PHOTOS: Soda-Tax Opponents Rally at City Hall

Coke City Hall

Nothing like a caravan of tractor trailers laying on their horns and blocking traffic to strike sympathy in the hearts of passersby.

On Wednesday afternoon, opponents of Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan to tax sugary drinks in order to pay for universal pre-kindergarten gathered on the northeast apron of City Hall to make some noise. “No Philly Grocery Tax!” they said.  Read more »

Scenes From Yesterday’s “Day of Action” Demonstration in Center City

Photo | Mariam Dembele

Photo | Mariam Dembele

Several coalitions joined together on Thursday — Fight for 15’s national Day of Action — to not only demand a $15 minimum wage, but to also protest local issues like Philly’s stop-and-frisk policy and Temple’s proposed on-campus stadium.

The mash-up of about 200 people met at 2 p.m. at Temple University, and from there they marched down Broad Street and around City Hall where they made a pit-stop. Drummers preformed and the crowd swelled with excited on-lookers.

The march eventually came to a full-stop in front of the McDonald’s at the corner of Broad and Arch Streets. There Shymara Jones, a fast-food worker, mother, and longtime advocate for a $15 minimum, led the discussion. Read more »

Philadelphia Children Demand End to Excessive Force by Police

black lives matter sign

Photos by Brett Klein

Today, dozens of children marched from the steps of the Art Museum to City Hall in protest of excessive force by police. It was their second such rally in two years.

It was a silent march — as silent as children can be — with only the sound of a beating drum ringing out at the front of the line.

The event, organized by the Jubilee School in Philadelphia, included students and faculty from the Workshop School, Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, the Science Leadership Academy, Friends School Haverford, Masterman and Friends Select School.

The idea for the march came last year in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody in Baltimore. A fifth-grade student thought the children could make a difference.

“We just had a meeting and one of the students, Samara, she said, you know, ‘They keep having all these protests and nothing changes,” principal and founder of the Jubilee School, Karen Falcon, said. “And she said, ‘I think we should have a children’s protest. Maybe they’ll listen to the children.’” Read more »

Survey: Today’s College Freshmen Are Leftist, Altruistic, Money-Hungry and Very Likely to Protest


15 Now protesters - Broad Street - $15 minimum wage

Protesters march up Broad Street on their way to Temple president Neil Theobold’s office. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

If it seems like every time you look, those crazy kids at Penn and Princeton and Swarthmore and Temple are protesting something … they are. (Not the kids at Ursinus, though; they’re not feeling well.) A newly released survey of college freshpersons by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA (see the full results below) shows nearly nine percent say the chances are “very good” that they’ll take part in a protest during their college years. That’s a leap over the 5.6 percent who said so in the 2014 survey, and the highest percentage since the annual survey began in 1967. That’s right: More kids are up in arms now than at the height of the Vietnam War. Read more »

25 Signs From the Anti-UberX Protest That Shut Down Center City

Anti UberX Protest - February 11th

Photo | Mike Meech

About 100 cab and Uber Black drivers shut down traffic in Center City today with a protest against Lyft and UberX outside City Hall. The drivers, who last time circled City Hall for a few hours, parked their cars in the surrounding streets this time for about three hours.

The drivers demanded a meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney, and several signs chastised Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for not paying drivers enough. At one point, the drivers chanted, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Justice!” (They eventually got the “Now!” part right.) Read more »

Union Protest, 3 Inflatable Rats Close Down Spruce Street

Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

A protest by scores of building trades union members closed down Spruce Street during the morning rush hour on Friday. The protesters were outside the old Parker Spruce Hotel, a 1920s-era hotel that was for decades a notorious flophouse. It’s currently being redeveloped into a “boutique” Fairfield Inn by the Wankawala Organization, which owns the hotel and managed it for four years before the purchase.

Neighbors complained in October about conditions of the worksite, with some residents of the nearby John C. Anderson apartment building saying dust was getting into air conditioning vents and making them sick. Unions have been protesting outside the building since last year; an inflatable union rat was blocking the bike lane on Spruce for several days in November. Union members moved Scabby the Rat after cyclists complained. Read more »

WATCH: Noisy Taxi Cab Protest of UberX, Lyft Snarls Center City Traffic


With horns blaring and marchers chanting “No UberX! No Lyft!” hundreds of Philadelphia cab drivers converged on City Hall with their vehicles to demand that laws cab drivers must follow regarding insurance, licensing and training be enforced with the aforementioned ride-sharing services as well. Joining in the protest that snarled lunchtime traffic for blocks around City Hall were drivers for UberBLACK, the limousine service that uses the same sharing technology as UberX but which is regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority as the cabs are. Read more »

CCP Adjunct Professor, Black Lives Matter Activist Suspended After Speaking at Rally

Divya Nair via Facebook.

Divya Nair via Facebook.

Editor’s Note: The headline of this story has been updated to clarify the nature of the rally.

Last Thursday, at a rally initiated by the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, PHL, Black Lives Matter activists and others took to the grounds of Community College of Philadelphia to protest, among other things, the presence of a Philadelphia Police Department recruiter on campus that day. The speakers at the protest included CCP adjunct English professor Divya Nair, and later that same day, Nair was suspended by the school. Read more »

Activists Hold Pope-Themed Protest Against Fracking

Anti-fracking protesters

Papal-themed environmentalist protesters near the Convention Center, site of this year’s Shale Insight conference. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Everything in Philadelphia seems to be pope-themed this month — even the protests.

Activists dressed in homemade cassocks and mitres and held an anti-fracking demonstration near the Pennsylvania Convention Center this morning — protesting the Shale Insight conference being held today and tomorrow in Philadelphia.

“If you’re not going to shut down the conference, you might as well yell in their faces about it.” organizer Liz Arnold said outside the protest this morning. People walking in heard the message, apparently, though they were not convinced by it.

The shale industry is in a bit of a slump recently; the Inquirer reports the 69 drill rigs in Pennsylvania are operating at half of peak capacity. But energy companies want to turn Philadelphia into an energy hub by, in part, building a $2.5 billion pipeline. Read more »

Janelle Monáe and Jidenna Lead March Down Broad Street

Yesterday afternoon, music stars Janelle Monáe and Jidenna hit the streets of North Philly around Temple to lead a march to bring awareness to police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. According to NBC 10, there were around 150 protesters who “gathered near Broad and Susquehanna and marched towards the Uptown Theater on North Broad Street.”

They carried signs saying things like “Black Girl Magic,” “Black Joy” and “Black Lives Matter,” and stopped for a rousing speech that was partially caught in this tweet from the Philly Student Union:

Read more »

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