Local/State

From Philly to Doylestown, occupiers unite

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Occupy Philly doesn't plan to go anywhere anytime soon and the city says that's okay for now.

However, a major construction project is set to start on Dilworth Plaza in mid-November.

Occupiers say they will handle the move when the time comes.

But as for today, protestors were on the move in Center City.

Their chants and need for change brought them to Senator Pat Toomey's office.

"We're not out here to belittle him, but we're out here to let him know we need a change in our life," Marvin Robinson of West Philadelphia said.

However, this time it was the occupiers who were met with protest.

A small group of about 10 members of Temple University's College Republicans guarded the doors of the senator's building and held their own signs.

"They're demanding $20 minimum wage, free education. that's not the answer to the problems. The answer to the problems is lower taxes and less spending to fix our problems," Temple student Eric Jacobs said.

Just in case the confrontation turned ugly, a row of bike cops separated the two groups as protestors tried to get into 8 Penn Center.

They even called the senator's office, only to be told they would need to make an appointment.

"They're not here for us, I hung up on that lady, I hung up. I'm not going to make an appointment to speak to somebody who's going to pass my name down on a piece of paper," Robert Williams of Kingsessing said.

Occupy protests spread to Doylestown

Anti-establishment demonstrators took over the sidewalks in the heart of Doylestown Thursday afternoon.

These 99% occupiers are turning up in conservative suburbia, offshoots of Occupy Philadelphia and the growing anti-Wall Street movement. They are people claiming America's economic system is rigged in favor of the haves and against the have-nots.

"The suburbs are heavily impacted by the economic crisis and we are paying attention to what's happening on Wall Street and in Washington," Marlene Pray of Doylestown Occupying Together said.

"We're here simply to show our support for the 99% of Americans that have had a class war declared against them by the rich and the corporations," resident Neil Hartman said.

It was a friendly affair as Doylestown Police Chief John Donnelly mingled comfortably while his troops stood by in case of any trouble.

"There's some resentment from the other side. As long as nobody interferes with their right to protest or the other side's right to protest than we're alright," Donnelly said.

Different folks brought different concerns to this spin off of Occupy Wall Street.

"I'm here for my son. He's disabled; he will be disabled for life. I'm afraid that if the social security benefits are cut, he and his friends in his sheltered workshop will lose many of the social protections that they have," Margie Talbot of Hatfield, Pa. said.

Ali Nejad, a veteran downtown merchant, told us he had no problems with the demonstrators lining his corner during rush hour.

"I'm with the people; I think they have every right to express themselves," Nejad said.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
pennsylvania, doylestown, bucks county, philadelphia, occupy movement, local/state
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