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Organizers, Police Finalize Plans For ‘Occupy Philadelphia’ Protest

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Unions have now lent their muscle to the protests underway against Wall Street in New York City.

Activists have been camped out for days.

The protesters have varied causes but have spoken largely about unemployment, economic inequality and what they call corporate greed.

Plans for a similar protest in Philadelphia have been finalized.

In response, on Wednesday night, police set up barricades and officers were already in position around City Hall for “Occupy Philadelphia”.

Organizers say they were inspired by “Occupy Wall Street” protests that started last month in Manhattan and have since spread across the country.

Steve Ross with “Occupy Philadelphia” explained, “People are disenfranchised right now. The corporations, the major corporations and the top one percent earners guide all of the decisions right now in government. It’s a country, of the people, by the people, for the people or that’s what we were told and we need to bring it back to that.”

According to organizers, the participants will be your “everyday Americans”, the other 99 percent, they say who are united and determined to have their voices heard..

Ross added, “Arrests will happen. People will go to jail. People will get cited and it’s just the way these things work.”

City leaders say they are ready. Police commanders spent the day surveying the Dilworth Plaza where protesters say they will set up camp for days if not months to come.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, “There will be a handful of trouble makers so we just have to try to do the best we can to keep a handle on the whole thing. Bottom line is to allow people to have their right to protest at the same time, try to keep regular city activities and businesses going as close to on schedule as possible.”

Mayor Michael Nutter added, “I think we are a big enough city that folks can express themselves and at the same time, we can run the government, not have significant disruption. Everyone needs to be patient with each other.”

“Occupy Philadelphia” is set to begin at 9am Thursday.

Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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