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SIDEWALKING: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pink Rizzo Bikini

15th & JFK yesterday by STREETS DEPARTMENT

RELATED: Ishknits does it again!! Philly’s preeminent bomber of yarn knitted a bra and panties on the statue of controversial – to say the least – Mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo, at 15th and JFK yesterday. (But before you go running off to Instagram it, you should keep reading below.) This has to be the best use of a yarnbomb ever. Seriously, EVER… And if you’re not totally sure why Frank Rizzo was the ideal target for this, just pursue the man’s career on Wikipedia for a bit and I’m sure you’ll start to get the picture. MORE

RELATED: “I’m gonna make Atila The Hun look like a faggot.” — FRANK RIZZO

RELATED: To fully understand the significance of the case, it must be placed in the wider context of Philadelphia police’s war on perceived subversives in the late 60s — the way they systematically harassed, intimidated and brutalized ‘uppity blacks’ and white collegeboy troublemakers — under Frank Rizzo’s leadership. Rizzo routinely invented or exaggerated these threats to scare the public and amass political power, resulting in two contentious and deeply divisive terms as mayor in the 1970s. The bogus Liberty Bell Bomb Plot bust was just the latest in a series of trumped up arrests of activists by the police department’s Civil Disobedience Unit, which was created the early 60s to protect the constitutional rights of demonstrators while keeping the peace. Upon the appointment of Rizzo to police commissioner in 1967, the CDU became an blunt instrument of surveillance, intimidation and infiltration used to neutralize political dissent.

The leader of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Civil Disobedience Unit was Lt. George Fencl, a thick-necked man with slicked-back salt-and-pepper hair. Fencl was a regular fixture at protests and demonstrations in the ’60s and ’70s. It was his job to monitor, identify, photograph and track dissident groups and their sympathizers. Fencl, dressed in his trademark black overcoat with a white armband emblazoned with the word POLICE, and his CDU boys would show up at demonstrations and photograph everyone in the crowd, taking down names and license-plate numbers of those participating. Sometimes Fencl’s men would brandish cameras that had no film, snapping away nonexistent pictures to intimidate and disperse protesters. 
 On a 1970 episode of NBC news program First Tuesday , Fencl bragged that the police had a list of over 18,000 names. He also enlisted an army of informers, some of which were criminals cooperating in exchange for charges being dropped and others the wives of police officers encouraged to join activist groups and report back to the CDU in exchange for “pin money.” MORE

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