PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — On Tuesday evening, a coalition of Leftist groups and city leaders in Philadelphia organized a protest outside the Union League, where the historic private club honored Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The “Fight Against Anti-Blackness Protest and Press Conference” gathered in Center City late Tuesday afternoon.
The coalition included the Philadelphia Branch NAACP, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Black Women’s Leadership Council, Northeast Against Racism, Philadelphia NOW, Pennsylvania NOW, Black Voters Matter Fund, National Action Network Philadelphia Chapter and members of Philadelphia City Council.
The Union League is a private club with more than 3,500 members, including “many top leaders in business, academia, law, medicine, politics, religion, and the arts,” according to their website. The group was founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the Union and the policies of President Abraham Lincoln.
THE GOLD AWARD
The club bestowed on DeSants its highest honor, the Gold Award. First awarded to President Abraham Lincoln the medal was created “to be conferred on men who were regarded as deserving well of their country.”
Former Congressman Keith Rothfus attended the event and tweeted his support for the governor: “Great night in #Philadelphia w/ #FL @GovRonDeSantis as he accepted Union League’s Gold Medal. The award has been given 42 times in League’s 160 yr history. DeSantis has family roots in #PA & was great to see him back here. He stressed importance of Lincoln, Founders & #freedom.”
ANTIFA ACTIVIST DOXING THREATS
On Twitter, an ANTIFA activist solicited and shared photos of Union League members attending the event. She also threatened to dox Union League members, writing: “So how do we get a full member roster for Philadelphia Union League? If they're gonna honor DeSantis in this city I think it's time to give some folks a bad year.”
“YOU DON’T WANT THIS SMOKE”
City Councilwoman Sharon Vaughn said she intends to put forth a resolution this week to denounce the Union League, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“We need to let them know that we will not stand for this nonsense,” Vaughn said. “And if you come in Philadelphia and act crazy, we will meet you with the same energy.”
Meanwhile, Rev. Alyn Waller of Enon Tabernacle Church appeared to call for a boycott of the Union League.
“If you want to hold onto a membership with them and do business with them that is going to cause a problem with us. And you need to understand, don’t come for us unless we call for you,” Waller said. “Because you don’t want this smoke.”
PROTESTING DESANTIS’ WAR ON WOKENESS
Following the announcement in September that the group would honor DeSantis with the club’s highest honor – the Gold Award – some members expressed disapproval with the governor and questioned the decision to honor him. More than 100 members went so far as to sign a five-page letter to Union League leadership, expressing their issues with DeSantis, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.
In a press release published by the Philadelphia Sun, protesters wrote that DeSantis has trouble defining “wokeness” but that it “appears to him to be anything that uplifts and supports the Black community.” The governor’s recent admonition of the NHL’s discrimination against straight, white males at a recent job fair in Fort Lauderdale also drew the ire of the Leftist leadership.
Additional grievances included the governor’s decision to revoke Disney’s special privileges in Florida and the state’s recent rejection of an AP African American Studies course that violated state education laws related to Critical Race Theory.
Rev. Robert Collier, the president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, told the Tribune that the governor’s recent actions “takes us back to the Jim Crow days and things of that nature, and we don’t want to go back there.”