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Philadelphia government used Pope Francis visit as beta test for city lock down, martial law

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(NaturalNews) Pope Francis' recent visit to the United States included a stop in the City of Brotherly Love and the epicenter of America's constitutional government, but not everyone was happy about it. In fact, some saw it as something completely different — sinister, even — as perhaps a prelude of things to come.

Prior to the pontiff's late September visit, officials in Philadelphia enacted major security measures that included the closure of major roads, schools and other institutions. In response, one chef took to Facebook to voice his frustration with the measures, as well as his concern over them.

"We're clearly all thrilled that Pope Francis is here," Marc Vitri wrote. "Never has there been a pope in history that people have such admiration for while having such a gentle voice that transcends all religions and walks of life. I can say that the pope has chosen Philadelphia to spread his message...and I remain thrilled.

"My only regret is the decisions of Philadelphia leaders," he continued. "Instead of engaging the citizens and businesses around this great city in welcoming the Pope, they have instead decided to roll out the red carpet for everyone making the pilgrimage, and roll us up in the carpet to place in storage until Monday. I imagine a man like this Pope would like to see Philadelphia as is. We are the fabric of this city yet it seems as if the people that make this city great were by in large... an afterthought."

The lockdown left most people scared, upset

Vitri added: "We didn't need to close every street, bridge and alley, scaring most people. The goal was to give a shot of adrenaline into our economy, not hurt small and large business alike so they had to close.

"We didn't need to sweep the homeless people off the streets, instead we needed to realize that they are a part of this great city too and like all cities we have problems that we need to deal with.

"We didn't need to spend an exorbitant amount of money fixing the streets and beautifying the city, when we are broke and can't even offer our children the education they deserve."

Vitri went on to say that the occasion of the pope's visit was both "magical" and "inspirational," but the conduct of the city's police and security forces left him bewildered and upset.

"This event has been magical as well as inspirational. This weekend riding my bicycle around neighborhoods with my children, going side to side in the middle of Broad Street has been an experience of a lifetime that they will soon never forget...and neither will I," he wrote.

"But I remain haunted by the empty streets and shuttered windows. I can't help feeling that Philadelphia's pride and sense of community is absent this weekend... probably because they all left."

It's already happened before

Others saw the massive security as a precursor of things to come.

Someone named Rick Romano wrote at Philly.com that the security and shuttering of businesses and roads was a martial law "test."

"The coming papal visit will subject Philadelphians to martial law without its declaration and without warrant. The city is being cordoned off into different high-security districts, and interstate travel is being restricted, disturbing millions of lives for the supposed benefit of a few," he wrote.

"We were not asked whether we should be so inconvenienced. Mayor Nutter seems to have unilaterally decided he wants it and that everyone who disagrees should either submit to his desire or leave town for three days," Romano continued.

"This is a test to see whether those in power can steamroller the population. It is our very freedom that is being challenged. This isn't about religion anymore. It's about subjugation!"

For some context, we reported in April 2013, shortly after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, that the resulting police lockdown of many parts of the city was a martial law exercise that was upsetting to many. Then, as police and federal agents searched for a remaining suspect, residents were forced out of their homes at gunpoint, and all for "their own safety."

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