June 19, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence was welcomed to Philadelphia by scores of protesters at Rittenhouse Square on Tuesday – a scene that quickly escalated into a march of hundreds, after reports this week showed more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Pence arrived in Philadelphia around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday for a fundraiser at the Rittenhouse Hotel with the Republican Governors Association to support Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial nominee, Scott Wagner, who has "claimed voting by non-citizens was a threat to fair elections.”
A crowd settled at the Square around 5 p.m. — some brought their own children, handmade signs and even their children's shoes, as symbols of the minors who have been detained at the border and kept separate from their parents.
Stephanie Hagan, 35, of Mt. Airy is 7.5 months pregnant w her first. After this she’s headed to breast-feeding class. “I’ve been mad since the election but this moment is reaching me in a diff way.“ @minerva_mode #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/xDXZVKlPEn— Emily Rolen (@Emily_Rolen) June 19, 2018
Cristin Stephens, 29, @NextGenAmerica regional organizing director. “We’re here to protect DREAMERS and these kids. We’re registering ppl to vote to ... reflect the desires of young voters.” #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/0xxPPtUB49— Emily Rolen (@Emily_Rolen) June 19, 2018
Around 6:40 p.m., protesters began to march around Rittenhouse Square, eventually making their way down Chestnut Street and then south onto 15th Street before winding their way onto Broad near City Hall.
A scuffle between protesters and police happened near Rittenhouse Square when protesters linked arms around a silver vehicle. Police soon formed a circle around the car and put up barricades to contain protesters in an effort to remove the vehicle.
Crowd now smaller and angrier, shouting “No good cops in a racist system.” pic.twitter.com/3D9N0fYilj— Laura Benshoff (@LEBenshoff) June 19, 2018
Refuse Fascism Philly created the event on Facebook, which listed more than 2,000 people as "going" and more than 5,500 as "interested."
“Let them go,” crowd chants. Then, “Save our children!” pic.twitter.com/nYREoBwJyV— Emily Rolen (@Emily_Rolen) June 19, 2018
Just last week, demonstrators with Families Belong Together gathered at the Philadelphia ICE Office to protest this same policy.
Joey Klinger, 27, of Northeast Philly, is a Lutheran pastor. “It’s inhumane and it’s certainly un-Christian. It shouldn’t have to be said. ... Christ said let the children come to me, don’t put them in a cage.” pic.twitter.com/Nndtaj9ivE— Emily Rolen (@Emily_Rolen) June 19, 2018
President Trump has repeatedly blamed the Democratic Party and U.S. laws or court rulings for its policy on separating children from their families, however, this has been proven untrue many times.