Day of dueling political rallies in Philly ends peacefully

The Trump supporters who led a march from Independence Mall to Philadelphia City Hall were forced by police to return to their starting place on Saturday afternoon.

Under police escort about 60 pro-Trump participants East on Market Street to Independence Mall. This came after the group, followed by a large contingent of anti-Trump activists, were blocked by police near City Hall from going down the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum of Philadelphia. After returning to 5th and Market Street, Trump supporters left the area. No major problems were reported by police. 

The pro-Trump group that went to City hall was a subset of Saturday’s larger Make America Great Again rally that began at 11:30 a.m. near Independence Hall. 

Defiant Trumpers

A group of about 60 pro-Trump activists led a march to City Hall after MAGA Philadelphia rally organizers said they were ending the event early due to concerns over potential violence with anti-Trump activists. The cancellation came at the request of Philadelphia police who believed things could get ugly. 

At 12:30 p.m., SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestell reported on Twitter, “Anti-Trump protesters are lighting smoke bombs and some are carrying lit flares. They are continuing to circle the MAGA protest.”

At 12:45 p.m. the crowd estimate was about 200 pro-Trump activists and 250 anti-Trump people.  

Background

The pro-Trump event on Independence Mall was part of rallies nationwide planned by the group Make America Great Again March.

The Philadelphia event was schedule to last from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00  p.m., and was to include a march to the Philadelphia Art Museum and back to Independence Mall. 

The anti-Trump rally was organized on the internet. The organizing group remains anonymous but its message was posted on a website called Itsgoingdown.org

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