Philadelphia, 5:45 EST–Police in riot gear have surrounded a group of several hundred protesters in front of City Hall. Carrying anarchist flags and banners reading “Resist” and “Shut Down Racism,” the demonstrators are calling for justice for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. A group leader is shouting through a megaphone, trying to be heard over the pounding roar of choppers and sirens.
Two dozen police cars are making a rush for the group. They are reportedly teargassing demonstrators in the vicinity of City Hall. The attacks are rolling in like thunder, one car after another rushing toward the city center. Bicycle cops are pouring in formation out of City Hall toward the crowd. “Everybody got your gear right here?” a sergeant asked.
All day demonstrators have tried to block off streets, trying to prevent delegates from reaching the Republican convention hall, only to be met with waves of resistance from cops. The Independent Media Center reports crowds of up to 1000 and arrests in the dozens.