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Protests throughout the city on October 27 Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY
Protests throughout the city on October 27 Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY

Thousands walk down Market Street in West Philadelphia for Walter Wallace Jr.

Tensions flared for a second night in West Philadelphia after cops shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. on Oct. 26.

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Hundreds, possibly thousands, of protestors gathered around the historic Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 27 to honor the life of Walter Wallace Jr.

Wallace is the latest Black man to be shot and killed by police that has the city and nation decrying the force used by law enforcement. 

The protest on Oct. 27, organized by The Party for Socialism and Liberation, as part of the Black Philly Radical Collective, marched out of Malcolm X Park at roughly 7:00 p.m. up 51st Street to Market Street. At the intersection, a group broke off and headed back towards the 18th District police headquarters on 55th and Pine Streets. 

However, before the demonstrators began their trek, some activists gave speeches. The orators readdressed their list of 13 demands and assured the crowd they would protest nightly until justice is served. They also added that in recent years, areas around the historic park have been gentrified, and even proposed the park’s name be changed. 

One speaker also specifically called out the white people attending the march. 

“There are far too many comfortable white people out here,” they said, adding that true allyship is not just being at the protest or donating to the community fund, but actively spreading awareness. 

True allyship is educating yourself and teaching others, and realizing one’s contribution to a system that is flawed, racist, broken. 

At the split up, the group not headed to the police station continued to be led by BLM Philly and marched down 42nd and Market before making a right, and ending their protest at Clark Park in University City between University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

Demonstrators were peaceful with the cops following them and chants sounded throughout the crowd while helicopters hovered overhead. 

In the conclusion of the protest, the organizers reiterated their promise to be in the streets every night this week, demanding justice. At the center of Clark Park just before 8:30 p.m., the crowd dispersed. 

At other parts of the city, rallies and uprisings carried on for much of the night. 

In North Philadelphia, at the intersection of Aramingo and Castor avenues, groups broke into and looted a Wal-Mart along with a number of other stores in the area. Tensions also got heated later in the night in West Philadelphia between protesters and law enforcement in the area of the 18th District headquarters. 

On the afternoon of Oct. 28, the city released data on the number of arrests and injuries that took place on Oct. 27. Eighty-one people have been arrested and 23 officers have been injured. There is also a 9 p.m. curfew announced for the night of Oct. 28.

Regardless, throughout Center City on Oct. 28, drugstores like CVS and convenience stores like WAWA boarded up in preparation for more uprisings. 

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