At last night’s G.A. the framework for a proposal was decided. The vote will be Friday night at 7pm. Although it is a more sensible proposal than originally raised by the Radical Caucus – which was to stay at Dilworth without exception – a group remains which intends to stand their ground at City Hall and resist police. Along with that they have decided to make demands of the City. The proposal reads:
Occupy Philadelphia will stay at Dilworth Plaza at the anticipated “start of the Dilworth Plaza construction.” We also intend to expand to Thomas Paine Plaza. If this proposal is adopted Occupy Philadelphia will issue a public statement and a list of demands.
The proposal still needs to pass with a super majority on friday night in order to stand as the group’s decision. We feel it is unfortunate that people want to slow our progress by fighting this particular fight, but we understand that this is what some people want. They believe that resisting is the way to gain support. Most of us at Reasonable Solutions do not agree with that, which poses a challenging dilemma.
- Do we try to vote it down? This would leave us with no group decision, but would also eliminate the unreasonable ideas that exist within the proposal.
- Do we vote to pass the proposal? This would make a clear statement that some people can leave the site and still be provided OccupyPhilly resources. Maybe if it is voted down, we can start a new organization that is not under the OccupyPhilly umbrella and wishes to bring change through logic and reason. I am struggling with the idea that people want to stay on site without a permit to fight police. Honestly, I don’t want to be represented by a group that supports the idea when I really think about it. Anyway, just a thought.
It should also be noted that Reasonable Solutions raised the first proposal to expand on November 2, over a week ago; it was met with heavy opposition from the radicals/extremists/youngsters and was voted down. We used the word “expansion” instead of relocation because we knew what the reaction would be to the latter. It simply stated that we should pursue a permit for Thomas Paine plaza. We did not include any points about making demands and we did not state that people should stay at Dilworth. Both of those items I believe are fool-hardy ideas. If you plan to make demands, there must be something offered in return. We will be raising the idea that we should offer to leave Dilworth plaza all together if the demands are met.
Do people not understand that the city is already giving us a lot? Two obvious provisions are electricity and internet. Those services will be cut off on the 15th when our permit expires. They also want to communicate with us, and help us. We in Philadelphia are privileged to have one of the most helpful city governments in the country when it comes to the OccupyWallStreet movement. Where is the respect? Change will take a while, and we should really learn to pick our battles in order to avoid destruction of this movement before we make real progress.
Two final thoughts:
- The city has stated that we(OccupyPhilly) cannot carry two concurrent permits. Surely they will not renew the permit for Dilworth Plaza. So those that stay will be there illegally. Will the city lump us together as an unlawful assembly?
- Is Thomas Paine Plaza the best location? We learned in the last couple days that the city would need to fortify the floor in that park to protect the brittle granite slabs. Yes, it’s convenient due to the proximity to Dilworth, but if it is not ideal for the occupation and it is not ideal for the city, why should we limit ourselves to this choice?
All comments are welcome, let’s have a discussion. If you have any thoughts our group would love to hear them.
Please come out and vote on friday night. Be ready with your questions, concerns, and amendments.