There were more developments in South Philly yesterday regarding the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza. The city announced it’s setting up a “boxing apparatus” to “preserve” the statue while it decides what it will do with it. Already, there are moves in court to try to block Mayor Jim Kenney from removing it. The police captain in the area has also been transferred following ongoing confrontations among residents that began Saturday. Over the weekend, some of those confrontations resulted in alleged assault, according to protest observers and video.
On Sunday night, there were incidents of violence near the Columbus statue, with protest observers alleging that police allowed those “protecting” the statue to assault them. Videos appear to show the Columbus defenders punching the observers, pushing them to the ground, kicking and stomping on them, burning them with lighters, cigarettes and cigars, sexually assaulting them, and shoving them into busy Broad Street traffic, my colleague Samantha Melamed reports. While police repeatedly intervened, the skirmishes accelerated when it got darker and “police often were notably missing.”
Mayor Kenney announced yesterday the city would install a “boxing apparatus” to “preserve” the controversial statue while the city decides what to do with it.
Some Penn State professors are questioning the safety of the university’s reopening plan. Their two main questions:
More than 800 professors submitted a petition to Penn State leadership that asked the university to outline “clear procedures” for how to handle social distancing violations, mask-wearing, and other coronavirus-related safety protocols.
“You’d think a guy who makes a living eating out more than 300 times a year wouldn’t flinch at the prospect of another restaurant meal or that I’d take another plate of gnocchi with wild boar Bolognese or a bowl of house-churned gelato for granted. But I was uncertain and [a] little fearful," my colleague Craig LaBan wrote about his experience at L’anima’s patio at 17th and Carpenter.
Questions spun in his mind about what he’d be touching and eating, and how he’d pay and pour his wine. But with outdoor dining debuting last week in Philadelphia, he felt it was time for a first step. In some ways, he wrote, it “felt like a celebratory meal.”
But not every restaurant in Philly is following the city’s COVID-19 rules. And officials warn that could jeopardize outdoor dining.
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“The George Floyd protests, which have resonated all over the world, have shown that the under-35 generation, more multicultural and more progressive than anything we’ve seen, is flexing its muscles and taking charge. Defund the police today. Pay for the Green New Deal tomorrow. Or we’ll be back in the streets.” — writes columnist Will Bunch about whether the major protests this month can also alter how the world approaches climate change.