Q&A: John Angeles on STOMP and Performing During a Ferguson Protest

Angeles and the STOMP cast performing at the City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting.

Angeles and the STOMP cast performing at the City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting.

“I was a little nervous before I got on,” says John Angeles, a New York-based performer who is bringing the international sensation STOMP to the Merriam Theatre right after Christmas. Angeles and his fellow cast mates were scheduled to perform at the City Hall Tree Lighting ceremony, but previous acts, including children’s choirs and gospel performers, were loudly booed by the hundreds of “Black Lives Matter” protestors who swarmed the scene.

“I remember thinking, ‘I don’t even know why I’m on the stage,'” he recalls. “But then I decided that I was gonna play as hard and as loud as I could. They stopped protesting for a minute. Someone actually told me that we were the only act that the protestors didn’t ‘boo.'” Read more »

Protest Leads Organizers to Cancel Lantern Parade

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The Christmas Village Lantern Parade has been canceled.

That word comes via an email from Aversa PR and a note on the website. Lantern Parade organizers decided to call off the event after Ferguson protests were scheduled at the same time in LOVE Park.

The now-cancelled parade of “traditional German-style lanterns” was scheduled to start at the LOVE sculpture at 5 p.m. The event was scheduled to include performers from Enchantment Theatre’s The Snow Queen, a performance by the Philly Pops and a singalong led by the children from East Passyunk Ave’s Alphabet Academy.

Here’s the note from Aversa:

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CB West Counselor Blames Child for Post About Eagles Die-In

Yesterday, protesters held a “die-in” after the Eagles game. Clergy leaders with Philadelphia Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild organized the die-in to protest the decision not to issue indictments in the police killings of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. After the game, protesters laid in the street at Broad and Pattison for four minutes, 30 seconds — as die-in protesters have done in previous protests.

About 200 attended the protest. Some of the protesters were met with derision by fans leaving the Eagles’ 24-14 loss to the Seahawks.

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WATCH: Philadelphia Reacts to Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

@FergusonPHL protest at 9 p.m., just before the findings were announced. Photo by Victor Fiorillo

@FergusonPHL protest at 9 p.m., just before the findings were announced. Photo by Victor Fiorillo

UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: The Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown last summer will not face charges in the case, a grand jury has determined. Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor made the announcement in a speech broadcast nationwide on Monday night.

“They are the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence,” McCulloch said, defending the grand jury’s work even as it became clear that the decision would trigger protests around the nation, including in Philadelphia. The protests in Philadelphia reportedly remained peaceful through the night.

The New York Times posted a full set of grand jury transcripts, forensic reports, and other documents.

Philly Mag’s Victor Fiorillo was at City Hall when the announcement was made:

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Baggage Handlers Picket at PHL Airport

A group of baggage handlers have been picketing at Philadelphia International Airport since this morning.

Though the Pennsylvania director of SEIU 32BJ called the action a strike, Philly.com reports no flights appear to be affected. The airport previously said airlines have a contingency plan in case of a strike. The striking workers are employees of PrimeFlight, an airline contractor, working in ground transportation at the airport (baggage handling, wheelchair transport, curbside check-in, etc.).

The non-union workers make as little as the federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage hike for city contractors Michael Nutter ordered in May does not apply to the PrimeFlight workers. Read more »

WATCH: New Video Shows SRC Member Telling Kids They Are “Probably in Failing Schools”

A new video of a member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission clearly shows her telling protesting students that they are “probably in failing schools.” Sylvia Simms has previously denied the accusation from the students.

Last month, students protested a screening of the pro-charter school drama Won’t Back Down Simms hosted. After students interrupted the screening with clapping and chanting, they said Simms told them they “belong in jail” and that they’re “probably in failing schools.”

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23 Best Signs From the Philadelphia Teachers’ Protest

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Thousands of teachers jammed Broad Street before a meeting of the School Reform Commission late Thursday afternoon, protesting the SRC’s unilateral cancellation of teachers’ contracts last week.

Speakers at the protest spent a few hours railing against the SRC, Bill Green, Gov. Tom Corbett, and SRC member Sylvia Simms — who students said told them they “belong in jail” at a movie screening Simms hosted Wednesday night. There were many signs supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, Gov. Corbett’s opponent in next month’s election.

The speakers also had strong words for the counter-protesters hired by the Commonwealth Foundation, who were also demonstrating near the front of the School District building.

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Students: School Reform Commission Member Told Us ‘You Belong in Jail’

Philadelphia School Reform Commission member Sylvia Simms lashed out at student protesters at a movie screening last night. As seen in the above video posted to YouTube by Waleed Shahid, students clapped and interrupted the screening with chants of “Philly is a union town” and “The SRC has got to go.”

The students — part of Philly Students Union, a student-led group advocating for better school conditions — disrupted a film screening hosted by Simms. Those students say Simms told them “y’all probably go to failing schools.” Al Dia reports she also said, “You belong in jail.”

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Anti-Abortion Group to Broadcast Videos of Abortions on Independence Mall

Images of bloody, dead fetuses will be projected on a 10 foot by 12 foot screen at Independence Mall on Friday, as part of an anti-abortion protest. The group received a permit for all day, but the images are scheduled to run on a constant loop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Created Equal, an Ohio-based anti-abortion group that compares its stance to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement on its website, is holding the rally. “It seems fitting to me that we are launching this campaign in the very place where our nation’s founders penned those words, created equal,” Mark Harrington, Created Equal’s national director, told the Inquirer. “We are still battling for equal rights. In this case, it is the pre-born who are being discriminated against.”

The group also said it would project videos of “abortions in progress” on the screen.

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