Chuck Africa, who is in prison, made a plea to the world, in 2007, that elderly sick prisoners dying in prison be allowed to die at home with their family and friends rather than in prison.
He is one of the Move 9. The others are up for parole hearings that are going on now. His parole hearings will be some time in May. His plea would relate to himself only if one were to assume he will never get parole.
The back to nature collective was convicted of murder in the same sense that a firebug is convicted of murder when someone dies in a fire. However, Janet Holloway Africa, and Debbie Sims Africa never threatened stop the eviction or even had a gun. This was before video games taught people how to use guns. Letters of support can be sent to the parole board: The more personal, and less like a form letter the better.
Chairman Catherine C. McVey, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Attn: Inmate Inquiry, 1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300, Harrisburg, PA 17104
Ironically, over a decade later, Mumia Abu-Jamal after being vigorously told to stop reporting the Move story was himself convicted of murder and the court turned down his appeal for a new trial at the very moment that gentle pleas would have been most effective for the Move 9.
A badly wounded Mumia was convicted of running up to the injured officer and point-blank shooting him again then staggering back to where he was convicted of first firing his gun to collapse into unconsciousness on the curb. Some people are upset that neither Mumia or his brother has any explanation for the second fatal shot. However, the allegedly whistle-bowing police officer could have been killed later when Mumia and his brother wasn’t around.
Move thought, that by proving civilization was unnecessary, we would all free ourselves from the rat race and other problems of the modern world. This is now all history, except the punishments continue. Chuck’s plea in behalf of dying prisoners is an important document and if reposted and reprinted around the world could help dying prisoners as far away as China. This cover letter posted by RichardKanePA@aol.com 215-563-2866 capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/6330 www.opednews.com/author/author7816.html
PLEA FOR ALL OF THE MOVE 9 posted by civil rights activest:
video version of Chuck’s statement [added May 1]
Google www.onamove.com, Scrawl down to Oct 14, 2007
or “A sea of apathy floods the cell blocks and corridors”) and scrawl half way down the page.
From Chuck Africa ONA MOVE!
I write this letter to communicate a grave concern of mine and maybe yours once reading this. A sea of apathy floods the cell blocks and corridors of Graterford State Prison as scores of elderly/terminally ill inmates are dying at a rapid and alarming pace. The mere fact of anybody dying is not remarkable by itself; but cold indifference can border on the inhumane when people capable of easing needless suffering fail to act.
It is not my intent to suggest that there is a quick fix to a complex situation involving many individuals. However, I do know that there are certain men here who you have observed closely over the years that deserve to be released from this institution.
Counselors, Staffers, Administrators, Psychologists, Guards and Religious Authorities: You have all at various times interrelated with and gotten to know the character of many men here and you can make common sense evaluations and intelligent recommendations regarding this dire situation. Where there is clearly no valid reason pursuant to humanity to continue holding terminally ill men there should be alternatives. I realize that there are more priorities in the world that over shadow that of prisoners and this is not a call to lift the needs and concerns of prisoners above others; it is simply an attempt by me to shed light on a crisis here that requires special attention. Me expressing it with such urgency comes from the real fact that I watch Mr. Edward Williams (Abdullah Shah) AF-4687 wither away before me on A-Block. He is clearly ailing. And I’ve recently observed the late Jerry Mims’ last days as a walking dead man. Helpless and harmless. (1)
The bulletin boards continue to announce more memorials as dead faces line the walls on an almost daily basis. Surely some of these men could’ve/can have a positive impact on the communities outside. There can never be enough wisdom out there that people can benefit from. Especially in the wake of the vicious streak of violence plaguing the inner cities.
Finally, while death is inevitable to us all, in here and out there; terminally ill men should at least get to spend their last days of breathing with family and friends. Along with this letter to prison officials I’m calling on all Ministers, Guards, Rabbis, Chaplains, Priests, and Imams to have the courage as men; the moral imperative as spiritual guides; and the willingness to adhere to your conscience as human beings and do what’s right: Put forth an intense effort to gain the release of some fathers and grandfathers who continue to languish in here unjustly (in every sense of the word) and without any more clear penological and rehabilitative purpose.
The months of April and May of this year alone have had more than twelve deaths.
Charles Sims Africa, AM-4975
(1) One of many who’ve succumbed to a terminal illness and is now deceased. And I have witnessed many other stricken men die in similar fashion between 2002-2007.
Cc: Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper;
Cc: Senator Shirley Kitchen, 1701 West Lehigh Ave., Phila, PA 19132