19 Occupy Philly Protesters Arrested In Police Raid Going to Trial

Nearly three dozen Occupy Philly protesters arrested in last Wednesday’s early morning police eviction raid made their first appearance in court this morning. Occupiers have been charged with conspiracy, failure to disperse, and obstructing a highway. They face up to five years in prison and a $12,500 fine.

Lined up in front of Judge Felice R. Stack in Room 403 of the Criminal Justice Center on 13th and Filbert streets, all the Occupiers were given the option to avoid trial and enroll in the Accelerated Misdemeanor Program. Nineteen protesters chose to waive that offer and go to trial. A date has been set for Jan. 12.

Fourteen protesters accepted the offer and were sentenced to 12 hours of community service—to be completed by Jan. 10—and a $199.50 fine.

Afterward, Penn professor Toorjo “T.J.” Ghose—who detailed his arrest to PW last week and is among the 19 going to trial next month—said he’s “prepared to take this all the way,” and expects to be fully cleared of the charges.

6 Responses to “ 19 Occupy Philly Protesters Arrested In Police Raid Going to Trial ”

  1. philly citizen says:

    “They face up to five years in prison and a $12,500 fine”

    well at least they wont be homeless now.. seems they are now championing the cause of the homeless since the Wall street take down was a spectacular failure.

  2. fu dave says:

    Homelessness is a problem. and most of them are white so all these monkees the city caters too will just sit there and watch as these white kids become homeless. because racoons cant even help themselves. but certain white idiots will.

  3. MB says:

    Ghose sounds like a great guy. I personally wish this could have turned out differently where the protesters and the city did not have to be enemies in this. I feel like a Pollyanna by saying that I feel like the city did a very good job. Also, based on their blog, Reasonable Solutions sounds so …. reasonable. And it was perplexing to me why the Dilworth occupiers held onto the site to such a bitter end. I alternate between perceiving the middle of night march as a little nutty or a little inspiring. It seems like the city did every reasonable thing to be supportive of civil free speech. They did just about every single thing to prevent and avoid violence and arrests. Nutter’s decisions were almost completely the opposite of Bloomberg’s.

    Maybe the bar is low on account of the extreme decisions made by leaders in other cities, but I still perceive that Philadelphia wants to support a vibrant movement that pushes out economic injustice. The idea that the city wants to do it like the way affluent Americans like to support organic farming by shopping at aesthetically pleasing Whole Foods, yes I get that. But. I kind of think that might not be unreasonable (there’s that word again) considering….well everything. On the other hand, technically the city can’t be a partner with an opposition movement, kind of like the way parents can’t be friends with their teenagers and smoke pot with them. (I mean, they can. But it’s not recommended.) And kind of like how technically protesters can’t claim success until or unless there’s a confrontation. Sigh on that.

    So it’s hard to read this stage here in Phila. But I’ll just make one more Pollyana pitch at ‘can’t we all just get along’. A huge reason why we, the US, are in this armpit right now is that the forces that be have been at work for decades dismantling the American Dream. And a big way this was accomplished was by discrediting and defunding government. Philadelphia, being a poster child for incompetent governing, has been on the front lines—fire-hosed by issues related to poverty. Yes, the city has given over huge bucks to its oligarchy through preferential tax policies. And yes, the city has a substantial homeless population. And yes the city’s response to homelessness could be strengthened if it wasn’t giving away big bucks through its tax policies. And yes Phila’s relationship with its oligarchy is very complex. But. The city made a good faith effort to support civil protest. I perceive Philadelphia’s government demonstrated competence in the way it handled Occupy. And I really think that matters. I think it’s important that the city didn’t completely freak out over this because competence on the part of the government is not a bad thing—it’s good for the government to function well. A well functioning government protects its people. But then again, yes the city does have the capacity to violently suppress free speech if it wants to and I’m troubled by that. So. I don’t know. I just feel like the real villains are getting a free ride over conflicts like this. But then again, the conflicts make news and publicity. So I don’t know. I guess, everybody play their part.

  4. Tanksleyd says:

    I was at the weekend rally at Independence Hall. I was saddened when it (finally) became obvious that the “Occupiers” are outright AGAINST voting. I was saddened because those who were there still hadn’t got the memo that in spite of a 1,000 video cameras at the eviction, no one can produce an image of police brutality.

    Occupy Philly not only missed their calling, they have missed the boat….I’m sticking with the Reasonable guys.

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