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NEWS
July 15, 2016
By Tabatha Abu El-Haj As Philadelphia prepares for the coming protests related to the Democratic National Convention - especially those that will proceed without authorization - it is worth remembering that the city has a long history with unpermitted, disruptive, and controversial marches. On Independence Day in 1795, to take just one example, citizens marched in silence through the city's major thoroughfares protesting the Washington administration's secret Jay Treaty with Great Britain.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Solomon Jones
AS POLICE-RELATED violence spiraled out of control last week, I was anguished. Not because the toxic mix of anger and grief was a new experience, but because it was not. Since April, I have felt the pain of a family that has lost one of its own to an unjustified police shooting. I have seen the media firestorm that follows the killing of a police officer at a protest. I have bemoaned society's reluctance to acknowledge the role of racism. I wrote the story of last week's violence even before it happened.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
It is undeniably disturbing to see protesters spit venom at police officers. The men and women in uniform who run toward the gunfire while we run away from it. Who are tasked each day to confront entrenched problems stemming from the poverty and inequality tearing at our city. Who at protest after protest in Philadelphia since the Black Lives Matter movement began three years ago have done an exceptional job of making sure all voices are heard - even the voices of those spitting in their faces.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITER
Feeling the Bern, Ed Higgins incinerated his old life. In the last five months, Higgins, 39, shuttered his Arizona advertising company, broke up with his longtime girlfriend, and dedicated himself to planning a march from Washington to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. "I'm at the end of my rope, but somehow it feels like exactly where I should be," said Higgins, who is bouncing among friends' houses when not living out of his car. Higgins wars undeterred by Bernie Sanders' endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.
NEWS
July 13, 2016 | By Jason Nark, Staff Writer
The group that has been leading the fieriest marches into the streets of Philadelphia to rage against police brutality says it was born out of grief and sadness. But don't expect the Philadelphia Coalition for Racial, Economic and Legal (REAL) Justice to start pushing for prayers, tears, and candlelight vigils in the coming weeks as the Democratic National Convention and thousands of cameras and media members come to town. The coalition's members have been arrested, have gone face-to-face with city police, and have confronted former President Bill Clinton.
NEWS
July 12, 2016 | By Steve Bohnel, Staff Writer
For the fifth consecutive night, marchers protesting the deaths of black men by police around the country demonstrated in Philadelphia, this time the Black Lives Matter-inspired group taking to Market Street from West Philadelphia to Penn's Landing on Sunday. Police said about 90 protesters gathered at 40th and Market Streets as darkness fell. They were accompanied by a police motorcade as they chanted and held signs aloft such as "Unite or Die," gaining strength to about 150 by the time they reached Penn's Landing.
NEWS
July 11, 2016 | By Olivia Exstrum, Staff Writer
"Cops will do and can do whatever they want" - but be prepared anyway. That was the message Saturday afternoon - not at a protest, but at training to prepare for one - at the Arch Street United Methodist Church. It was the first of four training sessions in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. About 50 people - mainly white, of mixed ages, and looking forward to demonstrating - gathered at the church on North Broad Street to discuss filming the police, supporting people who are jailed for protesting, and knowing your rights if you're one of them.
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Jason Nark and Daniel Block, STAFF WRITERS
Don't like the sorrowful scenes coming out of Dallas, where five police officers were shot to death by a sniper? Well, that's what "war looks like," said Erica Mines, 38, a member of the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, which is protesting police killings of young black men around the country. "A life for a life is never a solution, but in times of war, this is what it looks like," she said. "We are tired and we are ready to stand up. " As the nation convulsed in sadness and anger on Friday, some local African American protest leaders said the killings in Dallas won't curtail their demands for justice over the deaths of minorities at the hands of law enforcement.
NEWS
July 9, 2016 | By Tommy Rowan and Mari A. Schaefer, STAFF WRITERS
Pastor Barbara Ross shook her head: "I just don't get it," she said. Ross, who represented Wesley Chapel A.M.E Church in Edwardsville, Ill., was among hundreds marching in Philadelphia Thursday to protest recent police shootings of black men across the country. Most recently, Alton Sterling  was killed Tuesday night by police officers in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile was killed Wednesday during a routine traffic stop in  Falcon Heights, Minn . Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said he told the officer he had a licensed gun in the car, and was reaching for his license as requested when the officer shot him.  Ross shook her fist.
NEWS
July 8, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
At least 10 people were arrested as "Black Lives Matter" protesters blocked two ramps off the Vine Street Expressway, snarling Center City traffic during the Wednesday evening commute. The protest was sparked by the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, an African American man, during a scuffle with two white police officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday. Cellphone video of the deadly encounter went viral late Tuesday. Several dozen protesters gathered in the sweltering heat at 12th and Market Streets around 6 p.m. and then began marching around Center City, gaining participants along the way. protesters chanting in middle of blocked on ramp to I 676 pic.twitter.com/n4dvz1qBtY — Robert Moran (@RobertMoran215)
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