Armed Black Panthers blocked a doorway to a polling location to intimidate voters in Philadelphia, Pa., according to Republican poll observers.
After he saw a Black Panther brandishing a nightstick to threaten voters, a poll watcher called police.
“As I walked up, they closed ranks, next to each other,” he told Fox News. “So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found the poll watchers. They said they’d been here for about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what.”
He said he then walked back outside and the man with a night stick told him, “‘We’re tired of white supremacy’ and he starts tapping the nightstick in his hand. At which point I said, ‘OK, we’re not going to get in a fist fight right here,’ and I called the police.”
A poll watcher with the University of Pennsylvania asked the men who they were with.
The man with the nightstick responded, “Uh, security,” and asked why he was taking pictures.
He told them, “I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand.” He continued, “I am a concerned citizen, and I’m just worried that …”
“So are we, and that’s why we’re here,” the Black Panther with the nightstick interrupted.
Officers escorted the man with the nightstick away from the polling location, but the other person in Black Panther gear is a poll watcher. He was allowed to remain on the premises.
Minister Najee Muhammad, national field marshal for the New Black Panther Party, told a crowd Nov. 2 that the Black Panthers would send members to polling sites on Election Day, the Jackson Sun reported.
“We will not allow some racists and other angry whites, who are upset over an impending Barack Obama presidential victory, to intimidate blacks at the polls,” he said. “Most certainly, we cannot allow these racist forces to slaughter our babies or commit other acts of violence against the black population, nor our black president.”
Uhuru Shakur, chairman of the Atlanta chapter, said, “We love Barack Obama – he gives our people great hope and light for advancement. Every president America has had has been a white man. Now the black man must be given his time to rule. Obama is a man of justice and a leader who wants to do right.”
Shakur warned, “We will be at the polls in the cities and counties in many states to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote, which was won through the blood of the martyrs of our people.”
The incident is one of many cases of intimidation against people who do not support Obama at Philadelphia polling sites. According to recent reports, GOP Election Board members have been kicked out of at least half a dozen polling stations in Philadelphia because they are Republicans – despite a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling that on-site election judges are not allowed to remove court-appointed poll observers.
Fox News reported Republican poll watchers in West Philadelphia were asked to leave because Democrats are the party of power, and the Republicans are not being allowed to monitor the election process.
“We’re saying that the poll watcher is not allowed to stay in the poll and watch,” the complainant said. “He’s been asked initially to leave. Then, later on, the election judge came and said essentially that he only had the right to pass through on an intermittent occasion.”
Removing the minority party from poll-watching positions is a violation of state law. It is a misdemeanor offense that carries a fine of $1,000 and up to two years of prison time.
According to TownHall, Republicans have been removed from the following precincts: the 44th Ward, 12th and 13th divisions; 6th Ward, 12th division; 32nd Ward, Division 28.
McCain spokesman Ben Porritt told Townhall, “Election board officials guard the legitimacy of the election process and the idea that Republicans are being intimidated and banned for partisan purposes does not allow for an honest and open election process.”
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes said the situation is currently being resolved in court.