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Thursday, October 27, 2011

City, Protesters Grapple With Occupy Philadelphia Logistics

Members of Service Employees International Union march from the encampment at City Hall, center, Tuesday. (AP)

Members of Service Employees International Union march from the encampment at City Hall, center, Tuesday. (AP)

As winter approaches, there’s been a wide range of reactions from municipal leaders to the Occupy Wall Street protesters in their cities. In Philadelphia, the city and protesters are headed for their first major confrontation since the demonstration began there three weeks ago.

Protesters have set up hundreds of tents outside of City Hall in Dilworth Plaza, and city officials are suggesting the group pull up stakes and move across the street to allow a planned $50-million construction project to go forward. The city also says the demonstrators aren’t acting fast enough to deal with sanitation concerns.

Richard Negrin, Philadelphia’s managing director, believes that protesters will begin leaving the area with the onset of snowy weather. But protesters say they have established a tent city, feeding 1,000 people a day out of a nearby Quaker Center. They say they’re in it for the long-run.

“We’re going to be as reasonable as possible and only if they force us to take stronger measures will we do that,” he told Here & Now‘s Sacha Pfeiffer.

Other Occupy News:

  • Baltimore: City officials have refused to sign off on a permit that would let protesters stay indefinitely in McKeldin Square. Instead, they’re offering to let the daytime protest continue indefinitely in a smaller corner of the square — as long as a maximum of only two protesters stay overnight.
  • Los Angeles: The mayor says the Occupy LA encampment outside City Hall, “cannot continue indefinitely.”
  • San Francisco: The city has already cleared two camps.
  • Providence, Rhode Island: There are plans in the works to evict protesters.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: The mayor said he had no choice but to send in SWAT teams to arrest protesters Wednesday after a man was seen walking through the camp with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Guests:

  • Richard Negrin, City of Philadelphia managing director
  • Chris Goldstein, Occupy Philadelphia social media coordinator

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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