Protesters: ‘Occupy Philadelphia’ Arrests Were Unnecessary
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By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Protesters who spoke with Eyewitness News claim many of the 52 ‘Occupy Philadelphia’ protesters who were arrested Wednesday morning, were taken into custody unnecessarily.
“Is this movement worth it? Yes, I mean, did I go in hoping to be arrested? No. This was something the police forced upon us,” said Gwen Snyder of Occupy Philadelphia.
Many of the ‘Occupy Philadelphia’ movement claim their forced eviction from Dilworth plaza will not stop their protest.
Dozens flooded parts of Rittenhouse Square Wednesday evening during the tree lighting ceremony, which went off without any disruption. (see related story)
“The mayor needs to find a way, council needs to find a way to partner with this movement,” Emmanuel Bussie of ‘Occupy Philadelphia’ said.
The massive show of police force the past few hours have only added to the cost to taxpayers.
Early Wednesday morning, police forced protestors from their encampment near city hall.
At times police and the protestors did clash, although there were no reports of any serious violence.
Workers spent part of the day clearing out the debris left over at Dilworth Plaza.
Police commissioner Charles Ramsey was asked if the total cost to the city was around a million dollars.
“It probably is but it is what it is. We also can’t let the city go up for grabs either,” he said.
TJ Ghose was among those arrested.
When asked about the estimated cost to taxpayers being attributed to occupy Philadelphia, Ghose said:
“I think the city was spending money needlessly. I think, I’m glad the cops got some overtime, because they are workers too. I’m sure they’re happy about that, but it was a needless waste of resources.”
Those arrested were charged with failure to disperse and obstruction charges. At this point it is not clear exactly how ‘Occupiers’ plan to carry on with their movement.