Tensions were high in Philadelphia on Saturday night as a group of white supremacists marched in front of Philadelphia City Hall carrying banners that said “reclaim America” and chanting “life, liberty and victory.”
According to NBC10, the men were all wearing khaki pants, blue shirts, tan hats, and white face coverings. They also waved flags with insignias appearing to belong to the Patriot Front organization.
Some residents scuffled with the men as they tried to chase them away, and a journalist, who was taking photos of the event had his cellphone taken by a member of the group, before recovering it.
“They started engaging with citizens of Philadelphia, who were none too happy about what they were saying. These males felt threatened, and at one point somebody threw a smoke bomb to cover their retreat, and they literally ran away from the people of Philadelphia,” said police officer Michael Crum in an interview with 6ABC Philadelphia.
Images released by the Philadelphia Inquirer shows the white supremacists clashing with bystanders, and police detaining several of the masked men after the clash.
Members of the group also marched through the National Mall in Washington on Saturday, according to the Independent. D.C. police say they had no records of the Patriot Front applying for a permit to hold the march. Law enforcement told the publication that the march “was peaceful with no incidents or arrests.”
Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that broke off from Vanguard America after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, members of the Texas based hate group “maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone. They define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists who are focused on preserving America’s identity as a European-American identity.”
They participate in localized “flash mobs” and torch marches/demonstrations according to ADL.
“An African, for example, may have lived, worked, and even been classed as a citizen in America for centuries, yet he is not American. He is, as he likely prefers to be labelled, an African in America. The same rule applies to others who are not of the founding stock of our people as well as to those who do not share the common unconscious that permeates throughout our greater civilization, and the European diaspora,” the group’s manifestos states, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.
[Featured image: JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer]