Before: Osage Street Still Intact, But Ready to Go Up in Flames as Bomb is Dropped
It is amazing: Philadelphia is the only city in the United States where a city government/mayor has ordered a BOMBING of it's own taxpayers...Yet, it happened in Philadelphia 25 years ago.
I will always remember that day, because it was the day of my father's funeral, the day we laid him to rest...The story of his death and how I found out is another story, but let's just say my mind was in a different place that day, remembering Dad, and dealing with the frayed emotions of my family: about his death and toward me.
After the burial I skipped the reception for relatives and friends that my mother had arranged, and just went home...I turned on the TV, and saw that the MOVE crisis, which had been going on for a long while, and, on that particular day while listening to the radio in the morning, seemed to be coming to some kind of head.
MOVE were a Black radical 'back to nature' group who had caused an extremely violent confrontation with the City of Philadelphia back in 1978.
They had occupied a big Victorian house in the Powelton Village section of the city, and brought chaos into that neighborhood, On the weekends they blockaded an adjacent street, and raised money by watching cars, dumped all of their garbage into their back yard, which resulted in swarms of rats infesting the area, had their children running around naked, and, as the topper, openly carried firearms and got on the bullhorn threatening neighbors and police about what would result if anyone tried to interfere with them. After about 2 years of this with neighborhood residents begging for the city to do something, and after a particularly grizzly incident where they invited a few members of Philadelphia's City Council 'over for dinner' to discuss matters, and then brought out a dead baby in a shoebox, Mayor Frank Rizzo ordered police SWAT teams into action. The result was a major shootout where one Philadelphia police officer was shot, one MOVE member got his ass whipped on camera, and the rest of the cult members dragged out and locked up. The MOVE children taken by DHS but later returned to relatives. Mayor Rizzo had the MOVE house bulldozed the wek after the shootout. Rizzo took a lot of flack for 'police brutality' but in reality, the only person killed was a cop, and MOVE was guilty of child abuse.
Things were quiet for awhile, but in 1985/85 they took over a house on Osage Street in West Philadelphia, a block of rowhouses, and proceeded to terrorize their neighbors, with the constant yelling of obscenities through a bullhorn 365/24/7, and the building of a gun bunker on the roof of their house. They were all armed.
All Philadelphia residents who were old enough to comprehend remember what happened on that day: In an attempt to resolve a situation that could have been diffused many months back, if not for cynical politics and notions of 'political correctness' by city leaders, a whole city block (Osage Street in West Philadelphia) consisting of middle and working class Black families was bombed and torched, all to remove a handful of rabble rousers and would be revolutionaries...Innocent children and adults died, and a peaceful, relatively prosperous and decent neighborhood was destroyed. The MOVE members and children could have been taken into custody peacefully on a number of occasions, but Mayor Goode, not wanting to be viewed as an 'Uncle Tom' by certain deluded elements, refused to act, and the result was tragedy.
The aftermath was just as bad, as the political buck-passing and refusal to own up to responsibility ran rampant...Freemason Mayor Wilson Goode, Police Commisioner Sambor, the whole crew, showed us what incompetence and cowardice was all about.
And then, of course, came the City's disastrous attempt to rebuild the block...Taxpayer money wasted, corrupt contractors, every conceivable fuck up.
MOVE was a cult, much like Jim Jones' Johnstown group. There was never any evidence uncovered og government involvement, a la CO-INTELPRO, although it is possible that the group's founders, John Africa & Donald Glaspey, were somehow involved with the FEDS.
The only know involvement of FEDs came right on the day of the bombing,
when they supposedly provided Philadelphia police with the explosive mixture that was used for the bomb. But this in itself was bad enough.
Rather, the MOVE events fit in more with a couple of other famous cases in Philadelphia crime history: that of cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, and sociopath killer Ira Einhorn. All were products of a peculiar Philadelphia flavor 'radical' milieu.
MOVE members still live in Philadelphia, but they now lead a rather quiet lifestyle, with no involvement in confrontational activities. In fact they would probably be embraced by sections of today's environmentalist movement.
Interestingly, the nation and even residents of Philadelphia seem to have completely forgotten what occurred on that fateful day.
After: City of Philadelphia Solution to the Problem...Thanks to Mayor Wilson Goode, Osage Street Looks like Dresden Germany
Ramona Africa: Insane
MOVE Lunatic Founder: John Africa
Donald Glaspey: White Boy Founder, Bailed Out of MOVE Early On
Mayor W.Wilson Goode: Bombed His Own City & Constituents
Frank Rizzo: Cleaned Out the Nest, Saved Lives
When I was growing up, and even into my 30s, I never would have conceived of a scene of hundreds of people walking down a crowded street, riding on a bus, driving cars all talking on the telephone. Of course, this was before the age of wireless communications, specifically the cell phone.
Now, wireless has been around for a long time, because you have television and radio. But the 'powers that be' always withhold access to certain technologies for the masses until they have solidified the means to control it and to monopolize the marketplace.
I guess the cell phone first started coming into widespread use in the late 90s, and now it is omnipresent. The cell phone companies have made the technology available to anyone, and, of course, rake in the bucks from rich and poor alike. And, of course, the Internet is now available through the cell phone. Many cell phones also have cameras, both still and video.
What is the effect of this cheap mass communication tool, and does it add quality to life?
This question was in my mind today as I worked at one of my part time jobs, which is playing music on he street. Being a street musician is like being in a 'real time' movie where the action never stops. Literally hundreds or thousands of people pass by me as I play. For me to do this job well, it is necessary to be in a position 'above the action' so to speak. A bit of separation is needed if one does not want to be overwhelmed by the constant traffic and noise.
Now, today I was tired, and my mind was not really able keep up with the flow. But, this being the case, I was still able to observe.
What I observed was a mass of people hurrying down the street, while at the same time talking on a cell phone. I would say about 40% of all the people who passed by were yapping away. The percentage was even higher for the yuppie and business types, and also for those in their teens and 20s. The older folks were not involved in this game.
Psychically, this phenomena produces a large amount of static or 'white noise'. Even if you cannot hear the conversation, the mental airwaves are thick with static. Not only this, but you see people almost walking on top of other folks because they are so involved with cell/self phone. They literally get blinded by the use of this device. Talking on the phone, or 'texting' which is even more awkward.
This phenomena is ubiquitous. On the street, on the bus, trolley or subway, and perhaps the most hazardous, the man or woman behind the wheel yapping on the cell phone.
What do they talk about?
Mostly bullshit. See, 'talk is cheap'. And, with the cell phone, it can become almost worthless. I will be riding the trolley, and overhear conversations. Most are like this:
'Hello...Hello...HELLO!...What??...Yeah, I'm riding on the trolley...Yeah...Yeah...Uh-huh...What are you doing?...It's about 7 o'clock...I blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...'
When you have 6 or 7 people near you having this same conversation, it is extremely annoying, to say the least...Also, you get to hear all of the special 'ring tones' that people have on their cell, all extremely moronic and adding to the general sense of chaos.
Or, you might overhear what should be a private conversation but is now public because the cell phone user has no idea of lowering his or her voice or using any form of discretion. Today, riding on the trolley, the woman in front of me was having an animated cell phone conversation with a friend, and they were discussing a 'big fight' that was going to take place somewhere in the general vicinity of where I live, tonite, and that the woman's friend's boyfriend had threatened to kill a number of people. Even though this is nothing unusual in my city, which has a very high murder rate, it still was a bit disturbing, and was certainly not something that you would want to broadcast to the general public on a trolley car. But, with the cell phone, you are privy to all the dirty details of someone's life, since the conversation takes place in a public space. People have very little discretion nowadays.
The cell phone itself is a good tool in that it is portable, serves as an 'in your pocket' phonebook, and is quickly accessible in an emergency.
But the 'noise' it generates, both literally and psychically, can be quite obnoxious and extremely tiring. Perhaps I am just too sensitive.
You see, when something is too cheap and easy to come by, it can lose whatever real value it has. And, as with the computer, even though it is a means of almost instant communication, it can be a tool for isolation, as when people get too wrapped up in these electronic toys, they cut themselves off from a real world of people, places and things. Perhaps the real world is just too much for most people: it is frought with ugliness, danger and boredom. You could say that these toys serve grown people as a kind of pacifier, like a baby sucks on.
Of course, one cannot halt 'progress'.
But, what ever happened to 'stop and smell the roses'?
Will the human race even remember what a rose looks like, let alone smells like, after the brain is fried by excessive cell phone and computer use?
Text me and tell me what you think.