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June 19, 2018

With Mike Pence in Philly, hundreds protest administration's policy to separate children from families

Demonstrators assembled on Rittenhouse Square near the hotel where the vice president was at an event

Protests Mike Pence
Carroll - Mike Pence Protest Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Protesters lock arms as a vehicle attempts to drive through a peaceful protest on Walnut Street, quickly escalating the scene during Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Rittenhouse Hotel, Tuesday, 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.

Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Protesters took over the 1800 block of Walnut Street, near the Rittenhouse Hotel, during Mike Pence’s visit to Philadelphia, Tuesday, 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.

Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Police attempt to clear a crowd of protestors surrounding a silver vehicle on the 1800 block of Walnut Street during Vice President Pence's visit to Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

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.

Refuse Fascism Philly created the event on Facebook, which listed more than 2,000 people as "going" and more than 5,500 as "interested."

Just last week, demonstrators with Families Belong Together gathered at the Philadelphia ICE Office to protest this same policy.

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.