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MOVE/Move Bombing

Hans Bennett

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Northern America » United States of America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics African American, democracy, police, revolution, rights

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01047.x


Founded in 1972 by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart), MOVE is a mostly black, anti-authoritarian, religious, and family based political organization that works “to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil, and to put an end to the enslavement of life – people, animals, any form of life.” Along with neighborhood activism, MOVE also organized non-violent protests at zoos, animal testing facilities, public forums, and corporate media outlets. As staunch advocates of self-defense, MOVE clashed with Mayor Frank Rizzo's notoriously racist and violent police force, “meeting fist with fist” when police attacked their protests. As police violence escalated, a 3-week-old baby's skull was crushed during an altercation with police, and on different occasions several MOVE women reported miscarriages resulting from police abuse. In response, MOVE staged a major demonstration on May 20, 1977, in front of their West Philadelphia house, where several members held what appeared to be rifles (when police later inspected MOVE's house with metal-detectors, however, they found only inoperable dummy weapons), sparking a year-long police siege that ended with an assault on MOVE's house on August 8, 1978. During the raid, Officer James Ramp was shot and killed. Several police sources told journalist Linn Washington Jr. that the fatal bullet was actually from police “friendly fire”; however, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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