A march from the progressive conference Netroots Nation that went to the Philadelphia immigration center showcased the rallying cries of the far left.
On the second day of the convention, attendees and panelists formed a march, led by Miguel Andrade of Juntos and YahNe Ndgo of Black Lives Matter Philly. The July 12 protest started on the corner of 12th and Arch streets. More than 400 people from Netroots joined in the rallying cries to “abolish ICE,” “arrest the police,” and “shut down the right wing.”
Among some of the chants included calls to defend Venezuela, and the chant “From Palestine to Mexico, all the laws have got to go.”
According to one of the protesters, this march had been planned by Netroots for a week. Netroots was sponsored by Facebook, listed as a “premier sponsor” on the list of sponsors. The social media platform even sent representatives to teach attendees social media strategies for their activism.
One of the protesters told MRCTV that “prisons and police don’t exist to punish criminals but to bring people in camps to destroy their communities.” He also accused the police of “trying to attack these marches and shut them down,” even as the police were protecting the march from traffic.
One protester carried a pinata that was made to look like an ICE agent. Another one carried a sign that said, “Abolish ICE. Abolish the Pentagon.”
The march went to the Philadelphia City Hall, the Philadelphia ICE office, and the Philadelphia police headquarters. It was considered a part of the “Lights for Liberty” protests that happened across the country on the same day.
The Netroots conference, a three day convention for progressive Democrats, had keynotes that featured Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, and Jay Inslee. Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Barbara Lee. Both Juntos and Black Lives Matter activists were featured at some of these panels.
*Contributing authors: Ferlon Webster, Jr. and Corinne Weaver*