There are some splinter groups within the Occupy Philadelphia movement who say no matter what they are NOT moving off Dillworth Plaza.
On Sunday Mayor Michael Nutter said Occupy Philadelphia has not been communicating, but members of the group say the city is the one that isn’t talking. Gwen Snyder says Occupy protesters are staying put.
“We haven’t changed, the mayor has. The mayor’s new tone is an attempt to shift focus from the real source of the problems impacting the city to those of us engaged in trying to find just alternatives,” said Snyder.
While the main group is willing to hear proposals from the city, Michael Baus says he and others are staying in Dillworth Plaza no matter what happens.
“We as the people who are staying also hope that we get that cross support of the people who are going to leave,” said Baus. “This is a movement, and in a movement you are going to have discrepancies among the people who are your allies.”
Jody Dodd is a member of Occupy Philadelphia who has been talking with city officials. She says the group wants to know if Paine Plaza is the only option. “I think the issue is that we do things though the general assembly. We have not made a decision about that. That is how the process works,” said Dodd. “We make decisions together collaboratively, and that has not been decided on because we didn’t know what our options were. I can’t make decisions for the people standing behind me. That is why we have a general assembly process.”
The group voted over the weekend to stay at Dillworth Plaza even though its permit requires making way for a $50 million construction project. The city says renovating the plaza could mean 1,000 jobs.