Occupy Philadelphia Hits City Hall Thursday Morning at 9:00!

Over 1000 activists converged on Arch Street United Methodist Church tonight and agreed that the Occupy Philadelphia protest against corporate greed and financial exploitation will happen this Thursday October 6 at 9:00 am at City Hall. Future sites for further protests or marches will be discussed in the coming days.

Updated information about the protest appears regularly on the Occupy Philadelphia Facebook page.

The assembled activists were led through a clear agenda by skillful young facilitators and organizers, who presented options for sites and dates and then polled the crowd to come to decisions. To find out more about the background of the protest, check out the interview with Occupy Philadelphia organizer Justin Harrison conducted by the City Paper's great Daniel Denvir. Harrison is a splicing technician who serves as unit secretary for the Communications Workers Local 1300.

Occupy Philadelphia Communications Coordinator Steve Ross will be answering questions tomorrow night, Wednesday October 5, at 7:00 at Philly For Change Meetup at Tritone, 1508 South Street.

Occupy Philadelphia: Wall Street Protest Coming Here

A group of 200+ energetic, enthusiastic mostly (but not exclusively) college age citizens met Thursday night at Arch Street United Methodist Church to plan bringing the Occupy Wall Street protest south to Philadelphia.

Many of the organizers and participants had participated in the protests in New York City and were eager to see rallies "for the 99%," as they call it, here in the cradle of liberty. The event was organized largely through social media.

As Susie Madrak reports on Crooks and Liars, related protests already have occurred in Boston and San Francisco, with broad, clear economic messages aimed at political leaders: tax the rich, stop corporate greed, and create good jobs.

The next planning meeting is scheduled for 6:30 Tuesday October 4 back at Arch Street Methodist, Broad and Arch Streets. The date and place of the actual Philly protest will be decided then.

I heard about the meeting through my friends in Philadelphia's wonderful, nationally-recognized poetry community. I had the good luck and honor of attending with poets Frank Sherlock, Jacob Russell, and Ryan Eckes.

Right now, in the aftermath of the August Tea Party power grab and with next year's elections looming, and some Democrats finally beginning to stand up, it is certainly a critical moment to let people in government and everyone else know that, at a very basic level, we do not accept an economic system and government that is still functioning first of all for the benefit of the rich, or top 1% of wage earners, and to the detriment of everyone else.

That's oligarchy, and that's not what the U.S. or Philadelphia should stand for.

How Corbett tricked the protesters at the last Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission hearing

This video is just 88 seconds and its great. At Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory hearing last week, they set out two sign-up sheets for public comment. Only, they told the industry about one and the protesters about the other.

Guess which one they went to first?

In this video, a woman from Pittsburgh calmly and clearly confronts a Corbett Administration spokesperson about the trick. She comes off as smart, guts and reasonable. He comes off like someone who just got caught stealing an extra piece of cake at Church Camp.

Wisconsin (and Ohio?) solidarity rally Thursday, anti budget cut rally Saturday

There are two events in downtown Philly this week against austerity and against pro-corporate policies. The first is a rally, endorsed by several unions, at City Hall on Thursday at 11 AM in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin (although the attacks on collective bargaining and the power of unions, those last bastions of working class power, are now spreading to Ohio: ). The second rally is at the Comcast building, and the message is this: collect corporate taxes, don't cut programs that the poor and middle class need!

More info below the fold.

Philly against the wars: come out on Oct. 16 to show we're still here, we're still against the empire!

March and rally against the wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq on Saturday, October 16 at Independence Mall 6th and Market St., Philadelphia.

Gather at City Hall (15th and Market) at Noon

March at 1 pm to Independence mall

Rally at Independence Mall following the march

On October 16, there's going to be an antiwar march and rally in Philly. Let's get as many people as we can out there, marching against the continued occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (yes, there are still 50,000 troops and thousands more mercenaries in Iraq).

This is our chance to show that the antiwar movement's alive again! An empire is an empire, whether it is led by Obama or come out on October 16 to raise your voice against these horrible wars.


Event: Upcoming BP protests in Flourtown (suburb) and Roxborough

From Facebook:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
5:00pm - 6:00pm
BP Station
1674 Bethlehem Pike
Flourtown, PA

We'll meet up at the shopping center right next to the station at 5 PM then head to BP

On google maps:

Monday, June 14, 2010
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Roxborough BP Station
Intersection of Ridge Ave and Shawmont Ave
Philadelphia, PA

We will meet up at the Shawmont School on Shawmont Ave down the street at 5 PM and then head to BP.

So, got any plans for this weekend?

This is going to be an action packed weekend in DC and around the nation. On Friday, there will be protests of Yoo. On Saturday, there will be a massive antiwar demonstration (there will also be demonstrations in Philly, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and South Dakota, among other places). On Sunday, there will be a large march for immigration reform. And there will be other related events around the country, along with the small protests and events that happen all the time.

(Let me know if I miss anything)


New Video: Philly UNITE HERE Members Hold Vigil for Hyatt 100

Philly UNITE HERE members held a candlelight vigil outside of the Hyatt Regency Penn’s Landing demanding that Hyatt Hotels “Bring Back the Hyatt 100.” Workers offered prayers and songs, and unfurled a 150-foot long “Hope Quilt,” which stitches together stories of Hyatt housekeepers and the pain they endure everyday.

In August, Hyatt Hotels fired 100 housekeepers from its three Boston area hotels after asking the workers to train their replacements from an outsourcing agency. The action ignited a national controversy for Hyatt Hotels, which launched an initial public offering of its stock on November 5, 2009. One of the Hyatt 100, Aracelly Arango, spoke at our vigil.

The vigil ended a week of actions by thousands of workers in a dozen cities.

Flames of Peace (Not)

I understand anger. I understand protests. Don’t always agree with the causes, but I respect the First Amendment right that allows Americans to gather peacefully and protest whatever they see fit - be it puppies or people. What I don’t understand is the video of yesterday’s footage of the pro-Palestinian protestors.


Protest McCain TOMORROW

John McCain is coming to town tomorrow. Supporters of peace, womens rights and a fair economy must raise our voices against his retrograde politics and the Third-Bush-Presidency

For more info contact Fabricio at or 215-732-8318

When: 9:15-9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Where: National Constitution Center
Independence Mall
525 Arch St , Philadelphia , PA 19106
Location: Arch Street Sidewalk (between 5th or 6th),+525+Ar...

Gun violence, art & protest

An example of David Earl Weber's workDetails are a little hard to piece together right now, but there's a protest happening tonight over an art show at the Art Institute. Art Students decided to put together a show featuring six artists on the theme of gun violence. Apparently, the President of the school decided to shroud one of the pieces, an installation by Steven Earl Weber, with a black curtain.

In an email I just received from David Kessler, another artist in the show, apparently the rest of the artists will shroud their work in the same way, to express their opposition to censorship.

I haven't found any photos of Weber's piece on-line, but you can see other examples of his work at the link above. Dealing with gun-violence is nothing new in his work.

Here's David Kessler's letter to the University president:

Dear Dr. Larkin,

I am one of the artists in the current Art Institute student curated exhibition ‘Killing Time’. I am writing to you to address your decision to censor fellow artist, Steven Earl Weber’s work from the show.

Sir, censorship of any sort is offensive and abhorrent and at an art school it is doubly so. The fact that artwork should be censored in an institution of higher learning in a major US city is disgusting and backwards.

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