PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A protest planned for Tuesday in Rittenhouse Square has turned into a victory party.
Protesters had planned to sit on the park’s cement balustrades in defiance of posted signs. But now they’ll be sitting on the balustrades with the mayor’s full support.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Parents 'Not Surprised' Return To In-Person Learning For Some Students Delayed Again
Mayor Kenney ended a short-lived uproar after “no sitting on wall” signs went up last week with a Saturday night tweet saying: “Sit where you want.”
He called the decision by the Parks Department to endorse the signs a product of poor communication that he would not have approved had he been consulted.
“Despite the fact that people work and contribute to that park, they don’t set the rules. It’s a public park. You can’t try to set up rules to eliminate people from showing up to the park,” said Mayor Kenney.READ MORE: Raymir Johnson Arrested For Driving Alleged Shooter From Scene Of Deadly East Norriton Bowling Alley Shooting, Police Say
This was good news to Christopher Bartlett, one of the leading opponents of the signs.
“We’re going to continue the effort to make Rittenhouse Square a welcoming park for all Philadelphians. It is one of the five jewels that William Penn left for our city, and we should put all energy into making that happen,” he said.
Bartlett says he still plans to sit on the walls, but in celebration instead of protest.MORE NEWS: City Officials Urging Drivers To Slow Down As Pothole Season Arrives Early In Philadelphia