Group described as white supremacist protest in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Police say dozens of members of a group described by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist marched through Philadelphia over the weekend, colliding with pedestrians and triggering what the they were believed to be smoke bombs at one point.
The Patriot Front group, estimated at 150-200 people, marched several blocks into the city center, wearing beige pants and black shirts with face covers and carrying shields and flags. Police said they chanted slogans such as “Reclaim America” and “The Election Has Been Stolen”.
Police said pedestrians “verbally engaged members of the group” and that there were several physical encounters. Finally, a member of the group used what police believe to be smoke bombs “to cover their retreat as they fled,” police said.
Police did not announce any arrests and said there were no reports of damage or injuries during the march, which came on the eve of Jill Biden’s visit to the city for the festivities of the Independence Day.
The Anti-Defamation League calls the Texas-based group a “white supremacist group” which “espouses racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance under the pretext of preserving the” ethnic and cultural origins “of their European ancestors.” He also indicates that the group “participates in localized flash mobs and torchlight marches / demonstrations”.
Shira Goodman of the Philadelphia chapter of the league told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the group recently distributed leaflets, posted stickers and sprayed graffiti in suburban Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley and held flash mob-style meetings published more late on social media.