The Lead

Activists were allegedly attacked, threatened during protest at Philly councilwoman’s campaign event, report

By: - February 21, 2019 9:34 am

Screencap at protest during Jannie Blackwell campaign event in Philadelphia

Things reportedly turned ugly Tuesday night during a re-election event for long-serving Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, where an alleged attack and violent threats against a group of progressive activists was captured on video by Blackwell’s supporters.

Philadelphia Magazine has more:

“Approximately an hour into the gathering, hosted at the Enterprise Center in West Philly and attended by such notable political leaders as state senators Vincent Hughes and Anthony Williams, and former U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, 12 activists from the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative and Philly for REAL Justice disrupted the event to highlight concerns surrounding Blackwell’s use of councilmanic prerogative.

“Recent tensions between the activist groups and Blackwell, who has represented the 3rd Council District for more than 25 years and is currently being challenged by former Fairmount Park Conservatory executive director Jamie Gauthier, stem from a disruption of a community meeting Blackwell held on January 29th. At that event, regarding the redevelopment of 4601 Market Street, BBWC co-founder Shani Akilah confronted the councilwoman and other panelists on gentrification issues in West Philly. A clip of Akilah’s speech has been viewed more than 300,000 times on Facebook.

“As they entered the building on Tuesday evening, the activists say, they faced immediate suspicion and surveillance from a number of people wearing Blackwell campaign buttons who appeared to be helping to manage the event.

“Philadelphia magazine obtained the following videos, which were filmed by two protesters and contain profanity and threatening language. Neither Blackwell nor her campaign staff members responded to requests for comment on the incidents depicted in the footage.”

Here is the first video:

Here is the second video:

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.