Recent Similar Articles

African community:black community:budget:City Council:City Hall:democratic rights:free speech:freedom of speech:Justice:Nutter:Philadelphia:Police:Prisons:Uhuru movement:

Police Attack Protesters in City Council. There is no free speech for African people in Philadelphia!

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/members/phillyimc/sites/phillyimc.org/web/sites/all/modules/mailhandler/mailhandler.module on line 855.

On Wednesday, March 19, 2009, police attacked members of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) in the gallery of the City Council during the City Council session where Mayor Nutter was announcing his 2010 budget. International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement members were holding signs protesting Mayor Nutter’s budget, which cuts essential services for the African population while spending more than one billion dollars a year for police and prisons attacking the black community. Subsequent to the police attack, InPDUM international organizer Diop Olugbala, (aka Wali Rahman), and member Shabaka Mnombatha, (aka Franklin Moses), were brutally arrested and are being charged with aggravated assault on police!

Uhuru organizer attacked by police at City Council speaks at People's Townhall Meeting Thurs 3/26

Police attack Diop Olugbala during demonstration
Police attack Diop Olugbala during demonstration
See video of police attack here.

On Wednesday, March 19, 2009, police attacked members of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) in the gallery of the City Council during the City Council session where Mayor Nutter was announcing his 2010 budget. International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement members were holding signs protesting Mayor Nutter’s budget, which cuts essential services for the African population while spending more than one billion dollars a year for police and prisons attacking the black community. Subsequent to the police attack, InPDUM international organizer Diop Olugbala, (aka Wali Rahman), and member Shabaka Mnombatha, (aka Franklin Moses), were brutally arrested and are being charged with aggravated assault on police!

As the meeting started, some of the many InPDUM supporters present were holding up signs saying "Unite Philadelphia through Economic and Social Justice", "Jail Killer Police", "Stop the War on the Black Community", and other demands upholding the rights of the impoverished black community.

The meeting began with a resolution to recognize the unbeaten Frankford Chargers youth football team. The Chargers were wearing black armbands in memory of their teammate, 14 year-old Sharif Lee Jones, who was murdered by Philadelphia police on August 24th 2008.

As the team left the chambers, civil affairs police gathered behind the InPDUM organizers and demanded they immediately sit down and stop protesting. A Civil Affairs officer put Diop Olugbala into a choke-hold. When Diop and the entire audience protested this attack, the police threw Diop and Shabaka down and arrested them.

As a result of the violent attack by the police, at least two elderly people were thrown to the ground by the police, and another member of InPDUM, an elderly African woman, was taken to the hospital with a broken hip.

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement calls for an end to police violence and killings, and demands justice through a program for real change:
- Jail the police who murder or abuse African people
- Justice for families harmed or killed by police
- Reparations for the African community – $1.1 billion in genuine economic development
- Community controlled police review board with subpoena power.

Justice for Diop Olugbala and Shabaka Mnombatha!
Economic Development, Not Police Containment and Prisons for the African Community!

InPDUM is calling on people to contact the offices below with the following Demands:

  1. Stop the frame up and drop all charges.

Offices to be contacted:

 Mayor Nutter’s Office 215-686-3000.




The police violence in this video is very disturning!

What goons!

what goons

who are the attackers? It looks to me the court officers were trying to restore some sense of decorum and the protester attacked the Officer when approached. That is a disorderly conduct charge but YOU wouldn't know about that. How about YOU responding to the 78 MOVE confrontation? Remember, I WAS THERE and I KNOW THE TRUTH.

Jon Pisano

technically, citizens have the right...

...to defend themselves from illegitimate police violence (given that the video obviously shows that cop going for a choke hold, before the protester pushed back), but try that argument in Philly's fanatical "police can do no wrong" environment, and you are fighting an uphill battle.

No doubt, these folks will need our support to ensure justice.

it is obvious

YOU view things different. I observed the Court Officer placing a hand on the defendant as the Coutr Officer was removing the sign and THAT is when the Officer responded to the physical threat by grabbing the offender by the throat. Hans...you should REALLY go back to California where they believe the BS you present

Jon Pisano

I agree with Jon

I see the point that perhaps they should have been free to quietly hold signs unmolested, but "attack" is a bit of an embellishment, is it not?

For all the times the word "attack" appears in this article, I was expecting to see batons and rubber bullets. Instead, I see a protester go berserk after one civil service officer lays a dead-fish hand on him.

The police choking was clearly unprovoked

I have now watched the video several times, and it is clear that Diop Olugbala did not do anything to provoke the outlandish move by the Civil Affairs officer to go for his throat and start choking him.

I mean, what the hell? Diop was challenging the order to sit down and stop holding the signs, but he absolutely did not make an aggressive move. The cop, apparently in the mood to be an a**hole, went right for his throat. This was flat wrong, and in my opinion, Diop was clearly entitled to push the cop away in response. Then, later into it, the same cop straight up punched him in the face, clearly an expression of a personal vendetta the cop had against him, NOT a legitimate move by the police.

Also, this press release says that a woman caught in the middle of this had her hip broken! This behavior by police is so disturbing, but much more disturbing is that someone could watch this video and think that the police acted properly.

The two UHURU defendants are really going to need public support in fighting these charges. In the context and environment of Philly's FOP infected, fanatical mentality that "the police can do no wrong" their courtroom defense will be a real uphill battle.

Of course the cop that started this by choking Diop should face brutality charges, but we know the Philly DA will never do that!

Which one is Diop?

The agree that the guy in red unjustly gets the worst of it, but I can see why civil affairs officer may have thought that the guy was about to join in the aggressive, disorderly conduct of his friend in the black jacket, already in progress.

Resisting arrest up front

Just a clear case of resisting arrest. Should have blackjacked the motherfucker.

Civil Affairs officers

"sense of decorum and the protester attacked the Officer"

What the heck is going on, this was police brutaility clear and simple. That was a non violent protest...

Seems commenters has other gripes to bitch about, as a black male with 2 male adult sons . We have lived under this heavy handed police tactics our hold life...

It is what it is it is clear what happened , who threw the first punch and choke hold.

If it was not for the free press, there would not be any real press, be it radio, written media or on the web...

You are wrong get over it, also read someone elses work, To post with out placing a name say alot about the games that are played...

Police brutality is on the was back...do a google search on police brutality stats


Do you have any statistics of police brutality? - Answers
Police are 100% untrustworthy to get statistics from. Watch the youtube police brutality video where a big tough cop beats a woman nearly to death and read


The Civil Affairs officers under Frank Rizzo watch , documented the magic bullet that was shot out from the basement , turned right, then right again travel few yards and made a sudden uturn and landed in the back of the officer that was killed that day, but that is a conversation for another day and not for this article, BTW I was there, I have personal photos of the event.

I was a member of the free press then....unless you were a neighbor, official of the city, what were you doing there? Again lets take that to another blog...

Find some other playground their are plenty around the globe.

Civil Affairs/Rizzo

Your last paragraph is a fairy tale. I was there that Aug 8th 78 as a member of the Stakeout Unit and you are totally WRONG as to the bullet that killed the Officer. I also viewed the total video and now a DVD and it is CLEAR the death and those wounded were the sole responsibility of MOVE firing from the basement. The rifle was found in the basement of MOVE and the ballistics matched the bullet that killed Ramp. Also the weapon was purchased by a MOVE member..documented. As to your comment regarding the "brutality" issue above, I wonder how YOU or the esteemed Hans Bennett would react if Y'all were in the same situation.

Jon Pisano

Indymedia is of course full

Indymedia is of course full of cops and former police so it's not rare for other officers to agree with the actions that their buddies have. Yo assholes, if they're being arrested for carrying out their first amendment right then they SHOULD RESIST ARREST. Let me guess, using less lethal weapons on demonstrators is always OK because the police get to decide when it's time for them to leave? Pathetic. Only in America is this attitude actually accepted..


To call this an instance of police brutality seems to me to be a bit of an insult to those who really are really brutalized by police every day across the country.

Regarding the First Amendment: the question turns on whether this government building is a public forum for free speech. Generally such public buildings are not. If this demonstration took place, say, in a the mayor's office, or a city councilman's office, thereby obstructing the work that is to be done there, then there would be no question that the police would have been justified in forcefully removing them.

Because the mayor in a sense opened the area for discussion when he addressed the public there, and because the demonstration was generally peaceful and quiet up until the altercation, you can make a colorable argument that the demonstration should have been allowed to continue that way without intervention. --But it isn't clear that these demonstrators were exercising a certain First Amendment right.

Now one may disagree with this reading of the First Amendment and insist that people ought to be free to express themselves this way wherever they want, whether or not it's at a so-called "public forum". This is debatable, but I think there ought to be a time where government employees are permitted to carry out their duties without interference from people claiming a First Amendment right to interrupt.

Had the police attempted to break up this small, peaceful demonstration on a public sidewalk or other established public forum, I would say that would, be a clear violation of a well known Constitutional right, and that the protesters would have been morally, if not legally, justified in resisting arrest. Inside that building, however, the constitutional right is not so clear.

Cohen v. California would seem to apply to the free speech question and vindicate the protesters--but where Cohen was arrested peacefully, these demonstrators were not.

The gentleman in the black jacket did more than simply resist arrest. He lunged at the civil affairs officer at least twice, well after the threat of "choking" was thwarted, and then continued to carry on in a disorderly manner until the officers punched him and took him down. For him, the charge of aggravated assault seems to me to be at least plausible.

The gentleman in red, who was choked the worst, didn't seem to be an instigator, and should not be charged with aggravated assault. Still, his attempt to be the "third man in" to the developing altercation between his friend and the civil service officer rightly provoked "some response" from the civil service officer in the beige trench coat. The intent, I believe, was not to brutalize the man, but rather to keep him away from the other fight. Perhaps the force used was greater than necessary, but as bad as it looked, it did not seem to affect the man's ability, toward the end of the episode, to announce his interpretation of the First Amendment to everyone within earshot.

Aside from hands and fists, I did not see any less lethal weapons in this video. But even if there were, it would be legitimate for the police to use them on demonstrators who insisted on expressing themselves in a disorderly manner in non-public fora. It would be illegitimate and abhorrent to use such weapons on demonstrators expressing themselves peacefully in an established public forum.

I know we all see what we want to see in the video. This is just my honest assessment.

city council fight

Hans, you are a megaphone for many of us who are waiting for the day the people's voice will be heard in this country.

There is still hope when people, from the little guy like most of us blogger's to journalists, economists and other leaders, use their voice. Then there is REAL HOPE!!!

The 1978 Move incident has many of us handcuffed to the results. Many suffer from wanting to believe what happened one way and our heart and soul know the truth or at least question the reported incident.

The human mind can punish ones self so badly that the "mind" aka (the brain) loses all frame of reality. Mental illness is a terrible thing to have. The house was bulldozed and evidence destroyed immediately after the attack.

Thanks for this dialog cause it shows me that the haunted still roam the streets and airways, that was a great movie,"the night of the living dead." I include myself, PTS, PDS, shell shocked and many other adjectives that describe illnesses that possible victims of brutality could experience, after living 50 - 60 years under such threats of bodily harm from those that were sworn to uphold the law and protect and serve. Just a few bad apples out of thousands is enough to cause the illnesses associated with living in this lifestyle.

Long live indymedia...Oh its time for my meds...

The MOVE incident

We all know what the Police and the Mayor is all about just look at what happen to the MOVE family when they drop a boom on their house and burned down the whole block.If you are looking for statistics of police and the mayor BRUTALITY here's one do I have to say any more.