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The Bombing of MOVE, 35 Years Later (Updated)

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Our radio adaptation of the film, Let the Fire Burn explores the controversial, 1985 clash between police in Philadelphia and MOVE, a radical, non-violent, back-to-nature group. After a standoff with the group MOVE, Philadelphia Police dropped a bomb on the roof of MOVE’s home, killing 11 people including five children, and destroying approximately 61 homes. Thirty-five years later, Philadelphia is still known as “The City that Bombed Itself.” The city’s brutal show force, unjustified to many, exists as part of a decades-long tradition of violent policing aimed at African-Americans.

Special thanks to director Jason Osder and Kino Lorber for granting us permission to present the film. And Mike Africa Jr. for providing historical information about the history and mission of the MOVE organization.

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  • 13 year-old Birdie Africa, later known as Michael Moses Ward, Ramona Africa, Mayor Wilson Goode Sr., the Philadelphia police commissioner Gregore J. Sambor, Tony Eastley, LaVerne Sims, Bennie Swans, crisis negotiator, Clifford Bond, Janice Walker, Cassandra Carter – neighbor, Sgt. Albert Revel, Louise James, William Brown III, Rev. Paul Washington, officers: Markus Bariana, Donald R. Griffiths, William J. Trudell, Lawrence D’Ulisse and Officer James Berghaier, Fire Commissioner William Richmond, District Attorney Ed Rendell and the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission hearings.


Host: Anita Johnson

Staff Producers: Monica Lopez, Anita Johnson, Salima Hamirani

Executive Director: Sonya Green

Director of Production Initiatives and Distribution: Lisa Rudman



  • Music included in the film by Chris Mangum
  • Blue Dot Sessions – Highway 430
  • Audiobinger – The Garden State


Author: Radio Project

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