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A 30th Anniversary
#1
Philadelphia Marks 30th Anniversary Of MOVE Bombing

On May 13, 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb on the home of a group of African-American activists who were disrupting a neighborhood, killing 11 people.
Thirty years ago today, Philadelphia police bombed the row home of a group of radical black activists called MOVE. It happened during a standoff with the group. The explosion caused a fire that killed 11 MOVE members inside the home, including five children. It destroyed 61 houses on the block and devastated the neighborhood.

From wikpedia:

Quote:In 1981 MOVE relocated to a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. Neighbors complained to the city for years about trash around their building, confrontations with neighbors, and that MOVE members were broadcasting sometimes obscene political messages by bullhorn.[29][30] The bullhorn was broken and inoperable for the three weeks prior to the police bombing of the row house.[30]

The police obtained arrest warrants in 1985 charging four MOVE occupants with crimes including parole violations, contempt of court, illegal possession of firearms, and making terrorist threats.[3] Mayor Wilson Goode and police commissioner Gregore J. Sambor classified MOVE as a terrorist organization.[31] Residents of the area were evacuated from the neighborhood. They were told that they would be able to return to their homes after a twenty-four hour period.[15]

On Monday, May 13, 1985, nearly five hundred police officers, along with city manager Leo Brooks, arrived in force and attempted to clear the building and execute the arrest warrants.[15][31] Water and electricity were shut off in order to force MOVE members out of the house. Commissioner Sambor read a long speech addressed to MOVE members that started with, "Attention MOVE: This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States." When the MOVE members did not respond, the police decided to forcefully remove the members from the house.[15]

There was an armed standoff with police,[5] who lobbed tear gas canisters at the building. The MOVE members fired at them and a gunfight with semi-automatic and automatic firearms ensued.[32] Police went through over ten thousand rounds of ammunition before Commissioner Sambor ordered that the compound be bombed.[32] From a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter, Philadelphia Police Department Lt. Frank Powell proceeded to drop two one-pound bombs (which the police referred to as "entry devices"[31]) made of FBI-supplied Tovex, a dynamite substitute, targeting a fortified, bunker-like cubicle on the roof of the house.[29]

The resulting explosions ignited a fire from fuel for a gasoline-powered generator stored in the rooftop bunker.[11] The fire spread and eventually destroyed approximately sixty-five nearby houses. Despite the earlier drenching of the building by firefighters, officials said they feared that MOVE would shoot at the firefighters, so held them back.[29][32][33]
Goode later testified at a 1996 trial that he had ordered the fire to be put out after the bunker had burned. Sambor said he received the order, but the fire commissioner testified that he did not receive the order.[34] Eleven people (John Africa, five other adults, and five children aged 7 to 13) died in the resulting fire. Ramona Africa, one of the two MOVE survivors from the house, said that police fired at those trying to escape
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