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Ramona Africa

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NEWS
April 20, 1986 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / JOHN COSTELLO
Supporters of MOVE member Ramona Africa, who was convicted of riot and conspiracy charges for her part in the May 13 siege, rallied outside City Hall on Monday before her sentencing. Hondo Malik urged passers-by to sign a "Free Ramona" petition and distributed leaflets asking that people join them in demanding her release. Africa, the only adult MOVE member to survive the confrontation, was given 16 months to seven years in prison.
NEWS
February 11, 1986
In the context of the entire MOVE tragedy - including the deaths of 11 men, women and children in the fire that destroyed 61 homes in a West Philadelphia neighborhood - the trial of Ramona Africa was a small part of the whole. Yet it was an important judicial proceeding that was packed with courtroom drama for five weeks and, in the end, required a jury to sort out the evidence on nine charges and reach verdicts on each of them. The jurors - seven men and five women, seven white and five black - performed their duty well.
NEWS
September 23, 1986 | By Henry Goldman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Preaching to the jury about the right to self-defense, Ramona Africa, the only adult known to have survived last year's fiery assault on MOVE's Osage Avenue compound, appeared as a defense witness yesterday in the aggravated- assault trial of Alphonso Robbins "Mo" Africa. Robbins Africa, 37, who is defending himself against charges that he attacked a police officer with a tire iron without provocation two years ago, called Ramona Africa to the witness stand to testify about a series of alleged beatings by police of members of the group.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 1986 | By JOSEPH P. BLAKE, Daily News Staff Writer
Channel 10 is airing a taped interview with Ramona Africa tonight and tomorrow on its 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Africa, one of two survivors of last May's confrontation between MOVE members and police that left 11 people killed and 61 homes destroyed, last spoke to the media in an off-camera interview last November with Geraldo Rivera for "20/20. " Channel 10 reporter Harvey Clark spent more than an hour talking to Africa on Monday at the Women's Correction Institute at Muncy, where she is serving a 16-month-to-7-year term for criminal conspiracy and riot.
NEWS
May 12, 2000 | By Elmer Smith
The burn scars run along Ramona Africa's forearms like a stigmata embossed in the fabric of her flesh. They have healed, but in a way that will leave her marked for as long as she lives. She is the survivor, the only adult who emerged from the flaming ruins of Osage Avenue and lived to talk about it. The events of May 13, 1985, have been seared into her soul. And they are a part of a story that only she can tell as she carries MOVE's message around the world. How she and the young boy known as Birdy Africa survived the fire that killed 11 MOVE members, including six children, are what people want her to talk about in the forums that her victim status have opened to her. And she will talk about it if you ask her. I asked her where Birdy was. She shrugged.
NEWS
April 15, 1992 | By Craig R. McCoy, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An unrepentant Ramona Africa pledged yesterday that she would use the freedom that will be hers in less than a month to campaign to free 12 other jailed MOVE members. Africa is to walk out of the barbed-wire yard of the State Correctional Institution at Muncy on May 13, seven years to the day after she emerged at age 30 from the burning MOVE compound on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, the only adult survivor of a debacle that took 11 lives and devastated a neighborhood. Africa promised a full schedule of media appearances - maybe an appearance on Oprah Winfrey, she said - and other actions to keep attention focused on the imprisoned members of her family.
NEWS
March 20, 1986 | By DAVE RACHER, Daily News Staff Writer
Ramona Africa showed up in court yesterday with what she felt was a "meat and potato" issue, but left with a bad taste in her mouth. Common Pleas Judge Ned L. Hirsh denied her request to order the city's prison system to provide her with raw food. Africa, a MOVE member awaiting sentence on charges of riot and conspiracy in connection with the May 13 confrontation with police that resulted in 11 deaths, insisted that she be served "a natural diet based on my religion. " Hirsh said the federal courts have already ruled that MOVE is not a religion and not entitled to a special diet.
NEWS
September 15, 1986 | By David Lieber, Inquirer Staff Writer (Inquirer staff writer Howard Goodman contributed to this article.)
Ramona Africa, believed to be the only person inside the MOVE house on Osage Avenue to have survived the group's confrontation with police last year, has been transferred from a state prison in Muncy, Lycoming County, to the Philadelphia House of Detention, prison officials said yesterday. Africa, 31, will be a witness at the Philadelphia trial of Alphonso Robbins "Mo" Africa, a MOVE member who is charged with assaulting a city police officer in June 1984, according to Sheryl Stein, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia district attorney's office.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Journalist Linn Washington opened a panel discussion Wednesday evening at Community College of Philadelphia on the 1985 MOVE bombing with a simple question. "How many of you were living in '85?" he asked the nearly 100 people in the audience. About half raised their hands. May 13 will mark the 30th anniversary of the confrontation between MOVE and Philadelphia police that left 11 people dead, including five children. Michael Boyette, a panelist and coauthor of "Let It Burn!"
NEWS
January 16, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
William Phillips Africa, 63, a high-ranking member of MOVE who was serving a 30- to 100-year sentence in the death of a Philadelphia police officer during a 1978 shootout, died in prison Saturday, officials said Wednesday. Africa died of natural causes at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, the Luzerne County Coroner's office said. William Phillips added the surname Africa after he joined MOVE and was known in the group as "Phil. " He was MOVE's "minister of defense. " Africa was convicted of third-degree murder for the shooting death of Officer James J. Ramp on Aug. 8, 1978.
NEWS
January 15, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
PHIL AFRICA, a high-ranking member of the black-liberation group MOVE, died Saturday at the Pennsylvania Correctional Institution at Dallas, according to NBC10. No cause of death was given, and remaining members of the group were quick to say he died under "suspicious circumstances. " His age could not be determined. Africa (all members of MOVE adopted the surname) was one of the "MOVE 9," members imprisoned after a shootout at the group's former headquarters in Powelton Village in 1978, in which Police Officer James Ramp was shot to death.
NEWS
July 16, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
BACK IN 1986, when the smoke from the MOVE cataclysm still stained the air over Powelton Village, Patrick Artur and his family had to seek police protection. Artur, longtime lawyer for the Fraternal Order of Police, represented police officers who were called before the commission investigating the disaster but refused to incriminate themselves. There was never any real danger to the Arturs, and, in fact, Patrick later became friendly with Ramona Africa, who, with Birdie Africa, were the only survivors of the May 13, 1985, holocaust when police dropped a bomb on the roof of the headquarters of the back-to-nature group, killing 11 people, including five children, and destroying a neighborhood.
NEWS
May 29, 2010
Judicial system found Africa guilty Re: "City needs memorial to MOVE victims," letter, Monday: Temple professor Burton Caine says of the MOVE disaster: "The third tragedy was that the only person to go to jail was Ramona Africa, the only adult to escape [the MOVE house on Osage Avenue], who was convicted on a trumped-up charge. " Any professor of law worth his salt should know that a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but not afterward. I remind Caine of this principle because I was the assistant district attorney who drafted the criminal complaint against Ramona Africa.
NEWS
May 13, 2010 | By Connie Langland FOR THE INQUIRER
In the spring of 1979, when she first attended a MOVE rally, Ramona Johnson was a student at Temple University, about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in political science and plans to enter law school. Through that summer, she got a fast-track course in court proceedings by sitting in on the criminal cases brought against MOVE members stemming from the 1978 confrontation that left Police Officer James Ramp dead, and four police officers and four firefighters wounded. Johnson aligned herself with MOVE and became Ramona Africa.
NEWS
May 13, 2010
MOVE members and their supporters gathered at City Hall yesterday afternoon to mark today's 25-year anniversary of the Osage Avenue disaster. "We never ever want anyone to forget the vicious murder of our family," said MOVE member Pam Africa. "These people dropped a bomb and did that to stop us from exposing what's wrong in the system. " Carrying posters bearing the name of MOVE founder John Africa and signs with the face of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, about 40 peaceful demonstrators listened to speakers and handed out fliers to passers-by.
NEWS
May 12, 2010 | By Connie Langland, FOR THE INQUIRER
On Mother's Day 1985, Michael Nutter was back in his old neighborhood. He had grown up at 55th and Larchwood, not quite a mile due east of the MOVE rowhouse on Osage Avenue. He had friends and family who lived even closer. That morning, Nutter attended services at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia, where the Rev. Albert F. Campbell advised the congregation of heightened police activity near the MOVE house. Nutter, then 27 and an aide to City Councilman Angel Ortiz, decided to see for himself.
NEWS
May 12, 2010 | By Connie Langland, FOR THE INQUIRER
In the spring of 1979, when she first attended a MOVE rally, Ramona Johnson was a student at Temple University, about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in political science and plans to enter law school. Through that summer, she got a fast-track course in court proceedings by sitting in on the criminal cases brought against MOVE members stemming from the 1978 confrontation that left Police Officer James Ramp dead, and four police officers and four firefighters wounded. Johnson aligned herself with MOVE and became Ramona Africa.
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