PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Protesters from prior rallies here in Philadelphia.
“We’re marching down the street with signs and out bullhorns, that's what we are and meanwhile they’re threatening war with their uniforms, with their tactics, with their planning.”
Scott Williams is one of the main organizers for this week's protests at the Democratic National Convention. Commissioner Richard Ross will lead the police department's response to protesters throughout the DNC's stay here in Philadelphia.
“We have a significant job to do, we got to protect the city, the public, the protesters, police officers and the community.”
Like last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, there will be plenty of protests scheduled throughout the week. FDR Park in South Philly, across from the Wells Fargo Center, will be ground zero for protests.
“I totally support freedom of speech and for people to be able to protest, as long as it's peacefully.”
“As long as they don't vandalize our properties. I have no problem with that. It's free speech.”
Protesters were met with a huge presence of heavily armed and helmeted police in Cleveland. They will see a huge police presence in Philadelphia.
The protest march to watch, is one planned for Tuesday, the so called "Stop the DNC" march. It will start at Broad and Diamond in North Philly around two o’clock and go to City Hall, where more than a dozen speakers will let their voices be heard.
“Taking on all sorts of issues that impact us whether they're here in Philadelphia or even internationally.”
From City Hall, protesters say they will march south down Broad through Center City and on into South Philly. They hope to reach the Wells Fargo Center.
“We hope to have a very energetic mass march where people can really express how betrayed they feel by the Democratic Party.
“The only thing that I ask is that people are peaceful and that they respect everyone else's right.”
Or the protesters say their permit allows them to march all the way here to Broad and Pattison, just a few hundred yards from the Wells Fargo Center. Where they're expected to be met by police and watched by lots of surveillance cameras.
“We feel like it's an assault on the first amendment, we feel like its an assault on freedom of speech and we also think it's a huge waste of money.”
FOX 29’s Dave Schratweiser asked Commissioner Ross how he plans to handle a rush hour protest march that could travel so many miles and end with a face-off between police and protesters
“We have to be flexible and fluid as we've said before. We'll see what happens as every protest emerges.”
As seen in this YouTube video, Philadelphia Police do have those so called armored "turtle suits" to protect officers from head to toe if things turn violent. Cleveland Police used the suits briefly.
Sources say only Commissioner Ross can order the deployment of officers in these suits. Protesters say the suits send a bad message.
“They make it seem like we're a militarized, occupied city.”