Occupy Philly Braces for Eviction, Mayor Claims OP Moving to Paine Plaza

Posted on November 27, 2011 by

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Occupy Philly is bracing for its most important direct action to date: Standing in solidarity against the City of Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael Nutter is trying to convince people that Reasonable Solutions is Occupy Philly.

Mayor Michael Nutter is trying to convince people that Reasonable Solutions is Occupy Philly.

While Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter tweeted this evening that Occupy has signed a new permit to move across the street to Municipal Services Building Plaza, also known as Thomas Paine Plaza, the real Occupy has spent the past couple of days planning its next steps.

The eviction has created tension and fear among many of the Occupiers who have watched protesters face brutality for resistance in other cities. Stress has also resulted from many of the homeless, who fear being left behind by Occupy and pushed out of the way by the city.

The eviction came after the City denied permits for both Occupy and the splinter group, Reasonable Solutions. Reasonable Solutions broke away from Occupy, and chose to pursue its own permit.

The City instead gave requirements to both Reasonable Solutions and Occupy. Occupy appealed, and Reasonable Solutions chose to capitulate. The City denied Occupy’s appeal and began handing out eviction notices Friday in the late afternoon.

In an emergency meeting this afternoon, about 450 Occupiers came together, to discuss two different questions concerning the eviction. One group discussed supporting the homeless who have come to call Tent City their home; another discussed resistance to the eviction.

The City has said, and Occupy’s Legal Collective has reiterated, that the City is legally obligated to help the homeless relocate from Dilworth Plaza, or People’s Plaza. Unfortunately, none have said they have spoken with any Philadelphia city official or employee about a relocation. In fact, in the afternoon meeting, at least two homeless men said they are still waiting for the City to offer an alternative site. Because camping is not allowed in the Paine Plaza, the homeless do not consider it a safe space to occupy. Reasonable Solutions has also not offered a remedy for the relocation issue even though initially one of Occupy Philly’s aims was on outreach to the homeless.

Despite interruptions at the General Assembly (GA)  this evening – for the second night in a row – the GA passed three proposals. Each proposal stated a course of action that Occupy will take following the eviction on Sunday, November 27, 2011, at 5 p.m.

1. We create a safe space at Logan Square for the homeless population in solidarity with Occupy Philly around eviction.

2. Day after eviction we will meet at 4pm at Rittenhouse Square. If there are still people in Roundhouse, we will march there for 7pm GA. If not, will hold 7pm GA at Friends Center.

3. The second GA after eviction, and those following, will be held at Friends Center.

In addition to ensuring the homeless get to a safe place, Occupiers have an action plan in place. You can read more at the Occupy Philly Media site by clicking here. Further details will be discussed onsite tomorrow.

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