Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:28PM
Relatives of victims of the US firebombings during World War II pray during a memorial service to commemorate the 100,000 victims of the bombings at the Tokyo Memorial Hall in Tokyo on March 10, 2015. US forces bombed Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, in what is now known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid.   AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS    JAPAN OUT
Relatives of victims of the US firebombings during World War II pray during a memorial service to commemorate the 100,000 victims of the bombings at the Tokyo Memorial Hall in Tokyo on March 10, 2015. US forces bombed Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, in what is now known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT
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Caleb Maupin
Press TV, New York

30 years after the event that made headlines around the world, a crowd gathered to commemorate the police firebombing that destroyed 61 homes, and left 11 people dead. Ramona Africa, the keynote speaker at the event, is one of the only two survivors. She says the incident was an example of targeted political killing.

Philadelphia police claimed they wanted to arrest members of the Black liberation organization called MOVE, for minor criminal offenses such as "disorderly conduct." They assembled in the neighborhood with a huge arsenal of high tech weapons.

Ramona says the police had no intention of taking them alive. After pouring in pounds of tear gas, and firing thousands of bullets into the house, a firebomb was dropped from a police helicopter. Ramona described how she and other activists were met with gunfire when they tried to flee.

Ramona Africa and other MOVE supporters recently travelled to Geneva, Switzerland, raising the 1985 bombing as a violation of international law.

In 2010, Ramona Africa was able to meet with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and describe to him the incident in which the US government bombed one of its own cities, and allowed an entire residential neighborhood to be destroyed in flames. The MOVE organization still remains active in Philadelphia, though a number of its key activists remain in prison.