Occupy Philly news of the day: permits, police, plazas

Today, in Occupy news:

Shepard Fairey-inspired bumper stickers bearing the word “Occupy” under a stylized portrait of Mayor Michael Nutter have been popping up around town.

Screenshots from a Facebook thread allegedly belonging to the page of a Philadelphia police officer on “Occupy” detail surfaced on Occupy Philly’s Reddit page. The comments include multiple allusions to violence and the desire to have protesters “occupy the end of a baton.”

The 14 arrested at Wells Fargo gave a statement at a press conference tonight clarifying why they protested the institution, including their predatory lending practices, foreclosures, and “stolen” funds from the Philadelphia School District and announcing they are taking their case to trial to prove “to the courts, to the banks, to the nation and to the world that now is the time to hold corporations accountable.”

Occupy Philly is discussing their response to the city’s offer of a restrictive permit for Thomas Paine Plaza at tonight’s general assembly. They have already expressed that they plan to move from Dilworth Plaza in solidarity with the unions who will begin work there, but it is unknown if they will accept the city’s stipulation of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours, no tents and reimbursements for utilities and personnel usage (unlikely), attempt to occupy Thomas Paine without honoring these conditions (unwise), choose a different location or take legal action against the city a la Occupy Delaware.

A representative from the legal collective said that while the legal precedent is stacked against Occupy in terms of fighting the city’s tent ban, options include filing an injunction or an appeal to give protesters more time to respond, which she said is the “most legally sound” option.

Representatives from several different working groups read the same statement advocating that protesters “neither move or resist” and stand in silence as the Dilworth Plaza camp is dismantled.

Another plan that has been receiving a lot of traction in the past few days is occupying vacant and foreclosed properties and “liberating” these spaces for the use of education, healthcare and housing, a version of which has been practiced in Minnesota.

The city has pledged to wait until after Thanksgiving to evict Occupy’s Dilworth Plaza encampment and said they will give them 48 hours notice, which leaves them a few days to decide what their next step will be.

Should any police action occur at Occupy’s encampment, the Friends Center has offered its facility as a safe haven for protesters to get off the street, though it has just announced that it will be closing at noon through the holiday weekend starting tomorrow.

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