Penn students, community members protest disinvestment in West Philly

Ebony Powell is the organizer of the “Enough is Enough” campaign. University of Pennsylvania students marched to UPenn’s campus in protest of the school’s lack of investment in the community and over-policing. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Ebony Powell is the organizer of the “Enough is Enough” campaign. University of Pennsylvania students marched to UPenn’s campus in protest of the school’s lack of investment in the community and over-policing. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

A protest kicked off in Malcolm X Park at 3 p.m. organized by a new group called Enough is Enough, based out of UPenn, which aims to end police brutality, over-policing and under-resourcing in West Philadelphia.

Lisa Simpson and Leia Schenk travelled all the way from Los Angeles to take part in the protest. Simpson has been traveling the U.S. attending anti-police brutality protests for years, since her son, Richard Risher, was killed by the LAPD.

“They keep killing us and getting away with it,” Simpson added. “Every time somebody gets killed, they open my wounds back up.”

Schenk, with the organization Empact, pointed out that people experiencing mental health crises, like Walter Wallace Jr., need treatment rather than use of force.

“He needed a weaponless response. He didn’t need guns, he needed help,” said Schenk.

Enough is Enough was founded by Philly native and University of Pennsylvania city planning student Ebony Powell, whose focus is on holding universities and health care institutions accountable for harm they are causing in Philadelphia’s Black and brown communities.

“They are all complicit in the perpetuation of poverty, crime and violence within Black and brown communities,” said Powell.

Protesters marched through West Philadelphia as part of the “Enough is Enough” campaign Monday, chanting, “Say his name, Walter Wallace.” (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

However, as a Penn student, she is particularly interested in holding her own institution accountable.

“Penn is very influential and extremely responsible for the over-policing, for the divestment, for the gentrification … happening within West Philadelphia,” said Powell.

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