1990s >> 1995 >> no-1087-march-1995

Letters: Ignoring MOVE

Dear Socialists,


Thank you for taking the trouble to review my anthology Green History. I feel that you are being slightly picky on some points. Bellamy, for example. is normally seen as a socialist (see Kumar’s Utopianism, OUP. 1991:65). which was why I believe William Morris felt it necessary to counter his Looking Backwards with the decentralist and ecological News from Nowhere. I have never denied that Morris was a Marxist but equally he wrote an impressive utopia and was concerned in a very central way with ecological issues. Morris was a founder member of Britain’s first Marxist political party with Eleanor Marx and Engels. His creativity is a source of inspiration and education to all of us who see ourselves within a Marxist tradition.


Equally I fail to see how 1 can I be accused of ignoring the central issue of class struggle. For example, although he advocates manifesto promises you would see as reformist. Dumont (p.247) notes “It is one and the same system which organises the exploitation of the workers and the degradation of living and working conditions and puts the whole earth in danger.” On page 145 we find Marx in Capital showing us how capitalism turns the individual worker into a crippled monstrosity.


My only real complaint, though, is the fact that you fail to mention MOVE. This revolutionary group said a lot with which you may disagree but they identified the fact that human liberation and ecological liberation are one and the same thing. They were massively persecuted for rejecting capitalism, leaders and the exploitation of all forms of life. A leading supporter Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on death row on trumped-up charges since the early 1980s. Most of their members have suffered long prison terms. We are fast approaching the 10th anniversary of the May 1985 massacre when eleven MOVE members were burnt to death in the most horrifying circumstances by an FBI bomb.


Worse perhaps than the bombing is the fact that socialists, anarchists. Greens and other radicals have largely ignored MOVE. I use Alice Walker’s essay on MOVE to introduce my study of Green History because MOVE made the links between a system of human exploitation and the exploitation of the Planet better than anyone else.


Derek Wall, 


London N15.




You exaggerate on a number of points not least of which is the assertion that being ignored is worse than being bombed.