Instapundit points us to Blog O'Stuff reminding us that twenty years ago today Mayor Wilson B. Goode decided the best way to deal with barricaded MOVE activists was to drop a satchel charge from a helicopter to the top of their makeshift fort in Philadelphia. The resulting fire destroyed two city blocks (61 homes) as firefighters were kept at bay by the surviving MOVE residents shooting at firemen. Eleven people were killed, including five children. The names John and Ramona Africa were on the news for months after that, although Ramona was the only adult to survive.

No members of the police department, fire department, or Mayor Goode's administration were ever prosecuted. Wilson Goode went on to win reelection two years later.

I lived in nearby Media, Pennsylvania at the time, finishing my junior year at Penncrest High School. I remember the flurry of activity and I also remember being shocked that Mayor Goode won reelection two years later. I guess it was an early lesson in government excess. While it's not okay to be a violent to your neighbors, I'm pretty sure getting bombed because you barricaded yourself in and starting shooting at anything that moved is pushing it.

The theory of using the satchel charge was to breach the fort so police could use tear gas on the militants, but no one involved seemed to understand that the satchel charge was way too big for the purpose. (There is no standard on satchel charges since it's just a bag of explosives lit with a fuse.)

Josh Poulson

Posted Friday, May 13 2005 07:23 AM

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There is one comment on this entry.

MOVE are killers. Their latest crime happened in 2002. They shot a defenseless man as he sat in his car. Why because he dared to leave MOVE and wanted to have visitation rights with his son. They took the biological father away from his only child so that MOVE can continue to abuse the child. THE PERSON WHO SUFFERS THE MOST IS THE CHILD


Posted Sunday, May 22 2005 10:39 AM

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