PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some members of Occupy Philadelphia felt validated by a visit from Reverend Jesse Jackson Sunday at Dilworth Plaza. The civil rights leader says they are doing the right thing in standing up for what they believe is wrong with our country.
“Occupiers are putting a renewed focus on the economic inequality.
They are the canaries in the coal mine saying, ‘There’s gas down here, people are dying,’” says Jackson referring to the gap between the haves and have-nots.
“He came and saved the day, he came and spread the positive message,” said Rick Reinhart of Conshohocken.
Jackson’s encouragement came on the same day Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter raised public health and safety concerns.
In spite of port a potties, public urination and defecation is still a public health threat.
Police are also investigating a report Saturday night of a sexual assault and have responded to other altercations.
“Occupy Philadelphia has changed. We must change,” Nutter said at a City Hall press conference Sunday afternoon.
“We will increase our uniform police.”
Nutter says the group voted not to be relocated when their permit at Dilworth Plaza expires Tuesday. He says maintenance projects and plaza renovations are set to begin. He says Occupy Philadelphia is standing in the way of 1000 jobs.
“When we need to act, we will act, said Nutter.
Rev. Jackson said occupiers should stay as long as they can. However, some said they are willing to relocate but say a large number of homeless people occupying tents and receiving free food want to stay.
On Sunday night, occupiers greeted members from Occupy Wall Street who passed through Philadelphia on their march to Washington D.C.
Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3