; in the seventies police abuse focused on move members who were pregnant women, forcing miscarriages, beatings by police in the victims' home, alleged murder by police of one of the children, and culminated in the deaths of six women and five children in the police bombing of move's address at osage avenue in 1985, a police attack which may have killed the movement's founder; a previous police free for all assault on the the move dwelling in 1978 resulted in the wounding of police and fire personnel and the death of a policeman by a single possibly errant bullet; nine move members on premises in the 1978 assault were charged in the death and are noted above; move men members have spent as much as six years in solitary confinement through religious refusal to cut their hair; women have spent as much as three years in solitary confinement for not giving blood; while several of the mothers were in prison their children were killed in the police bombing and assault of 1985; the history of move reveals such extreme local law enforcement persecution of this group, without any protection by the federal government, under adversarial courts, that the purposes of law enforcement have appeared to be (for thirty years) 1. creating an example to terrorize other civilian groups, 2. physical destruction of this group. 3. psychological destruction of the group and its philosphy.

some sources: earth liberation prisonners at; "25 years on the move: john africa's organization" at; john africa's move organization "statement regarding harassment by the news media" at

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appreciation to all sources
text: j.b.gerald, drawings: j.maas
gerald and maas night's lantern

january 4, 2004