On the Scene of the Shut Down the DNC Protest

The rally and march was made up of a slew of left-leaning groups opposed to Hillary Clinton. Things reportedly got tense between protesters and counter-protesters at the end of the march.

Protests continued through Philly today. A large collective of left-leaning groups gathered outside of City Hall this afternoon for a rally called Shut Down the DNC. Topics ranged from Palestine to education to institutional racism, with the latter being most prevalent.

While protests are nothing new to Philadelphia, especially in recent weeks, this one was a little different. Many of the attendees came from all over the country to participate. 

One of those people was Jackie Walker, who, along with her friend Maegan Wilson, came from Flint, Michigan. They said they came to protest against the water crisis in Flint. Both were wearing “Flint Lives Matter” shirts.

They said they were politically neutral, that they just wanted the situation resolved. Wilson, however, didn’t like how their situation was being used as a “political football.”

Another group heavily represented were the Bernie or Busters. Many of them seemed unsure about where to go from here. One of those Sanders supporters was Lina Xinos.

“I’m very lost and confused,” said Xinos, who added that Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton last night “rattled” her.

After a number of speakers, including some Philadelphia teachers, the rally was joined by an earlier march led by the Philadelphia Coalition for REAL Justice, which began in North Philly. That march paused here and a number of people spoke about police brutality in Philadelphia, including Pam Africa.

Protestors listen to speakers affiliated with the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice outside of City Hall before marching south of Broad Street.

Protestors listen to speakers affiliated with the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice outside of City Hall before marching south of Broad Street.

The rallies also acted as a campaign stop for Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly, running for president and vice president on the Workers World Party ticket. You may not have heard of them, but they had an enthusiastic audience. “Capitalism cannot be reformed,” said Moorehead at the earlier rally.

As the rallies ended, marchers began moving south down Broad Street toward the Wells Fargo Center. Aside from police brutality, chants also focused on Hillary Clinton. One memorable chant went “Don’t vote for Hillary, she’s killing black people.” Signs at the front read “Hillary, Delete Yourself,” and “Hillary Has Blood On Her Hands.” As the march made its way down Broad Street, Clinton officially gained enough votes to become the party’s nominee. 

Despite the bravado that these marches have become known for (A certain NWA song was played and chanted through most of the march), there were few altercations. For instance, one bystander yelled out “Long Live Israel,” and was met with chants of “Long Live Palestine,” but the march continued without any further confrontation for a little. As Politico reports, the end of the rally was marred by brief spats of tension and violence between protestors and counter protestors. A journalist was also reportedly attacked near the stadium.

It was scheduled to continue as far along Broad Street as possible.

The DNC will continue through Thursday night.