By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Leaders of the Christmas Village, in Love Park, have canceled this evening’s “lantern parade” after learning that Ferguson-related protesters were scheduled to converge there at the same time.
It’s just one of a number of Philadelphia demonstrations scheduled over the next few days.
“I don’t see this movement going away,” says Betsy Piette, who works with the “Ferguson to Philly Emergency Response Network.” She says roughly local 18 organizations have joined the movement and says they held a town-hall meeting earlier this month that drew nearly 400 people.
And while her group is not responsible for today’s protest in Love Park (which was organized by a group called “Bloc the Police State”), they will be demonstrating outside a community meeting in West Philadelphia to discuss the planned move of Philadelphia’s police headquarters from center city to West Philadelphia.
“People will be protesting, we’ll be gathering at 52nd and Market and then we’ll be marching over,” she tells KYW Newsradio. A student group, “People Utilizing Real Power,” have organized that protest.
There is also a townhall scheduled for 5:30pm this evening in Southwest Philadelphia, at Universal Audenreid Charter High School, 3301 Tasker Street.
Then on Friday, there’s a protest that will begin at noon at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. The march will end at the Rocky statue, near the art museum.
Then on Saturday, there is a “Justice for All” march in Washington, DC.
Next week more die-ins are scheduled, some involving attorneys. Piette says the continued demonstrations indicate the grassroot effort is catching fire.
“It will develop organically as more and more people get involved,” she says.