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But a group spokesperson told the Daily Dot on Thursday that it doesn’t actually expect to make it past the Secret Service.
The news was first reported on Twitter by Bobby Allyn, a reporter at Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate WHYY:
“Our intent is to nonviolently present Hillary Clinton with a Citizens Arrest [sic],” wrote the group. The group also asked the Philadelphia Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security to help in conducting the citizen’s arrest of the Democratic nominee for president.
So, how likely is it that the group’s citizen’s arrest will actually happen? Given the litany of security present at the event, including Secret Service and Philadelphia police, not very.
The Daily Dot reached out the DNC Action Committee to ask who would perform the arrest and what it planned on doing about the pesky Secret Service.
The DNC Action Committee said in an email, “We’re passing it along on behalf of a group of affiliated protesters. They will be outside and will walk towards the [Wells Fargo Arena] gates demanding to be allowed to arrest her. No one expects to get close to Secret Service.”
Citizen’s arrests, which occur when private citizens act on behalf of law enforcement officers and arrest criminals, are legal depending on the state. There’s no official citizen’s arrest law for Pennsylvania according to the Solutions Institution. In that case, common law allows citizen’s arrests in Pennsylvania but only if the person arrested has committed a felony or misdemeanor breach of the peace, according to The Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau.
The Department of Justice dropped its criminal investigation of Clinton this month.
The Philadelphia Police Department has not responded to requests for comment.
Those listed on its website include: Anti-War Truth Displays, Black DNC Resistance March, Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Democracy Spring, Equality Coalition March on the DNC, Fair Ride Philly Coalition, March for A Clean Energy Revolution, March for Our Lives, the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, Women Speak Out for Justice and Survival, and A Living Wage for All.
These same groups were behind the many protests this week near the Wells Fargo Center, where the DNC is being held. The DNC Action Committee’s website also includes a “People’s Guide” with a schedule of anti-DNC rallies, including a “Bernie or Bust” rally and Westboro Baptist Church counterprotest, as well as a map of the convention arena.
Despite the sweltering heat and increased tensions due to the resignation of former DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), arrests were relatively low at the DNC compared to last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
You can read the full press release from the DNC Action Committee below:
DNC Action Committee
Action in Philadelphia TONIGHT
Tonight, on the last night of the DNC, we will stand together to perform a Citizens Arrest on Hillary Rodham Clinton. In PA, a felony is required to justify a Citizens Arrest.
To this, we accuse Hillary Rodham Clinton of being an accessory to the mass election fraud that took place during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, and collusion with Democratic party officials who sought to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign. This was especially egregious in Philadelphia where the Democratic Party handed out ballot listings that explicitly excluded Bernie Sanders and his supporters.
We accuse Hillary Rodham Clinton for being complicit in international money laundering (through the Clinton Foundation).
We accuse Hillary Rodham Clinton of being complicit in treason by keeping sensitive state secrets on her private server, thus endangering the lives of undercover agents.
To these ends, we will march into the gates of the Wells Fargo center during her speech. Our intent is to non-violently present Hillary Rodham Clinton with a Citizens Arrest. We request that the Philadelphia Police Department, Homeland Security, and all present law enforcement agencies assist us in our Citizens Arrest. Should they choose to prevent us from carrying out the arrest, we are prepared to risk arrest ourselves.
We stand in solidarity with other concerned citizens demonstrating in Philadelphia against the criminal actions of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the failure of the Democratic Party to support the needs of the people in this city and around the United States.
Amrita Khalid is a technology and politics reporter who specializes in breaking down complex issues into practical, useful terms. A former contributor to CQ, a Congressional news and analysis site, she's currently a master's candidate in international relations at the University of Leeds.