Occupy Philadelphia’s presence at Dilworth Plaza is over, but the movement and the fall-out continue. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 52 people with conspiracy, failure to disperse and obstruction for several different incidents Tuesday night in Center City.
Outside Police Headquarters, demonstrators waved signs in support of the dozens of arrested Occupiers.
“Right now we’re standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters that were arrested,” said 24-year-old Ally Nauss, from West Philadelphia. Nauss is invested in the movement—she even got married at Occupy.
“We’re deciding what Occupy is going to look like—if we’re going to have a physical encampment,” said Nauss. “Obviously we’re about the movement, not necessarily a place. So we are going to continue the conversation about what is happening in our political and economical environment and continue to get people on board with the movement and the ideas that we stand behind.”
Alkebu-lan Marcus, an 18-year-old community college student, said he wants to see change.
“If you try to set up a tent area again you’re going to get raided again, so I think we should just focus right now and have meeting points where we meet and everything,” said Marcus. “As of right now, the tents shouldn’t be a major thing. I don’t even know where would they make a direct impact like they did at City Hall.”
A few blocks away, at Independence Mall, the symbol of the Occupy movement still stands.
Occupy supporter Chris Goldstein helped set up a tent at what has been dubbed “Occupy 1776.”
“It’s a free speech project that we’re doing right now,” said Goldstein. “It doesn’t have a time limit on it. We’ve had about 15 people rotating in and out the last week that we were here. Just like us, they were active over at Dilworth. One occupation isn’t enough for a town of this size.”
Goldstein said he’s not sure this should become the new face of Occupy, but he thinks it’s a good place for some to exercise their free speech rights. He suggests supporters set up tents on their own front lawns.