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Occupy Philly: We’re Alive And Well, Still Meeting

By Todd Quinones

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Occupy Philadelphia protesters vowed Friday to continue their movement against corporate greed and economic inequality despite the demise of their tent city at City Hall, and they challenged the city’s assessment that their eviction occurred in a peaceful and orderly fashion.

Police raided the group’s nearly two-month-old tent city early Wednesday and 52 people were arrested in the aftermath of the raid, as dozens of protesters began roving through downtown. Mayor Michael Nutter and police Commissioner Charles Ramsey have praised the officers involved for avoiding major problems like those that have come in other cities, saying they showed a tremendous amount of restraint and professionalism.

Gwen Snyder, one of the group’s leaders, said protesters plan to march to Independence Hall on Saturday. Some will also lobby for reform in Washington, D.C., next week, Snyder said, but they have not decided whether to apply for another permit in Philadelphia.

“We are still strong, stronger than ever and galvanized by the events of the eviction,” she said. “Eviction is not an ending. It is an escalation.”

Protesters, meanwhile, objected to the city’s claims that the eviction and subsequent arrests were done as peacefully and orderly as possible.

One protester who spoke Friday says she is being treated for a foot injury after being stepped on by police horse. Vanessa Maria Graber, 31, said she had been filming the protest when she was asked to move. She said she complied, but had her foot stepped on by the horse.

Graber would not answer questions about the extent of her injury.

“I’m here to speak out against police brutality,” Graber said. Snyder also called the arrests “arbitrary and vindictive,” and said officers appeared to target the protest’s leaders.

City officials and police, however, held a different view.

“Arrests were made because members of Occupy Philadelphia chose to be arrested,” said Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Nutter. “People were asked repeatedly to leave the street.”

Lt. Raymond Evers, a police spokesman, said internal affairs is investigating the circumstances surrounding Graber’s injury to figure out exactly what happened. All protesters who were arrested, Evers said, got warnings first.

If protesters have any allegations of police brutality, Evers said, they should produce the video.

“Everything was videotaped out there,” he said.

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  • Occupeeer

    Wasted away again in Obamaville. Searching for my lost urine soaked tent. Some people say it’s the 1%ers to blame but I know it’s my own damn fault.

  • Susan E Roth

    Sorry to see so much hatred and anger that seems to be misplaced here. I see the “Occupiers” as standing up For MY Rights and I thank them for being there. Too many people are homeless, jobless and without medical care. Banks are tearing down perfectly good homes to increase demand in the real estate market. So I am glad there are people who are not sitting by, just watching the American way of life go down the tubes. At least they are trying to make a difference. OH, Richard, just how well do you know who was present at these demonstrations? You have a pretty low opinion of of Marines, Grandmothers, Union workers, as well as humanity in general. Peace.

    • acoustic622

      I would agree with you, except the Occupy protesters behavior does not match their words — they were given a 48 hour notice by Mayor Nutter to vacate the plaza at City Hall; the Philadelphia Police gave them even more time than the Mayor; but the protesters CHOSE to be arrested rather than close down their tents and disperse. It was not just the million dollar cost to the city, but all the drug use going on at the plaza that disgusts me — nothing good really ever comes from illegal drug use. No one using illegal drugs represents my needs in the community; I only wish the city of Philadelphia would round up all the drug dealers and illegal drug users in my low income neighborhood and ship them off to there own tent city somewhere very far away. —- As for the big banks, take your money and invest it in smaller community banks or Credit Unions; stop buying at large box stores and shop and small neighborhood stores. If you are worried about the jobless in this country make certain to vote in the next election — vote anyone but Obama — he promised us that Audacity of Hope nonsense, but has accomplished very little when it comes to getting Americans the high paying green jobs that he promised us four years ago; unless you count the five million dollars his administration gave to the solar panel company that just went bankrupt; John McCain was called erratic when he jumped up and down at the debates four years ago crying about the economy and unemployment rate — Obama sat back calmly and claimed he new how to fix the growing economic mess, and we believed him, and voted him into office — now all he can do is blame others for his failure as a President — Much like Occupy Philadelphia blaming the police for all the nonsense — On September 11, 2001, the New York Police Officers ran toward the burning towers to try and help people while everyone else was trying to get away from the towers and the city — majority of police officers are the good guy, risking their lives every day to protect the average person who makes up that 99 percent of our population.

  • Olney Falcon

    And, as for The Moronette, your Grandmom may have been a flower child back in the day, and maybe even claims to have been at Woodstock, and you think you are going to walk in her footsteps.

    Do yourself a favor while doing that – get some earned income and fully fund your Roth IRA – if you don’t you are going to regret it someday, just like Grandmom does now.

    God Bless,


  • Olney Falcon

    Dear Mr. Quinones, what exactly is the point of what it is you have written here??? Nothing new is being reported, and it looks as though you have been brought in to “stir the pot” as it were. The entire arrest proceeding was observed, filmed AND reported including the incident with the Horse and The Moron. Or is it The Moronette?

    You have been around for awhile now, Todd. How about reporting the story from the other side, for once. How about rehashing how much these people cost the taxpayers in money, time and inconvenience. All for what? Because they want a free ride, and not have to work for a living? If they think communism works so well let them move to Venezuela…

  • acoustic622

    It is no longer an Occupy movement, so what is it? The city has made it clear that they can not apply for another permit that includes overnight sleeping —- so unless they want to be arrested again, they will not chose to put up another shanty town anywhere in the city — where is the video? All the video I have seen of the arrests seemed peaceful and orderly. A picture paints a thousand words, so where is the video that backs up what these people claim?

  • William

    Good for the horse.

  • Raymond A. Collier

    My reaction to their Announcement” “yawn.”

  • Richard

    Pease do us humans a favor, Occupy Philly. Crawl into a sewer and close it permanently with a manhole cover. You cost Philly 1 million and y’all are the dreggs and parasites of life

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