Not much stupider than a 15 year old boy. And yet...

There are really not many species dumber than the animal adolescence testosteroneus. The animal, otherwise known as a high school boy, is reputed to have to short term memory of a goldfish, the bravado of a peacock, and a level of testosterone equivalent to a rhino. I pity the parents of the world that have to raise these creatures. (Or, like my poor parents, three of them.)

I go through all of that because of the latest stories on the most recent "flash mob":

The scene was laid-back yesterday afternoon in the 900 block of South Street - no trace of the teenage flash mob the night before - as Michael Solomonov reflected on the teeming crowds that had coursed through the block like a bad case of raging hormones.

"You don't think about this sort of stuff when you're making a business plan," he said.

He was eating lunch at Percy Street Barbecue, which he co-owns in addition to other restaurants and, where, for a few minutes late Saturday night, startled customers were left teary from pepper spray that police used to disperse thousands of teens who had swarmed South Street east of Broad, summoned by text messages and Twitter.

By 10 p.m., crowd control had become a cat-and-mouse game, the overflow on South Street shooed away only to resurface near the Clothespin sculpture at 15th and Market, where one witness reported a peak of 32 police cars and helicopters with searchlights.

I understand that whether it is Mt Airy hippies walking down Germantown Avenue protesting the Iraq War, or what happened on South Street over the weekend, police should be around when there are large crowds. Especially when those crowds involve mostly teenage boys. (And one person did get beat up, which is totally unacceptable.)

But, the article points out this, too:

No property damage or major injuries were reported, and police said they made only three arrests - two for disorderly conduct and one for aggravated assault.

In other words, the vast majority of these kids were not participating in some crime. They were walking down South Street.

I don't want to minimize that this was a problem, especially for business owners on South Street. And, it seems like it was out of control. But, this was mostly a group of high school boys- generally a pretty dumb sort- absolutely breaking no laws, and simply gathering in a crowd. The issue then, is one of serious crowd control. Not the need for some terror-driven, punitive response.

Easy for you to say, you

Easy for you to say, you don't own any business that was terrorized. People shouldn't have to hold their door closed to keep unruly kids out. You don't think of the business that was lost that evening and now in the future because peaceful customers will not be returning to South St.

You totally ignore the owners perspective and their description of what this crowd did to their businesses and ordinary citizens walking on South St.

Can you tell me what laws

Can you tell me what laws you think most of those kids broke?

Again, I get it. You gather a lot of adolescents together, there will be trouble without a level of adult control.

But, let's not make this something it was not.

Why keep making excuses?

Dan U-A, your response here is simply outrageous. What laws did they break? Well, let's look at the body of work that the flash mob'ers have produced. Random assault. Looting. Property damage. And, probably worst of all and most indisputably, Philadelphia's branding is SEVERELY impacted. Is that good enough?

I have a question for you. Why do you and others on this site feel the need to feel sorry for and excuse the behavior of these kids?

Who cares if they broke any laws. They inherently make people feel unsafe. They hurt ANYONE who has any kind of interest vested in Philadelphia. While the greater cause of this problem is indeed systemic - familial neglect, economic disenfranchisement, poor education, etc, etc, etc - can you please tell me why we need to ACCEPT these unruly flash mobs? You may come back and say you don't accept them, but I think the sentiment is implicit, especially with the reply you just wrote here.

Who cares what the majority of people were doing those days? The fact is that the flash mobs turned destructive by a few. It is costing our city money and services because now we have to react to prospects of a flash mob appearing anywhere in the city. This gives a bad name to those who were peaceful in the flash mobs and also turn this hurts ALL Philadelphians because people are now more afraid to come into our city. Oh, and our tax dollar value keeps dropping because we have to divert resources to address short-term problems, not provide long-term solutions.

Basically, stop feeling bad. Destructive flash mobs have to stop before they do serious damage to Philadelphia.

Nick: As always, a wonderful

Nick:

As always, a wonderful response.

What laws did they break? Well, let's look at the body of work that the flash mob'ers have produced. Random assault. Looting. Property damage. And, probably worst of all and most indisputably, Philadelphia's branding is SEVERELY impacted. Is that good enough?

First, the kids that did things like causing property damage, or assaulting people obviously committed crimes. Did I say that they didn't?

Second, harming Philadelphia's branding is not a law. That doesn't mean it is not important to figure out ways to make people feel safe and comfortable, but, if no laws were broken by most people, your choice is how to respond smartly and effectively within the bounds of the constitution. This is what the police did when they heard rumors of the "party" on 40th street, and while this fad keeps on, it is what they should keep doing. But is important because it informs how you respond.

Who cares if they broke any laws. They inherently make people feel unsafe. They hurt ANYONE who has any kind of interest vested in Philadelphia. While the greater cause of this problem is indeed systemic - familial neglect, economic disenfranchisement, poor education, etc, etc, etc - can you please tell me why we need to ACCEPT these unruly flash mobs? You may come back and say you don't accept them, but I think the sentiment is implicit, especially with the reply you just wrote here.

Thanks again! I guess I can't respond since apparently you know what I am truly thinking anyway.

Who cares what the majority of people were doing those days? The fact is that the flash mobs turned destructive by a few. It is costing our city money and services because now we have to react to prospects of a flash mob appearing anywhere in the city. This gives a bad name to those who were peaceful in the flash mobs and also turn this hurts ALL Philadelphians because people are now more afraid to come into our city. Oh, and our tax dollar value keeps dropping because we have to divert resources to address short-term problems, not provide long-term solutions

Who cares. So well said. Thankfully, policy isn't written by people who have the attitude of 'who cares.'

Dan, I sense no urgency

The reason why I respond to people on this site is that sometimes the things that they write really make me mad. I think the first time I ever responded was about someone being happy that Wage Tax reductions were suspended. That made me mad because I thought about all the people I have ever talked to who complain about the Wage Tax and how much they hate paying it. Then I thought about all the people who have moved from the city because they tired of how it operated. Then imagine about all of the people in this city who have to shoulder a much greater financial burden because there are fewer individuals to tax. When you respond as you have here, it is wholly infuriating. I do try to balance it out by pointing out good points just so I don't seem like a raving lunatic. It probably doesn't help though since I am so passionate otherwise.

First of all, I said "the body of work" of results from flash mobs. What do we associate with flash mobs? Do we associate people loading the streets, patronizing local businesses, or enhancing others' lives with some sort of performance? Or of we associate lots of kids hanging around, some of them assaulting random people, some of the looting, some of them destroying property, but many of them intimidating pedestrians, motorists, and store owners?

With regard to "who cares", I admit that was a poor choice of words. When I said, "Who cares?", I didn't mean, "let's violate constitutional rights and lock up every man, woman, and child in a 5 mile radius". My point is that something has to be done about this because it is causing Philadelphia's public relations to be much worse than they need to be. I don't even know how many times I have heard people say that they typically associate flash mobs with silliness and humor, and then go on to point out that Philadelphia's are associated with violence and destruction.

But to another point, you know "who cares"? I DO. I fight for this city EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY I sell this city as much as I can . I extolling the virtues of city living and even go so far as to say that taxes should be higher because the City is supposed to provide more services. Culture, convenience, and community, I love it all. I try to convince people they should move in the city and care about what our ancestors have given us. I work to make my community better by beautifying it.

It's so hard though sometimes because all of the work in the world can be undone by one stupid gesture. Flash mobs, as we have seen them transpire here, are such a stupid gesture. Litter and graffiti are other such stupid gestures. I'm tired of people putting us down and writing us off for stupid, easily fixable things. I'm also tired of people making excuses for others who are falling short of where they should be. We need to pick each other up instead of standing by idling and accepting what happens.

I don't know. I guess this just keeps coming back to same old points. We have a one-party tyranny in this city. Maybe we should try to integrate a diversity of ideas instead of trying the same old things time after time.

Stop making excuses for others. Stop being accepting of poor behavior. Stop being passive. DO SOMETHING.

Nicholas Shrugged

You are very aggrieved.

In the meantime, I am pretty content with the small things I do to make this city a better place. Without even needing to turn on caps lock.

easily fixable things.

Litter. Graffiti. Urban violence. So easily fixable. Just build more prisons and lock em' all up. Now why didn't Dan think of that?

Who cares if they broke any

Who cares if they broke any laws.

Great point! Who needs laws anyhow!

Seriously- if people broke no laws, then you can't arrest them. That's pretty much part of the definition of the rule of law.

It should be fairly simple to understand.

Or maybe not,
-Z

as someone who lives there...

... I'm genuinely curious how bad it was.
I live a block off of south street, near closer to head house then the BBQ restaurant, but I went out in the crowd at 1130pm to get some pizza, and while yes, it was insanely crowded, and busy, and full of people. TOO MANY people for the size of the space they were in.
I never felt scared, threatened, or worried about what was going on.

What went wrong from your perspective?

Same here.

(Do you live in my house?) Also, if this is being organized on Twitter, what was the hashtag?

Daily News: At Supper, a

Daily News:

At Supper, a restaurant in the 900 block, bartender Kyle Fennie opened the locked door to let two woman customers out, but a mass of teens descended, and he let the women back inside. During a lull, he walked them to their cars.

So the kids didn't get a chance to attack those women, but they felt threatened enough that they retreated behind a locked door. That's probably how most of these incidents went. Just a few went from threatening to actually criminal:

About 10:30 p.m. on South near 6th, Olympia Pizza II employee Seth Kaufman, 20, was in front of the pizza shop, trying to prevent kids from coming inside to fight with young customers who were eating.

As the crowd pushed the door to get inside, Kaufman pushed back. The crowd pushed again, and inside, the owners, 66-year-old Peter Psihogios, his wife, Harula, 58, and son Paul, 30, were pushing back on the store's double glass doors to keep them shut.

Kaufman said that kids slugged him, and he slugged them back, and then he was jumped, with kids kicking and punching him until he fell.

The elder Psihogios tried to bring Kaufman inside, but he was punched in the head.

Kaufman has bruises all over his body from face to legs.

"He saved our establishment from them coming in," said Paul Psihogios. "We owe him a lot of gratitude."

Olympia is about a block from my place.

* About 11 p.m. a 27-year-old woman was walking on South near 15th when a large group of male and female juveniles ganged up on her, kicking and punching her until she fell to the ground, where they continued to kick her in the face and head. She was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was treated for bruises, abrasions and a large laceration on her upper lip. She has since been released. No arrests were made.

* A 17-year-old boy, whose name was not released, was arrested on a gun violation, after getting into a verbal exchange with a police officer, who ordered him to move his car from South Street near 12th. The teen got out of his car, took off his jacket and threw it into the back seat. The officer, who went over to the car, saw a handgun hanging out of the jacket in plain sight; 17-year-olds are prohibited from owning guns.

So, as Dan says, not a lot of crimes. But it's the widespread danger that you or your business could be attacked at any moment during one of these incidents that's the problem.

Daily News: Patrice

Daily News:

Patrice DeLisser, 40, of Worcester, Montgomery County, was taking her cousin, who had just relocated to the area from Connecticut, and her own three children - ages 7, 9 and 14 - to South Street so she could show off the "eclectic" neighborhood.

DeLisser was looking for a place to park about 10 p.m. when she pulled onto South Street from 12th and came upon a mass of teens blocking the roadway.

"I commented to my cousin something is wrong here, it's too many kids," she said. "They were standing around and looking and waiting and then all of a sudden it was like the running of the bulls. Kids were running and screaming, 'Someone has gun.'

"I turned to my right and saw someone walking down the middle of the street with a gun in his belt. It was like the OK Corral. The handle and trigger were sticking out, the barrel was in his pants. He looked about 16 or 17. He was just walking. They were running away from him . . .

"My little one was screaming and crying in the car 'I don't want to die.' "

DeLisser was inching along South Street, trying to reach a street to turn on but "there was no moving, their bodies were everywhere."

Then the mass of teens came running from the other direction, screaming that someone else had a gun, leaving DeLisser's car possibly sandwiched between two armed teens.

"They're running for their lives," she said. "People were climbing over my car. My kids were just screaming, yelling in the back seat."

One of the big problems is that the cops focus on the part of South Street with a lot of businesses - from 9th to Front. But the area from Broad to 9th, where the substation is, doesn't get as much attention.

Daily News yesterday: In

Daily News yesterday:

In addition to a woman getting punched in the face about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, her boyfriend, John Kemp, 36, was struck a few times in the head at 15th and Kater streets. Kemp said he and his girlfriend plan to give police statements today.

About 11:20 p.m., at 15th and Market streets, police said, Deion Perkins, 19, was arrested after he and a group of juveniles allegedly beat an adult male near the Clothespin sculpture.

As an officer was putting Perkins into a police vehicle, the defendant turned around and allegedly punched the cop in the face. The two wrestled to the ground and Perkins ran off, but officers caught him nearby, police said.

Perkins was charged with aggravated assault of an officer and related offenses.

About 11:30 p.m., a young man entered the Bliss restaurant on Broad Street near Spruce and punched a diner in the head three times. The youth ran off.

In a fourth incident at 11:35 p.m., a 25-year-old Union League employee was walking to his car on Moravian Street near Broad, when he was jumped by 20 to 30 juveniles, who kicked him in the face and body. The victim was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and treated for minor injuries. No arrests were made.

Which raises the question:

Which raises the question: Let's say 1,000 people gather.

Rather than shooing them away out, isn't it better to have massive public safety presence, and keep people there?

You Offer a False Choice

I am not a crowd control expert, but your argument doesn't make much sense to me, Dan.

The choice between dispersing a rowdy crowd causing fear, pandemonium and incidents of violence on South Street; versus keeping said crowd on South Street, where police could easily be overrun and the situation could spiral even further out of control is a false one.

You're alternative assumes that everything on South Street was ice cream cones and lollipops and, that by dispersing the crowd, the police made matters worse. This was no mere gathering of 1,000 people, Dan. Looking at the photos from the South Street "flash mob", I think you are downplaying the significance to residents, business owners and visitors.

The crimes off of South Street are not evidence that supports your theory. Rather, they are evidence that these "flash mobs" are not just a group of people gathering to hang out, but that there are elements in the group intend on causing disorder regardless of where. Yeah, 940 folks out of 1,000 may just be along for the ride. But, those 940 folks, in my estimation, are a part of the enterprise nonetheless.

A good read on the subject of crowds

"Among the Thugs" by Bill Buford.
A book about the behavior of football hooligans in the UK. I know "thug" is a loaded word, but the basic mechanics of crowd can be analogous to both situations. The book also discusses how the police handling of these groups has evolved, especially after the Hillsborough disaster (a result of penning in the crowd, BTW).

Joshua Vincent
www.urbantools.org
www.ourcommonwealth.org
Phree Philly

True, you are no expert

The choice between dispersing a rowdy crowd causing fear, pandemonium and incidents of violence on South Street; versus keeping said crowd on South Street, where police could easily be overrun and the situation could spiral even further out of control is a false one.

Are you talking about last week, or what we expect to see in the future? I am assuming that, per the Mayor's announcement, the police will be ready to control crowds, and will have their ear to the ground about it, and will be able to put enough cops there to control the situation.

You're alternative assumes that everything on South Street was ice cream cones and lollipops and, that by dispersing the crowd, the police made matters worse.

Not only are you no expert in crowd control, but are also no expert in assumptions, my friend.

I am simply assuming that in the future, there will be enough police to control things. So, the question becomes, what do you do then? If you disburse them right away, does that lead to chaos out there?

The crimes off of South Street are not evidence that supports your theory. Rather, they are evidence that these "flash mobs" are not just a group of people gathering to hang out, but that there are elements in the group intend on causing disorder regardless of where. Yeah, 940 folks out of 1,000 may just be along for the ride. But, those 940 folks, in my estimation, are a part of the enterprise nonetheless.

The enterprise, eh? Nice language choice.

Again, I am not at all downplaying how freaked out people are. From all accounts, South Street was totally out of control. But, the responses like yours do what, exactly? Are you going to make it a crime to simply show up on a street when you are a certain age, because you get a text message? Neither those who want to criminalize 1,000 kids, nor the curfew crowd have proposed any real solution to this.

All of that is not to say the situation was not out of control. It was. It needs to be controlled. It also needs to be done in a sensible way that doesn't criminalize whole groups of people.

The Philly.com racists have weighed in

Ah, Philly.com, and your wonderful online community. Let's see what everyone says today, as we ponder why exactly PNI doesn't think it appropriate to moderate this stuff, which has been up for 2 or 3 hours:

FJG JR All store owner's should be marching on City Hall, the natives are very restless, and city council is asleep.

Posted 06:47 AM, 03/22/2010Ken K Teen unemployment is @25%. Instead of blocking your doors, drag one of them inside and give them a job. You say you can't take that extra cost. but you CAN take this??

Posted 07:05 AM, 03/22/2010jaredsparks Did the police drive around, announcing, "All blacks leave South Street."? This idea might catch on. :)

Posted 07:14 AM, 03/22/2010strawberryletter23 How can you employ someone who can barely read and speaks as if he/she has marbles in his/her mouth. These kids need to be in school on the weekend. Most of them have no hope of ever working a legitimate job....

Posted 07:16 AM, 03/22/2010Sillimish Looks like a hate crime to me. Where are the Rev. Sharpton and Jackson?

Posted 07:17 AM, 03/22/2010VinnieB jaredsparks ..... if only it was that easy.

Posted 07:19 AM, 03/22/2010Ken K If we write these kids off, now, we'll be paying their bills forever.

Posted 07:28 AM, 03/22/2010psyrus "Da brothas n da sistas" are running the city. Lets see what the liberals blame this one on. Is it still Facebook's and Twitter's fault? maybe the cell phone companies? How about the schools?

Posted 07:43 AM, 03/22/2010PorkRindParty If I had a time machine, I'd tell Southerners to pick their own cotton.

Posted 07:53 AM, 03/22/2010blerg I was eating at Percy Street that night. This whole experience was completely terrifying, and these kids were acting like animals, and we had no idea what was going on. My sympathy to Michael Solomonov, the food at Percy Street was excellent, hopefully the city fixes this problem quickly, for all of the business owners' sake.

Posted 07:59 AM, 03/22/2010flavordave porkrind made the best point ive heard in my 36 years of life.

Posted 08:05 AM, 03/22/2010Under If a bunch of white kids gathered like this would people still say they were terrified?

Posted 08:05 AM, 03/22/2010centercityisthebest I'm not sure what horrifies me more- the flash mobs in center city or the comments posted on these message boards.

Posted 08:09 AM, 03/22/2010free.speech.is.dead.in.philadelphia Its was riot. Stop sugar coating it by calling it a "flash mob". How about "flash riot". These people rioting are a huge threat to the safety of people in this city and scare the pants off of everybody because it can happen anywhere, anytime, and felony charges didn't seem stop it from happening again Saturday.

Posted 08:13 AM, 03/22/2010TheCuz Cenntercityisthebest - your name is comical. CLASSIC, I say!

Ken # 6:47 AM isn't half

Ken # 6:47 AM isn't half wrong, actually. Instead of bitching about it, do something- and giving people jobs is an excellent thing to do.

-Z

The Philly.com racists will always do what they do

And the only comments removed are usually ones with links or a "bad" word. I am not sure anyone really reads them,; I skim to the comments with good spelling.

I was down there on South Street Saturday night taking a friend home after a concert, and while I saw no felonies, I saw a lot of scared people moving away from the area. Is fear is an acceptable by-product of teenage high-jinks? I lean towards no, but I'm older than I used to be.

Joshua Vincent
www.urbantools.org
www.ourcommonwealth.org
Phree Philly

Everyone needs to share the

Everyone needs to share the public spaces of our city. I think it is reasonable to figure out how to deal with this so South Street is not literally closed down, and people aren't afraid. So, no, the city cannot function properly when people are afraid. Which is why this is a crowd control issue, more than anything else.

As an aside, it is also undeniable that there is a race element to this (and, on South Street specifically, that element has long been there as the street has gone through endless transitions.)

wrong link?

I don't know which story you meant to link to above, but you appear to be linking to an image gallery -- I don't know for sure, because it wouldn't load even after several upgrades of Flash, as requested...

man, we heard the noise (and the deafening helicopter until well after midnight) but had no idea what it was; sort of presumed it was just Nice Weather overload/celebration. sorry to hear it was so disruptive for those looking for a mellow evening outdoors (and also sorry it's so racially tinged)...

acm

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
— Margaret Mead

Post Racial America

More Philly.com comments, including those advocating murder:

Posted 02:45 PM, 03/24/2010
cmk
i hope every one of these thugs gets locked up

Posted 02:48 PM, 03/24/2010
Burbanite
Damn those Main Line kids, causing trouble again.

Posted 02:49 PM, 03/24/2010
Your Name Here
Do the right thing...

Posted 02:52 PM, 03/24/2010
Jersey Joe 5
Uhhh...wonder where Wilson Goode and "The General" are, when we really need them to drop a couple of satchel charges...

Posted 02:53 PM, 03/24/2010
Big cushy
Please let us cull the herd. ALL HUNTERS IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA, BE AT 40TH STREET THIS AFTERNOON!!

Posted 02:54 PM, 03/24/2010
Your Name Here
"Dip dip dive so-socialize/ Open up your ears and clean out your eyes/ If you learn to love you're in for a surprise/ It could be nice to be alive"

Posted 02:54 PM, 03/24/2010
mantle
I miss Frank Rizzo and his German Shepards!!!

Posted 02:55 PM, 03/24/2010
TheDude
Doesn't anyone have baseball practice?

Posted 02:55 PM, 03/24/2010
Citizen, Concerned
Sure they can't move west about 12 blocks? It might even improve things.

Posted 02:56 PM, 03/24/2010
whassup67
These are NOT flash mobs, Inquirer. GET IT RIGHT!

Comment removed.
Posted 02:56 PM, 03/24/2010

Jimac
This is rioting and should be handled as such. Riot police, full gear, and the authorization to use any force necessary restore order.
Posted 02:56 PM, 03/24/2010

KeepingItReal19
It is not a flash mob if it is known about ahead of time. Then it is a planned riot to cause premeditated chaos, destruction and injury.
Posted 02:57 PM, 03/24/2010

rhumbline
Well one must say at least this time there is a warning The only real problem I see is that what will happen if these "kids" mess with the wrong person and say there are 3 kids badly hurt, what then? Are adults not allowed to protect thenselves. Will the parents of said kids say how nice and sweet their hooligan children are? I say if you want to fight join a boxing gym

Posted 02:57 PM, 03/24/2010
hawk16
roll in with some force, maybe they get the message
Posted 02:58 PM, 03/24/2010

TomSmith
Is there a better reason for European style cameras to be installed around the city. A picture is worth a thousand words...... errr days ... in the klink
Posted 02:59 PM, 03/24/2010

nephillygirl
Two words: water cannons.

Posted 02:59 PM, 03/24/2010
Poppys
Boyz in the Hood

Posted 02:59 PM, 03/24/2010
gone with the wind
That's probably code for 8th & Market. Unbelievable - we have winter storm warnings, thunderstorm warnings, blah, blah - now we have flash mob warnings?

Posted 03:00 PM, 03/24/2010
TomSmith
"These are NOT flash mobs, Inquirer. GET IT RIGHT!"... Not any more... you just had the FLASH taken out of your mob gathering,,, Great job

Posted 03:00 PM, 03/24/2010
dots
Geez, I have to move away from this place. I don't want to go down the toilet with it!!

Posted 03:03 PM, 03/24/2010
CrashTestCorzine
Tax their Soda, that will stop them!

Posted 03:05 PM, 03/24/2010
Mackey Dingo
Hose em' down

Posted 03:07 PM, 03/24/2010
jfar86
Lets hope the police are there ready and waiting with riot gear.

Posted 03:08 PM, 03/24/2010
tulipwalk
Great. This city is going to be on world news tonight. what an embaressment. Parents have GOT to get a grip on their spawns or the cops will.

Posted 03:09 PM, 03/24/2010
sbtigger
Here we go again. I hope all these kids get locked up. Send them to the same judge that just convicted 29 other "flash mobbers". And hopefully the Mayor won't again tell everyone that the media is blowing it all out of proportion. If they are old enough to do the crime, they are old enough to do the time!

Posted 03:10 PM, 03/24/2010
skooker
I need to start carrying pepper spray.

Posted 03:10 PM, 03/24/2010
your_mom_says_hi!
shoot to kill! shoot to kill!

Posted 03:12 PM, 03/24/2010
Bulldog02
Napalm

Posted 03:13 PM, 03/24/2010
aharrell
If i may state, I remember when I was younger, there was some individuals who used to robb people by driving around with there lights off and if you flashed them as to say your lights was off they would follow you home and the robe you. Does any remeber how Philadelphia responded to that situation. As the mayor, I would dispatch the national gaurd to that part of the city, if you really want to make that issue go away.

Posted 03:13 PM, 03/24/2010
Danny Noonan
"Doesn't anyone have baseball practice?" Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are the only black people that play baseball in Philadelphia.

Posted 03:14 PM, 03/24/2010
ifarrell
rhumbline: No the parents will say, "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was just going to meet his friend at CVS to buy some computer parts." Just like the delinquent mother of the last kid to get arrested.

Posted 03:14 PM, 03/24/2010
Flyers422
Where is Jesse Jackson? Is this acceptable to him? You know you will see that ugly face if one of these animals are killed by a cop. STEP UP FOR "YOUR PEOPLE" JESSE IN GOOD AND BAD. GET THESE ANIMALS UNDER CONTROL.

Posted 03:14 PM, 03/24/2010
Delaware Jim
Cumulatively, these blogs are creating the kind of panicked atmosphere that can lead to a massacre. I hope the FBI will monitor this site, because some deranged gun nut just might think he can save the community through mass murder. And kids, you are not just flouting authority, you are risking the kind of murderous police violence that was so common in Philly in the 1980s. STAY HOME and start playing legitimate sports after school.

Posted 03:18 PM, 03/24/2010
PEFF
Where is charles Bronson the vigilante when you need him?

Posted 03:19 PM, 03/24/2010
snad264
Get every K-9 unit in the Phila. Police Dept. to that location. That will be the best way to insure civility.

Posted 03:19 PM, 03/24/2010
macclark
I think that all those involved in this "flashmob" should be arrested and sent to a juvenile facility(bootcamp) since they don't have anything else better to do afterschool. This is why so many of them can't read or write.....lack of an education. We where not allowed to roam the streets after scholl or on the weekends. What happened to parents knowing where their children are at all times??? What happened to parents enforcing curfews??? But really what do we expect when parents are smoking blunts and partying with their kids these days..............I say a good ole fashion "WHIPPING" is in order in most households!!!

Comment removed.
Posted 03:22 PM, 03/24/2010
votelibertarian
I hope the police show up with horses, dogs, tear gas and water cannons. And I hate to say it honestly, I hope some of the "sweet innocent children" are seriously hurt by them. It's unfortunate but until some of these wanna be tough guys, get hurt seriously or killed, I don't think these idiots will stop. I'd suggest "sundown curfews" for anyone under 18 and ya know what groups of 3 or more of "these" people (yeah I mean african american cause I've yet to see the white kids rioting) together is probable cause. It sucks, it's racist I know but can some African American out there suggest a real solution? No, didn't think so and don't try more after school programs and rec centers. They don't go to school and there's shootings on playgrounds all the time.

Posted 03:22 PM, 03/24/2010
aisaac
What are the odds that police will be diverted to Penn and these bunch of useless thugs decide to gather somewhere else?

Posted 03:23 PM, 03/24/2010
gone with the wind
Delaware Jim - murderous police violence common in the 80's?? I guess you're a Move sympathizer? How about lawless behavior by idiots?

Posted 03:23 PM, 03/24/2010
shill826
i was on south st saturday night with my firearm. there were several that almost didnt make it home that night.

Posted 03:23 PM, 03/24/2010
K_Ball
Get out the riot gear! Tazer, mace & night stick beatdowns for everyone!!!

Posted 03:23 PM, 03/24/2010
TRDSupra
Bring in the tanks.

Posted 03:24 PM, 03/24/2010
jsindaco
"murderous police violence that was so common in Philly in the 1980s" I'm sorry I don't remember that. Where are you coming from.

Posted 03:25 PM, 03/24/2010
evlowl
what is going to happen when people start randomly shooting into these flash mobs to proect themselves and 10 or 20 kids get shot? whill the mobbing teens lear their lesson then? no, their parents will sue the city somehow? i have a feeling this is going to become a MUCH bigger problem over the next few weeks.

Posted 03:26 PM, 03/24/2010
Koko Beware
Bear mace, don't even bother with pepper spray. Plus you can take out multiple kids and shoot from a distance. Just make sure you have the wind at your back, you don't want this stuff blowing in your face.

Posted 03:26 PM, 03/24/2010
joeycar
dress undercover and shhot them in self- defense

Posted 03:27 PM, 03/24/2010
karbase8
My understanding is it already happened at 48th street, I guess the kids and parents are not getting the message. In high school, there has to be a level of responsibility and independence. How about get an after-school job or get involved instead of destruction.

Posted 03:28 PM, 03/24/2010
Danny Noonan
Can we get a mulligan for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade?

Posted 03:30 PM, 03/24/2010
aNutterInDgutter
Calling Bernhard Goetz fans, calling Bernhard Goetz, fans. Please meet at 40th and Market. Go ahead, make my day.

Posted 03:30 PM, 03/24/2010
evlowl
so glad i moved out of the city. it's like living among wild animals who have no respect for human life. i have been denying it for a while, butPhilly is really becoming a third-world city!

Posted 03:31 PM, 03/24/2010
The-Terminator
I hope a gun goes off and takes out a few of these morons.

Posted 03:35 PM, 03/24/2010
stone2
Why don't we just re-name this city 'East Oakland'?

Posted 03:35 PM, 03/24/2010
BarbaraPhila
The police need to go in with clubs and beat them. It’s really the only thing they understand. Does anyone know whether this occurs in other cities or is just the sub-species that live here? No more calling them animals because it is an insult to actual animals.

Posted 03:38 PM, 03/24/2010
TheJoker
Who is running this city? This is absurd!!!!!!! Mayor, get your act together!!!!

Posted 03:38 PM, 03/24/2010
andrew69
I still cannot believe there are people who think these kids need lovin', books, or something constructive to do. TOO LATE for that. this kind of garbage is what they live for. ALL that can be done now = hit them back twice as hard and see how that works.

Posted 03:39 PM, 03/24/2010
KevinRx
What happens when these kids confront the wrong person and someone gets shot? I hate to think about it, but it's really a matter of time.

Posted 03:42 PM, 03/24/2010
frinkie
I think the TV stations should farecast possible flash mobs...perky Kathy Orr could put a Doppler on the city map and tell us what to expect.

Posted 03:43 PM, 03/24/2010
Mr. Underhill
As long as Walmart's intercom is secured!

Posted 03:48 PM, 03/24/2010
juelz215
I agree that the childrens behavior is totally uncalled for and something drastic must be done. Despite this the comments made in this forum are as bad or worse then what these children are doing. Racism is in full force in this forum as well as peoples bloodlust. How quick we are to pull out guns and kill people. May God help the day when total chaos take place and those children and all of you fools come out to play.

Posted 03:48 PM, 03/24/2010
thisaintaken
I can't wait to get there!!!

Posted 03:48 PM, 03/24/2010
KevinRx
***Urgent Flash mob warning in Springfield Delco*** Nevermind, just Little League practice, Sorry.

Posted 03:48 PM, 03/24/2010
Fireman
i heard 40th was code for 4th street... its like the wire in season 5

Posted 03:50 PM, 03/24/2010
Danny Noonan
"Attention Citizens of Philadelphia, all black people leave the city immediately. Thank you."

Posted 03:50 PM, 03/24/2010
DonQ
I did some research on this and found out that Spain had a similar problem a few years ago and this is how they solved it: They set up the fire department pumps with a blue dye. As soon as the mob got unruly, they sprayed the rioters with the dye. For the next 24 hours, anyone caught with the skin dyed blue was arrested and charged with felony rioting. End of problem.

Posted 03:51 PM, 03/24/2010
MichaelZoe
rubber bullets, hoses, horses, dogs and jail time. period.

Posted 03:51 PM, 03/24/2010
tiredofthis
Three Asian female students from Drexel were attacked (punched in the face) last week by a group of high schoolers still in their uniforms - simply because they were Asian. The problems of South Philly High, flash mobs, and "catch and wreck" are ruining this city, and nothing is being done about it. A mayor is "thinking about solutions" after three flash mob incidents in as many months? Do MORE, SOONER!!!

Posted 03:51 PM, 03/24/2010
andrew69
juelz...What "drastic" measures should the city take.....painting a mural? Book clubs? Open a new recreation center and pray it not be taken over by thugs and drugs? You ain't living in the real world.

Posted 03:52 PM, 03/24/2010
CleanupPhilly
I agree that this should be called a "destructive flash mob" not a flash mob that is just of artsy concept things. The punks are ruining it for the whimsical. UPenn police just made some arrests, about 3, I guess, of a woman and two men in the 3600/3700 block of Market. I was just there. No idea what the heck was going on. Staff in the building offered that there might be a flash mob that was "gearing up."

Posted 03:56 PM, 03/24/2010
CleanupPhilly
DonQ, brilliant idea. Please email that to Commissioner Ramsey at the PPD. Blue dyed people charged with felony rioting. Would the Ink and DN write editorials about how this was too harsh on "developing minds?"

Posted 03:56 PM, 03/24/2010
gone with the wind
Can we sign up and get alerts (flash mob warnings) sent to our computers and cell phones? how about my home phone?

Posted 03:57 PM, 03/24/2010
Jbeam136
If i were "trapped" in a car, and felt threatened,i'd hit the gas pedal and run the animals over, then place car in reverse and make certain i got them..Bernie Goetz would be proud!!!

there was more violence than your post makes it appear

there were lots of isolated attacks and beatings, but given the anonymity of huge crowds of kids, most of the victims didn't see much point in reporting it...

see, e.g., Stu's (otherwise relatively unhelpful) article here for numerous reports of people getting hit, etc...

- acm

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
— Margaret Mead

The Existence Of Racial Hatred Is A Constant In Our City

The existence of racial hatred is a constant in our city. What is good is that it is declining over time from a near-consensus position in various neighborhoods to a minority opinion virtually everywhere. Perhaps by the year 2100 or so it will die out entirely.

In 1966, Philadelphia School Board President Richardson Dilworth said racial problems were serious, and would not be solved overnight. Solving them could take up to 30 years, he warned. He was wildly optimistic.

Liberal stereotypes

I always thought liberals were against whole stereotyping of any race, creed, gender, etc. Dan seems to think it's ok if it's high schools males. I could have sworn that I saw a number of women in the south Street flash mobs. Is it just black high school males, Dan, or high school males? It's a stereotype either way and wrong, you should know better.

Thanks Dan-- I have been

Thanks Dan--
I have been pretty depressed about the flash mobs. It is good to hear the various perspectives.
Ah! Human nature!
I have been reading Eduardo Galeano's writings on the crusades-- which seemed to involve large unruly gangs of Anglo-Saxon teenagers-- pillaging and murdering-- on their way to Jerusalem.
It wasn't what they taught me at Most Blessed Sacrament at 57th and Chester.

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