What’s Happening in Philly During the Primary?

By Jonathan Adams Apr 22, 2008

As you prepare for Pennsylvania’s primary results. we’ve been looking at Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth largest in the country. There’s a lot going on in Philly. The MOVE 9, members of a radical Philadelphia group are up for parole.

Seven years before the 1985 bombing of the radical Black collective MOVE – in which the Philadelphia police firebombed a block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, killing five children and six adults, and destroying 61 homes – there was the first MOVE siege. On August 8, 1978, officers of the Philadelphia Police Department were involved in a confrontation with MOVE members at their Powelton Village headquarters in West Philadelphia. Officer James Ramp was shot and killed. Nine MOVE members were convicted of third degree murder, conspiracy and other lesser offenses, and sentenced to 30-100 years.

Also in Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal was recently denied a new trial despite support in the city for his innocence. Abu-Jamal and his attorney have not given up hope, though, finding optimism in the dissent opinion in his case . Despite these cases where it appears the Black community and police are at odds, Philadelphia’s police chief called for 10,000 Black men to take to their own streets in response to the high murder rate.