Protesters swarm Convention Center ahead of Trump's speech

Justin Udo
October 02, 2018 - 2:30 pm
Protesters rally outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center ahead of President Donald Trump's speech at the National Electrical Contractors Association.

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Demonstrators and protesters gathered at the corner of Broad and Arch streets across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where President Donald Trump is expected to speak to thousands gathered at the National Electrical Contractors Association annual convention and trade show.

In the time before Trump's arrival in Philadelphia, police gathered near the Convention Center, and demonstrators prepared their signs in protest of the president's visit. Some signs read "Not my president" and "Trump and Pence must go." Others read "Kavanaugh Never." And a lot of signs used some pretty strong language to show the magnitude of their displeasure with the way Trump is running his administration. 

"It is time for us to be in the street and visibly show our disgust for this fascist program," said one protester. "We do not want to go back to the '40s, the '50s, or the turn of the century. We do not want to go back to where the norm is racism, where the norm is that women are treated as second-class citizens."

Demonstrators gathered their numbers through the afternoon. Around 1:30 p.m., a group of 30 to 40 people marched down Arch Street to join other protesters. They held up a large banner showing the Flyers' new mascot Gritty telling Trump, in essence, to get out of Philly.

Images of Gritty were a recurring theme among protesters' materials.

"I'm out here for the immigrants and the kids that are in Texas," said protester Gini George, "that are being bused to different locations, that fills me with a rage that's unimaginable."

For Rev. Jeffery Jordan of Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia, he came out to make sure his voice was heard.

"I'm here because I'm a person who believes in justice and fairness for all people, and No. 45 is not a just or fair president," he said.

Sarah Machanee noted that the protests and demonstrations are good, but she's pushing for people to make a bigger stand.

"I voice my opposition and mostly to encourage people to vote in the midterm elections," she added.

Police set up gates and showed a heavy presence to the protesters, but throughout everything, the day remained peaceful.