Die-In Protest in Philly Proves To Be Success Despite Angry Eagles Fans
Written by Kendall Alexander on December 8, 2014
Protestors rallied outside of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex this past Sunday to take a stand against law enforcement injustice. Members of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER) Organization were on hand as early as 6pm as men and women of the cloth and their congregations were brought together to pray and help raise their voices against injustice in our city as well as across the country.
POWER made their message clear Sunday night: they want police brutality and their excessive use of force with unarmed Black bodies to cease.
All backgrounds were represented, amounting to approximately 250 people in attendance on a blisteringly chilly Sunday evening, all ready to stage a die-in outside of the Complex after the Eagles v. Seahawks game. The group blocked traffic on Broad St. and Pattison Ave. streets for 4 ½ minutes to remember the 4 ½ hours that Michael Brown’s slain body was left in a Ferguson, MO street this on August 9.
Organizers wanted to express peaceful outrage over the cases involving both Michael Brown and Eric Garner standing together in solidarity, raising their voices in protest, and lying together in silence as many held signs and banners expressing their disgust with the unsatisfactory justice system and law enforcement across the country.
Many South Philadelphians exiting the complex were not happy about the demonstration, as the Eagles had just received their fourth loss of the season to the Seattle Seahawks ending with a score of 24-14, making an already sour taste in their mouths that much more bitter. Fans were frustrated as they wanted to get home after a crushing loss, while others were inebriated and wanted to provoke protesters. While organizers lay in the street silently, there was a slight commotion as onlookers honked, jeered, cursed, and berated them.
When organizers began to rise from the intersection, they chanted “hands up, don’t shoot,” as angered Eagles fans responded with “hands up, don’t loot.” Nonetheless, there was steadfast composure amongst protesters as they continued to gather and chant, carrying their signs and banners of protest throughout their time of gathering.