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Armed South Philly residents guard Columbus statue from vandalism — and leftist mayor, district attorney call them vigilantes, ‘criminal bullies’

Philly folk don’t play. But you probably already knew that.

You might recall about 100 residents of the city’s Fishtown neighborhood
patrolled their streets with baseball bats, hammers, and shovels as nationwide George Floyd rioting hit a fever pitch earlier this month.

Well, another 100 or so in south Philadelphia — a legendary Italian-American stronghold that’s home to “Rocky” lore and arguably the best cheesesteaks around — took it upon themselves to guard the Christopher Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza from potential vandalism over the weekend.

And some of them used bats, golf clubs, sticks — and guns — to convince those who might hold opposite opinions to stay away,
PhillyVoice reported.

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Still, it got heated at times.

imageImage source: WTXF-TV video screenshot

As TheBlaze has been reporting, protesters last week
beheaded, toppled, and vandalized statues and monuments across America in their fury over racism and Floyd’s death — but Philly leftists didn’t exactly get high marks after they ignorantly vandalized the statue of abolitionist Matthias Baldwin outside City Hall, spray-painting “murderer” and “colonizer” on its pedestal.

Still, the south Philly faithful wanted to be ready.

“We refuse to let our statue be taken by looters,” one resident
told WTXF-TV. “If they wanna take the statue, which we are against, do it the right way.”

Another man added to the station that protesters “break stuff” and “loot” and “destroy, and then people give you what you want — that’s terrorism. This is not what America’s supposed to be about. We’re not supposed to give in to terror.”

imageImage source: WTXF-TV video screenshot

What happened?

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney indirectly referred to the behavior of those guarding the statue as “vigilantism,” and District Attorney Larry Krasner called them “criminal bullies.”

Kenney also said officials know about “an apparent assault caught on video tape, as well as possible restrictions placed on journalists filming the event. These incidents are under investigation at this time.”

More from PhillyVoice:

Some of those who gathered allegedly assaulted a reporter named Chris Schiano from the media company Unicorn Riot after they were seen being filmed, as footage shows the reporter being hit in the head and having the tires of his bike slashed.

Some of those who gathered allegedly fought with police officers over the reporter covering the event and argued with the cops to get Schiano to stop filming the gathering.

A Philadelphia police officer named Louis Campione also allegedly attempted to stop the reporter from filming and covering the event, as well as accused the reporter of instigating the crowd.

Here are some related clips. (
Content warning: Language):

Sunday was far more intense

Presumably because they caught wind of south Philly folk guarding the statue, leftists descended upon the area Sunday, and the two groups squared off, WTXF reported.

Police reportedly arrested at least two people for disorderly conduct, the station said, adding that one counterprotester was detained for ripping down a flag and second for moving a police barricade.

Jeering the mayor — at his fiancee’s house

Some of the people guarding the statue on Sunday evening walked about a half mile to the home of the mayor’s fiancee where they jeered Kenney for not backing police and what they believed was his weak response to the riots — and they also cheered for President Donald Trump, WTXF said.

Residents guarded the Columbus statue through Monday morning, the station added.

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