Eddie Africa of the MOVE 9 has been released from state custody after more than 40 years of incarceration. Early on the morning of June 21, Eddie Africa was released from SCI Phoenix after being transferred from SCI Mahanoy, where he spent the majority of his incarceration. He has been fighting for parole for the last 10 years.
The MOVE 9 are nine individuals who were incarcerated following an August 8, 1978, police siege of the MOVE Organization home in West Philadelphia. The MOVE 9 were all sentenced to 30-100 years after the death of an officer during the raid.
Eddie’s release is a victory for him, his family and the movement that has been fighting for his freedom. This is the newest chapter in the decades-long struggle to free all the MOVE 9, which is a struggle that continues with the fight to free Delbert and Chuck Africa, who are both up for parole this year.
Eddie is the fifth member of the MOVE 9 to be released on parole, all represented by lawyers from Abolitionist Law Center and People’s Law Office. Like Debbie, Janet, Janine and Mike Africa, who were recently released, Eddie is now able to experience holding his loved ones outside of prison walls for the first time in decades.
Eddie was a father when he was arrested and has four adult children and several grandchildren who he has been able to maintain strong relationships with. Finally, his grandchildren will be able to hug him outside of a prison wall. The release of the MOVE members, after more than 40 years, is the culmination of the work of the MOVE organization and their supporters.
Two other members of the MOVE 9, Chuck and Delbert Africa, remain incarcerated, while two others, Merle Africa and Phil Africa, died in custody. Abolitionist Law Center and People’s Law Office represent Delbert and Chuck in the struggle for their freedom.