Mayor’s Office Prepares for Occupy Philly’s Demonstration at City Hall
The administration doesn’t seem thrilled about the impending camp-out/demonstration, which is planning on staying as long as people can hold out, or when the American system crumbles and is replaced by a democratic movement led by the enlightened, wise and virtuous—whichever comes first. But the city won’t kick them out or say no, either. Occupy Wall Street in New York is in its third week, and City Hall has no idea how long it’ll be staying in Philly.
At a press conference at City Hall, Deputy Mayor of Administration and Coordination Richard Negrin said the city government hopes “it doesn’t go longer” than a few days, because the city doesn’t have the resources to address a large-scale, long-term presence of demonstrators hanging around City Hall. However, he said the mayor was impressed with the initiative of the group in meeting with city government before they begin camping.
“It’ll be peaceful, lawful and orderly. They promised it would be just that,” Negrin said, adding that the Occupy Philly folks were arranging the proper permits to have tents and marches.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the police would maintain a presence, which would mean police overtime, since “we’re not going to strip patrols” from local neighborhoods. But he also anticipates the occupiers will keep the pledge they gave the mayor, of exercising their first amendment rights without violence or disruption to normal folks’ lives—as long as rotten apples from other groups don’t use Occupy Philly as a chance to spoil the bunch.
Judging from the attendance of 1,000 at last night’s general assembly, City Hall will have many more people around than usual starting tomorrow. “Expect delays,” Ramsey said, if you’re planning on driving into Center City in the coming days. “I don’t know what they’re going to do,” or how many people will wind up showing up or camping out, he said, adding, “I don’t anticipate there will be anything we can’t handle.”