Back-to-back actions — Joe Biden out of Philly and Flood Philly for Palestine — took place Jan. 5 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and Jan. 6 in Philadelphia. Both events were organized by the Philadelphia Palestine Coalition.

Protest denounced “Genocide Joe” Biden during his visit in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Jan. 5, 2024. (WW Photo: Joe Piette)

When a forecast of the area’s first snowstorm forced President Joe Biden to move the planned launch of his 2024 presidential campaign back a day, he first made a strange, supposedly symbolic appearance at historic Valley Forge National Park, where only his security detail, Dr. Jill Biden, a park ranger and select media were on hand. 

However, at his second stop at nearby Montgomery Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside to denounce “Genocide Joe” Biden for his unrelenting support of Israel’s campaign of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, financed by the U.S.

Flood Philly for Palestine demonstration, historic district Philadelphia, Jan. 6, 2024. (WW Photo Joe Piette)

Demonstrators, including some students from the college, came from throughout the Philadelphia area, some from as far away as Camden, New Jersey. Trying to keep demonstrators away from any area where Biden might see them, security staff instead let them protest adjacent to the sidewalk where several hundred people attending Biden’s speech had to pass by. 

The action eventually grew close to 100 people, even picking up some who came to hear Biden but were unable to get in.  The protest was covered by Channel 10 News, there to film the Biden event.

Despite wind, snow and sleet on Jan. 6, over 150 people took over Philadelphia streets, making it clear they would not stop demonstrating for Palestine. Protesters gathered at Franklin Square near the heavily trafficked entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. They marched to the Philadelphia Inquirer building at Sixth and Market streets; passed the nearby National Museum of Jewish History, where a huge Israeli flag was on display with the words “We support Israel”; and walked to the nearby Fox news offices at Fourth and Market streets.  

The action ended with a rally at Second and Market streets, where protesters took over the intersection, blocking traffic. The marchers demanded: “Cease-fire now! Lift the siege on Gaza! Free Palestine!” and “Genocide Joe has got to go!”

Betsey Piette

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Betsey Piette

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