The Latest: City urges protesters to seek shelter from storm

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2016 7:31 PM
The Latest: City urges protesters to seek shelter from storm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on protests on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Philadelphia officials are urging those protesting in a park across from the site of the Democratic convention to seek shelter from a storm rolling through the area with thunderstorms and heavy rain.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management urged those in FDR Park to seek shelter beneath an Interstate 95 underpass.

A media tent in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center arena was also being evacuated Monday night and members of the press were being sent to another area for shelter to avoid the storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning in the city.

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7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia police say 55 people have been cited for disorderly conduct after demonstrators tried to climb barricades near the Democratic convention.

Police say no one was arrested in the crowd of largely pro-Bernie Sanders protesters.

Hundreds in the group had marched several miles to the convention site in South Philadelphia despite punishing afternoon temperatures that reached the high 90s.

Transit officials are now keeping anyone without a convention ticket from taking the Broad Street subway to the final stop at the arena. They say police requested the move to control crowds outside the site.

Sanders is to speak at the convention Monday night.

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6:50 p.m.

Transit officials are blocking anyone without a credential for the Democratic convention from traveling to the subway stop by the arena after dozens of demonstrators were detained outside.

A spokesman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says police requested the move because of the crowds on the street near the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.

Septa spokesman Andrew Busch says that southbound passengers must have a credential to travel to the final stop on the Broad Street line near the convention site. He says there are no restrictions on the northbound route.

Hundreds of protesters supporting Bernie Sanders have marched about 4 miles to the area. It's not clear if any of those detained as they tried to climb over barriers will be charged or cited.

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5:50 p.m.

Authorities have begun detaining protesters who tried to climb over barricades manned by police at the edge of the security zone that surrounds the site of the Democratic convention.

Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan says over 40 people have been detained Monday.

Other protesters sat down outside the entrance to the subway station where service to the arena had been suspended earlier Monday.

Officials say some people will be detained temporarily and receive citations, but won't be arrested.

A number of the protesters were affiliated with Democracy Spring, a group that wants to abolish superdelegates.

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5:40 p.m.

City officials in Philadelphia have removed Mississippi's state flag from a lamppost after demonstrators sat in a roadway in protest while marching down Broad Street ahead of the Democratic convention.

The flag includes the Confederate emblem.

Brian Abernathy, Philadelphia's first deputy managing director, says that the flag and a second one nearby have been taken down.

He says the city started to receive complaints from residents since the flags went back up as part of reinvigoration efforts of the so-called Avenue of the States ahead of the convention.

The flags of the 50 states have been adorning the light poles flanking Broad Street.

Philadelphia police were heckled when they kept protesters from climbing the pole to remove the flags.

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5:30 p.m.

A teenage soprano who drew rave reviews for his performance last year for Pope Francis has performed the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention.

Bobby Hill, of Philadelphia's Keystone State Boychoir, sang the anthem on Monday.

For Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia last year, the 14-year-old sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu."

He also presented the pope with a rock that the choir brought back from its trip to Antarctica.

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4:50 p.m.

Philadelphia's transit agency has shut down service to the subway station that serves the arena where the Democratic convention is being held due to "security measures" as protesters marched outside.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said southbound service will end on the Broad Street line at Oregon Avenue, one stop before the final station, until further notice. The agency said there was northbound service from the convention site station.

Police were extending metal fences to the edge of the sidewalk outside of the station to keep protesters from advancing.

Protesters chanted "Nonviolent! Peaceful protest!" while trying to make their way over the fences.

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4:45 p.m.

Philadelphia police say they haven't issued a single citation to protesters marching through town on the first day of the Democratic convention.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross says no major problems have been reported from any of the demonstrations taking place across town.

The stifling heat with temperatures in the high-90s has led a few marchers to seek medical aid. And officials are keeping an eye on the threat of severe storms in the forecast Monday night.

Many of the protesters are gathering in an outdoor park near the convention site.

Hundreds of people marched several miles from City Hall to the park Monday afternoon to support former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and other causes.

Sanders has met with his delegates in Philadelphia and asked them to support front-runner Hillary Clinton.

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4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia will remove Mississippi's state flag from lamppost after a group of about 50 protesters sat in a roadway in protest while marching down Philadelphia's Broad Street ahead of the Democratic convention.

The flag includes the Confederate emblem.

Brian Abernathy, Philadelphia's first deputy managing director, says that the flag and a second one nearby will be removed Monday night.

He says the city started to receive complaints from residents since the flags went back up as part of reinvigoration efforts of the so-called Avenue of the States ahead of the convention.

The flags of all 50 states fly from light poles flanking Broad Street.

Philadelphia police told the marchers they can't climb the pole and take the flag down. The crowd heckled the officers, telling them to think for themselves.

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This story has been corrected to fix a typo in Abernathy's title.

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4 p.m.

Activists Cornel West and Chris Hedges are helping lead a march against poverty and homelessness on the opening day of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Monday's March for Our Lives also features Jill Stein, the Green Party's presidential candidate. She spoke to the crowd of hundreds, who chanted "Jill not Hill!" It was organized by The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.

The city initially denied the anti-poverty group's application for a permit to march. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in June on the group's behalf, and the city settled by giving them a permit.

The group is marching to a park near the arena that is the site for the convention. Stein is set to have a rally for her campaign there.

Other events in FDR Park include a candlelight vigil organized by Bernie Sanders supporters who are mourning "The Death of Democracy."

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3:30 p.m.

A group of about 50 protesters have stopped their march down Philadelphia's Broad Street ahead of the Democratic convention and are sitting on the roadway refusing to move until Mississippi's state flag is taken down from a lamppost.

The flag includes the Confederate emblem. The marchers, mostly supporters of Bernie Sanders, say the DNC protects this type of mentality.

Philadelphia police are telling the marchers they can't climb the pole and take the flag down. The crowd is heckling the officers, telling them to think for themselves.

The flags of all 50 states fly from light poles flanking Broad Street.

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2:30 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are marching south of Philadelphia's City Hall in support of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and other causes despite high temperatures that have led a few people to seek medical help.

The Philadelphia Fire Department says that nine people in town for the Democratic convention have been treated by emergency responders. Three of them have been taken to hospitals for evaluation.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Some of the protesters marching down Broad Street are criticizing the Democratic Party a day after emails suggested a party bias against Sanders.

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1:55 p.m.

A Cleveland police union, with the help of local businesses, is sending two refrigerated trucks full of water, sports drinks and the city's famed corned beef sandwiches to Philadelphia for law enforcement officers providing security at that city's Democratic convention.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis said Monday that the trucks would be headed to Philadelphia as soon as they're loaded.

Loomis says individuals dropped off thousands of cases of water and sports drink at the union hall last week for officers working security at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. People also donated large amounts of non-perishable food like granola bars, as well as items such as suntan lotion and bug spray.

Loomis says volunteers distributed a truckload of bottled water each day during the four-day convention.

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1:30 p.m.

Actress and Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson says followers need to listen to the Vermont senator "and see how we can take this revolution to the next level."

Dawson spoke to a group of Sanders' delegates at an event before the Democratic convention on Monday.

Dawson, an outspoken Sanders supporter who starred in "Rent," says that it's important to make sure that liberal initiatives included in the Democrats' party platform are followed.

She says if it isn't, "then civil disobedience will follow."

Dawson opened for Sanders, who told supporters that they need to support presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump.

Dawson says that Clinton is a follower and not a leader and that "our revolution is depending on your time, your energy, your blood sweat and tears."

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1:15 p.m.

Bernie Sanders supporters who marched across a bridge from New Jersey into Philadelphia in the sweltering heat have arrived in the City of Brotherly Love ahead of the Democratic convention.

About 100 marchers chanting "We are the 99 percent" have made their way across the Ben Franklin Bridge and spilled onto the Philadelphia side.

They plan to meet up with a rally at Philadelphia's City Hall. The group will then march down Broad Street toward a park across the street from where the convention begins late Monday.

The heat wave hasn't keep protesters away from Monday's rallies, but Police Commissioner Richard Ross is urging marchers to be careful and not overestimate their abilities. Temperatures are in the high 90s but feel more like 105 degrees.

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12:30 p.m.

Danny Glover has told the Democratic National Convention's black caucus that it's important to push for "transformative change" and "listen to new voices that demand speaking truth to power."

The actor described Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a fascist and said citizens have to turn out to vote to defeat him.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile were among the group that spoke to the group Monday.

Brazile says Bernie Sanders will "point the way forward" in his convention speech Monday night.

She apologized to those offended or betrayed by "ridiculous and insensitive" hacked emails from the Democratic Party that appeared to show the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders during the primaries.

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12:05 p.m.

Philadelphia's police commissioner says he was pleased with how police and protesters handled the first day of protests at the Democratic National Convention, but he compared Sunday to a "scrimmage game."

Commissioner Richard Ross said Monday that the protests around the city will only get bigger.

Ross stood outside City Hall as a group of Bernie Sanders supporters gathered, chanting "Nominate Sanders or lose in November!"

The commissioner says heat ranks high on his list of concerns as the city experiences an oppressive heat index above 100 degrees.

Ross says his officers on bikes were "hardcore" Sunday and he couldn't get them to take breaks in air conditioning. He says he hopes the officers will take breaks Monday to get water and spend some time in the shade.

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11:20 a.m.

Democratic National Convention protesters are gathering on the New Jersey side of a bridge leading to Philadelphia, preparing to march across it and possibly shut down traffic.

Busloads of activists are expected to march Monday across the Ben Franklin Bridge, most of them supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Organizer Gary Frazier says if the crowd is big enough, they'll try to shut down traffic on the bridge.

Frazier says the goal is to get the convention to nominate Sanders for president. He says if that doesn't happen, there will be a push to withdraw Sanders supporters from the Democratic Party.

Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Sanders supporters are angry over hacked emails that reveal the DNC might have favored Clinton over Sanders during the party's presidential primaries.

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10 a.m.

Protesters are gearing up outside Philadelphia's City Hall for a long, hot day of marches and rallies on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention.

Members of Equality Coalition, which supports the beliefs of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are arranging to have hundreds of spray bottles filled with water to hand out to protesters. They're also preparing buckets full of ice and towels to help overheated marchers cool off.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Organizer Jenni Kelleher says she marched Sunday when temperatures were in the high 90s. She doesn't think the heat will keep protesters away.

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8:15 a.m.

After some early morning thunderstorms, the heat wave that's been steaming Philadelphia ahead of the Democratic National Convention is set to reach its peak.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday, the first day of the convention. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Protester Tony Schuster is staying at a campground in New Jersey. The Bernie Sanders supporter from Michigan says despite all the thunder, it didn't rain too heavily there. He says campground conditions are good and it's not too muddy. Mostly, he says, it's just hot.

The city is under an excessive heat warning until 6 p.m.

Sanders is due to deliver Monday's closing address at the convention, where Hillary Clinton will receive the formal nomination for president.

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12:30 a.m.

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia on Monday.

The city is preparing for much bigger demonstrations than the Republican convention last week in Cleveland, and much higher temperatures.

In one of the largest rallies planned for the day, a pro-Bernie Sanders group is expected to walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge, which connects Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

The demonstrations, largely driven by Sanders supporters, have been peaceful, so far.

On Sunday, several protests were held around the city.

Volunteers will be handing out water all week to demonstrators as the region copes with an oppressive heat wave. The National Weather Service says it will hit a peak on Monday with temperatures in the city possibly reaching 100 degrees, but feeling like 108.