Pro-Trump Philly march delayed by police for safety; Jersey Shore peaceful

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Chaos reigned on Independence Mall and parts of Center City on Saturday as police initially blocked a permitted pro-Trump march while anti-Trump protesters marched in their place to City Hall.

Unnamed groups had threatened to disrupt the Trump supporters who had planned their Make America Great March, part of a nationwide event.

At about 1 p.m., the pro-Trump supporters in Philly shouted angrily at police who were blocking them, saying that they had a legal right to march and their event had been usurped by the anti-Trump counterprotesters, who did not have a permit.

Police told the pro-Trumpers that they couldn’t march over safety fears because of tourists and Boy Scouts who were visiting the Liberty Bell and other historic sites.

Anti-Trump protesters, dressed in black, apparently decided to march on their own. They were seen marching west on Market Street, near 8th, at about 1:25 p.m.

But then, about 2 p.m., the pro-Trump supporters were apparently allowed to march. They were seen heading west toward City Hall. (The group initially planned to begin its march at about 1:30 p.m.)

Their plan was to head toward the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where they expect to stop for about 20 minutes before heading back toward Independence Mall. They were then scheduled to rally again at People’s Plaza from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Earlier Saturday, the counterprotesters rallied against the pro-Trump supporters near Independence Mall, allegedly setting off smoke devices and making loud noises. 

The pro-Trump Pennsylvania MAGA March had started at about 11:30 a.m. at People’s Plaza on Independence Mall, near Fifth and Market Streets, where they were met with anti-Trump counterprotesters. 

According to an image of a flier on the Disrupt MAGA Philly website, counterprotesters were asked to bring “noisemakers, instruments, floats, megaphones,” among other things, and “to confront Trump’s supporters and to prevent” their march from happening.

Around 12:25 p.m., anti-Trump protesters were seen marching around Independence Mall, where the pro-Trump supporters were gathered.

Meanwhile, at a pro-Trump rally at the Seaside Heights boardwalk on Saturday afternoon, things were peaceful.

The Make America Great Again marches, named after the president’s campaign slogan, are scheduled to take place in 40 cities or towns in 32 states, and in Washington D.C., in support of the new administration, veterans and law enforcement.

Staff writer Ashleigh M. Albert contributed to this article.

Check back here for updates.

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