The Move house, Powelton village West Philadelphia, 1978
As soon as the city knew MOVE had no guns or explosives, they began modify-ing and restating the terms of the agreement. It soon became apparent that DA Ed Rendell's promise to dispose of all pending MOVE cases within 4-6 weeks was a blatant lie.
The 90-day time period, which had been described to MOVE as a working timetable, was misrepresented to the media as an absolute deadline. The promise to assist MOVE in finding a new place to live was never completed, and the city began demanding that the house had to be razed.
Judge Fred DiBona, who only had jurisdiction in the civil suit still pending from three years earlier (page 9), suddenly began issuing orders to MOVE regarding the criminal case that were never a part of the agreement. MOVE had found DiBona to be particularly arrogant in the past, and as his conflicting directives and unagreed-to demands became intolerable, Phil and Sue Africa attempted to resolve the problem by going to see the judge on May 23rd. Although it was not a legal court hearing, but an informal meeting in the judge's chambers, DiBona wound up citing Phil for contempt and revoking his bail status previously set by the terms of the agreement. Before long the city was funneling the entire MOVE dispute through DiBona's courtroom, bypassing other judges not as closely aligned with Rizzo.
At a hearing on August 2, 1978, DiBona ruled that MOVE had violated the 90-day "deadline" and should have vacated the house. Police surveillance officers could testify to only actually seeing three members present at the house that morning, yet the city was so bent on hunting down and framing MOVE members that by the time the hearing was over, DiBona had sentenced attorney Oscar Gaskins for contempt and signed bench warrants authorizing police to arrest practically every known MOVE adult, including Robert, Conrad, Jerry and Sue Africa. These four and most other members were not in the house and couldn't possibly have violated an order to vacate it.
On August 5th, Philadelphia authorities, in collaboration with Virginia police, staged a midnight raid on the Richmond home of two MOVE women and 14 children. Storming in at gunpoint, they arrested Gail and Rhonda Africa. The legal justification for these arrests was Gail and Rhonda's alleged failure to leave a house they weren't within a hundred miles of.
Move… Who they are ?
"Video / 6 min / Couleur" ©2011 - "In Prison My Whole Life" de Marc Evans