Wednesday May 13th marked the 30-year anniversary of the Philadelphia police fire bombing of the MOVE organization. That fire destroyed 65 homes and resulted in the grisly deaths of 11 innocent people, including five children. It was unequivocally one of the most barbaric examples of police mass murder in contemporary American history. Local, state, and federal police, as well as city officials have been directly implicated in the consummation of this crime against innocent Black civilians. To this day, not a single wretched cop nor city official has been held accountable, nor faced criminal prosecution.
MOVE is a Philadelphia-based Black liberation group that was founded in the early 1970's by John Africa. The group has always been non-violent, but took rightful measures to defend themselves from an onslaught of police terrorism (It should be known that at the time, the Philadelphia Police Gestapo(PPG) was one of the most brutal, racist, and thoroughly corrupt police regimes in the U.S. To this day, the PPG have done little to clean up its act). MOVE adheres to numerous socially-conscious issues of importance, including Pan-Africanism, animal rights, environmental conservation, and social equity for all People of Color. Members often engaged in public protests using bullhorns and challenged city policies they deemed to be racist. Ramona Africa is one of only two survivors of the 1985 police bombing and was 29 at the time. The other survivor was Birdie Africa (later named Michael Moses Ward), 13 at the time. His mother was one of the 11 people who perished in that beastly police attack. Birdie Africa/Ward died from an accidental drowning while vacationing with family in September 2013. He was 41 years old. Legendary activist and world-famous political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was an early supporter of MOVE. As a freelance radical journalist, Abu-Jamal did extensive reporting on behalf of MOVE and closely alined with its members. Listen to his cometary on the 30th anniversary of the MOVE terror bombing HERE, courtesy of Prison Radio.
Ramona Africa, one of two people to have survived a police terrorist fire bombing, which killed 11 other people. Ramona carries scars from that fire to this day.
Michael Ward *aka Birdie Africa was the only child survivor of the 1985 police terrorist fire bombing in Philadelphia. That fire killed 5 other children, as well as Birdie's mother. Birdie died from drowning in 2013 at age 41.
One love: Members of Black liberation group MOVE, prior to the 1985 Philly police terrorist bombing.