Thursday, June 4, 3PM: Demonstrators to demand an end to the police war and military occupation of Philadelphia


Demonstrators to demand an end to the police war and military occupation of Philadelphia

PRESS CONTACTS: Mike Wilson 267-339-4309; Ted Kelly 610-715-6924

June 4, 2020

We call on any journalists – both professional and independent –  who have been targeted by Philadelphia police to join us.  We call on anyone who has been victimized by Philly police to join us.  We call on legal observers to join us. We also call on GI’s in the  military and those in the National Guard who may be forced to police their own communities, to refuse orders, stand down and join us.

We call on Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Outlaw to stand down, to direct  the collective police forces they control to let  the people (especially in Philadelphia – the birthplace of the U.S. constitution) be able to exercise our First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly and protest.  The eyes of the world are on our city.

Progressive, anti-racist and anti-police brutality organizations are calling on all concerned people in Philadelphia to turn out for a protest on Thursday, June 4 at 3PM starting at Love Park, 15th & JFK in Philadelphia.

Central demands include an end to the police war on the people of our city.  We call for an end to police terror in Black. Brown and Asian communities; for the defunding of Philadelphia police – the $14 million proposed increase to the PPD should go to reopen recreational centers and libraries; the expulsion of the KKK and mob-like neo-fascist elements from the police department; and an end to the militarization of police.

Across the U.S. we are seeing the impact of the Israeli IDF training of police departments in U.S cities including Philadelphia and Minneapolis, where Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with murdering George Floyd, was trained on how to control people by pressing his knee on their necks.  In George Floyd’s case, Chauvin’s knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, until he could no longer breathe, resulted in his death.

As the media focuses on oppressed communities choosing to liberate material goods so long denied, particularly at this time when 40 million workers are unemployed,  we want to call out the REAL looters who have amassed over 2 trillion dollars in COVID-19 government hand-outs.  These same banks and corporations have fueled the gentrification of Philadelphia neighborhoods by denying funds to long time residents while favoring white developers.

Mayor Kenney and City Council members discussed drafting an apology to the MOVE family on the 35th anniversary of the city’s dropping a bomb on their West Philadelphia home – murdering 11 men, women and children and destroying 62 homes — but ultimately refused. They have instead unleashed state and federal police forces to impose more violence against peaceful demonstrators.

Images are important.  When Philadelphia and Pennsylvania police attacked a non-violent June 1 demonstration protesting the murder of George Floyd on I-676, forcing people to scramble up a steep embankment while tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at them and police directly pepper-sprayed numerous protesters, media coverage of this event went global.  Several journalists, including independent photographers were targeted by police. There was a massive number of totally unjustified arrests.

The removal of the statue of Frank Rizzo last night has been a demand raised up from the Black community for years.  While welcome, now it is a case of too little, too late.

Our event on Thursday will be a peaceful protest.  We are notifying the media and the city in advance that we intend to gather at the LOVE plaza.  We will march on JFK Boulevard, past many of the banks that loot our communities.  We will march past the headquarters of Comcast which has used their political connections, including with DNC candidate Joe Biden, to drain public coffers.  We will march by the Philadelphia stock exchange.  And we will march past Rittenhouse Square – home to many of the wealthiest people in Philadelphia whose interests are protected by police.

We have a right to march and a right to protest – it is guaranteed by the US constitution that was written right here in Philadelphia.  We are asking people to be disciplined and to not engage in any property damage – but we will call out the corporations whose profit margins have depended on the theft and  destruction of the properties of peoples around the globe.

Endorsers include: Philly REAL Justice, Mobilization4Mumia, the MOVE Organization, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Black Alliance for Peace, Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, International Action Center, Refuse Fascism, and Food Not Bombs Solidarity