A planned “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) march in Philadelphia clashed with an equally-planned disruption on the part of the Resistance this morning.
“Saturday will be proof positive that the resistance is alive and well and continuing to grow,” an unnamed organizer of #DisruptMAGA told the Philly Voice.
The dueling protests clashed in the Old City and City Center as both demonstrated near Independence Hall and City Hall.
The MAGA group consisted of roughly 100 marchers, a number surpassed by the Resistance protesters – a coalition of anti-fascists, opponents of the President in particular and supporters of civil rights – and law enforcement personnel attempting to keep the peace.
MAGA marchers were intending to rally in support of President Trump, law enforcement and the military.
The group from MAGA intended to march to the Philadelphia Museum of Art but their demonstration was cut short by police hoping to avoid escalation between the groups. Both marches dispersed around 3 p.m. and two people were cited for disorderly conduct, both Resistance protesters. No injuries or property damage was reported.
While the MAGA marchers filed permits, #DisruptMAGA made the intentional choice not to.
Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan reportedly told pro-Trump marchers to stop short of their Museum of Art goal over safety concerns after delaying the march amidst concerns of imminent conflict.
At around 1 p.m. MAGA marchers shouted at police delaying their demonstration, citing their legal permit and calling the Resistance counter-demonstration a usurpation of their event.
“Three months in the making now been trying to do this,” said MAGA organizer Kevin Efaw.
Multiple media outlets made a point of Resistance demonstrators wearing predominantly black.
Thomas Nestel, police chief of SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority), characterized the Resistance as peaceful but vocal despite their use of smoke bombs, black clothing and lit flares.
6th and Market. The 1st Amendment is alive and well in Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/NiyhT1GHEM
— Thomas J. Nestel III (@TNestel3) March 25, 2017
However, there is video of a Philly police officer attempting to hit a protester with a bicycle.
“America was never great. But Philly can be great on March 25th,” one #DisruptMAGA organizer wrote. “Let our rage send a message to all those who think the election of Trump means that we will lie down and die, and all those unsure how to best stand against Trump and his minions.”
The clashes between the two demonstrations were expected and relatively minor, with Resistance protesters shouting comments about racism, sexism and transphobia and MAGA marchers chanting “Four More Years!” in reply.
“No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA,” chanted Resistance protesters. “Border walls have got to go from Palestine to Mexico.”
The Philadelphia scene was one of several across the nation, reports Heavy. In Philly, at least, MAGA was successfully disrupted.