Guess How Many Water Bottles the City Has Dished Out?
This probably won’t come as a big surprise, but Philadelphia officials have gone through a crazy amount of water trying to keep cops and protesters hydrated through the first two days of the Democratic National Convention.
Samantha Phillips, the director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, said Tuesday that the city has doled out 110,000 bottles of water so far, about half of the supply it ordered in advance of the convention. More has already been ordered. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 has also donated water bottles.
The heat’s been a bitch, no question, but the temperature and the multiple protest marches haven’t led to any serious injuries or illnesses yet. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said one officer injured his ankle on a manhole, and two cops and two protesters had to be treated for heat exhaustion.
Earlier in the day, the Police Department reported that 5,500 demonstrators participated in a total of 15 marches on Monday, a far cry from the 35,000 to 50,000 that had initially been predicted. Ross said the number of marchers appeared larger on Sunday, and wondered if some stayed away on Monday after they had a brush with the oppressive weather. “Give them credit for understanding their own limitations.”
Ross said police haven’t made any arrests, but 54 demonstrators received $50 citations on Monday for disorderly conduct near Broad Street and Pattison Avenue after ignoring three warnings from cops at the scene. They were removed from the scene and released, all part of the city’s plan to treat protesters better than at the 2000 Republican National Convention. “Some of the people involved were absolutely amazed and flabbergasted at how quickly they were released,” Ross said. “They were given water and asked to continue to hydrate.”
The commissioner was asked what would happen if the protesters don’t pay the $50 fine. “That’s something that the city will have to decide,” he said.
A “Shut Down the DNC” march began late Tuesday afternoon, starting near Temple University with the aim of ending at the Wells Fargo Center. Ross said police are prepared for the fact that the marchers might try to make their way onto the Vine Street Expressway along the way. “We could never allow people to get onto the highway,” he said.
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