MOVE ON: Day That Will Live In Infamy


CLARK DELEON: The apocalyptic irony of May 13, 1985, is that everything the crazy people predicted came to be. MOVE said the authorities would try to annihilate them, and as a consequence there would be a fiery confrontation the likes of which Philadelphia had never seen. Let me describe May 13 in the shorthand I developed as a reporter and columnist watching the events unfold. A bunch of crazy people had taken five children hostage. (None of the six MOVE adults were the biological parents of the children inside 6221 Osage Ave.) The police tried freeing the children in the morning by firing 10,000 bullets into the house that held them. Then, during a 10-hour siege, firemen poured millions of gallons of water on the house that held the children. Then police dropped a bomb that set the house that held the children on fire. Then firemen stood by for a full hour and allowed the fire to burn down the house that held the children – and, incidentally, the homes of 60 neighbors. So, I ask you, who killed those children? All the crazy adults inside the house deserved blame, and they ended up dead. But what about the crazy adults who dropped the bomb and let the fire burn? Not one person in charge that day lost a job, or even a day’s pay. MORE

RELATED: Attorneys for Move have filed a petition in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, seeking a repeal of the denial by the district attorney’s office to file criminal complaints against four former city officials —┬áincluding former mayor Wilson Goode — and seven police officers. MORE

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