The MOVE Organization vs. The Philadelphia Police pt 2

A famous phrase in rap and pop culture gets that way thanks to the help of a terrible tragedy explained in this week's Hip Hop Family Tree (Yes, we know the record existed before the events).

Read the rest of the Hip Hop Family Tree comics!

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  1. There was a lot more to it. I don't have the time or energy to try to explain what it was like, but just imagine gun wielding men walking up and down the rooftops of their neighbors. and as the story states they had a fortified bunker on the roof that still stood after being hit with 4 lbs of C4. This was also the second neighborhood they had taken over in the last 5 years.

    This fit no other urban incident, at least in the USA. It was not racial in a way that you may imagine. The mayor at the time of the bombing, and the one who gave the order to drop the bomb was African American, and the neighbors were demanding the police get them out. Remember they were walking the neighbors roof with rifles for days. The closest example I could give is it was like the Waco incident, but instead of happening in a remote compound this happened in a crowded neighborhood. In both cases you knew it was not going to end well. It couldn't possibly.

    There are numerous books on this incident that you can read if you want to get a sense of what happened, and why, but it can't just be explained here in a few paragraphs. It was surreal and lasted for years before this fateful day, but no one thought it was going to end any other way. I was a teenager when this started and in my early twenties when it ended.I hope never to see anything like it again.

  2. I'm put in mind of "Red Summer" which also featured armed stand offs in American cities.

    I guess, like the modern "terrorist threat", you have to ask what forced these people to take up arms in the first place.

    Thanks for the bit of background info.

  3. LDoBe says:

    As I said in the last issue, MOVE weren't good neighbors. Really shitty neighbors and pretty scary from what I've read. But it's just simply wrong to give police the weapons of war. That's simply not their job. They're not soldiers and when they start acting like soldiers is when the real soldiers ie the national and state guards need to be brought in and put the pigs down.

    It's not like Philly is an isolated island out in the middle of the ocean. If the city officials were really that scared of MOVE, they had no excuse for not asking for help. Handling that kind of situation with city pigs is asking for the worst excesses and unprofessionalism you can get next to bringing in mercs and assassins.

  4. My take on it is that it was about what would have happened at the Waco siege if David Koresh's compound had been in the middle of Waco itself.

  5. I agree. At the time the police got the C-4 from the military, and there was a lot of debate about whether the military should have turned over the device. Many felt that if it was decided that dropping the bomb was the only course of action the military should have handled the job, not the police.

    And to euansmiths point above. MOVE had always said they were a back to nature movement. After the first bloody encounter a few prominent Quakers, yes we still have some, offered MOVE farm land in a remote area to live their lifestyle. MOVE refused the offer and took over another urban, middle class neighborhood. MOVE wanted an armed confrontation.

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