by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Aug. 8, 2017 – Early morning. A time of rest, quiet and repose.
On Aug. 8, 1978, only the early birds in search of worms were stirring.
Also, cops assembled, heavily armed.
They attacked the MOVE House in Powelton Village, West Philadelphia. Dozens, then hundreds and perhaps thousands of shots poured into the home. How could we know the number? For before night fell, the building would be shattered, razed into the dark, wet earth.
Water cannons pumped hundreds of gallons into the house, a deliberate attempt to flush MOVE people from their own communal home.
When they emerged, to escape drowning and bullets shot into the dark basement, men, women and children arose from the murky waters to find themselves facing dozens of cops, fiendishly pointing rifles and pistols at them.
Instinctively, they raised their arms to show that they weren’t armed, to avoid being shot by the maddened coterie of cops.
Delbert Africa pulled himself out of a basement window, his arms raised above, his back and chest bare, only to be rifle-butted, slammed with a police helmet, and when he fell, pummeled, kicked repeatedly in his face and head. When he appeared in court for arraignment some hours later, his left eye looked more like a golf ball than an eyeball. Saliva ran down his chin, reflecting his broken jaw.
Almost all of the men were beaten, and what of the women? They were driven to the banks of the Delaware…
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