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Safe Injection Site: As Safehouse Leaders Mull Over What Next Move Is, South Philly Residents Vow To Keep Up Pressure

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Protesters are vowing to keep up the pressure after their major victory as hundreds rallied Sunday against plans to open the nation's first safe injection site in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Safehouse leaders are mulling over what its next move is.

"There is no victory dance in City Hall," Stand Up South Philly and Take Our Streets Back founder Anthony Giordano said. "We'll follow you through the ends of the earth, we'll follow you to any neighborhood."

Ticked off and planing to mobilize against future safe injection sites, a rally Sunday afternoon still went forward even though plans to place a safe injection site at Broad and McKean Streets publicly collapsed after severe community blowback.

"I don't want this in my neighborhood or anybody else's. They need help, not in a bad way," said Monica Knowlton, who's against safe injection sites.

A federal court cleared the remaining hurdle on Tuesday. To the mayor's office, it signaled a chance to possibly save lives in the face of a stinging opioid epidemic.

On Wednesday, an announcement to open a facility in just days at a South Philadelphia medical facility was a stunner.

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Members of City Council quickly banded together to block the effort by the nonprofit Safehouse and then the lease Safehouse had with Constitution Health Plaza crumbled under public pressure.

"We have to take time to get engaged with the community, let them know, answer their questions and ensure if they don't want something, they have a say," Councilmember David Oh said.

The only visible support for safe injection sites at the rally on Sunday was a man who was taunted by protesters.

"Go on Snyder Avenue and go bring 'em in your house," one woman said.

The location of a safe injection site is now in limbo. Mayor Jim Kenney said on Friday he was clearly disappointed.

"If people want to shut that down, then we're going to have more people dying, more people using drugs and more suffering for families. It's up to the public," Kenney said. "If they want to shut it down, they obviously shut this one down."

Safehouse leaders have not said much publicly since plans were called off, but CBS3 was told they plan to meet with the community in the coming days.

Another protest is being planned for Monday in Philadelphia.

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