PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –- Members of the “Occupy Philadelphia” encampment today marched a few blocks west to the Comcast Center, at 17th and JFK Boulevard, where a handful were arrested after a sit-in in the lobby.
As hundreds of protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the cable television behemoth (photo below) about 1:30pm, more than a half-dozen men and a few women sat on the floor of the building’s lobby surrounded by police, waiting to be arrested (top photo).
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“I think the Comcast Tower is probably the best example near City Hall, other than City Hall itself, of the issues raised by Occupy Wall Street and the intersection of those issues in Philadelphia,” said Zachary Herschman, a member of Occupy Philadelphia.
Eventually, the ten in the lobby were cuffed and taken away.
“It’s unfortunate whenever you have to make arrests,” said police commissioner Charles Ramsey afterward. “We gave warnings. But everything was peaceful, the protesters were peaceful. If you have to resort to arrests, which are unfortunate, this is the way it should be done.”
The gathering at the Comcast Center was conducted after a march on Bank of America in center city Philadelphia and the center city office of US senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) earlier in the day.
Due to the march, traffic in the already congested center city was backed up for several hours.
Jeanne Leonard, Vice President of the Liberty Property Trust, the company that owns the Comcast building issued the following statement:
“Today Occupy Philadelphia participants brought their demonstration to the lobby of Comcast Center. Comcast Center is a place of business and is not public property. For the safety of our tenants and others who come to the building to meet, eat, shop and take public transportation, we respectfully asked Occupy Philadelphia to move the demonstration out of the building to another location. When after three warnings they refused to do so, law enforcement officials secured the property. We thank the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance in keeping the thousands of people who cross the lobby daily secure, and for handling the situation with professionalism.”
Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio; Steve Beck, CBS Philly