We’re Still Here

Posted on November 28, 2011 by


While it is unclear when the Philadelphia Police Department will enter Dilworth Plaza, or the People’s Plaza, to clear Occupy Philly, the movement now has a much sharper focus of the sense of community and solidarity needed to move beyond this two-month incubation.

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Last night, hundreds of people gathered in solidarity, using a progressive people’s mic to share ideas about hopes for the future and engage in discussion about the current system. The entire encampment began preparing Friday for the eviction on Sunday. The deadline came and passed without incident.

Leading up to the eviction deadline, Occupy had numerous meetings about how to stage a direct action to address the eviction, how to support the homeless in leaving the People’s Plaza for a safer spot, and how to clearly forge a path toward success for Occupy in Philly.

On Sunday, many homeless along with members of Reasonable Solutions and the Interfaith Tent helped pack up and transport homeless residents from Tent City. While some had spoken about regrouping at Logan Square, many opted to travel to Port Richmond to set up a permanent camp. Some homeless stayed behind, and it is unclear what they plan to do once construction crews move in.

Other meetings focused on the direct action to respond to eviction. Protesters intended to remain seated on the steps along 15th Street, which has served as the main entrance to the occupation. Supporters kept aisles free, to enable Philadelphia police to travel freely. Protesters wanted to exercise their Constitutional rights without hindering the police from dismantling Occupy.

Finally, discussions have also focused on the post-eviction Occupy. Several ideas have surfaced, including finding a physical location and working to reconcile with Reasonable Solutions. The next steps are clear: Occupy will regroup on 4 p.m. in Rittenhouse Square following the eviction. Plans include a march to Roundhouse, where the General Assembly (GA) will be held. Additionally, the GA passed a proposal to hold GAs at the American Friends Service Center, located at 15th and Cherry Streets.

Although members of major media have described the mood around the camp as somber, the mood this morning was upbeat. Protesters were tired, but said they danced, sang, and marched to Rittenhouse Square and back waiting for police to remove them.

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