‘Occupy Philadelphia’ joins ‘Occupy Wall Street’ effort

“We are your every day Americans, who are against the corporate greed that has plagued this country, and the politics who allow this greed to occur. We include teachers, college students, labor members, unemployed workers, and the other 99 percent. We are standing in solidarity with friends in New York City, and across the country.”

This is the statement of Occupy Philadelphia, a newly forming chapter of Occupy Together. What started a little more than a week ago as “Occupy Wall Street,” the young peoples’ movement for change has quickly picked up steam across the United States.

Since the first day, hundreds of protesters have marched in Lower Manhattan’s financial district. The latest development occurred Saturday when dozens were reportedly arrested for clashing with police.

“Lately it feels like the progressive movement has stagnated,” said Jon Laing, 23, and a member of the Occupy Philadelphia movement. “Politics has been trying to move the country as a whole back into the socially conservative realm that I highly disagree with.”

Sean Kitchen started the Occupy Philadelphia group on Saturday, and the Facebook page already has gained over 800 fans. Kitchen, an Environmental Biology college grad, is a self-proclaimed smalltime activist who previously followed Philadelphia Uncut and Protecting Our Waters.

“Occupy Philadelphia’s message consists of getting the corporate money out of Washington, which is allowing corporate America to buy our political system and strip Americans of their real democracy,” said Kitchen. “The people who represent our group are average Americans, people who work 40 hours a week.”

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