PHILADELPHIA (3:30 P.M.)—At least 250 demonstrators are gathering this afternoon at the Roundhouse city jail to protest the arrest of what Unity 2000 says are 450-plus protesters. Most have been charged with misdemeanors, though some picked up with radios or cell phones—tools anarchists have used to organize free-roving packs of demonstrators at the GOP convention—have been hit with counts of criminal conspiracy. According to Unity 2000 legal advisers, demonstrators in prison are pledging solidarity, saying they’ll plead together, not separately.
At noon about 50 pro-choice activists from the Women’s Radical Action Group rallied outside the Union League Club, two blocks from City Hall, where they did cartwheels and serenaded with protest songs the Republicans eating lunch inside in honor of “pro-life patriots” New Hampshire senator Bob Smith and onetime GOP presidential contender Alan Keyes.
“Hey, George, get out of my bush,” the women yelled up at the porch of the club, where a brass band gamely tried to drown out the chants. “There’s a large segment of the electorate which is not going to stand for this bullshit,” said Carmen Mirchna, one of the leaders.
Cops stood by in lines to protect the women upstairs, while the women below shouted slogans like “Don’t like it, don’t ejaculate,” and to the strains of Beethoven’s 9th sang “You must always use a condom when you choose to penetrate….”
Police plainclothes officers listened intently, radios at the ready, as the young women heatedly debated abortion with a representative from the Republican National Committee. When a clergyman emerged from the club to chat with the women, one named Burrow declared, “I’m never going to have a fucking child.”
At least 250 demonstrators are massed around the jail.