By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They were scattered about the city to sleep, most centered around Independence Mall, a couple dozen Occupy members on the sidewalks along Market Street in Old City, a group of about eight came all the way from Buffalo. Around the corner, upwards of 100 members were camped out in tents at the Arch Street Meeting House.
Members say caravans brought people in from all over the country, meeting in Philadelphia with the goal of coming up with a document to outline the group’s future actions.
After bursting on the scene with Occupy Wall Street, the movement seemed to fizzle out over the winter, but members say, with people from around the world, and from all different walks of life joining the cause, it’s just taking time to come together.
One member camped out overnight said, “People just have all different views, so it’s hard to come up with a set list of demands. We’re still trying to educate each other on everything and figure out where to go, like what the best solution is, and taking direct action.”
Rich Allen explained why he’s here. “I lost my job three years ago and I’ve put out thousands of resumes, and I really tried in earnest to make a difference in society, but I feel like I’m stuck in a corner wasting my life.”
Today’s activities began at Franklin Square at 9 a.m.
Yesterday, a few hundred members of Occupy joined with disgruntled unionized workers from Verizon to protest through Center City streets during rush hour last night – tying up traffic. No arrests were made yesterday, but about 26 protesters were arrested Sunday.
Members say they expect more people to arrive tomorrow for the July 4th holiday. At least 50 of them, starting on Thursday, plan to march 99-miles from here to Manhattan, which they expect will take about a week.