A pack of what some are calling “trust fund anarchists” crashed a peaceful Ferguson rally in Clark Park Saturday evening, then tried (and failed) to goad the police into an overreaction by lobbing paint-filled balloons at a cop car, according to local news reports.
According to the West Philly Local, two of the protesters were arrested; a 20-year-old female and West Philadelphia resident, and a 25-year-old man from New York. From the Local:
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when a group of young people exited Clark Park “A” onto Chester toward 45th Street following a rally focused on the events in Ferguson, Mo. The members of the group did not take part in the rally and arrived as it was dispersing.
The group walked north on 45th Street and overturned trashcans, according to police. Approximately 20 police vehicles were parked in the area at the time, many of them on 45th Street between Chester and Baltimore.
Judging by the Local's account, the earlier rally looked like a typical gathering of earnest, concerned West Philly activists, who pretty plainly had no interest whatsoever in a confrontation with the police. The largely black-clad, largely-masked group of 60 who descended on the rally at its conclusion pretty plainly were itching for a fight. The Philly Declaration's Joshua Albert reported that the marchers were there in response to an FTP-call (for Fuck the Police) issued by local "radical activists." Albert's also got some compelling photos of the incident up on his story.
At least one protester was reportedly tased by police, but on comment boards and a local Listserv, residents praised police for their restraint and heaped scorn on the "wannabe anarchists." A sampling:
- "I am mad as everyone else about what happened in Ferguson, but these people miss the point completely. And I want to say that the Philly Police were an example to police around the country about how to handle these kinds of losers. ... F these anarchists. They are losers. ... They were nothing but a bunch of trust fund Trotskyists; half wits who sought to make their brilliant point through the medium of petty vandalism."
- "I'm a pretty liberal guy, but these kids represented nothing but stupidity."
- I would be unsurprised and more disgruntled to find out that the persons who threw the balloons are from outside of our community....."
- "How does this help? We've got armed robberies and other crimes which need police response, now there's less resources to deal with them. The majority of us want mutual respect and dialogue between police and citizens, not petty hooliganism and nonsense like this."
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