At least part of Occupy Philadelphia is willing to move out from Dilworth Plaza.
Occupy Philadelphia protesters rose from their seats in City Council today, disrupting the proceedings to hold their own mock meeting, taking votes on issues from revoking the stricter curfew to the police’s stop and frisk policy. Protester Adan X says members of Occupy Philly are feeling ignored by politicians.
“Because now that the election is over now we see a change in the tone of the city government towards us, now they don’t have to worry about votes for the next three years. It’s a shame what’s going on in the city and we are doing everything in our power to bring democracy back to America,” said X.
Protester T.J. Ghose is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He says the group met in it’s general assembly and has agreed not to move off Dilworth Plaza.
“We have passed a consensus vote that we will stay,” said Ghose. “We are non-violent we are asking the city to listen to our voices. The fact is that this is public property we are working with a lot of people to make sure that we do this functionally properly and non-violently.”
Mayor Michael Nutter says some of the protesters have applied for a permit to move their encampment to Thomas Paine Plaza, outside the Municipal Services Building, across the street from their current home.
“We’ll see what they are proposing and compare that to what kinds of things we are able to accept,” said Nutter.
Nutter wants all the occupiers to move to make way for the $50 million renovation of Dilworth Plaza. The mayor says any move would come with restrictions to avoid issues with the current encampment.
“There are a number of public safety and public health issues at Dilworth Plaza we cannot allow a repeat of those kind of conditions at any other proposed location,” said Nutter. “So all of those issues, that’s what I meant when I said we had to reevaluate our relationship with Occupy Philly. All of those issues have to be topics of discussion, items of discussion subject to discussion that we would have going forward to evaluate any new permit.”
Nutter says he’s not ready to say whether the new permit would allow overnight camping since the city has only just received the application.