Dueling Protests March in Center City

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CENTER CITY was busy with political protestors on Saturday, Sept. 26. The morning warmed up at 11:00 a.m. with a group of around 50 leftwing activists, mostly young, who pooled to speak out alongside tourists at Thomas Paine Plaza to “End Rape Culture.” They later marched down market Street past City Hall, winding up at 8th & Race Streets behind the Roundhouse, where speakers like Alonda Talley fiercely urged their followers to combat sexual abuse, particularly in Black & brown communities, and to fight forced hysterectories in government detention facilities.

AROUND 12 NOON., a similarly sized band of rightwing radicals who call themselves “Proud Boys” gathered on Independence Mall alongside tourists waiting to see the Liberty Bell. Dressed in quasi-military fatigues, they sang patriotic songs and vowed to combat “domestic terrorism coast to coast.” Then they too took to Market Street to spread their word.

THE TWO PROTESTING bodies passed each other at 10th Street as End Rape Culture returned from City Hall. Since they had the permit to occupy the street, a police escort funneled Proud Boys (an aging lot, many of them) along the sidewalk. Each team flung gestures of defiance at the other but the encounter remained peaceful. (See photograph below.)

By 2:00 p.m., Independence Hall was alive with a new set of protestors who had gathered to “Refuse Fascism.” The Public Record did not cover that event.

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