Not allowing fans to bask in a celebratory run to City Hall is an unfair call.
Never before has Philadelphia seen such bliss than when the city’s beloved Phillies clinched the World Series last October.
It was a beautiful thing, so uncommon in a city so torn with violence, crime, racism and class disparity – people of all ages, colors and walks of life congregating in common places, cheering on their team. The sense of unity was immeasurable and hadn’t been seen in Philadelphia before – not even in the city’s last foray into championship victory when the Philadelphia 76ers won the NBA Championship more than two decades earlier, in 1983.
This year, however, could be drastically different. The Philadelphia Police Department, along with Temple Police, has said it will arrest anyone who tries to run down Broad Street toward City Hall in celebration, citing that while they want people to have fun, they want to keep everything under control.
The sheer happiness experienced throughout the city the night of the World Series win – from Broad and Jefferson streets in North Philadelphia, to City Hall, to Broad and Shunk streets in South Philadelphia – brought the pained city together in a sea of support.
In some ways, the police are right – last year’s citywide World Series party left much of downtown and South Philadelphia along the Broad Street corridor in shambles, with broken windows, burned trash cans, downed street lamp poles and more trash and broken glass in the streets than usual.
Police have every right to prepare to control crowds and keep vandalism to a minimum – people poured onto the streets in epic numbers following the World Series win and undeniably caused damage.
To threaten the citizens’ ability to celebrate their team, however, is taking that role a few steps too far.
Despite rowdy celebrations and instances of vandalism – which, at worst, led to cleanups and repairs – it’s inarguable that a few broken windows, fires in trashcans and the like are more favorable than robberies, rapes, assaults and shootings.
To deny the city, which struggles to find peace, its right to happiness and unity for one night is a blatant disregard for citizen’s enjoyment.