MOVE member, supporters protest use of deceased members bodies in research
UNIVERSITY CITY - A march on University City where activists demand accountability from the University of Pennsylvania over the remains of children who died in the MOVE bombing back in 1985.
"Tree Africa. Delisha Africa!" chanted a crowd, as dozens sat in solidarity with Mike Africa, Jr. and other members of the MOVE organization. They chanted the names of two young girls who were part of the MOVE family.
"It was just so disturbing," said Mike Africa, Jr. He gets emotional talking about the moment he learned that the remains of 12-year-old Delisha Africa and 14-year-old Tree Africa were used for research at the Penn Museum and Princeton Anthropology Department. He says it happened without knowledge or permission of their families.
"We thought everybody was buried. I had no idea there were some people that were taken and put in whatever this place is, because it's not a museum," he lamented.
Africa was joined by Krystal Strong an organizer with Black Lives Matter Philly and a professor at Penn. They addressed the crowd outside the university president's home on Walnut Street.
"There is no way to repair the harm that has been done. It won't bring back Delisha and Tree and all of the 11 people who were murdered in 1985. However there is accountability to be had," said Strong.
The crowd marched to Walnut from Penn Museum at 33rd and Spruce.
Delisha and Tree were killed May 13th, 1985, along with other MOVE members. Philadelphia Police dropped a bomb on MOVE’s West Philly house.
"To know they're not here, it makes you think all kinds of things like who they would have been and what type of adults they would have been like," said Africa.
MOVE elders held a press conference earlier in the week, saying they didn't know about this and hadn't authorized it.
Wednesday's protest demanded action be taken against those involved and still employed with the university.
Penn released a statement Monday saying "We understand the importance of reuniting the remains with the family and we are working now to find a respectful consultative resolution."
Students from Princeton University also held a protest in Princeton, due to its involvement.
UPenn issues apology to MOVE for using member remains in anthropology classes
Delbert Africa, Philadelphia MOVE group member, released from prison after 41 years
Former Philadelphia mayor Goode calls for city apology in fatal 1985 bombing MOVE remains presser
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP
SUBSCRIBE: Good Day Digest Newsletter | FOX 29 Philly on YouTube