The alt-right Proud Boys conducted a march through Center City Saturday with nearly 60 participants, many wearing body armor and helmets, some waving American flags, and occasionally engaging in sharp verbal exchanges with onlookers.
They stopped in front of Independence Hall to sing The Star-Spangled Banner and then proceeded to City Hall, where they posed for a group photo, some displaying a white power sign with their fingers.
On the way there, they crossed paths without incident with the March to End Rape Culture, a protest to raise awareness about rape and express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Later, the Proud Boys chanted “Back the blue” as they made their way to a parking garage at Penn’s Landing, where police closed off access until members of the group drove off.
The action came a week after the Proud Boys were expected to rally in Clark Park, when instead about 500 counterprotesters showed up to the popular West Philadelphia site in a progressive, racially diverse neighborhood.
Social media posts claimed Proud Boys were present, but were disguised as journalists to gather information about leftist activists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Proud Boys as a “general hate group.”