Philadelphia businesses endured several nights of looting and vandalism last week after a judge dismissed all criminal charges against a former police officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “The plans to break into, vandalize, and steal from Philadelphia businesses on Tuesday night were not much of a secret.” The Inky even offers a reason or excuse for the vandals: “It’s the only way they hear us.”

I’ve heard that before. That’s what the protesters told us during the “mostly peaceful” protests after the death of George Floyd. Those who have heard everything about January 6 have heard it too.

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Vandalism, rioting, and looting have become familiar scenes across the American landscape since the summer of 2020, which followed the death of George Floyd.

As the George Floyd riots took place, the media and leading Democrats stood in front of burning buildings and destroyed city blocks and told Americans they were “mostly peaceful protests.”

Democrat politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, called the events in the aftermath of Floyd’s death “righteous indignation” and “righteous protests.” Living in Minneapolis, where Floyd died, I witnessed a police precinct burned to the ground and more than 1,500 businesses worth over $500 million across the Twin Cities destroyed, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.

I believe most people who came to the initial protests were there to make their voices heard, and most came with no intention of committing acts of violence. However, some came with bad intent, and others decided to join in as the destruction and looting began. I believe the same can be said about the January 6 Capitol riot. The same probably happened in Philly last week.

As the riots spread to other cities across the United States, most Americans knew these were hardly “peaceful protests.” Anybody who had their business looted or burned wouldn’t find anything righteous about the protests, but these are the narratives the media and Democrats sold to Americans during the summer of 2020.

Making their voices heard is a common theme between the George Floyd protests, the looters in Philadelphia last week, and the protesters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Stories from the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and NBC News each quote protesters who either didn’t give their name or only provided a first name, saying, “We’re here to make our voices heard” or “I’m here to make my voice heard.” The Inquirer also doesn’t mention the name of the person who said, “It’s the only way they hear us.”

During the January 6 rally, Trump himself said, “I know everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

If your cause is politically correct, the consequences for bad behavior are minimal.

The media and Democrats called the destruction done during the summer of 2020 “mostly peaceful” and justified behavior that led to over $2 billion in damages and losses, not to mention 35 deaths and 15 times more police injuries than on January 6. By the evening of the Capitol riot, the “insurrection narrative” was firmly planted.

Despite the tears at the purely showbiz-style January 6 Committee hearings, there was one death during the riot, and it wasn’t a police officer. It was a protester named Ashli Babbit. She was shot dead by a Capitol police officer who was cleared of all charges without any public hearing.

Rioters did no permanent damage at the Capitol, and there was plenty of opportunity to destroy priceless and irreplaceable historic artifacts. However, some stole items, such as the infamous scene of a guy walking out with a podium.

Like those who rioted and looted at the Capitol, those who terrorized Philadelphians and their businesses last week deserve punishment.

The longest sentence for a January 6 rioter is 24 years. Another received eighteen years. Over 600 have been charged, and about 400 are serving jail time, with most sentences ranging from ten months to seven years. However, at least a dozen are doing eight years or more, including Zachary Rehl of Philadelphia, who received fifteen years in prison and three years of supervised release.

So, what should happen to the rioters who left a trail of destruction from Center City to the Great Northeast, where they emptied an Apple Store, Luluelemon, GameStop, J.D. Sports, Patriot Pharmacy, Footlocker, and eighteen state-run liquor stores? (Those are just the ones the Inquirer mentions.)

What happened in Philadelphia over the past week wasn’t because angry people wanted to make their voices heard, as the Inquirer reported. It was because the thugs responsible for the damage knew they would face few consequences.

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While thousands were arrested during the summer of 2020, no cash bail or bail provided by organizations like the Bail Project, National Bail Out, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund (Vice President Kamala Harris donates to each) have provided millions of dollars to help bail out people arrested for crimes associated with the riots of summer 2020.

The Hill reported that most protesters were booked not for violent crimes but for low-level offenses such as curfew violations. Obstructing roadways and carrying open containers were other reasons for the arrests and “failure to disperse.” Right, and everybody at the Capitol was dangerous and carrying a gun.

In particular, what is the proper sentence for 21-year-old Dayjia Blackwell, better known to her social media followers as “Meatball”? She was so brazen that “Meatball” played a cat-and-mouse game with the police, telling the looters where to strike next, and they were clearly listening.

Whatever the worst of the “Proud Boys” received is what “Meatball” deserves.

It’s long past time to stop permitting shoplifting. I’ll never understand why rioting and looting were allowed in June 2020. When the riots in Minneapolis were allowed to grow after the first night, and the media and Democrat politicians said they were “mostly peaceful protests,” they sent a signal across the country that if your cause is politically correct, the consequences for bad behavior are minimal.

If the January attack on the Capitol was a “threat to democracy,” the vandalism and looting in Philadelphia last week, like during the summer of 2020, is a threat to the rule of law and civilization as we know it. It’s time for the Philadelphia DA’s office to protect the residents who make Philadelphia a great city.

Andy Bloom is President of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT and WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President of Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc. and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.

16 thoughts on “Andy Bloom: What recent Philly protesters have in common with January 6 protesters”

  1. I am a lifelong resident of the city (almost 7 decades), homeowner and taxpayer
    ( > 5 decades) and disgusted with its prevailing zeitgeist, filth in the streets, incompetent government and the willingness of the “progressive” class to let “bygones be bygones” and the uttterly stupid word salad they employ to justify the actions of a mob and large criminal class that has the city by its balls. The wiser generations before our own would know exactly how to deal with meatball and her (its) kin.

    1. Now imagine that “meatball” was the President of the US, the leader of a cult – er, “political party” – and told her followers, who were literally waving her flag, where to strike next not just on social media but also at a giant political rally. Imagine also that she had the power to order police not to intervene for hours.

      Imagine an entire media apparatus spreading lies about how the violent criminals were actually set up or it was a false flag or really they weren’t violent and what they were doing was perfectly acceptable (or shilling whatever the excuse of the day happens to be.)

      Now imagine that she’s the front-runner for a major political party for president and has millions of followers who are totally cool with her vowing to pardon the thugs.

  2. I actually don’t think most would disagree. Throw Meatball and the Jan 6 rioters all behind bars. People who trashed stores should face the consequences, though I don’t know if those consequences should match those who tried to stop the rightful winner of the 2020 election from taking office.

    1. Agree they should all be locked up.

      The big differences are that:

      1) nobody in the Philly mob expressed that they were doing anything on behalf of a political party. They weren’t coming from a political rally where their leaders told them where to go and what to do. It’s not like they were waving Biden flags! For all we know they were Trump voters or independents. There’s certainly no evidence to prove otherwise anyway.

      2) The GOP actually does *officially* disagree that many violent criminals should be locked up: they officially condoned the actions of the violent mob of thugs on Jan 6 (bashing a cop’s head in with a fire extinguisher, macing cops and dragging them face first down flights stairs, looting offices and threatening to hang people, smearing feces on the walls) as “legitimate political discourse” in one of their official resolutions. Has a single Democrat suggested that the recent looting in Philly was “legitimate political course”, let alone the party itself in an official capacity?

      Many of the GOP candidates for President disagree with you about locking up criminals too: They have even vowed to pardon the J6 criminals. (There’s law and order for you!)

      1. I hope you know that no police officer was bashed in the head with a fire extinguisher on Jan. 6. If you don’t know that, it’s incredibly sad and discouraging. Whatever happened should be admitted on its own merits, not on propaganda. It’s propaganda that the Jan. 6 rioters killed anyone; they did not. I’m pro-law enforcement so anyone who deliberately assaults a police officer should receive a proper penalty. How can we come together when the majority of people are told smears and lies?

  3. Andy,
    How many people do you know that admitted: “Well, if Trump wins, there will definitely be riots… can’t vote for him!” Trump still received 73.6 million popular votes. Suddenly North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan… the counting suddenly shut down. Then they found enough mail-in votes to stop Trump.
    “I’ll never understand why rioting and looting were allowed in June 2020.” Simple answer: because the tyrants, both Democrats and Republicans that work for the same oligarchs, want to use the uneducated and angry mob as a tool to make you fearful and obey. Stop being nice and trying to find common ground; perhaps, not enough people pay attention to the other three verses of our US National anthem. Oligarchs hate the idea of the United States, and they want you to be afraid. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. In God is our trust:
    “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
    O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
    Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

    1. Your comment just shows that the Republican “Party” is no longer a political party but a cult where the word of Dear Leader counts more than dozens of lawsuits, recounts, audits, investigations etc. many conducted by Republicans and overseen by Trump appointed judges! ALL of which found ZERO evidence of voter fraud.

      Meanwhile incontrovertible evidence shows Trump illegally asked election officials to “find” the number of votes he needs to win the state and it’s a “witch hunt”. Absolutely amazing.

      There is literally no amount of evidence that could ever convince the sore losers that they LOST!

      1. I’m curious, partisan hack- what do you call 208 Democrats, located from Maine to Arizona, from Washington to Florida, who upon the order of Hakeem Jeffries vote in unanimous lockstep, a perfect 208-0, to vacate the Speaker’s chair? 208 Democrats, and not a single one of them had a differing opinion on that vote. 208-0- yep, the Democrats and their voters sure are free thinkers.

        Want to see a real-life cult member, Cicero? He’s no further away than your mirror.

      2. Cicero,

        Bob Anderson takes the time to get into some detail:

        The statement “ALL of which found ZERO evidence of voter fraud” is inaccurate. Yes, Trump did lose. You can literally read about it in Time Magazine if you want, where they gloated about some steps they took beforehand to sway it. And it is Trump’s own fault that he lost. And I’d rather Trump not be President moving forward… even though I voted for him in 2020. It is also accurate that the elections were rigged; and this new type of mail-in voting is crooked as hell.

  4. First of all, what the heck did the recent shoplifting mob have to do with any protesters? Were the shoplifters coming directly from a Biden rally where the president told them to go to the stores and “fight like hell”? Were they waving Biden flags (or any political flags or signs)? Is there anything to even hint at what their political inclinations or views were let alone that it was politically motivated?

    The differences between the two are more jarring than the similarities – the shoplifters actions haven’t been officially condoned by a major political party as “legitimate political discourse”. NOBODY is vowing to pardon them as soon as they’re given the chance. Exactly ZERO Democrats are trying to portray shoplifters as the victims of a “witch hunt” and nobody in the media is spreading conspiracy theories that it was a false flag or they were set up or whatever the latest excuse is.

    Above all – NOBODY in the Philly mob expressed any kind of political affiliation whatsoever – they certainly weren’t waving Biden flags! For all we know they were Trump supporters!

    1. You have way too much time on your hands, and you are also blinded by your political ideology.

      Those issues aside, perhaps I’m not a good enough writer, OR you don’t read very well. If you missed the point, let me say again for you a little s-l-o-w-e-r. When a group of people feel they are not being heard, they will sometimes take matters into their own hands. That’s what the rioters at the Capitol on January 6th, and those who did the looting last week in Philly have in common. Get it?

      But don’t think for one minute that “Meatball” and her friends didn’t have a political agenda too. A message was being sent – unless you think she actually meant that people were going to eat those iPhones.

      When the summer of 2020 protests across the country were allowed and tactically approved of by D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T politicians and the media who stood in front of burning buildings and called them “mostly peaceful protests,” it told others with grievances – right or wrong- that there would be no consequences for their behavior.

      What the January 6th protesters failed to understand was that courtesy only extends to people with the proper political causes, which most certainly does not include Donald Trump. BTW, one thing suggesting that the failure to communicate is not my writing but your reading; see if you can find anything I’ve written where I suggest Trump won or Biden won illegitimately. You won’t find either. I take plenty of crap from devoted Trump followers from repeatedly stating Biden won legitimately.

      It seems that Philadelphia’s lunatic DA is out to prove my premise isn’t a “conspiracy theory.” Krazy Krasner may demonstrate that there are two standards of justice. Wait until you read my next column about the subject. Your head might explode. Try to read more slowly so you can comprehend.

      1. It couldn’t be more obvious that the policy of the Democratic Party is “my rioters good yours bad.” The differential responses to the 2020 riots and 1/6 make this plain.

        Those of us who live in center city and are honest remember that the city was boarded up on November 2, 2020, and it wasn’t in anticipation of a Biden win. Some violence is fine with that party if it furthers their goals.

        By the way, not defending 1/6 rioters only noting the tremendously different treatment given to them because of their disfavored political status. Krasner has already indicated he will bend over backwards to benefit the most recent looters. Rioting is clearly punished differently based on whose ox is being gored

  5. 832 people were arrested in Philadelphia during the George Floyd and Walter Wallace Jr riots in 2020. 85% of those arrested were enrolled by DA Krasner’s Office in diversion programs including “a special restorative justice initiative” to have their charges dropped. See Metro October 2, 2023. I have been unable to ascertain whether any of the other 15% actually were given sentences that resulted in their incarceration. But I highly doubt it. Would someone please be so kind as to explain to me what the hell is a ‘Special Restorative Justice Initiative? It seems to me nothing but a fancy woke name for cutting lawbreakers loose without imposing a real penalty..

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