The Philadelphia Local of the Socialist Party participated in the national wave of actions immediately following the lack of indictment of Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department in the coldblooded murder of Michael Brown.
On Monday the 24th, I went to the pre-planned rally point at Philadelphia City Hall where over a few hundred activists had already been gathering in anticipation. While the marchers had already left the area as they marched west, I was able to keep in touch with, and eventually caught up to the march, which had already had two demonstrators arrested for disorderly conduct for allegedly entering I-95.
On the 25th, at approximately 3:00 PM, I joined the second planned demonstration at City Hallm which slowly drew in over a thousand activists who began a determined march up Broad Street to Cecil B Moore (once known as Columbia Avenue), where the original Black Panther movement once organized a revolutionary community movement that developed free breakfasts for school kids, radical education, and community self-defense. A speak out was held in front of Morgan Hall in the heart of Temple University campus, which, amongst other points, the gentrification of poor communities of color, combined with an increasingly militarized police force, was robbing people of color of their opportunities and their dignity.
The march then continued west and south into the night to the 9th Police District, where the two men, who had been arrested the previous night, were being held. The marchers, mostly young and militant students and people of color, were met with a wall of police blocking the building and hemming them in on the street in front of the police station. A lively and powerful speak out of the community was held to air the desperation and the severity of oppression under the weight of racist police and capitalist tyranny.
A sit-in was then declared to further entrench this solidarity demonstration, resulting in the expedition of the arraignment and release of the two men who had been arrested Monday night. The activists then proceeded to hold a celebratory march down Benjamin Franklin Parkway to City Hall, and then west to Rittenhouse Square, a playground of the wealthy elite of the city.
The demonstration disbanded around midnight on Tuesday, with affirmed pledges to present a three-point list of demands:
1: Hit the capitalist police state in its walle by Boycotting Black Friday;
2: Demand more accountability from the Philadelphia Police by enforcing mandatory body cameras and a Citizen Review Board with subpoena powers
3: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal