That One Time In 1985 Philly Cops Bombed Its Own City, Killing 11 [Pics+]

Submitted by: lalapancakes 10 months ago News & Politics
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Philadelphia 1980s – socio-political factionists are on the top of Philly Police Department's watch list. They're armed and living in a row house that's apparently fortified for an expected gun fight. Everything the anarchists expected came their way, and then some.

The story of MOVE Philadelphia is fraught with the dark side of over-authoritative policing. As a response to a reactionary compound of anarchists, the Philadelphia police played judge and jury -- dropping a bomb on their row house, eventually burning the entire block down. In total 61 homes went to ashes, five children died, as well as six adults.

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The constitution grants even the most dastardly evil doer a fair trial. It's the right to a fair trial that's what is supposed to make America such a great place to be. And, yes – the record definitely shows what dipshits the MOVE anarchists were in their past violent relations with the police, in intentionally assaulting their own poor neighbors with daily bullhorned noise, and in their bullshit paranoid gun usage against law enforcement but dropping a bomb on your opponent in the middle of a peaceful American neighborhood is not the way to police.

A government that disappears dissenters without a proper fair trial is a sick government. If we're willing to overlook the right to a fair trial for some, that is a slippery slope that will affect you and/or your baby's futures further down the road. Remember it was an over-reactive authority that created the horrible paranoia of the Red Scare black lists, the Japanese internment camps, being held without a fair trial for decades in Guantanamo, scary black sites in our own cities like Homan Square, and fucked up over-reactive scenarios like Waco and Dorner.

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Without our right to a fair trial to exercise our right to free speech to say why we made our own reactive decisions, leaves the U.S. no better off than any other troglodytic dictatorship on this planet. As a country we aren't perfect, but we certainly could be much much worse. Ignoring the right to a fair trial, while dropping bombs on American neighborhoods, is a road to the much worse.

There are 16 comments:
Male 7,775
Ffs, don't tell me you nutters carry bombs as well as guns.
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Male 1,195
The police did not kill anyone Move killed these people just like Waco with David Corresh (if wrong spelling sorry) could it have been handle differently probably, but that does not condone the way the people responded to the police action. You don't have to let them in with out a warrant but if they ask you to come out its usually a good Idea.
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Male 730
P.S. LaLa regarding your judge, jury and executioner comments. Another fine example of this mentality is the death of Fred Hampton in Chicago in 1969. The Chicago Tribune has several excellent articles and pics of it.
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Male 1,255
@Woodyville06 - cheers for this info.
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Male 730
I lived in Pennsylvania when this happened (about 100 miles west in Harrisburg, the state capital). An interesting note: Philly had just elected its first black mayor, Wilson Goode, a couple of years earlier on a platform of progressive leadership over the strong arm methods of its previous mayor and police commissioner, Frank Rizzo. If Frank had been in office when those bombs were dropped you would certainly remember this event - it would have played out like Watts and Detroit in the 60s or the Rodney King after-party.
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Male 808
and this one time, at band camp....
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Male 4,029
This is a very skewed version of event and at several points totally incorrect. The police had originally shown up to arrest some of the members so they could get a fair trial. The police even backed off and gave them 15 minutes to get ready in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the 1978 shoot-out. But MOVE had been planning and wanted another shootout with police. They had dug out tunnels under the house, blocked off the alley ways, stocked up on weapons and ammunition, and created a small-arms proof bunker at the top of the residence. The group was known to harass and beat up the locals of the community because they were unhappy that the group had blocked off the alley, through their trash and human waste in their yards, and that the group used a bullhorn to shout their messages day and night. After the group refused to let police arrest the members with arrest warrants a standoff ensued. To get them out without the use of deadly force the police used tear gas and the fire department sprayed water at the bunker. MOVE began opening fire with automatic and semi-automatic weapons from the alley way and from the bunker on top of the building. The location and durability of the bunker led to the police using two FBI made bombs to try to destroy the bunker. The bombs led to a fire that began to spread. When firefighters tried to put the fire out they were shot at and were recalled. The fire was allowed to continue until it had become a "6-alarm" fire and couldn't be ignored any longer. Was it a stupid idea to drop bombs to destroy the bunker, yes it was. Was it poorly planned and executed, yes it was. But to say that these people were denied a trial or were silenced and that this was a peaceful neighborhood, is complete BS.
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Male 1,255
ok
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Male 3,293
That's pretty much how it all went down.
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Male 20,061
WTF? This happened? In 1985? That wasn't all that long ago -- as someone who spends 12+ hours online everyday (for work), I can't believe I've never heard of this until now. There must be a lot of people who want this story buried.
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Male 3,293
Around 15 years ago I spoke to a college history class and when I mentioned Kent State not one kid out of a f class had any idea what it was that I was referring to.
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Male 1,255
@fancylad @trimble - the state of our history lessons in compulsory education has been shut down. It seems we're just now finding out, to what extent. It's really scary... and it makes sense why Trump is revered. People are not getting their history.
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Male 3,293
Sorry, meant to say "fairly large class". WTF is wrong with the site today? Going up and down like a yo-yo.
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Male 1,877
Thanks for posting this. This is something Philly has tried to bury over time and it is good to remind people this happened. While I don't agree with the MOVE...uh...movement or their motives, this was a blatant abuse of police powers and was only allowed because it was a black neighborhood.
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Male 1,330
This is the first I've heard of this. I guess I was too young to know what was going on.
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Male 3,293
I remember it well so I'm not sure why so few do but then again there are millions of adult Americans who don't know basic things like how many States there are, who the Vice President is and the like.
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