Philadelphia’s traditional New Year’s Celebration was interrupted by protesters. Police worked hard to keep them off the parade route.
The protest was reminiscent of Occupy Philadelphia and used some of the same communications tactics as the protestors went through the crowd and into and out of subway tunnels in an attempt to confound and escape police officers who were keeping them from interrupting the march. Asa Kalif of the group Black Lives Matter says they targeted the event because they wanted to use a major public gathering to show their displeasure.
“We’re not going to apologize because we are black, we are not going to apologize because we are in a racist system, we’re going to shut it down each and every time.”
Protesters march through the streets and sidewalks adjacent to the Mummers Parade. (Jonathan Wilson/for NewsWorks)
Protester Megan Malachi believes the mummer’s parade is inherently racist because of the use of blackface in the past and she as a child in Philadelphia never went to the event
“Our reasons for being out here is to raise awareness about the police terrorism which is historic and brutal in Philadelphia, we also have people out here representing groups who are part of the fight for 15 to get fast food workers a living wage, educational equality and environmental issues.
At its peak there were only about 50 protesters and police were able to keep all but a few off the streets, those who got through were arrested and taken away from the protest.
Michael McGrail marches with the Froggy Carr Comics. He says the protesters picked the wrong time to vent their frustrations.
“There are other places that are more productive and more constructive for them to make their point, now is not the time, all they are doing is alienating people by making this point to the general public.”
Police had to stop several parade watchers from entering into physical confrontations with the protesters and there were many profanity laced shouting matches as the protesters and the parade watchers tussled along the parade route.
Asa Khalif a member of Black Lives Matter is arrested by Philadelphia Police. (Jonathan Wilson/for NewsWorks)