Protests set for Moms for Liberty convention in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. (Photo by Jason Villemez)

As the date for Moms for Liberty’s national summit approaches, organizations opposed to the far-right extremist group’s policies are planning protests for when the group is in town. 

Moms for Liberty will hold its second annual convention, the Joyous Warriors National Summit, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown June 29-July 2, with former president Donald Trump and Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis among the speakers.

M4L has become well-known for its extremist agenda, focused on banning books with LGBTQ+ and racial content in school and public libraries, advocating for policies targeting trans youth, and ongoing efforts to win elections to local school boards and city councils to enact said policies.

The news of the summit in Philadelphia immediately galvanized groups in the city and beyond. Several suburban groups, including Pennsylvania STOP Moms for Liberty, Red Wine & Blue and Defense of Democracy, have organized phone and email campaigns to protest the Marriott’s decision to host the Summit. ACT UP Philadelphia has also organized and held weekly Friday demonstrations at the hotel.

On June 30, a coalition of organizations are coordinating a protest at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown beginning at 9:00 a.m. The action is being co-sponsored by People for the American Way, Campaign for Our Shared Future, PA STOP Moms for Liberty, Defense of Democracy and ACT UP Philadelphia. Scheduled speakers include representatives of the participating groups, as well as local politicians including State Sen. Nikil Saval and City Councilman Isaiah Thomas.

In addition to the Marriott event, M4L will be making their presence known throughout Philadelphia. The organization has rented out the Museum of the American Revolution to hold a “Welcome to Philadelphia” reception on June 29, much to the dismay of the majority of the museum’s staff. Groups such as ACT UP Philadelphia and Defense of Democracy have joined with members of MAR’s staff to demonstrate at the museum every Friday this month, up to and including the evening of M4L’s reception. Organizers encourage demonstrators to gather at the museum’s Old City location around 5 p.m.

Given that M4L’s agenda prioritizes banning books and LGBT programs at libraries, it’s no surprise that they also plan to hold actions at several Center City branches of the Free Library, which have scheduled Pride-centric events. Sources have told PGN that targeted branches are Philadelphia City Institute (on Rittenhouse Square), Independence Library (near Washington Square) and two departments of the Central Branch on the Parkway (the Children’s Dept. and the Field Teen Center).

Indivisible Philadelphia, the local branch of a national political activist and voting-rights movement, is also rallying its members and allies in support of the Free Library and against M4L. The organization is planning a rally, dubbed The Rally For Freedom To Read, on June 30 at noon in front of the Free Library’s Central Branch, 1901 Vine Street. 

A spokesperson for ACT UP Philadelphia also emphasized that they were making arrangements for people to be at the Free Library branches to counter any M4L presence there.

For those seeking more information or updates on protest actions, PA STOP Moms and Defense of Democracy have very active Facebook pages, and ACT UP Philadelphia and Indivisible Philadelphia can be found on Instagram as well as other the major social-media platforms.

This story has been updated to to note Red Wine & Blue’s involvement in organizing protests against Moms for Liberty.

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