Pro-Palestinian protesters burn flags, clash with police at Philadelphia City Hall

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Several people were arrested Thursday night after pro-Palestinian protesters burned flags and clashed with police officers outside City Hall in Philadelphia.

Helicopter 6 flew over the crime scene at JFK Boulevard and N. Broad Street shortly after 8 p.m.

Several protesters waved Palestinian flags and burned other flags, including one that resembled an American flag.

At one point, a woman throws several smaller American flags onto the pile.

Chopper 6 video of protest near Philadelphia City Hall

According to police, the protest started in Rittenhouse Square and was attended by about 400 people.

As the crowd marched down Chestnut Street, police said vandalism occurred, at which point officers called for more backup.

As soon as the fires started, officers arrived on the scene.

“There have been a handful of arrests made. We’re still working to sort that out and sort it out, but that type of behavior absolutely cannot be tolerated,” said First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford.

“We’re always open to individuals exercising their First Amendment rights. We’re there for that purpose, to protect and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to do that. But once it becomes violent, or there’s a situation where individuals start destroying property, it changes the dynamic of everything,” Stanford continued.

Due to the 4th of July holiday, the police already had quite a few officers in the area. They were also aware of the protest, so they had assigned a whole separate group of officers.

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