FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2008
Ramona Africa and Craig Rosebraugh Live
A Benefit for the MOVE Organization
PORTLAND, OR - In a rare public speaking engagement, controversial political activists Ramona Africa and Craig Rosebraugh are scheduled to discuss repression faced by activists in the United States along with the necessity of direct political action to protect human rights and the natural environment. The two will appear at the Clinton Street Theater on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:00pm. Bios appear below.
Ramona Africa is the sole adult survivor of the May 13, 1985 massacre of 11 members of the MOVE organization. The FBI and the City of Philadelphia dropped a C4 bomb on MOVE's 6221 Osage Avenue home in West Philadelphia. Carrying the young Birdie Africa (the only other survivor) with her, Ramona dodged gunfire and escaped from the fire with permanent scarring from the burns.
After surviving the bombing, she was charged with conspiracy, riot, and multiple counts of simple and aggravated assault. Subsequently Ramona served 7 years in prison. If she had chosen to sever her ties with MOVE, she could have been released far earlier. In the face of this she held true to her revolutionary beliefs and was uncompromising in the face of state terror. Since her release from prison, Ramona has tirelessly worked as the MOVE Minister of Communication on behalf of the MOVE 9, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and all political prisoners and prisoners of war.
The May 13 assault was the culmination of many years of political repression faced by the mostly black revolutionary and back-to-nature organization at the hands of Philadelphia authorities. In the 1970s, MOVE took up arms in response extensive police brutality that included the murder of the Young Life Africa as well as several miscarriages. On Aug.8, 1978, the police attacked their Powelton Village home and in the process police officer James Ramp was shot by a bullet traveling in a downward trajectory, from behind as he was laying down facing the MOVE home. Despite the physical impossibility of MOVE firing the bullet at that angle from their position in the basement, nine MOVE members were convicted for his murder and were given 30-100 year sentences still being carried out today. In 1985, organizing to free the MOVE 9 was at the forefront of MOVE political activities.
A political activist since the early 1990s when he opposed the Gulf War, Craig Rosebraugh is best known for his role as the national spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. From 1997 through 2001, Craig was the public face of the Earth Liberation Front, representing the group to the international news media and public. Despite two raids by federal authorities on his homes and businesses, eight federal grand jury investigations, a forced appearance in front of U.S. Congress, FBI and ATF questioning; and hundreds of death threats; he did not reveal the identities of members of the movements. Craig is the author of Burning Rage of a Dying Planet: Speaking for the Earth Liberation Front and The Logic of Political Violence: Lessons in Reform and Revolution.
**Ramona Africa will also be appearing earlier in the day, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the South Park Blocks behind the Smith Center at Portland State University.