The MOVE Organization is a Philadelphia-based black liberation group that preached revolution and advocated a return to nature lifestyle. They lived communally and vowed to lead a life uninterrupted by the government, police or technology. They were passionate supporters of animal rights and members adopted vegan diets. Members also adopted the surname “Africa.” Often times they would engage in public demonstrations related to issues they deemed important.
Watch the historical footage of the MOVE bombing in the incredible documentary “Let the Fire Burn” and The Bombing Of Osage Avenue 1986 below.
11 Things You Didn't Know About The MOVE Philadelphia Bombing
On May 13, 1985, a bomb was dropped on a row house in Philadelphia, unleashing a relentless fire that eventually burned down 61 houses, killed 11 people (including five children) and injured dozens.The more things change, the more they don't change.
The fire department stood by idly. The Philadelphia Police Department did the same. The fire raged on, swallowing up home after home until more than 200 were without shelter in an entire community distrustful of the individuals responsible for the blaze.
It’s a shameful part of recent American history that’s somehow been buried under 28 years and other destruction's that have fallen on the city of Philadelphia. But in the wake of Birdie Africa’s death this week, the only child to survive the bombing, Global Grind decided to take a trip back in time to explore what happened the day American bombed its own people.
Remember when Bush and Dick said they were sending our troops and our treasure to Iraq because Saddam was "killing his own people with Chemical Weapons"?
Witness and MOVE members say that when members started to run out of the burning structure to escape a fiery death, police continued to fire their weapons.But, but, Black on Black crime....
– The fire department delayed putting out the flames. After the blaze, they claimed they didn’t want to put their men in harms way, as MOVE members were still firing their guns. But MOVE members and witnesses say the wait was deliberate.– In the end 11 people, including MOVE’s founder John Africa, were dead. Five children died in the home.
The presence of a black face in a high place still provokes an almost hypnotic response from the masses of people. The deeply felt feelings of pride are based on the history of enslavement, Jim Crow humiliation and terror. While the sentiments have an historical basis and are understandable, they can also be very dangerous and create support for events just as dreadful as the destruction of Osage Avenue in Philadelphia.#MOVE30yr