We may be in for a few days of waiting it out with the police – which is great! The space is still ours! But to keep our occupation, and the people in it safe, we need a strong presence at all times.
Please use this public sign-up list to let folks know when you can commit to holding down the fort:
Shifts are split into 4-hour blocks (but you can commit to a shorter time, if needed), with special colored boxes for members of working groups to sign up (e.g., we need at least one medic and rapid response person at all times). Everyone is welcome to write their name in any open space during a time they can come. If all the spaces in a given slot are full, you can still show up, but please consider filling out a less popular shift whenever you are able!
We hope this tool can prevent burnout from people staying awake for days or working 17-hour shifts. Please use it, share it, and even edit it to make it a better tool if you feel so inspired. Also, as this is a public document, there’s no reason to use your real name if you don’t want to.
Thanks for your unwavering dedication!
If Occupy Philly is raided by the police, come to city hall ASAP; bring friends, signs, & support; spread the word. Then meet the following day at 4 p.m. at Rittenhouse Park (19th & Walnut in center city Philadelphia)
Check occupyphillymedia.org and Facebook.com/OccupyPhiladelphia for updates
Follow @SkyMbr on Twitter for rapid response info
Download emergency response media here
Info about Rittenhouse Square Park
The park does not have stairs, and has wide pathways but they are made of brick. It would be good for us to research how this effects accessibility.
According to Wikipedia, Rittenhouse Square is accessible via several forms of public transportation.
All SEPTA Regional Rail lines stop at Suburban Station, about six blocks north and east of the Square.
The PATCO Speedline, a rapid transit system connecting Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey stops at 16th St. & Locust St., 2 blocks east of the Square.
The SEPTA 9, 12, 21, and 42 buses westbound run along Walnut Street. The 17 runs northbound along 20th Street and southbound along 19th Street and Rittenhouse Square West and the 2 runs northbound along 16th Street and southbound along 17th Street.
The SEPTA Subway-Surface Trolley Lines have a station at 19th and Market streets, two blocks north of the Square. The Walnut-Locust station on the Broad Street Subway is four blocks east.
Two taxi stands are to be found on the west side of the Square, accessible 24 hours a day.
For Immediate Release: November 15, 2011
New York, NY: At around 6 AM on November 15, 2011, attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group obtained a temporary restraining order against the City of New York, various City agencies, and Brookfield properties directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings.
Earlier, at approximately 1 AM, the NYPD began massing around Zuccotti Park “aka Liberty Park.” In the following hours reports surfaced that the NYPD entered the park with police in riot gear backed up by numerous police vehicles, including a bulldozer, evicting occupiers. In the process they destroyed property and arrested dozens of occupiers and protestors including NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and District Leader Paul Newell.
In the coming hours, days and weeks the LPLWG will pursue all legal options to enable the occupiers to continue to exercise their first amendment rights to speech and assembly for speech. Attorney Yetta Kurland, one of the attorneys from the LPLWG, said, “This is a victory for everyone who believes in the First Amendment. We will continue to fight for everyone’s right to continue the occupation.” In response to the injunction, Daniel Alterman, also an attorney with the LPLWG, stated that, “This is a victory for all Americans, for the constitution and for the 99%.” Gideon Oliver, another attorney with the LPLWG reacted by saying, “The LPLWG has been fighting to ensure their right to free speech from day one of the occupation. The occupiers right to free speech is based in our most core legal principles and we will be here till the end to fight for those rights.”
The order is available for download here.
The Liberty Park Legal Working Group is a group of volunteer attorneys and legal workers dedicated to defending the rights of those engaged in constitutionally-protected assembly or protest.
A massive police force is presently evicting Liberty Square, home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world
The raid started just after 1:00am. Supporters and allies are mobilizing throughout the city, presently converging at Foley Square. Supporters are also planning public actions for the coming days, including occupation actions.
You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.
Two months ago a few hundred New Yorkers set up an encampment at the doorstep of Wall Street. Since then, Occupy Wall Street has become a national and even international symbol — with similarly styled occupations popping up in cities and towns across America and around the world. A growing popular movement has significantly altered the national narrative about our economy, our democracy, and our future.
Americans are talking about the consolidation of wealth and power in our society, and the stranglehold that the top 1% have over our political system. More and more Americans are seeing the crises of our economy and our democracy as systemic problems, that require collective action to remedy. More and more Americans are identifying as part of the 99%, and saying “enough!”
This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic. The “us” in the movement is far broader than those who are able to participate in physical occupation. The movement is everyone who sends supplies, everyone who talks to their friends and families about the underlying issues, everyone who takes some form of action to get involved in this civic process.
This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all.
Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces — our spaces — and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people — all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe that is a highly popular idea, and that is why so many people have come so quickly to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.
You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.
This document is a product of the Occupy Philly Women’s Caucus meeting held on Sunday, November 13. During this meeting, women and their male allies discussed the parallels between sexism and harassment in the Occupy Movement, Philadelphia, and society at large.
We are concerned with the contradictory statements that the police and the mayor have made to the media about their support for the occupy movement, while simultaneously withholding support for situations of physical and sexual violence. In this next press conference we would like Mayor Nutter to address our attempts for our support in evicting sexual predators on camp that were met with statements from the police such as follows; “that’s not our job. Get your men to handle it.” These statements speak to the victim blaming and minimizing environment that survivors face when interacting with the police force. We as a movement feel it is a top priority that in these sort of assault situations it is imperative to put the survivors desires and needs at the center of response.
The recent demonizing and vilifying of the Occupy movement in the media is a scape-goating of the problems and violence that plague our communities and cities daily. Rape happens every day, murder happens every day and Suicide happens every day. These tragedies are not symptoms or creations of the Occupy Movement, nor are they exclusive to the Occupy Movement; they are realities of our society and of our everyday lives. It is now more than ever that support is needed for the occupy movement, and the alternative responses to behavior fueled by systemic oppression. Some of these alternative responses include, increased medic trainings in Oakland, the construction of a Womens’ safe space in New York, networking with other occupy encampments and using the collective skill sets available within occupy Philadelphia. Each of these actions are working toward creating access via this movement to resources that many individuals would otherwise not have access to in the greater society as a whole. The demonizing of the movement is an attempt to block and weaken our bonds of fighting for a better world, not controlled by greed, power and violence. We stand in solidarity with the rest of the occupy movement and we acknowledge that systemic community and interpersonal violence are interconnected. We call on the media, the city of Philadelphia and we call on society at large to educate themselves on the signs and causes of suicide and confront stigmatizing mental health need, we challenge them to discuss the dynamics that allow community violence to flourish and we encourage them to increase survivor support and confront jargon that perpetuates victim blaming. We also call on survivors and allies of this violence to continue supporting each other and to enter this dialogue on how to better respond to violence and how to challenge and change the behaviors and ideas that perpetuate violence in our society. We are very pleased that Mayor Nutter has had a sudden interest in addressing and confronting sexual assault in our community, and we would like to be made aware of when the next press conference addressing the daily assault that women and oppressed people endure every day occurs.
Occupy Philly working groups held a press conference today at 1 p.m. in response to Mayor Michael Nutter’s weekend comments, in which he came out with a new, harsh tone toward the movement, saying they had changed and become radicalized. He also expressed worry about an alleged rape which occurred Saturday night.
Today’s press conference, it was said by Occupy Philly representatives, was held “to correct inaccuracies made by Mayor Nutter yesterday about our occupation.”
“We haven’t changed, the mayor has,” said Gwen Snyder, who began the conference. “The mayor’s new tone is an attempt to shift focus from the real source of the problems impacting our city.”
In addition, Jody Dodd from the Legal working group said Occupy had been repeatedly emailing the city, asking about their potential move to Thomas Paine Plaza, though the city stopped responding, which is why they voted to stay on Friday. They gave out press packets detailing these emails, as well.
“[We’ve sent] emails and phone calls to collect info on alternative sites regarding a move,” said Dodd. “We received no response…we have not changed. The mayor’s attitude has.”
Later, Amanda Geraci of the women’s caucus expressed concern that members of Occupy Philly had told police of a potential sexual predator lurking at Dilworth Plaza, and were “met with statements form police, such as follows; ‘That’s not our job. Get your men to handle it.’”
But, she said, “We are very pleased that Mayor Nutter has had a sudden interest in addressing and confronting sexual assault in our community, and we would like to be made aware of when the next press conference addressing the daily assault that women and oppressed people endure every day occurs.”
I met with a homeless member of the camp after the press conference, who said he’s been Occupying Dilworth Plaza “before this happened,” and called the mayor’s want to kick out the movement a “breach of contract.”
“How do you just evict people?” he said. “Plus, there are homeless people that have been here for 25 years. Since when is it illegal to be homeless? And if it is, fix the problem. The city has [thousands] of vacant buildings…Give people a chance to fix it up and get a roof over their head.”
A licensed carpenter, he’s angry about the planned construction. “You’re telling me a $55 million dollar skating rink is more important than feeding the homeless? Getting them medication?” he said.
And he said he’s not moving when a potential decamping occurs—but doesn’t think the city will conduct its own decamp the way some other cities have.
“I don’t think this city wants to do [what happened in Oakland] considering their history,” he said. “I think our officials are a little more savvy than that. But if they’re stupid enough to do that…” He drifts out. “This is the United States-of-freaking-America. How is any of this possible?”