On Saturday evening, a 25-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a fellow Occupy Philadelphia protester outside City Hall. The woman said she woke up from a nap Saturday afternoon to a man entering her tent, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The suspect is a 50-year-old man who has faced a string of similar charges in Michigan. He was arrested shortly after the victim alerted police.
Mayor and 1979 Wharton graduate Michael Nutter held an emergency press conference early Sunday afternoon to address the rape and announce plans to alter the city’s previously cooperative relationship with the Occupy Philadelphia movement.
“We’re re-evaluating our entire relationship,” Nutter told the press. “We have done everything we said we were going to do…[and] they have now… done … few if any of the things they have said they’d do.”
According to Nutter, a number of issues contributed to the city’s decision to use a harsher strategy for Occupy Philadelphia. First, there were already previous reports of physical assaults and hypothermia. In addition, Occupy Philadelphia and the city have reached no consensus on the quickly approaching deadline for a Dilworth Plaza construction project that interferes with protesters’ occupation. And, Nutter added, the leaders at Occupy Philadelphia change so often that it’s difficult to remember faces and establish relationships with the movement.
Wharton sophomore Derek Livermont took the subway at City Hall late Thursday night, passing through the Occupy Philadelphia site to get to the trolley. He saw a quiet and sleepy campsite.
“I was surprised by how much [Occupy Philadelphia] had grown,” Livermont said. “In the beginning, it was just a cluster of tents — now, it’s a village.”
Following reports of sexual assault and an alleged rape at Occupy Wall Street in New York, the organizers erected a female-only sleeping tent in Zuccotti Park earlier this month, according to The New York Post.
On Oct. 21, no arrests were made when Occupy Eric Cantor protesters stormed Huntsman Hall after the House Majority Leader canceled a planned appearance at Penn. In addition, a student group called OccupyPenn has formed, which holds weekly teach-ins and protests.Comments powered by Disqus
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