Occupy Philly, a protest against corporate greed in America, continued its third day in front of City Hall on Saturday.
Protesters, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York last month, plan to occupy the plaza at City Hall indefinitely while they clarify their goals.
“Today’s been a big day in a lot of ways,” said Occupy Philly spokesperson Jon Laing, adding that the movement has witnessed increasing support.
Saturday, about 1,500 people marched to the Liberty Bell and back, Laing estimated. “We came back to City Hall with more people than we started out with.”
He added that organizers will plan a march each Saturday for the remainder of the occupation.
Among those supporting the movement were students from Penn.
According to Student Labor Action Party coordinator and College junior Meghna Chandra, a lot of the core members of the group were able to attend.
For Chandra, the protest is currently somewhat unfocused — but at least prompts a new discussion.
“We have to start somewhere, and right now we’re shaping it into what we want it to be,” she said. “It’s chaotic, it’s messy, but it’s something that’s happening, and it’s exciting.”
To College freshman Brendan Van Gorder, the protest signifies a call to action, which is better than nothing at all. “I came out because I was excited that people were beginning to do something, get out of the couch of apathy … they’re excited about something again.”
Both Van Gorder and Chandra believe that the richest Americans have been able to limit the democratic power of the country’s less affluent citizens.
“I support the fact that the movement is highlighting a wealth inequality and the cumulation of wealth and power lacking in political discourse,” said College senior Jeremy Levenson, a SLAP member who was also in attendance.
The protest, however, wasn’t all talk — an open mic event was held on Sunday, featuring poetry, comedy, music, drama and hip-hop performers. In addition, a Quaker service was held in solidarity with the protesters on the steps of a nearby subway entrance.
A pizza donation system was set up Sunday to feed occupiers. The previous night, about 75 tents were camped out for the event, Laing said.
In addition, the new Occupy Philly website launched on Sunday, which will help those who cannot be there physically feel like they’re part of the movement too, Laing said.
Sunday night, committee meetings will continue to discuss goals and coordinate action. “We’re planning some big things” for the week, Laing said.
The 27th ward for the Democratic Executive Committee, which encompasses Penn’s campus, wrote a resolution to support the movement.
“I laid out the explanation that these actions are ‘based in response to financial sector misconduct that has given rise to our economic distress and malaise,‘” 27th Ward committeeman Brian Villa said.
Staff writers Ali Kokot and Jennifer Sun contributed to the reporting of this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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