A small group of demonstrators protesting police brutality, poverty and inequality marched on the Mummers Parade this New Year's Day. The demonstration ended with two people being arrested.
The group of about 50 marched toward the Broad Street parade route around 1 p.m. Friday and at one point tried to pushed past police to get into the street, but were held back. The demonstrators instead kept to the crowded sidewalks and walked down blocked side streets around Center City.
"I think this movement here has changed the conversation a lot," said Lucy Duncan as she held a large sign carrying a quote from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates above her head. "I think that the whole system needs to be changed in order for justice [to come] for all the black folks that are getting killed."
Peaceful and loud at times, protesters held signs reading 'Fund Our Schools', black, transgender, convict, homeless, and refugee lives matter and 'Justice for Tamir Rice' -- the 12-year-old black boy from Cleveland, Ohio who was shot by police as he held an air pistol. A grand jury did not indict the officers for the shooting.
Some protesters chanted "No Justice" as they marched.
The group picked the highly-visible Philadelphia tradition not only to garner attention for their cause, but to also take aim at the Mummers.
"I've been a Mummer twice. I love it. But at the same time there are things that go on inside it like systemic racism that I'm not OK with," said protester David Laverdure.
Baron Harwell, another protester, said some routines are racist as Mummers use black face. A routine in this year's parade featured Mummers dressed in tacos with brown face.
A wench brigade took jabs at Caitlyn Jenner with some holding signs with her photo on a Fruit Loops cereal box beside Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties box. Philadelphia's incoming mayor Jim Kenney called the display insulting and hurtful.
"It was bad. Hurtful to many Philadelphians. Our Trans citizens do not deserve this type of satire/insult," Kenney wrote in a Twitter reply.
A few parade spectators exchanged words with the group and booed.
"It rubs me the wrong way quite actually. There's a time and a place," said Jeff Pierce.
Two people were arrested for failing to comply with police's orders. Police said a 45-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct and a 34-year-old woman charged with disruption of a procession.