24 Occupy Philly protesters were arrested this evening at a sit-in on the Market Street Bridge in University City as part of a nationwide demonstration that included blockages of the Brooklyn Bridge, Houston’s Travis Street Bridge, Baltimore’s Howard Street Bridge, D.C.’s Key Bridge, Chicago’s LaSalle Street Bridge, Boston’s Charlestown Bridge and St. Louis’ MLK Bridge, among others.
“Throughout country, we’ve been using bridges and crumbling infrastructure as symbols for leaders to take the actions we’ve been crying out for,” said Jessica Burgan of Fight for Philly. “We chose to march to the Market Street Bridge because it is in need of major repair and so, tangibly, jobs could be right there.”
Burgan said that the protesters did not necessarily plan to get arrested when they began the march, but felt that their concerns were not being heard. “We did go there with the intention to escalate more than we’ve escalated before,” she said, noting that the extent to which individuals were willing to participate varied. “Our intention was certainly to take over and shut down the bridge.”
Protesters sat in the middle of the street, arms linked, holding signs that said “Willing to Work” until police peacefully arrested them after several warnings. No injuries were reported.
The action frustrated many Philadelphians who founds themselves stuck in gridlocked rush hour traffic and took to Twitter and other social media outlets to vent. “So #OccupyPhilly has turned a stand against corporate greed into a
stand against the commute of regular Joes?” tweeted @DashTreyhorn.
“Dear #OccupyPhilly, blocking traffic is doing nothing for you except angering regular people. Maybe you should #OccupyAHelicopterPad instead,” @LarryColangelo echoed.
Occupy Philly’s general assembly is currently considering an emergency proposal to relocate from their Dilworth Plaza encampment after the city issued a notice informing them that the start of construction renovating the site is imminent.