Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia

Occupy activists from around the country braved scorching heat and humidity in Philadelphia from June 30 to July 4 for the Occupy National Gathering. It was an event which had been in the works for several months,, organized by Occupy Phildelphia, InterOccupy and those participating in several conference calls.

According to the description released by the National Gathering, this was the intent:

The Occupy Movement is based in the idea that if communities come together across traditionally dividing lines then we can work together in a safe space to envision a more just and equitable society. Therefore, to that end we plan to spend four days in community and movement building exercises including workshops, skillshares, presentations, and games. Primarily, we plan on providing a space where concerned citizens from all over the country, and the world, can meet together, eat together, and bond. Our gathering will climax on July 4th when we will take part in a visioning process designed to allow every voice to be heard while allowing repeat visions to organically rise to the top.

Several hundred activists from around the country showed up for just one day or stayed up to the full five days to participate in teach-ins, networking, and direct actions. Many stayed in a camp located in the parking lot of the Quaker Meeting House on Arch St.

Independence Mall was the intended central location for many of the planned events, but organizers and participants encountered heightened security by Park Police. For the last few days, the center of activity was shifted to nearby Franklin Park.

Some of the protests were met with excessive police presence. On the second evening’s march, some protestors were kettled and many arrested. The final July 4 march was halted when it happened to coincide with two murders occurring in Love Park, the intended destination.

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