'Activists' Pummel Police, Military Personnel, And Jewish Bystander During Rally
Philadelphia, PA – Counter-protesters allegedly assaulted police and military reservists during a “We the People” rally in downtown Philadelphia, resulting in multiple arrests.
Counter-protesters also assaulted a Jewish man passing by the rally, after they “misidentified” him as a “Proud Boy,” according to a fundraising account the leftist organizations have since set up to raise money for the man they assaulted.
Approximately 500 counter-protesters clashed with about 50 “We the People” members who showed up to the rally at the Independence National Park on Nov. 17, The Inquirer reported.
Counter-protesters, included antifa, the Philly Socialists, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), and the socialist, antifa-affiliated group, “Fellow Worker Gritty Coalition,” converged at the site of the rally, alleging that the “We the People” attendees were “Nazis” and “Proud Boys,” the Metro New York reported.
During the event, police positioned themselves between the groups in an attempt to maintain order, the Courier Post reported.
Counter-protester Brian Glantz, 23, then began shoving the uniformed officers, and ultimately punched Philadelphia Police Captain John O’Hanlon in the side of his head, according to The Inquirer.
As police took Glantz into custody, he continued “kicking his legs and wrestling with the officers and park rangers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia told the Courier Post.
Capt. O’Hanlon was transported to the Hahnemann Hospital, but did not need further medical attention, the Metro New York reported.
“Assaulting a law enforcement agent – whether a federal, state, or local officer – is a crime that I take very seriously," U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a press release.
“There is no excuse for it. No matter who you are, if you assault an officer and there is federal jurisdiction, I will bring the full weight of my Office down upon you,” McSwain said.
Glantz was ultimately charged with federal and state offenses of assaulting an officer in the performance of official duties, the Courier Post reported.
He was released on $15,000 bond on Nov. 19, McSwain’s release said.
Another counter-protester, 31-year-old Villanova University IT coordinator Amber Viescas, was issued citations for violating a lawful order and interfering with an officer, according to The Inquirer.
“I think they wanted to make an example of someone,” said Viescas, who claimed she was charged after an officer "bumped" into her.
Two other individuals were also arrested for failing to disperse, but their names were not released.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 3:20 p.m., a group of male and female counter-protesters attacked several military reservists while calling them “white supremacists” and “Nazis,” the Courier Post reported.
They allegedly kicked and punched the reservists, and made off with a cell phone belonging to one of the victims.
Many of the suspects involved in the assault of the military personnel were also seen in video footage recorded at the protest, but had not been identified, the Courier Post reported.
Meanwhile, a 34-year-old Jewish man outside of the rally was beaten by counter-protesters, after they “misidentified” him as a “Proud Boy,” the Metro New York reported.
The man was head-butted during the attack, and ultimately fled the area in a cab.
“Leftists orgs in Philly” subsequently established a fundraiser to help the man their members assaulted, but made no apologies for the attack on the man, and had raised just $55 as of Friday morning.
“We understand there will be questions about ‘antifa attacking a Jewish man,’’ the groups said in a collective statement. “Our official statement is we do not know who the instigators are because of the numerous amount of out of towners participating in the rallies.”
“We are working to identify them within our organizations, and we would like to express our condolances to the person who was attacked,” the statement read. “This fund is for that person, to support them in their recovery and in a show of unified solidarity against fascism.”