DNC protest organizers air frustrations at City Hall

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Those planning protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next month accused officials of dragging their feet. (WPVI)

Those planning protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next month accused officials of dragging their feet.

Protesters aired their grievances on Tuesday at City Hall, less than a month before the convention begins.

"We are going to shut Philadelphia down! We are going to take every block, we are going to take every street," said Asa Khalif of the Philadelphia Coalition for Real Justice.

"We are outraged by the coordinated assault on our rights to protest," Erica Mines of the Racial, Economic and Legal Justice Coalition. "We do not trust the mayor and the city."

Their ire was directed at Democrats, presumptive presidential nominee Hilary Clinton - who was labeled a fascist - and the administration of Mayor Jim Kenney.

"We know that Philadelphia is a one party dictatorship. We are here specifically for the Democratic Party. This is the party of slavery, of Jim Crow," said Scott Williams of the Coalition to Shut Down the DNC.

Last week Mayor Kenney signed a bill decriminalizing disorderly conduct, blocking a public highway and failing to disperse.

The thinking: it would lessen the chance of the mass arrests like those that occurred 16 years ago when the Republican National Convention was held in Philadelphia.

But protesters are unmoved, claiming the city is planning for mass arrests and is being ambiguous about when and where protests will be permitted.

The Kenney Administration responded by saying, in part "The City has no desire to conduct mass arrests," adding "We decriminalized offenses for the very purpose of avoiding mass arrests."

On Tuesday, the city provided this list of demonstration permit requests during the DNC:

Related Topics:
politics2016 democratic national convention - dncCenter City Philadelphia
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