PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter has a message for the “Occupy Philadelphia” protesters: you don’t have to worry about being forcibly removed while your application for a new site is being reviewed.
The mayor’s comments came today after some Occupiers last night began to move, expecting eviction.
Early Wednesday evening, Philadelphia police officers posted black-and-yellow notices throughout the encampment that said in part, “Official Notice… Be advised that the permit for demonstration on city property expires at the start of the Dilworth Plaza construction project. This project’s commencement is imminent. Accordingly, you should take this opportunity to vacate Dilworth Plaza and remove all your belongings immediately.”
Some of those at the Occupy Philadelphia encampment started to move across the street to Thomas Paine Plaza on Thursday night, only to be told by police to stay put for the time being.
The protesters said they had begun to move because they expected eviction, but Mayor Nutter doesn’t understand why they thought that.
“There was nothing on that notice, and there was nothing said or communicated to anyone that would indicate that anything else was about to happen. So I don’t know what that was about.”
And Nutter says he has no expectation that any evictions will happen while the city continues the formal review of Occupy Philadelphia’s application to move the plaza adjacent to the Municipal Services Building.
“I have no expectation that anything else is going to happen while we’re going through the application process,” the mayor said, “and that I believe had been communicated.”
The city’s decision on the new permit was still pending as of midday Friday.
Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn