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Newspaper Compares Philadelphia Action to Clint Eastwood Film

May 16, 1985

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Sweden’s largest-circulation morning newspaper said today that the Philadelphia police dropping of a small bomb on a house full of fortified cult members was like a Clint Eastwood film.

In an editorial simply headlined, ″Clint Eastwood,″ the liberal paper, Dagens Nyheter, said:

″Clint Eastwood has, after a few decades of coldblooded killings on the screen, become ‘recognized’ at the Cannes film festival as a prominent movie maker. ...

″What’s worse - now it seems that Eastwood’s brutal screen impersonations have become recognized as a model for the forces of order in (President Ronald) Reagan’s U.S.A. Otherwise, it is hard to explain that the Philadelphia police threw concussion bombs from a helicopter on a building where an odd black sect had fortified itself. That the sect members were militant, radical and armed appears to have been cause enough for the Philadelphia police to use violence that caused some 15 dead, including several children, and burned down at least 60 houses.

(Police in Philadelphia have said 11 bodies, four children and seven adults, were found in the rubble of the house occupied by a group that called itself MOVE. Police had tried to evict the group on Monday for health and safety law violations, including the storage of ammunition and explosives in the house. Police had dropped a small bomb on the roof of the house to blow up an armored bunker the cultists had built. But a fire started, spreading to 60 other rowhouses on the block.)

The Swedish newspaper said, ″Such orgies of violence are bad enough on the movie tape, Eastwood’s or others’. Still, one had hoped it would stay there.″ Eastwood’s films are popular in Sweden, although those featuring the San Franscisco police character, ″Dirty″ Harry Callahan, were held off the screen for several years by the state movie censorship board as being too violent.

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