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NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patrick Sanyeah was in the thick of the angry protest for much of the afternoon. But unlike most others, his loss was deeply personal and devastating. Two of the victims in Saturday's fatal fire in Southwest Philadelphia were his children, Patrick, 4, and Taj Jacque, who was less than two months old. "The fire department right here, you let four kids burn into ashes," Patrick Sanyeah said during Monday's protest, wiping away tears as he chanted with the crowd. City officials defended the fire department's response -- in a community meeting, on the street ravaged by Saturday's fire and, at day's end, in a news conference that drew Mayor Nutter, the fire commissioner, and others.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Mike Newall and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
Residents of Southwest Philadelphia turned out in force Monday night to demand answers after the weekend fire that killed four children, at times sparking an angry outcry that drew scores of police officers and set the neighborhood on edge. The protest, which resulted in several clashes and led to a number of arrests, followed an afternoon community meeting at which residents challenged the fire commissioner over how long it took firefighters to respond to Saturday's devastating early morning fire.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, MORGAN ZALOT, VINNY VELLA & DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writers bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
A COMBUSTIBLE mixture of anger and grief nearly boiled over on a Southwest Philadelphia street corner in the summer heat last night in a tense standoff between a long, blue line of cops and roughly 200 residents protesting what they claimed was a slow response to Saturday's fire that killed four children on Gesner Street. The confrontation - first outside a fire station on 65th Street near Woodland Avenue and later on the narrow rowhouse street where eight homes were destroyed, and where the acrid stench of smoke still hung heavy - led to at least two arrests, as witnesses said some protesters tossed water bottles while the crowd chanted, "We want answers!"
NEWS
June 26, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The sale of the old William Penn High School to Temple University is a done deal, as far as the Philadelphia School District is concerned. But a group of North Philadelphia neighbors is crying foul, alleging that the process was tainted and that the community's wishes were ignored in the name of political horse-trading. Dozens gathered Tuesday outside the school, waving signs and declaring their dissatisfaction. "This was just rammed through, a land grab," said Priscilla Woods, a longtime Yorktown resident and activist, standing along North Broad Street.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Allison Steele and Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writers
As many as 1,000 protesters, many angry about school funding, blocked traffic and waved signs in Center City on Monday afternoon, hoping to disrupt or at least deflect attention from a fund-raising stop by Govs. Corbett and Christie. "Our members are here because they're being mistreated," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Six people were arrested for obstructing the highway - a summary offense - after sitting down on 17th Street. Police did not use handcuffs as they led them away.
NEWS
June 7, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the hour that Mike McMonagle and his allies stood in protest Thursday outside Gov. Corbett's office in Center City, they were spared from heat and rain. But little else went in their favor. Drivers paid no attention to the 30 people holding rosaries and signs railing against same-sex marriage. A man spat on the ground at their feet. Soon, they had to share the sidewalk with other protesters - a younger, louder, more organized group. While McMonagle's group spoke of the need to "defend our children" from nontraditional families, a group from Cook-Wissahickon School brought in actual children to make the case for increased state funding for arts and education.
NEWS
May 29, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
MAYOR NUTTER'S plan to sell Philadelphia Gas Works to a private company brought protesters to City Hall yesterday. Twelve activists from the Pennsylvania office of Food & Water Watch, Philadelphia Neighbors of Tax Action and other groups took copies of a petition to the offices of each member of City Council. The activists said the petition had about 3,000 signatures. The proposal to sell the gas utility to Connecticut-based UIL Holdings Corp. for $1.86 billion was signed by Nutter in March and awaits Council approval.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge has dismissed claims that city police used excessive force and performed unreasonable searches when dismantling an Occupy Philadelphia encampment on Dilworth Plaza in 2011. But in the case brought by 26 of the demonstrators, U.S. District Judge Berle Schiller ruled this week that their attempts to secure damages for unlawful arrest, retaliation and other alleged civil rights violations could proceed to trial. In a November lawsuit, the protesters contended that police, under the direction of Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, violated their rights to free speech and assembly by arresting them without probable cause.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Several groups plan to protest the Comcast Corp. shareholders meeting Wednesday morning, saying that Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. would be bad for consumers. About 100 people have indicated that they would participate in a demonstration outside the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on the 300 block of South Broad Street, organizers said Tuesday. The Comcast shareholders meeting is to begin at 9 a.m. in the Perelman Theater. Doors are to open at 8. Consumers Union, Free Press, and Common Cause are among the organizations sending officials, said Hannah Sassaman, policy director for the Media Mobilizing Project in Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
When cellphones flashed "noon" in Ziaira Williams' history class, students shifted in their seats, exchanged glances, and then filed out into a hallway of purple and gold, launching a two-hour protest of Camden City School District layoffs. Williams' history teacher received a layoff notice Monday and said goodbye to his exiting pupils with silent pats on the back and nods of appreciation, Williams said. "They're glad we're doing this. They said, 'Go ahead,' and honestly, I don't care if I get in trouble - I want my teachers back," the 17-year-old junior said.
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