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What killed Merle Africa?

MOVE member dies in jail

By G. Dunkel

Merle Austin Africa, a member of the MOVE organization, died March 13 in Pennsylvania's Cambridge Springs prison.

Prison administrators first claimed she died of "tumors." They later revised the reason for her death to "natural causes."

Ramona Africa of the MOVE family told reporters that Merle Africa was a physically and mentally strong 40-year-old woman.

Merle Africa's mother was only told about her daughter's death after she called prison officials and insisted on knowing what had happened.

Another MOVE member, Debbie Sims Africa, was in the cell with Merle Africa when she suddenly became unconscious. Guards removed Debbie Sims Africa from the cell, and did not let her watch the paramedics work on her sister.

Eddie Africa, jailed in SCI Camp Hill prison, has reportedly been denied the right to make any telephone calls since his sister's death.

MOVE is holding all the "system officials"-those responsible for putting and keeping Merle in jail-responsible for her death. The MOVE organization has been subject to years of state brutality for their exposure of racist cops and calls for revolution.

To the family of Merle Africa and the entire MOVE organization
From the National Committee of Workers World Party

A Statement of Condolence on the Death of Merle Africa

We, along with the rest of the progressive movement, are outraged and saddened at hearing of the death of our sister, Merle Africa, who along with her MOVE 9 comrades had been illegally held in captivity for 20 years as a political prisoner of war.

No matter what the Pennsylvania authorities say was the "official" cause of her death, every politically conscious person should blame the racist prison system and the brutal conditions inherent in that system for her demise.
They were her executioners and have to be held accountable for her untimely death.

This is another reason the Jericho '98 coalition's demand for immediate amnesty for all political prisoners takes on a greater urgency. The March 27 march and rally at the White House will be a significant step forward in achieving this goal. The spirit of Merle Africa will live on. All out for March 27!

Yours in struggle,

Monica Moorehead and Larry Holmes

For the National Committee of Workers World Party

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