PHILADELPHIA - A Texas-based group with ties to white nationalism marched through Philadelphia Saturday night as America prepared to celebrate Independence Day.
The Philadelphia Police Department said about 200 members of ‘Patriot Front’ marched along the 1400 block of John F Kennedy Boulevard just before 11 p.m.
Demonstrators were dressed in tan pants and black shirts with face coverings. Several members carried flags and chanted "reclaim America" and "the election was stolen," according to police.
Demonstrators and onlookers engaged in physical and verbal confrontations during the march, police said. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Philadelphia police said the group dispersed under the cover of a "smoke bomb."
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, "Patriot Front (PF) is a white nationalist hate group that formed in the aftermath of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, of August 12, 2017."
In a statement sent to FOX 29, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he is "personally appalled and disgusted these groups chose Philadelphia as the place to demonstrate their open hatred."
Kenney’s full statement on Patriot Front’s demonstration reads as follows:
"Let me be very clear: Patriot Front is a group that openly advocates for White supremacy. White supremacy and racism are among the greatest scourges this country has faced since its founding. While we respect everyone's right to exercise free speech, our administration stands against everything these groups represent. I'm personally appalled and disgusted these groups chose Philadelphia as the place to demonstrate their open hatred. Racism, intolerance, and hate have no place in Philadelphia. We're monitoring the situation very closely, and the Police Department and other public safety agencies are coordinating to ensure a safe Fourth of July holiday in Philadelphia."
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