By Njera Perkins
Photo Courtesy of Jayrich Films
People of Philadelphia, fans, supporters, as well as some big names in hip hop all gathered Monday afternoon (Nov. 13) as a rally for Meek Mill was held outside of the Criminal Justice Center in protest of the harsh sentence handed down to him for violating his probation.
Early last week, Philly native Meek Mill, formally known as Robert Rihmeek Williams, was sentenced to serve two to four years in prison as a result of two arrests this year for a fight in an airport and popping wheelies on a dirt bike in New York. Along with the charges, he also failed a drug test. Despite hearing recommendations on not imprisoning him, Judge Genece Brinkley handed down the lengthy sentence that Meek is set to serve at State Correctional Institution ― Camp Hill. It was also reported that Judge Brinkley is currently being investigated by the FBI.
In opposition of this, hundreds of people showed up to yesterday’s #Rally4Meek in support of the rap recording artist. The crowd of supporters stood outside of the Criminal Justice Center shouting “Free Meek Mill” and rapped one of his most popular songs “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro).”
The crowd at the Free Meek Mill rally just sang “Dreams and Nightmares.” pic.twitter.com/9a5GqX4Smj
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) November 13, 2017
His MMG commrade and close friend Rick Ross spoke to the crowd of supporters at the rally saying “I’m here to support my brother Meek Mill. I want y’all to understand that if it take Meek Mill to draw this attention, we gonna use Meek Mill to draw this attention that is gonna speak for so many others.”
Rick Ross in Philly protesting the sentencing of Meek Mill pic.twitter.com/v7EW7oAsVw
— DJ Akademiks (@IamAkademiks) November 13, 2017
Joining him in attendance were other celebrities such as Philly native Pnb Rock, Macklemore, former 76ers player Dr. J, and a few Philadelphia Eagles players. Other celebrities expressed their condolences and stood in solidarity via social media.
— Jalen Mills (@greengoblin) November 13, 2017
Sadly there are Black folks going through the same radicalized injustice(s) within the justice system that Meek Mill has experienced for over a decade EVERY SINGLE DAY. This requires more than just gradual reform in laws—It requires a swift overhaul. pic.twitter.com/Mt13BwnIvJ
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2017
In addition to the rally, a petition was started on Change.com to call on Pennsylvania Govenor Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack to pardon Meek Mill. The petition has since gained over 350,000 signatures.
We stand in support of Meek Mill through this difficult time and hope the odds are in his favor. Check out more photos and videos from yesterday’s rally below.