The city of Philadelphia, referred to in the United States as "The City of Brotherly Love" is having problems with a group of West Indians who've isolated themselves in a building in poor area of town.
GV Police barricade ZOOM INTO squatters in garden
SV PAN FROM Foot police TO mounted trooper
GV Mobile barricades in position
MV & CU Police at window behind sandbags (3 shots)
GV Firehouse ZOOM INTO squatters in position (4 shots)
GV Building ZOOM INTO sign "We gave up"
SV PAN ALONG Windows occupied by police
GV ZOOM INTO Barricades across street
SV Squatters PULL OUT TO police cordon (2 shots)
GV & SV Mayor Frank Rizzo at rally (3 shots)
REPORTER: "The police have laid siege to this rather run down district of the city's West side with a force of some four hundred men. Working in shifts to maintain the blockade, they have with them police horses, fire hoses, metal barriers, arrest warrants, court orders, sandbags, and guns. Both sides keep their firearms out of sight, but at their strongpoint across the road the police are known to have a small arsenal including a .50 calibre machine gun. All this to deal with a group of anarchists who are wanted on a variety of counts and who have defied the law since last May. For nearly a year they've gone no further than their fortified front porch, sometimes to exercise, sometimes to abuse the police. There are 17 of them with at least four children and as many as 50 dogs. They preach non-violence and a return to the simple life, but they're armed with at least four automatic weapons -- they threaten to kill their children if attacked; they refuse to wash; throw all their rubbish into the backyard to be re-cycled; and threatened at gunpoint neighbours who've complained about the stench. Many of these neighbours moved out, some of them leaving a sign..........saying 'we gave up' -- and the police moved in their place, cutting off all food and water supplies, to starve the anarchists out. It's what's called here a Mexican stand-off. Each side determined to hold out but neither willing to fire the first shot. With most of the defenders being black it has inevitably become a racial issue but with the city denying that it's applied a tough cop strategy. The siege has so far cost the city more than a million dollars. But it's done no political damage to the Mayor who ordered it. Frank Rizzo is a former policeman and very much a white man's politician. He's coming to the end of his second term. But his supporters, concerned about the defence of their neighbourhood, are calling for a change in the city's charter, to give him four more years."
REPORTER: MARTIN BELL
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Background: The city of Philadelphia, referred to in the United States as "The City of Brotherly Love" is having problems with a group of West Indians who've isolated themselves in a building in poor area of town. Many of them wear their hair in the style adopted by those in the Rastafarian movement of the West Indies which seeks to re-establish links with Ethiopia from where they say they came. But for Philadelphia it's a decidedly unfriendly situation, and a very expensive one, as Martin Bell of the BBC reports.