This motion on MOVE and Mumia Abu-Jamal was adopted by both the Oakland Education Association OEA) and the Adult School Teachers United (ASTU) in Richmond, Calif. MOVE is an organization based in the Black community that was victimized by Philadelphia authorities on several occasions.

Nine members of MOVE were sent to prison on fake murder charges after a police raid on their house in 1978. Then, in 1985, another MOVE house was destroyed by police bombing; 11 members of the MOVE family who were trapped in the house died, including children.

Mumia, a news and political commentator known as the “Voice of the Voiceless,” was framed up and convicted for allegedly killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. He has been in prison ever since, and has recently suffered from potentially life-threatening illnesses, made worse after a bout with COVID.

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Whereas, on May 13, 1985, a State Police helicopter dropped a C-4 bomb, illegally supplied by the FBI, on the roof of the MOVE Organization’s house at 6221 Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, and the bomb started a fire that was allowed to burn, eventually destroying 61 homes, leaving 250 people homeless; anWhereas, the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission (The MOVE Commission) documented that when the occupants of the MOVE house tried to escape the fire, police shot at them, blocking their escape; and in the end, six MOVE adults and five children died; and Whereas, the MOVE Commission concluded that the deaths of the five MOVE children “appeared to be unjustified homicides which should be investigated by a grand jury” However, two subsequent grand juries refused to press charges against any city or police official, any member of the fire department, nor the medical examiners for murder or any other wrongdoing; and

Whereas, on May 13, 1985, a State Police helicopter dropped a C-4 bomb, illegally supplied by the FBI, on the roof of the MOVE Organization’s house at 6221 Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, and the bomb started a fire that was allowed to burn, eventually destroying 61 homes, leaving 250 people homeless; and

Whereas, the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission (The MOVE Commission) documented that when the occupants of the MOVE house tried to escape the fire, police shot at them, blocking their escape; and in the end, six MOVE adults and five children died; and

Whereas, the MOVE Commission concluded that the deaths of the five MOVE children “appeared to be unjustified homicides which should be investigated by a grand jury.” However, two subsequent grand juries refused to press charges against any city or police official, any member of the fire department, nor the medical examiners for murder or any other wrongdoing; and

Whereas, the stolen remains of 14 year old murdered Tree Africa have been used by an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton in a forensic training video for the past 36 years; 

Whereas the remains of the rest of the murdered MOVE members have been cremated and left unmarked;

Therefore, be it resolved, the Adult School Teachers United (ASTU) strongly condemn this unethical, immoral and illegal misappropriation of the remains of Tree Africa and the other MOVE victims, and demand the return of their remains to their families; and 

Be it further resolved, that the Adult School Teachers United will communicate its condemnation to both universities and the Philadelphia City government with a request for a full investigation of how this travesty was allowed to occur and continue to be perpetuated for more than three decades; and that a public apology and appropriate restitution be made to their families for the pain and suffering inflicted upon them, and

Whereas Mumia Abu-Jamal was targeted again by the police and FBI for his relentless reporting about the initial police attack on MOVE in 1978, refusing to be silenced and losing his public radio broadcast job as a result

and whereas Mumia, who is innocent of any crime, is the only person arrested in relation to the police attacks on MOVE who has not yet been released, all the surviving MOVE adults now having won their freedom,

Resolved, ASTU calls for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s immediate unconditional release from Mahoney State Correctional Institution.

Photo: Mumia Abu-Jamal