With national media’s eyes on Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), more than 100 activists gathered in the heart of the city’s impoverished northern neighborhoods to protest policies that negatively impact communities of color.
“White supremacy must be abolished and Black liberation must become a priority,” said Cornelius Moody, a member of the Philly Coalition for R.E.A.L. (Racist, Economic And Legal) Justice in a video PSA for the “Black DNC Resistance March.” The action, organized by the Coalition and other neighborhood groups (including Black Lives Matter Philadelphia), centered that concern within the frame of several issues. ”No justice, no peace, no racist police!” chanted participants, who held signs protesting White supremacy and state violence.
The action started near Temple University, a school whose expansion into predominantly Black and Brown North Philadelphia neighborhoods has prompted local activists to worry about gentrification and displacement. “I’m 66 years old and I am tired,” said Jacqueline Wiggins, an activist with the Stadium Stompers group, which protests Temple’s proposed construction of a new football stadium in an impoverished neighborhood. “I’m tired of the nonsense, of money going to other places, of seeing our schools closed.”
Wiggins spoke during the action, which lifted several issues, including police brutality and mass incarceration. “We have a huge problem with stop-and-frisk in Philadelphia,” said the Coalition’s Rufus Farmer. “Obviously, there’s a history of violence and excessive force on part of the police here.”
Participants marched to City Hall, where they joined with the “Shut Down the DNC” march.