More Occupy arrests at Wells Fargo Bank
PHILADELPHIA - November 18, 2011 (WPVI) -- Another late afternoon protest has ended in arrests for Occupy Philadelphia demonstrators Friday night.
Friday's target was the lobby of the Wells Fargo Bank building at 17th and Market in Center City.
Dozens of protesters sat down in the lobby of the building and refused to move, so police removed them to waiting police vans.
Friday's arrests follow the nearly two dozen arrests Thursday night on the Market Street Bridge.
The occupiers are a diverse group, committed to a new kind of participatory democracy.
Every one of them has an opinion, every opinion is valid, and there are no leaders because everyone is a leader.
"I'd like to see them get a leader," said
But the occupiers are committed to ruling by consensus. Everyone gets a say and a vote at the daily general assemblies.
But, that can backfire.
Last night, they voted to move, but were turned back by police, because they didn't have a permit for a new site.
The encampment has devolved into factions, some of them outwardly hostile to each other.
"I think it's sad that, in some ways, the occupation has been hijacked by unsavory people," said Robert Blue.
"And stop being so angry with each other," said Charisse Baldwin. "There's a lot of anger here."
Many of the original campers are gone. Now, the overnighters are mostly the homeless, and a hardcore group that appears to be itching for conflict.
"Once it gets cold, and people get hungry and people get tired, things, of course, it's like dementia that kicks in," said Eli Levinson.
The marches have been populated mostly by part time occupiers and outside groups who come in for a few hours and then go home at night.
A few of the ladies came in from the suburbs, and won't be camping out.
"No I'm just not that hardy of a soul, I'm afraid. But, I support what these people are doing. I think they're really very brave," said Melinda Sue Gibbons from Upper Providence.
Some are weekend occupiers.
"Monday through Friday I'm in Kensington at home, and I come down to show my support on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays," said Megan Hemingway-Thomas.
They came to change the world, but, where they go from here is anyone's guess.
"I just know that these people know what they're doing, so I'm going to stand with them, and I'm going to move with them, and I'm going to vote with them, and I'm going to follow them," said Benjamin Miles.Occupy is clearly a democracy suffering growing pains. Will it thrive, or will it
collapse under its own commitment to equality for all? That remains to be seen.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, protest, local/state, david henry
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