MOVE is a new religious movement (sometimes called cult) founded in Philadelphia by Vincent Leaphart in 1972. Leaphart changed his name to John Africa, and consequent followers were all required to adopt the surname of Africa as well, to promote a sense of togetherness and family.

Founded on Christian principles and the philosophy of natural law, John Africa established MOVE in order to break free of the "system", the government, and the laws governing society, which he saw as corrupt and vile. He broke away from all technology and lived in a secluded establishment within Philadelphia. Most of his followers were former drug and alcohol abusers.

Members lived in extreme and radical conditions, and only existed on raw fruits and vegetables, and rarely raw meat. Children were given very little clothing, even in the winter, and were expected to study from the movement's revered text, entitled The Teachings of John Africa. Men were expected to be virile and father many children, and women were seen as having one role: to birth babies. They were forbidden to see any doctors during their pregnancy, and labor was expected to be natural. After the child was born, women were supposed to lick the baby clean and chew off the umbilical chord with their teeth.

Conflicts arose among Philadelphians when people who resided in close proximity to the MOVE establishment began to complain about the waste and smell their neighborhoods were being infiltrated with. City residents demanded that the MOVE establishment be investigated, but MOVE members responded by erecting an eight foot blockade around their property and flashing weapons at any approaching law enforcement officers. This ultimately led to a confrontation between MOVE members and city police, and officer James Ramp was shot dead. Mumia Abu-Jamal and eight other members of MOVE were arrested and given varying jail sentences.

After the confrontation, MOVE relocated to another area of Philadelphia and likened their new establishment to that of a bunker. The group became even more vocal in their anti-government stance, and neighbors once more became infuriated by the waste being produced by the movement, as well as constant profane messages being broadcasted over loudspeakers from their establishment. In 1985, the ultimate confrontation occured, where city officials attempted to storm the MOVE establishment and a two hour shoot out occured between members and police. The mayor of Philadelphia at the time approved the use of an explosive to blast a hole in their bunker, in order to use tear gas to evacuate the establishment. The explosive did not create a hole. Instead, the roof of the bunker caught fire, and everyone except two MOVE members (one adult named Ramona Africa who was convicted of riot charges and conspiracy, the other a thirteen year old boy) made it out of the house alive.

Ramona Africa and family members of those killed in the fire have filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia and other law enforcement officials. The city received much criticism for the way it handled the MOVE situation, and took a long time in settling claims with Ramona Africa and other family members of people who died in the fire. There is still much controversy about the conviction and trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal as well.

For more details about MOVE, see: http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Move.html.
MOVE is a group surrounded by a lot of misconceptions. Quoting from an earlier writeup:

"They were forbidden to see any doctors during their pregnancy, and labor was expected to be natural. After the child was born, women were supposed to lick the baby clean and chew off the umbilical chord with their teeth."

No one in MOVE was "forbidden" to do anything. The word "forbidden" gets used every time mainstream media wants to turn a "movement" or a "group" into a cult. Any member of MOVE could leave any time they wanted. Though I have never heard one way or the other about the act of childbirth within the MOVE group, the "licking the baby clean" part seems a bit unlikely to me, not because it goes against the teachings of John Africa, but because it sounds exactly like a bullshit rumor designed to make the listener think of the group as a radical bunch of insane people. This same technique was utilized in the early 70's, only then they labelled the group in newspapers as "vegetarians". Headlines would read "Group of Vegetarians building bunker in Philidelphia", as though vegetarians were something to be feared.

Their vegetarianism stemmed from their respect for all living things, which is the origin of their name as well. MOVE, is not an acronym (though it has been capitalized in every isntance I've found it), but rather a reference to their respect for all things that move and grow. This respect was also the reason their building was infested with cockroaches.

Again, quoting from an earlier writeup "people who resided in close proximity to the MOVE establishment began to complain about the waste and smell their neighborhoods were being infiltrated with". If there was a smell it came from the compost heaps MOVE used to fuel their gardens. There wasn't much waste, it's not as though they used outhouses, but there were cockroaches, as I mentioned.

From the MOVE homepage: "MOVE'S WORK IS TO STOP INDUSTRY FROM POISONING THE AIR, THE WATER, THE SOIL, AND TO PUT AN END TO THE ENSLAVEMENT OF LIFE - PEOPLE, ANIMALS, ANY FORM OF LIFE. THE PURPOSE OF JOHN AFRICA'S REVOLUTION IS TO SHOW PEOPLE HOW CORRUPT, ROTTEN, CRIMINALLY ENSLAVING THIS SYSTEM IS, SHOW PEOPLE THROUGH JOHN AFRICA'S TEACHING, THE TRUTH, THAT THIS SYSTEM IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THEIR PROBLEMS (ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ADDICTION, UNEMPLOYMENT, WIFE ABUSE, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, EVERY PROBLEM IN THE WORLD) AND TO SET THE EXAMPLE OF REVOLUTION FOR PEOPLE TO FOLLOW WHEN THEY REALIZE HOW THEY'VE BEEN OPPRESSED, REPRESSED, DUPED, TRICKED BY THIS SYSTEM, THIS GOVERNMENT AND SEE THE NEED TO RID THEMSELVES OF THIS CANCEROUS SYSTEM AS MOVE DOES."

Clearly some kind of free-thinking anarchists.

For more information check: http://www.angelfire.com/ga/dregeye/move.html

Again, quoting from an earlier node: "The mayor of Philadelphia at the time approved the use of an explosive to blast a hole in their bunker, in order to use tear gas to evacuate the establishment. The explosive did not create a hole. Instead, the roof of the bunker caught fire, and everyone except two MOVE members made it out of the house alive. "

The contradiction at the end of the previous writeup in this node can be cleared up here. Everyone EXCEPT two people died. this explains the contradiction regarding Ramona Africa being alive or not.

Also, I'd like to point out that this was exactly what was said about the BATF's actions in Waco, Texas with the Branch Davidians. They government claimed that they were trying to use tear gas, but somehow the building caught fire. None of the three main tear gasses (Chloroacetophenone (CN), Orto-chlorobenzylidene-malononitrile (CS) or Dibenz (b,f)-1,4-oxazepine (CR)) are flammable at all, so you determine for yourself what happened.

From one perspective the MOVE movement was an anarchistic black power movement. From another perspective the MOVE movement was one of peace, in a society that wasn't quite ready for a group of several dozen people with brown skin to live the way they wanted to. It is important to remember both sides of these things.

Move (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Moved (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Moving.] [OE. moven, OF. moveir, F. mouvoir, L. movere; cf. Gr. to change, exchange, go in or out, quit, Skr. miv, p.p. m&umac;ta, to move, push. Cf. Emotion, Mew to molt, Mob, Mutable, Mutiny.]

1.

To cause to change place or posture in any manner; to set in motion; to carry, convey, draw, or push from one place to another; to impel; to stir; as, the wind moves a vessel; the horse moves a carriage.

2. Chess, Checkers, etc.

To transfer (a piece or man) from one space or position to another, according to the rules of the game; as, to move a king.

<-- fld=board games -->

3.

To excite to action by the presentation of motives; to rouse by representation, persuasion, or appeal; to influence.

Minds desirous of revenge were not moved with gold. Knolles.

No female arts his mind could move. Dryden.

4.

To arouse the feelings or passions of; especially, to excite to tenderness or compassion; to touch pathetically; to excite, as an emotion.

Shak.

When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them. Matt. ix. 36.

[The use of images] in orations and poetry is to move pity or terror. Felton.

5.

To propose; to recommend; specifically, to propose formally for consideration and determination, in a deliberative assembly; to submit, as a resolution to be adopted; as, to move to adjourn.

Let me but move one question to your daughter. Shak.

They are to be blamed alike who move and who decline war upon particular respects. Hayward.

6.

To apply to, as for aid.

[Obs.]

Shak.

Syn. -- To stir; agitate; trouble; affect; persuade; influence; actuate; impel; rouse; prompt; instigate; incite; induce; incline; propose; offer.

 

© Webster 1913.


Move, v. i.

1.

To change place or posture; to stir; to go, in any manner, from one place or position to another; as, a ship moves rapidly.

The foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. Ps. xviii. 7.

On the green bank I sat and listened long, ... Nor till her lay was ended could I move. Dryden.

2.

To act; to take action; to stir; to begin to act; as, to move in a matter.

3.

To change residence; to remove, as from one house, town, or state, to another.

4. Chess, Checkers, etc.

To change the place of a piece in accordance with the rules of the game.

 

© Webster 1913.


Move (?), n.

1.

The act of moving; a movement.

2. Chess, Checkers, etc.

The act of moving one of the pieces, from one position to another, in the progress of the game.

3.

An act for the attainment of an object; a step in the execution of a plan or purpose.

To make a move. (a) To take some action. (b) To move a piece, as in a game. -- To be on the move, to bustle or stir about. [Colloq.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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