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It’s All Greek To Me

By Wyatt Earp | July 9, 2005

When it rains, it pours.

In the span of seven days, the city of Philadelphia has seen a Live 8 concert (which was terrible), the Fourth of July “Welcome America” celebration, and today, the 31st Annual Greek Picnic. For Philly cops like myself, it basically means forced overtime and three cancelled days off.

If you gave local cops a choice of working either an election in Chechnya or the Greek Picnic, 99% of those respondents would choose the election. Here’s a rundown of this “event:” members of black fraternities and sororities descend upon the city by the thousands and run amok in the streets, stopping traffic, fighting each other, and causing mass hysteria. “Whirling” (the act of surrounding women and ripping off their clothes) is commonplace, as is assaults on police. After the “picnic” in Fairmount Park, the revilers clog South Street (where all the hippies meet) in an effort to shout at women and throw bottles at cops. It’s a blast!

Two years ago, several cops were assaulted, and dozens of women were “whirled.” Last year, Police Commish Sylvester Johnson stated that the city was going to “crack down” on the mayhem. (What a novel idea!) As a result, only about three thousand people were in attendance in 2004. Unfortunately, event organizers said that they hope to triple that amount for this year’s “festival.”

In all the years I have suffered through this detail, I have been lucky. No assaults. My problem isn’t so much the attendees (although only about 45% are actual college grads – the rest are local scumbags looking for a good time) as it is the media sent to cover them. After the melee two years ago, the local news stated (with a straight face) that the event went off “without incident.” So I was shocked and awed when I found this damning clip on the local CBS affiliate’s website:

Some previous picnics had been marred by bad behavior, sexual assaults and injuries.”

Hopefully, the Greeks will stop by today, have a few drinks, then get the frak outta my town.

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