MOVE Members Mount A Protest/Letter To Editor
MOVE mounts a protest
MOVE members and their supporters gathered at City Hall yesterday afternoon to mark today's 25-year anniversary of the Osage Avenue disaster.
"We never ever want anyone to forget the vicious murder of our family," said MOVE member Pam Africa.
"These people dropped a bomb and did that to stop us from exposing what's wrong in the system."
Carrying posters bearing the name of MOVE founder John Africa and signs with the face of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, about 40 peaceful demonstrators listened to speakers and handed out fliers to passers-by.
May 13, 1985, was the day Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the roof of the fortified MOVE house, sparking a fire that killed 11 people and destroyed an entire city block.
Verbena Lea, who belongs to a California-based group called Friends of MOVE, said yesterday that she traveled across to country to mark the anniversary.
"I came from a few thousand miles away to continue putting pressure until there's some justice," said Lea.
At a news conference earlier, MOVE bombing survivor Ramona Africa said her group was pursuing private criminal complaints charging former city officials who presided over the bombing with murder.
The District Attorney's Office denied the request last month, but Africa's lawyers yesterday filed motions in Common Pleas Court asking a judge to force the D.A.'s office to review the request.
- Christine Olley
Letters: MOVE anniversary's forgotten man
Philadelphia Daily News
I FOUND your comprehensive coverage of the MOVE bombing as well as its aftermath thorough and compelling in every respect except for one.
There was no mention of John Gilbride, who was murdered in September 2002.
Gilbride, a former MOVE supporter, was gunned down while he was in the midst of horrific custody dispute with his former wife, the MOVE leader Alberta Africa.
The night he was murdered was the night before he was to have his first unsupervised visit with his young son. It was a visit that MOVE members vowed that he'd never have. At the time, I was myself dedicated to MOVE and helped them wage their war on John and his family. This was something to this day that I deeply regret.
MOVE's conflict with Philadelphia took place in Powelton Village in the 1970s. In the 1980s, that fight was on Osage Avenue. This past decade, MOVE was not at war so much with "the system" as it was with one man who had decided that he was not going to allow his young son to be raised in the midst of a violent cult.
The campaign waged against Gilbride was covered extensively in the media, as was his murder. That what happened to him was completely left out of your coverage of MOVE only compounds the tragedy of his death.
The fact that his murder remains "unsolved" makes the lack of coverage even more frustrating.