PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of peaceful George Floyd protesters gathered in Fishtown outside of the 26th District police headquarters on Wednesday night. Fishtown Families Against Racism organized the protest and says they are protesting against racism, as well as what they call scare tactics, after a group of residents were armed with baseball bats on Monday night.

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Those residents said they were there to defend the neighborhood and discourage looting.

Morgan Obidowski, a co-organizer of Wednesday night’s rally, said she was “really mad” after waking up on Tuesday morning and learning about what those residents did.

“I felt I needed to show my neighbors and I needed to show my daughter that it’s not going to be tolerated in our neighborhood and we care about our neighbors, we care about our black neighbors, and we want them to feel safe,” she said.

Obidowski said it was “amazing” seeing the number of people who came out.

“We want to rise above and show that they don’t represent all of us. We want our kids and our neighbors to know that this is a community of love and respect,” she said.

Protesters lifted their voices to speak for a man whose vocal cords were crushed, and while justice is now being carried out in Minneapolis, Fishtown Families Against Racism say their job isn’t done.

“I’m glad that they were all charged, but this is a systemic issue,” Orli Siegel said of the officers charged in Floyd’s death. “It reaches far beyond those four officers. This will, unfortunately, happen again and I’m going to keep marching until it ends.”

The protesters knelt outside the police station to remember Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who died while in police custody after former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 45 seconds.

As protesters knelt, they encouraged officers to kneel with them. Church leaders asked the officers to kneel with them. The protesters chanted, “Kneel with us, kneel with us.”

Eyewitness News cameras didn’t catch a single officer kneeling.

One of the officers, though, asked why they won’t stand with them against police brutality.


On Wednesday, protesters said they were disappointed with how police handled the scene that unfolded in Fishtown on Monday night.

“I was here Monday night and it was chaotic,” Jared Gruenwald said. “There were a bunch of guys out here with weapons. I pulled up and I parked right there, and the first thing I saw them pull a guy off a bike and start beating him.”

As more protests are anticipated, those with the Black Lives Matter movement are hopeful their message is being heard.

Girard Avenue was shut down in both directions in the neighborhood.

Another group of protesters also been marched through Center City.

Philadelphia’s citywide curfew went into effect at 6 p.m.

CBS3’s Howard Monroe and Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.