At a second planning meeting last night, nearly 1,000 activists filled the United Methodist Church on Arch Street to determine the start of Occupy Philadelphia.
Following in the footsteps of, and in solidarity with, Occupy Wall Street, a large protest in New York City now in its third week, the Philadelphia action was determined to start tomorrow, Oct. 6, at 9 a.m. near City Hall. Protestors will camp out near Love Park, as well.
The packed pews of the church were filled with people of all ages and ethnicities, coming together for what one speaker called a “progressive moment in democracy.”
The facilitators of the meeting focused mainly on setting a location and time for the occupation to begin.
Options consisted of Rittenhouse Square, City Hall, Love Park and Logan Square. The town-hall style meeting allowed a democratic decision-making process by allowing people to voice their concerns and thoughts. They simply voted by raising their hands until a consensus was reached.
The Oct. 6 date was much more easily decided. It’s also the 10-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, one man in the crowd announced, receiving raucous approval.
“This is what democracy looks like,” one facilitator yelled triumphantly into the microphone as many hands in the audience shot up in agreement.
Although some have criticized the similar actions that have popped up from coast-to-coast as being broad and unfocused, soon-to-be protestors are demonstrating to stop things such as income inequality, wealth, unequal education and healthcare systems.
“If you feel unrepresented in government, feel corporations have too much control over the government, or are just generally angry or disappointed at the state of our country or world, join us,” said Chuck Cannon, a freshman Latin American studies major planning to take part in tomorrow’s action.
Amanda Plaksin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.