Philly BLM Vigil (7-15-16)

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The city of Philadelphia recently received a huge spike Black Lives Matter protests since the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castle last week.  The week has seen a nation on edge, with police and demonstrators sharing a fear of their lives, creating a mix result of demands of nonviolence by protesters and increased brutality by police against demonstrators in certain cities.  In Philly, however, protests took place for six days straight (July 6-11), with arrests only taking place on the first day of protests on July 6.

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A few days after the Dallas shooting of police officers, Conservative online news outlets warned about a potential “Day of Rage” organized in cities around the nation by Annonymous and BLM for July 15.  The Day of Rage essentially failed to materialize in any of the 36 planned cities (leading many to think it was a hoax created by authorities), including in Philadelphia.

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Instead, a “Vigil for lives lost due to police violence” was held at City Hall from 5-6:30 P.M.  Numerous speeches were given under the hot sun, but the most moving were by black mother’s who previously lost children to police shootings.  The event was organized by Together We Stand, but the Facebook event page was hosted by Paige Fernandez. Nearly 500 people came out to the rally, making it larger or about the same size as the previous week’s protests. During the protest flyers were handed out for another BLM rally that began immediately after the closing of the first rally right down the street. The rally was covered by Philly.com.  But July 15 was the last major BLM rally in Philly leading up to the DNC, where several BLM protests are expected to take place.

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