These Bombing Survivors Don't Want An Official Apology

Aerial view of Philiadelphia
William Anderson
June 3, 2020

May 2020 marked the 35th anniversary of one of the most barbaric, anti-Black police attacks ever: the MOVE bombing. Philadelphia has begun to address the horrific act of violence that claimed the lives of men, women, and children, but the city’s efforts may not be enough.

Police in Philadelphia didn’t kill all the members of the MOVE organization, despite trying to do so on multiple occasions. When they bombed MOVE, it happened under the leadership of the city’s first Black mayor. He’s been speaking up about his blood-stained record.

The former Philadelphia mayor, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., wrote an op-ed calling for the city to apologize. After much hesitancy, a few city council members relented; however, the current mayor and the city itself have not, and MOVE survivors have their own feelings about these efforts.

Janine Africa, whose 12-year-old son was killed in the fire, has said, “We don't want money or museums or anything like that. We want to be left alone and for this city to acknowledge that MOVE is not guilty of any crimes.” The city has struggled to do that even in light of new changes.

MOVE members who were imprisoned after police assaults have now all passed away or recently been released. This is an organization whose Black politics put them at odds with a city. In response, the city decided to attack and kill them-  but hasn’t succeeded in hiding their brutal, racist crimes.

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