More than 100 people protesting the Trump administration rallied outside Independence Hall on Saturday, part of two dozen planned actions in cities across the country.
The group Refuse Fascism organized the events, and called for 60 days of nonviolent protests until the election with cries of “Trump Pence Out Now!”
“There can be no more fire and fury from the mouth of a demented bully with its finger on the nuclear trigger,” said organizer Sam Goldman. “We refuse to accept a fascist America.”
The event, while much smaller than protests in support of the Movement for Black Lives earlier this summer, drew a diverse cross-section of participants from racial, social, and environmental justice organizations around the region, such as Delco Resist, Montco Activists United, and the Brandywine Peace Community.
Many mentioned a variety of topics where they disagree with the current administration’s policies, from immigration to the environment, but stuck with the underlying message.
“I’m here on behalf of the Trump backlash,” said attendee John Brenis, who lives in Northeast Philadelphia. “I will march with anyone who opposes Trump.”
The protest came late on the same day that hundreds of pro-Trump boaters took to the Jersey Shore for a floating parade that also was billed as supporting police and law enforcement.
After speeches and poetry in Old City, the anti-Trump group marched behind a truck with a loudspeaker through Center City, calling on outdoor diners on Walnut Street in the Gayborhood to vote.
The group also stopped outside of the federal prison at Seventh and Arch streets, and rapper Bright Fame performed while the people incarcerated inside the building tapped on their windows. They were watched and escorted by more than a dozen police officers on bikes and at least a half dozen police cars.
For an event pointed at the November election, there was almost no mention of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. At one point, a bystander walked by the group and yelled, “Biden sucks!” One of the protesters responded, “We don’t like him either.”
Instead, the focus stayed squarely on the current administration, and concerns that all norms of democracy will be thrown out in a second Trump term.
“If you think these four years were bad, imagine four more years when he doesn’t have to campaign,” speaker Jamal Henderson said.
He also criticized President Trump’s negative comments about this summer’s sweeping protests, and contrasted them with statements he has made that were more equivocal about violence associated with white supremacist aims.
“That’s a bunch of bullsh–t,” said Henderson, naming school shootings and the self-described neo-Nazi who plowed into a group of people protesting the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, killing one.
After marching to City Hall, the group held a Havdalah, a Jewish ceremony to mark the end of the sabbath, led by the group Torah Trumps Hate.
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