Ten people were arrested outside the Comcast Center today when members of Occupy Philly marched there during a general strike showing solidarity with Occupy Oakland, whose encampment has been plagued by reports of police brutality.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey could only confirm the arrests of nine people who sat with arms linked in the lobby of the Comcast Center, but protesters said a tenth woman was arrested in front of the building earlier during the action.
“The police pushed passed her with their bikes and then grabbed her by the arms and put her in the van,” said a protester who would only be identified as Richie. “She wasn’t doing anything.”
But another observer said that, due to the crushing crowd, it was hard to tell if the woman did or said anything to provoke police.
Officers, including Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, then brought out one by one nine people who had made the decision to sit in the building’s lobby and face arrest after being asked to leave. A middle-aged woman followed by seven young men and one young woman were led out of the building flanked by police escorts as a phalanx of protesters on the front steps chanted, bicycle police formed impromptu crowd control barriers and members of the media elbowed their way to a better view.
After the last three men were put in the back of the second police van, they banged on its walls and shook the vehicle before it drove away to cries of solidarity from those outside. Occupiers announced that the finance committee would be collecting funds to pay bail for those arrested, then marched back to City Hall.