Witness Questions Why Philadelphia Police Allowed A Far-Right Group To March For So Long

American Fascist Group Patriot Front Marches in Washington D.C. from the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol building for a private rally, escorted by DC Metro Police on February 8, 2020. (Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Witness Questions Why Philadelphia Police Allowed A Far-Right Group To March For So Long

A group of nearly 200 men linked to Patriot Front marched through Center City, but had no permit.

UPDATED ON : JULY 6, 2021 / 12:29 PM

Written by Craig T. Lee

The city of Philadelphia was filled with more than Fourth of July celebrations this past holiday weekend, as a group of men said to be white supremacists marched through Philadelphia’s Center City. 

On Saturday (July 3), police report an estimated 150 to 200 men rallied in face coverings,  tan pants and black shirts, while chanting slogans such as “The election was stolen” and “Reclaim America,” which can be spotted in a video captured and sent to CBS Philadelphia.

The Anti-Defamation League said the demonstrators were affiliated with the far-right wing group Patriot Front. Witness to the rally, Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, who took the video, spoke to the station about what took place late Saturday night. 

RELATED: White Supremacist Group March Through Philadelphia

“It’s triggering as a Black person to see white supremacists parade in Philadelphia,” he said. 

Muhammad said he first spotted the group outside of the Holocaust memorial on Ben Franklin Parkway, before they made their way to across Center City to Penn’s Landing. Muhammad would eventually try to record what was happening, and step in to aide and protect a counter-protester, as the protest turned violent. 

“I did not expect to be pushing, shoving, fighting white supremacists. I was going to capture them on video and photo to make sure that this was documented,” Muhammad said. “[The police]  did absolutely nothing when they threw smoke bombs at us, when they hit people with shields, when they hit people with fists. They did absolutely nothing.”

Police said they were there to make sure the protest didn’t incite violence and that no First Amendment rights were violated. Mayor Jim Kenney’s office said no permits were requested or allowed for this protest.

“We know that they’re anti-semitic, we know that they’re racist, they’re white supremacists," Shira Goodman regional director of the Anti-Defamation League told CBS Philly. They believe white people are the true inheritors of America and they’re try"ing to take it back.” 

“We want to make sure that a group of white men and white supremacists who come in to do that aren’t getting any kind of special treatment, aren’t getting any kind of worse treatment than anybody else who is protesting,” Goodman said to finish her statement.

No serious injuries were reported and no arrests were made during the protest.

Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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