Anarchoviews on OccupyPhilly

Archive for the tag “dilworth plaza”

Occupy Philly Suggests Nutter, City Are Exploiting Negative Issues

From: http://blogs.philadelphiaweekly.com

photo(52)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?”


Let’s Fix Our City! Solutions and Video from Nov. 6 Event

From: occupyphillymedia.org
Text and video by Suzy Subway and Scott Pierpoint

On Sunday, November 6th, sparks of creativity flew as community activist groups fighting for and rebuilding our communities met at the main stage of Occupy Philly to share their visions for our city.

Speakers from ten groups gave us the basics about their work to stop prison expansion, gender discrimination on SEPTA, and casino capitalism; provide health and safety tools to sex workers; and win housing, support for impoverished mothers, and progressive tax policy. Armed with these insights and our own imaginations, presenters and attendees then formed small groups to brainstorm how to make Philadelphia a better place to live.

Reflecting on the Dilworth Plaza renovation, with federal, state, city, and private spending totaling more than $50 million, community group and Occupy Philly participants considered three questions:

How could $50 million be spent to meet people’s needs?

What should we pressure the city to do that doesn’t involve spending money?

What can we do without city funding or approval to fix our city?

This is what we came up with together:

How could $50 million be spent to meet people’s needs?

  • Jobs (cleaning up neighborhoods, rehabbing housing, moving towards a guaranteed income)
  • Housing (support for people facing eviction, End 30-month wait time for public housing, fixing up abandoned houses, home maintenance for homeowners)
  • Health-care (Free clinics, collectively-managed, dental, vision)
  • Funding youth after-school and anti-violence programs
  • Better funding for schools (smaller classrooms, more programs connected to the community, mental health and social services at schools)
  • Transportation (free public transportation, revamping/extending SEPTA facilities)
  • End AIDS housing waiting list
  • Community-based independent newspapers
  • Support cooperative businesses
  • Support Harm Reduction services (click here for a definition)
  • Safe spaces for women
  • Free city-wide WIFI
  • Support for single mothers (income, programs/services to help)
  • 24-hour libraries
  • Food access (community gardens, food support)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Legal services
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Debt forgiveness for utilities

What should we pressure the city to do that doesn’t involve spending money?

  • Stop foreclosures
  • Tax corporations and big non-profits to pay their fair share
  • Use empty libraries or schools at night to teach adults
  • Decriminalize sex work and drugs
  • Stop “Stop and Frisk”
  • Stop penalizing folks on basis of criminal records for public assistance
  • Spay and neuter healthy pets
  • Make more bike lanes
  • “Ban the Box” (click here for a definition)
  • Promote real green jobs
  • Stop evicting community gardens
  • Decarcerate (put fewer people in prison)
  • Remove police from Occupy Philly
  • Centralize/streamline intake process for the homeless
  • Set up online clearinghouse of current and planned housing programs for case managers
  • Help communities organize themselves
  • Institute a land value tax
  • End the youth curfew
  • Better systems for reclaiming / re-purposing buildings
  • No more billboards
  • Promote community control of the media
  • End tax abatements (click here for a definition)
  • Promote volunteer mediation / conflict resolution
  • Remove gender stickers from SEPTA passes

What can we do without city funding or approval to fix our city?

  • Utilize empty homes/buildings (take them over, map them)
  • Occupy vacant land (Community Gardens, community spaces, building land trusts)
  • Build community control
  • Occupy the workplace / promote worker cooperatives
  • Community health-care and education
  • Re-appropriate resources: electricity, food, water, gas
  • Time-banks, barter networks, skill-shares, tool libraries
  • Transformative justice (click here for a definition)
  • Neighborhood budget councils (click here for a definition) and General Assemblies
  • Collective housing
  • Community outreach/parties
  • Food-buying clubs

Click on the links below to find out more about these awesome groups!

Decarcerate PA
Books Through Bars

Casino-Free Philly
Global Women’s Strike

Every Mother is a Working Mother
ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)
Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE)
Vote for Homes Coalition
Project SAFE
Neighborhood Networks

Let’s Fix Our City! Videos

Intros: We can end this senseless austerity. Why not tax the rich? Community groups can help us find solutions!

Speakers from Community Groups, Part 1
(Decarcerate PA and Books Thru Bars)

Speakers from Community Groups, Part 2
(Casino-Free Philly, Global Women’s Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother)

Speakers from Community Groups, Part 3
(Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE), Vote for Homes Coalition, and Project SAFE)

Our Solutions!

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