On Saturday, January 10th 2015 Phil Africa, revolutionary, John Africa’s First Minister of Defense, and beloved brother, husband and father, passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, PA.
On Sunday, January 4th Phil Africa wasn’t feeling well and went to the prison infirmary. Though he wasn’t feeling well, other inmates saw Phil Africa walking, stretching and doing jumping jacks. Hearing that Phil was in the infirmary MOVE members drove up to visit him and were denied a visit by the prison. While they were visiting with Delbert Africa, Phil was secretly transported to Wilkes Barre General Hospital where he was held in total isolation, incommunicado for five days.
Prison officials at SCI-Dallas wouldn’t communicate about Phil’s condition. They told MOVE that Phil was at Wilkes Barre General hospital but the hospital denied he was there and this back and forth lie went on for days almost the entire time Phil was being held. The hospital and the prison behaved very suspiciously denying Phil the ability to call family members or his wife of 44 years, Janine Africa, stating that she was not a blood relative. The hospital and prison received hundreds of phone calls in support of Phil from around the world. When they finally submitted to pressure and allowed Phil to call Janine on Thursday, January 8th he was heavily drugged, incoherent and couldn’t even hold the phone to talk to her.
On Friday, January 9th Phil was sent back to the prison infirmary and placed in hospice care upon arrival. On Saturday, January 10th Ramona and Carlos Africa were granted permission to visit Phil in the prison infirmary. When they reached him he was incoherent and couldn’t talk or move his head to look at them. An hour after they left Delbert called with the news that Phil passed away.
Inmates in the infirmary and others in the prison were shocked when they heard the news. They had witnessed his vigorous health for decades in the prisons, had just seen him stretching and doing jumping jacks six days earlier. This rapid decline all occurred while he was being literally held incommunicado from his MOVE family at Wilkes Barre General Hospital or Dallas prison or wherever these conspirators were holding him with murderous intent.
The fact that Phil was isolated for the six days before he passed–and that the prison refused to acknowledge that he was in the hospital–is beyond suspicious.
This is another example of how the system hates MOVE and will do anything to stop MOVE. You can look at the example of August 8th, 1978 when the MOVE 9 were illegally imprisoned, and May 13th, 1985 when the government dropped a bomb and intentionally murdered 11 MOVE members to see this point clearly. When Merle Africa died in prison on March 13th, 1998 the conditions were very similar. She had been one way in the prison, but within hours of being forced to go to an outside hospital she was dead.
Phil made a deep impression on people all around the world. He was constantly writing, often dozens of letters a day, encouraging solidarity and strength, and warmly advising hundreds of people. Phil worked hard to learn to paint and created countless paintings which he sent to supporters for free to draw attention to issues, get raffled off for the struggle, and bring people together. Phil took his commitment and work as a revolutionary very seriously, but was often smiling, laughing, and giving people hugs and encouragement.
He was a warm father figure to many in the prison where he taught inmates how to box, to think, and how to get stronger. Despite having two of his children murdered by the system and being separated by prison, Phil was a father figure to many. He was separated from his wife Janine for over 36 of the 44 years they were married, but he worked hard to stay connected with her even though they were so callously isolated by the system.
It’s this system’s intention for MOVE people to die in prison. The MOVE 9 never should have been imprisoned at all, and according to their sentence they should have been paroled over six years ago.
The death of Merle and Phil Africa rests directly at the feet of this government!
Phil will never be forgotten and this is not the end he is dearly missed but his strong example should inspire everyone to fight harder for the freedom of the MOVE 9 and all political prisoners. This latest government treachery will be the fuel needed to motivate people to step up the pace for this revolution.
LONG LIVE PHIL AFRICA!
LONG LIVE MERLE AFRICA!
FREE THE MOVE 9!
LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA!
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