In advance of a protest set for Thursday in Philadelphia, city officials talked with organizers who vow the rally will be peaceful.
Update, 10:20 a.m. Hundreds are gathering outside City Hall this morning, shouting and calling attention to the nation’s wealth disparity.
“End collusion between government and banks,” one sign reads, as fences and police block the entraces to the building.
Original report Deputy Mayor Rich Negrin said city officials sat down with members of the group “Occupy Philadelphia” who have pledged to be peaceful while expressing their displeasure about what is going wrong in America. They said they will follow city regulations.
“We’re going to make sure that the people of Philadelphia are not disrupted. The purpose, as it’s been communicated to us, is not to distract or disrupt people’s lives,” said Negrin. “We’re going to hold them to that standard.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said his goal is to keep things going as smoothly as possible. And he said he hopes there will be no need for arrests.
“If you do travel downtown by car, you need to be aware there could be some traffic delays because we have some people down here, more than what there normally would be,” he said. “It could cause some traffic slowdowns … they should be prepared for that.”
Negrin said the city is working with the organizers to make sure they have the proper permits to set up an extended protest at City Hall.
Occupy Philadelphia follows the Occupy Wall Street movement that began about three weeks ago in New York.
Thousands across the country have been demonstrating against corporate greed.