May 14th: MOVE 11

14 May

The MOVE Organization was a black liberation group whose members adopted the last name AFrica, and promoted a back-to nature lifestyle. They were based in Philadelphia. They were something of a primitivist group, who promoted the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

There were 2 instances where the Philadelphia Police confronted them- once in 1978 and once in 1985. In 1978 police came to evict the MOVE members from their communal house. During the incident, there was a shootout. One pig was killed. 7 other pigs, 5 firefighters, 3 MOVE members, and 3 bystanders were injured.

9 MOVE members were found guilty of 3rd degree murder. THEY ARE STILL IN PRISON. 7 of the 9 became eligible for parole in 2008, but have been denied. They come up for parole every year.

On May 13, 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department again tried to evict the MOVE organization from their new house, based on neighbor complaints over things like Bullhorn announcements and compost piles. When the MOVE members refused to leave the police attacked the house with tear gas, and the fire department sprayed it with water cannons. After that a burst of gunfire came from the house, which resulted in 90 minutes of return fire from the police- thousands of rounds were shot at the house. Then, the  Philadelphia Police dropped a BOMB on MOVE headquarters. The bomb set the house, and eventually an entire city block on fire.

John Africa, 5 other adults, and 5 CHILDREN died in the fire. There were only 2 surviving children.

The city was found to have overreacted, and money was paid out to a survivor and relative of someone who died. However, there does not appear to have been any culpability given to individual police involved- none of them have served jail time for the 11 murders.

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One Response to “May 14th: MOVE 11”

  1. The Red Son May 16, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    I can’t believe that I had never heard about this until now. Dropping C4 on a house? Are you fucking kidding me?

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