As the City Council met for its weekly session today, protesters fed up with government policies, rallied outside of City Hall. A diverse crowd of old and young slowly formed just before nine under sunny skies and a watchful eye of law enforcement.
On Sept. 17, “Occupy Wall Street” began in New York City. There, protesters have come out in large numbers to protest what they contend is corporate control of the government.
Since then, people from around the country have started to protest in other cities.
The protesters in New York are in their third week ,while “Occupy Philly” has just begun. Supporters plan to camp out and show their displeasure with what they charge as “corporate greed” and a lack of citizen voice in local and national politics.
“We plan to get the power back to the people,” said Steve Ross, a spokesman for the Philadelphia supporters. “This movement is huge for America. Right now, we need to show solidarity and then hopefully our questions can be answered.”
As of early afternoon Thursday, several hundred protesters held signs and joined together in chants.
Music filled the air while dancing took place in the inner circles. Passing cars honked to show support while local organizations took this protest as a way to gather support against recent government actions.
“This is a beautiful site to see,” said Myron Banks, a protester. “Lots of media are here, helicopters overhead. Let’s just get some more people out now.”
Those in attendance held signs that read “This is Real,” We Are The 99%,” Bail Out Students Not CEOs,” “End Corporate Greed,” “Bring the War Dollars Home,” “When Money Talks Morals Walk” and other messages.
May Chan of the University of Pennsylvania held a sign that read “Accountability & Jail Time for Wall Street Fat Cats.”
“I’m outraged by the whole bailout. We are being affected,” Chan said.
So far, the protest has remained peaceful. No arrests have been made as supporters joined together in hopes for a respectful, composed gathering.
“It’s been more than ideal so far,” Ross said. “We met with city officials to discuss our plans and they worked with us so nothing would get out of hand.”
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was on hand to monitor the event. Other law enforcement officials patrolled the area in vehicles, on bike and on foot.
As the day continued, the protest numbers were expected to increase. Many protestors said they will remain throughout the duration of the protest. The end may not be in sight, but that isn’t deterring people from speaking out against the direction that they feel their country is heading.