As people worldwide marked the Global Day of Solidarity with marches and demonstrations to protest corporate greed, Philadelphia’s occupiers held a march to Independence Hall and back to City Hall headquarters.  Afterwards, concerns and hopes were voiced at People’s Plaza, while musicians performed and drivers heading south on Broad honked to show support.  A strong feeling of cohesiveness and respect pervaded City Hall that evening.

 

Protestors walked back and forth across Broad, with much support from passersby.

The amount of tents on People’s Plaza had also grown to impressive numbers by Saturday (about 300!).

Signs from the marches, if not already being held high, were laid out for others to use.

As night fell the energy remained, and to much applause a woman yelled out her car window, “I’m tired of being POOR!”

–Marlie Krickus

Photo courtesy of Seth A. Laskin

Photo courtesy of Kayla Lamberty

This is Scott, who was handing out fliers for a job rally.  He spoke to us for a few minutes about the goals of the Philadelphia International Action Center, and his personal reasons for occupying Philadelphia:

Click to hear what he had to say.

Check out the Philadelphia International Action Center website.

Later, I approached three guys in military fatigues hanging off by themselves in the southwest corner.  One declined an interview but the other two reluctantly agreed, just as long as I didn’t take their photographs and used fake names.

“We’ve encountered a lot of prejudice against…the military particularly in this part of the political spectrum. One of our big goals is to get it out there that we’re not all babykillers, we’re not all fighting some guy’s war for oil–” “And we’re still part of the 99%!”

Photo courtesy of Seth A. Laskin

Interlude: “cars honking in support” “drum circles”

Alec puffed on a cigarette and related his thoughts on violent vs. nonviolent protest, the London riots, and how impossible it is to escape the evils of capitalism in today’s society.

Photo courtesy of Kayla Lamberty

Click to hear Alec.

Singer/songwriter/actor/director/entertainer Angel came out in honor of his father, Rudolph Sutton.  Unfortunately, it was too dark to take a photo at this point.

Click to hear Angel tell his father’s story, give his thoughts on the Occupy Philadelphia movement and what makes a person righteous.

A brief philly.com piece on the circumstances surrounding Rudolph Sutton’s arrest.

Angel also told me about a video he directed and starred in called “Danger Zone.”  If anybody can track it down, please write to occupyphillyvoices@gmail.com and we’ll happily post it.

Photo courtesy of Josh S. Laskin

Exit music: Crowd sings “Like a Rolling Stone.”

 

–Julia Rose Roberts

On Thursday, October 6th, 2011, tents were pitched around Philadelphia’s city hall.  Citizens carried signs, formed drum circles, made art, organized a dinner for the homeless, banded together and talked about the future of democracy.  These events heralded the first day of the Occupy Philadelphia protest, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest that began a few weeks ago.  Philadelphia’s own movement began to coalesce only a few days after New York protesters claimed Wall Street.  Weeks of planning and two formal planning meetings at last brought about impressive results; a successful march to City Hall at 9 A.M. this morning, two meetings of the General Assembly that–while time-consuming (and “grueling” in the words of at least one speaker)–were nothing short of democracy in action.

This blog will bring you news from the site.  In particular, we’ll be reporting on the people involved with Occupy Philadelphia–the protesters, their stories, who they are and what this movement means to them.  Stay tuned!  Sound files, high-res photographs, and *possibly* video to accompany all future posts.

Goodnight, and congratulations all on a productive and inspiring first day.

Julia Rose Roberts