August 8 marked the 35th year of incarceration for the surviving eight members of the MOVE 9. On Aug. 7, a panel of activists addressed a gathering at the Rotunda in Philadelphia to discuss the fight to get them out on parole, for which they have been eligible since 2008.
In 1978, Philadelphia police attacked the communal house of the MOVE organization. In the fight that followed, one police officer was killed and nine members of MOVE were arrested. The police vendetta against MOVE led in 1985 to the actual bombing of their row house by a police helicopter loaded with incendiary devices. The resulting firestorm demolished the MOVE family house and most of the residences on the block, killing 11 people, five of them children. None of the authorities responsible for this incredible atrocity ever went to jail, but the MOVE 9 remain behind bars.
Speakers also raised the struggles to free political prisoners Lynne Stewart, Sekou Odinga, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Russell Maroon Shoats, B. Manning and Leonard Peltier.