Protest blocks morning rush hour traffic in Center City

Protestors block streets outside City Hall (Tom MacDonald / WHYY)

Protestors block streets outside City Hall (Tom MacDonald / WHYY)

A traffic-stopping protest caused some morning headaches for commuters in Center City Philadelphia.

About 150 people, mostly young and white, took to the streets around City Hall carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs and the names of those recently involved in police-related shootings and beatings. John Bergen, of the group Showing Up for Racial Justice, helped organize the protest.

“There are a lot of white people who are waking up to the reality of police brutality, who are outraged who are grieving [who] want to get involved,” Bergen said. “They can step up and challenge their family, their family members, challenge their faith communities and really actually make change.”

Frank Ross was one of the few African-Americans who attended the protest. He says there needs to be careful review of all sides of the issue of police violence.

“You know cops got lifes too, I don’t think it’s right for everybody to get mad and want to shoot cops,” Ross said.  “Cops are not all bad, you’ve got innocent cops who lost their lives.”

The protesters say they want more than just an end to police violence, they also want better pay and jobs for African-Americans.

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