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Audio - Talk by Ramona and Fred Africa

parts | 29.06.2007 01:14 | Anti-racism | Free Spaces | Repression | London

An hour long recording of the talk given by Ramona Africa and Fred Africa of MOVE at the rampART social centre on Thursday 28th June 2007. ~14MB MP3, 22,050hz, mono @ 32kb/s

- mp3 14M

The appearance at the rampART was part of a MOVE information tour of the UK. Further dates include Newcastle and Bristol.

The talk was attended by around 50 people. It began with a screening of the MOVE documentary and was followed by a questions and answer session. Recordings of parts of the Q&A session will be uploaded later.



Audio from Q&A, part 1

29.06.2007 10:37

Download: MOVE_Q&A_Defining The System - mp3 936K

I'm not going to upload the whole questions and answers session that followed the talk as it was marred on two occasions by members of the Spartacus League who insisted on trying tho use the session as a speaking platform. Showing complete disrespect for everyone else there and the MOVE members who had travel all this way to answer peoples questions, these two people regurgitated prose from their specific political agenda for ages without asking a single question of Ramona or Fred. I've also decided not to upload the whole session because many people there who asked questions may have been unaware that the session was being recorded and for this reason I have generally left out the actual questions.

The first piece is in response to a question asking for clarification on what is meant by MOVE when they speak of THE SYSTEM. Specifically the question was posed around whether they specifically referred to capitalism. The answer, if I were to dare to summarise it, was that any form of EXTERNAL government, is THE SYSTEM although Romona also spoke of the fighting the system within our own heads which I guess would still refer to external constraints we have internalised.


MOVE Q&A - on the issue of compromise

29.06.2007 10:44

Download: MOVE_Q&A_No_Compromise - mp3 1.3M

Romona was asked about why MOVE prisoners didn't at least say they were no longer seeking revolution in order to satisfy the parole board members and get let out. Her explanation was that compromise helps nobody in the end.


Q&A - Dwelling on the darkness

29.06.2007 11:42

Download: MOVE_Q&A_dwelling_on_darkness - mp3 280K

At one stage, while saying what an inspiration MOVE could be to other people struggling for other possible worlds, the question was asked, why does MOVE mostly appear to concentrate on the dark incidents in their history.

The answer was basically that people needed to know what happened but I was reminded of a recent article on indymedia about intimidation by the Police Forward Intelligence Team, and how our re-actions to this or other police provocation often results in us disrupting our own plans. This was concept was reinforced at another stage in the Q&A session when it was revealed that MOVE was not 'recruiting' or 'expanding' as it was concentrating solely on securing the release of it's family members.

If MOVE have pledged to commit all their efforts in this way for as long as any one of their members remain imprisoned, surely the authorities have won and have a strong incentive for always having MOVE members in their jails?


Q&A - spreading the MOVEment

29.06.2007 12:22

Download: - mp3 924K

As mentioned above, Fred and Ramona where asked about how MOVE was spreading out. The answer appeared to be that beyond a network of supporters engaged in spreading awareness about the persecution of MOVE and of the fate of it's political prisoners, plans to expand were effectively on hold while their family members served their 30 to 100 year prison sentences. Nether-the-less, the correspondence they are receiving from around the world suggests that John Africa's message has struck a cord with many and is spreading anyway, inspiring people to make revolutionary changes in their lives anyway.


Q&A - on the growing repression against activists in the USA

29.06.2007 12:48

Download: MOVE_Q&A_greenscare - mp3 1023K

Asked about the recent heavy handed clamp down on eco-activism in the USA (which has seen many people given extremely long sentences for acts of 'eco-terrorism'), Romona suggested that the corporate powers which pull the strings of government and law enforcement, were eager to send a strong message to those taking up radical action against the system. She said that while it is not necessary for us all to be front line soldiers, it is necessary for us all to support those who are.

(For information about the recent repression in the state, search indymedia or the web for 'green scare')


Q&A - release of the MOVE 9

29.06.2007 13:12

Download: Q&A_ release of the move 9 - mp3 412K

Asked about the chances that the MOVE 9 will be released when their parole hearing comes up in August 2008, Romona said that while they would of course be delighted if that happens, what they are really seeking is for the conviction and sentence to be over turned.



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05.09.2007 06:45

Thank you for your coverage of Ramona Africa's talk. It is really difficult to communicate cross culturally. I want to help and to add to the discussion.

Ramona Africa was an educated adult who was about to go to law school. She wasn't happy though and was searching for the meaning of life. She found MOVE and converted and was very happy as a member. Imagine this.

Then, she was the only adult survivor of the MOVE family massacre!! She saw many unarmed children and adults killed by a profoundly racist police force. Can you imagine such a thing happening to you? How would you react? Then imagine all the television footage and eye-witnesses to the police trying to kill you and the children you saved from the house -- and instead of them getting in any trouble whatsoever YOU were sentenced to jail! This is sounding a lot like being sentenced to a concentration camp for surviving the Warsaw ghetto, huh? Try to imagine how you would feel.

Then Ramona served a long, difficult sentence (she was constantly taunted with the possibility of release if she would renounce MOVE and never associate with them again). Ramona was finally released and had the incredible task of helping the children of those imprisoned with their trauma and to try and release their parents. Then, amazingly, due to her strength from her faith, she helps the children and community heal. Many marriages and the happiest, strongest, healthiest children are born. MOVE definitely has grown quantitatively and qualitatively as a supportive extended family/faith community.

The question about why doesn't MOVE evangelize and seek to grow is similar to asking a Holocaust survivor "Why aren't you promoting Judaism?" Did any survivors go onto try and evangelize non-Jews to Judaism or to a cross religious organization? It's unfathomable (although maybe a few did). Many of the most famous survivors killed themselves. How does one live with the loss of those closest to them? With raising the children of the survivors when one is so traumatized oneself? With ones most important people imprisoned and unable to be hugged or spoken to?

I imagine it is similar to what Jesus and the early disciples faced. Or any number of persecuted minority religious groups throughout history. Undoubtedly devout, peaceful, family-loving Muslims are facing this all throughout England right now (they unfortunately are in the US).

I have worked with Ramona, but not a lot. I haven't seen or spoken to her in 5 years. But, her faith -- and love -- is truly phenomenal. You might not have been able to get all that in a one night talk. It is almost impossible to communicate across all the different historical understandings of race and police brutality and mass incarceration of Black people and "holocaust"... the African American holocaust in America killed more than the holocaust in Germany, and the effects of this in America are practically indescribable.

Well, I hope this was a little helpful. Oh, and check out if you want more info (MOVE's website). Check out any of Taylor Branch's award-winning triology history books. Check out "Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery" by Farrow, Lang and Frank. Read Franz Fanon to learn more about holocaust, slavery and psychology. And keep "onamove" walking in your sisters and brothers shoes...

Elise, NYC