In 1985 police bombed the Philadelphia headquarters occupied by members of the black counterculture group MOVE. What began 15 years earlier as a neighborhood squabble provoked by conflicting lifestyles ended in the destruction of sixty-one homes and the death of eleven residents—five of them children. Some 250 people were left homeless. The authors examine the dynamics of the conflict, analyzing attempts at third-party mediation and the possibility of resolution without violence. Interventions raised ethical issues, and there were failures to define and involve appropriate parties, break down mutual misperceptions, oversee implementation of an agreement, and understand the decision-making structure of the groups involved. All these contributed to the failure of third party intervention and may have accelerated the violence.
Wahrhaftig, Paul and Assefa, Hizkias
"MOVE/Philadelphia Bombing: A Conflict Resolution History,"
Sociological Practice: Vol. 10
, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/socprac/vol10/iss1/15