LINKIn 1981, MOVE relocated to a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. On May 13, 1985, responding to months of complaints by neighbors that MOVE members broadcast political messages by bullhorn at all hours and also about the health hazards posed by the piles of compost, as well as indictments of various MOVE members for various crimes, including parole violation, contempt of court, illegal possession of firearms, and making terrorist threats the police department attempted to clear the building and arrest the indicted MOVE members, which lead to an armed standoff with police. The police lobbed tear gas canisters at the building and the fire department battered the roof of the house with two water cannons. MOVE members fired on the police, and the police responded by returning fire. A police helicopter then dropped a four-pound bomb made of C-4 plastic explosive and Tovex, a dynamite substitute, onto the roof of the house.
The resulting explosion caused incendiary materials listed in the police indictment, and stored by MOVE in the house, to catch fire, thus causing the house to catch fire. The resulting fire ignited a massive blaze which eventually destroyed 65 houses. Eleven people, including John Africa, five other adults and five children, died in the resulting fire. The firefighters were stopped from putting out the fire based on allegations that firefighters were being shot at, a claim that was contested by the lone adult survivor Ramona Africa, who says that the firefighters had earlier battered the house with two deluge pumps when there was no fire. Ramona Africa and one child, Birdie Africa, were the only survivors.
Mayor W. Wilson Goode soon appointed an investigative commission called the PSIC or MOVE commission. It issued its report on March 6, 1986. The report denounced the actions of the city government, stating that "Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable." No one from the city government was charged criminally.
In a 1996 civil suit in US federal court, a jury ordered the City of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million to a survivor and relatives of two people killed in the incident. The jury found that the city used excessive force and violated the members' constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Philadelphia was given the sobriquet "The City that Bombed Itself."
On the 25th Anniversary of the 1985 Police bombing, the Philadelphia Inquirer created a detailed multimedia site containing retrospective articles, archived articles, videos, interviews, photos, and a timeline of the events.
Last edited by Zathras; 11-29-2011 at 01:53 AM.
Oh Lordy, the neighbors from hell. Really hell. An armed Occupy. I am surprised that they dropped a bomb, though. Wasn't there any other way to get these guys out?
Did that $1.5 million go to the MOVE people or to innocent people from the neighborhood?
Edited to add:
"MOVE made compost piles of garbage and human waste in their yards which attracted rats and cockroaches; they considered it morally wrong to kill the vermin with pest control."
"In 1981, MOVE relocated to a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. "
The police dropped a bomb on a bunch of row houses? What did they think would happen?
What about the innocent people in the other houses?
Last edited by Elspeth; 11-29-2011 at 12:12 AM.
http://blogs.philadelphiaweekly.com/...-post-dilworthThe main point of conversation at tonight’s General Assembly was what we’ll call “After Occupy.” Demonstrators seemed mostly concerned with what happens as soon as what most believe is an inevitable police sweep-through of Dilworth Plaza, whether it happens tonight or tomorrow or next week. Police presence had died down some since earlier today, as had the number of protesters on site. Donations of pizza and bottled water were on hand and most around me indulged.
Here’s the topics discussed at the GA:
• The American Electoral process (it sucks) and what to do about it (boycott elections).
• Ask unions to provide Occupy Philly some office space for the protesters assuming they get moved out.
• Are they getting moved out? Some protesters believe the police are waiting for them to get bored of occupying and move out on their own—which makes sense, if you look at pure numbers of people now compared to any time before now.
• Perhaps the occupiers could ask the city for a permit in another spot? Thomas Paine Plaza perhaps isn’t the be-all, end-all of protest locations.
• One Occupier said the group should move to the Divine Lorraine, as it is a symbol of Philadelphia’s blight. (note: the Divine Lorraine is owned by a private company who would not likely be satisfied with that idea.)
• All politics and change is local; Occupy Philly should start occupying their own neighborhoods.
Before the GA ended, one member of the crowd suggested those in attendance stay and have a party—like they did last night. A drum circle began around 9 p.m. and everywhere you went, people talked about how Reasonable Solutions had “absolutely nothing” to do with Occupy Philly, since many on hand who perhaps hadn’t been back in a while said they’d heard Occupy Philly had agreed to a permit at Thomas Paine Plaza. Some even said moving to Thomas Paine Plaza was no longer an option, since an unaffiliated group already had a permit to move there during the day.
The Occupiers who’d began building a wooden fort toward the north end of City Hall have continued their structure. It’s currently two stories (in parts) and is lined with plastic so no pepper spray can get through. There’s a tent and what appeared to be a mattress inside and at least one person asleep, face up. (I know, a picture would be great, but it was too dark.)
Joe Piette of the Workers World Party’s Philadelphia branch asked me where all the police were at. I looked around. “I don’t know,” I said. He’d once been on a Mumia march, he said. And at one point the police disappeared all the sudden, and when they reappeared, everyone got knocked down and some arrested. I looked around again. That wasn’t happening here, now. At least not yet.
A homeless citizen asked me what the Occupiers were doing there. “Have you not been here lately?” I asked. She hadn’t. When I explained who they were and what they were doing, she asked why the mayor lets them stay. I didn’t have a real answer. I said it was complicated.
Oh Lordy Lordy....
In this case, most of the group would have to leave for their college campuses outside the city. It is doubtful that very many of these folks actually live in the city proper.• All politics and change is local; Occupy Philly should start occupying their own neighborhoods.
Free Mumia? Oh good God! And is that Workers World Party connected to the Working Families Party (an ACORN subsidiary)?Joe Piette of the Workers World Party’s Philadelphia branch asked me where all the police were at. I looked around. “I don’t know,” I said. He’d once been on a Mumia march, he said.
,,,,,,,,,It gets the hose again!
I had totally forgotten that situation.
The protesters in Detroit were talking about occupying vacant buildings, of which there are plenty to choose from here. Now I know why that was making me so uneasy, although if they stick to occupying vacant single houses, then it probably wouldn't come to that and could end positively, if they decided to purchase (or make a deal with a desperate city government) and rehab the houses. The problem would be if they took over a whole block, or a large abandoned apartment building or factory complex, of which there are also many around here.
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