May Day was marked by peaceful protests in Center City and South Philly, but hours later, a group of 30 to 50 individuals claiming to be anarchists allegedly caused more than $100,000 worth of damage while vandalizing developing blocks near Northern Liberties, police said.
The group, made up of individuals wearing all black, is “believed to be associated with the anarchist protesters ‘Summer of Rage,’” a police report stated.
They left signs reading “Gentrification is death, revolt is life,” and they smashed the windshields of luxury cars and splashed paint on the buildings, NBC reported.
Two suspects were arrested by highway patrol officers who spotted them running away a few blocks from the crime scene.
One of them, Geoffrey Suchocki, 45, of Doylestown, had a backpack that contained “a mission statement on how to disrupt capitalism,” according to police, as well as a black scarf, a mask and a device used for shattering windows.
Suchocki and Patricia Monahan, 28, of Rhawnhurst, who had a black scarf around her neck, were both arrested and charged with causing and risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy and related offenses, police said.
Police said the group descended around 9:15 p.m. on the 1500 block of North Second Street and the 1500 block of North Phillip Street, in an area just above Northern Liberties lately referred to as Old Kensington.
“Windows were shattered, and paint covered the side walls and sidewalks of several of the listed properties,” the police report stated. “Security cameras were ripped off buildings; windshields were shattered on several vehicles within a three-block radius.”
A property manager of the new buildings alerted police.
Earlier on May 1, a fire torched new apartments being constructed by developer Ori Feibush in Point Breeze, who has also been a target of numerous anti-gentrification protests.
The Philadelphia office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ruled that blaze to be caused by arson, Billy Penn reported. The fire remains under investigation.