Saturday, June 30, 2012

#NatGat: Occupy National Gathering Philly - Day 1

My first day at Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. It was good to see some familiar faces.
 An excellent sign that I had never seen before, which aptly summed up why we occupy.
The march to end corporate personhood took us to Wells Fargo Bank -- a big forecloser -- as well as Fox News, the Mint, and Dow Chemical. "Whose streets? Our streets!" chanting a rambling crowd of about 300.
At the very start of the march, who should I see but Capt. Ray Lewis (left), retired Philadelphia policeman who showed up at Occupy Wall St. back when the first police brutalities had occurred, to remind officers that force is only supposed to be used when people are in danger of getting hurt, or killed. Oh, yeah, that. I wanted to shake his hand and he wanted to say, "It's you people who brought me out here. You're the ones that did this."
Soon encountered my good peace friend from Maine Palma Ryan, who helped me hold a flag that was very popular with the photographers in Philadelphia in the run up to 4th of July.
Also very glad to see Vets for Peace there.
This occupier on the cot had several run ins with federal park police, who insisted that he remove his cot -- which he would then flip up to display big words saying, "Now it's a sign," or collapse one of the legs asking, "Now, is it still a sleeping structure?" As our wonderful hostesses arrived from picking up FreedomLA at the airport to whisk us home,  we left behind a lengthy debate on the fine points of occupying public space.  More to come tomorrow....

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