Court case closed against Penn students arrested at Occupy Philadelphia

Bitterman and Johnson accepted fine, community service hours to avoid court trial

· January 10, 2012, 11:34 pm   ·  Updated January 11, 2012, 1:24 am

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This morning, the Philadelphia municipal court closed the cases related to College junior Moshe Bitterman and College sophomore Emma Johnson’s arrests at Occupy Philadelphia on Nov. 30. Johnson did not appear in court today, because she had completed the necessary requirements related to their case a week earlier, she said. Moshe Bitterman could not be reached for comment.

Along with 49 other protesters, they were arrested when Philadelphia police evicted the Occupy Philadelphia site at Dilworth Plaza. Like most of the other protesters, Bitterman and Johnson were arrested on account of failure to disperse upon official order, conspiracy to fail to disperse upon official order and obstruction of a highway.

Bitterman and Johnson were among the 43 protesters who accepted the court’s offer in December to enter an Accelerated Misdemeanor Program to avoid a full-fledged court trial. The program included completing 12 community service hours and paying a $199.50 fine.

College senior Ellie Dugan and former Penn student Will Darwall were also arrested on Nov. 30. They, along with School of Social Policy & Practice assistant professor Toorjo Ghose, chose not to participate in the AMP program. Ghose said in a previous Daily Pennsylvanian interview that his refusal represents his belief that his actions were well within his rights to stand and protest in public.

The three will appear in court on Jan. 12.

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