Community group, neighbors in South Philly cleaned up around Marconi Plaza

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Neighbors who live near and around Marconi Plaza took brooms and trash bags to clean up Saturday.

The park that surrounds the now boarded up Christopher Columbus statue following a week of unrest.

"This is our neighborhood we come out here to barbeque and take the children out to play," said Carla Carpenter of South Philadelphia.

Carpenter says it wasn't safe to take the children out to play with all the things found left behind in the park.

Anthony Giordano, who heads the community group Stand Up South Philly said, "We just want to send a positive message out to the community. Let's clean up, let's start to heal the neighborhoods and unite the neighborhoods."

Last Saturday began a day's long conflict as people, some armed, stood vigil to protect the Columbus statue fearing vandalism or its removal by protesters or the city.

There were clashes and some violence, followed by pro-police rallies after beloved First District Commander Lou Campione was reassigned.

The FOP says it was following an incident between a protestor and journalist at the statue.

The mayor's office stated they would not remove the statue without a public process. The friends of Marconi Plaza went to court to keep it in place.

People donated cleaning supplies and they left the signs for and against the statue alone.

Saturday, they say was all about beautifying the park.
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