By Tim Jimenez, Pat Loeb and Joe Holden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An anarchist group stormed through a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the city last night leaving behind shattered glass, spray-painted buildings and an estimated $100,000 in damages.
Thirty to 50 people smashed their way through North 2nd and North Phillip Streets. Police say they’re part of the group “Summer of Rage.”
Residents like Amberlynne say they left a banner that said, “Gentrification is Death and Revolt is Life.”
#Update Philly PD believes the vandals were part of anarchist group “Summer of Rage” Doylestown man and Philly woman arrested.
— Tim Jimenez (@TimJRadio) May 2, 2017
Chief Inspector Scott Small says the vandals came in around 9 p.m. Monday, and in a three block radius, they smashed windows, ripped off surveillance cameras and splashed paint on walls.
“It appears the rental properties that were vandalized are relatively new. Many of the vehicles were high end, newer model vehicles,” Small said.
Patricia Monahan, 28, of Philadelphia, and Geoffrey Suchocki, 45, of Doylestown, were arrested and are facing charges including causing and risking a catastrophe.
Council president Darrell Clarke says he has been concerned about gentrification in his district. While welcoming newcomers, Clarke has sought ways to protect long-time residents from displacement. There are solutions, he says.
“Vandalism is not the answer. Period.”
Police are still exploring motives but public affair Captain Sekou Kinebrew is not buying this incident as protest.
“It’s certainly not a constitutionally protected way of protesting, at all. So out of respect to legitimate protesters, I wouldn’t call this a protest.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney adds, “They’re criminals and they’ll be arrested.”
Kenney says there is no justification for that type of mindless destruction.
“There are ways in which you can address these issues of gentrification, of unfairness or injustice but it’s not by violence, ever.”
There is no clear connection to a Monday morning fire at 20th and Wharton that damaged a new development in an area where residents have long complained about gentrification.
The owner, Ori Feibush, says agents from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating, along with fire officials.