Wednesday 30th Anniversary Of MOVE Bombing
Lessons Not Learned: Police Violence and Killings in African American Communities as well as Militarization of Police Continue Decades Later
On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto the MOVE organization, comprised of the Africa family, killing 11 people including five children, wounding scores and destroying 65 homes. John Africa, the founder of MOVE, said it stood for getting active, change and revolution. They had constant conflicts with mass arrests, hunger strikes in jail and police attacks.
At Philly.com they report that 30 years after MOVE, the lessons have not been learned:
May 13 marks the 30th anniversary of a dark day in Philadelphia’s history – an event that captured much national attention at the time . . . On that day, a series of reckless actions (and cowardly inactions) by government and police culminated in a decision to bomb the Osage neighborhood in West Philadelphia. . . . the city’s law enforcement mechanisms brought devastation on the entire community.
At a moment when institutionalized violence against black communities is once again in the spotlight, the anniversary of the MOVE confrontation invites comparisons that suggest how little progress has been made. In its final report, the 11-member commission appointed to investigate the confrontation made the case that institutional racism had subtly informed critical decisions at every point along the way.
Would the Philadelphia police have bombed a white neighborhood? Such action is hard to imagine, therefore the racism of the MOVE bombing is hard not to see. But, the MOVE bombing also showed what happens when you give military power to a police force, problems we continue to see today. Philly.com writes:
The MOVE incident was a case in which an urban police force was better equipped with military-grade weaponry and explosives than with the skills to manage a difficult and sensitive situation. In that sense, it was a harbinger of the militarization of urban police forces, and the urgent need for 21st-century police personnel to be trained in the exercise of restraint rather than just brute force.
In addition to a bomb being dropped on the homes, police used explosive charges to penetrate the MOVE house, fired 10,000 rounds into the MOVE house from weapons including M-16 semi-automatic rifles, Uzis, M-60 machine guns, and other military-grade firearms.
Events will be held in Philadelphia to commemorate the bombing and attack on MOVE 30 years ago. Get information from this Facebook page MOVE 30 Year Commemoration Of 1985 Bombing.
More information: The MOVE Organization
11:00 a.m. Rally at 62nd and Osage Ave., followed by a noon press conference, followed by a march, car, and bike caravan to 38th and Market St.
2:00 p.m. arrive at 38th and Market St., where food vendors will be set up from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
4:00 – 9:00 p.m.- Program at the First District Plaza at 3801 Market St.
The Program will include the following speakers:
Angela Davis and Alice Walker (via filmed statements), Ward Churchill, Cornell West, Amina Baraka, Chuck D., The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Glenn Ford, Mmoja Ajabu, Impact Theater and The Welfare Poets. ilita
MORE speakers to be confirmed soon!!
Ramona Africa- 267-408-7802