Recent Developments Regarding OWS and RS

To put it mildly, there have been a number of developments unfolding, both at Dilworth Plaza and elsewhere, since our last post on Tuesday. While we had hoped to make an update before now, the group has been struggling to keep all gears turning.

To summarize, there has been great success realized by many of us, who wished to work with the city toward providing people an option for protesting against corruption of government and corporations once Dilworth Plaza is evacuated.  With the help of Congressman Brady, city officials, the labor unions and many participants in Reasonable Solutions we have been able to put together a tentative agreement.

As much as there has been disagreements flying, we share the sentiment that many occupiers have conveyed on a variety of topics. For instance, it is sad to know our city has no choice but to clear our camp at Dilworth Plaza. They look at it as a need and not an option, which we also understand.  That doesn’t change the fact that we have been working hard toward building a beautiful community there for the past 42 days.

We feel it is unfortunate that a construction project was previously planned, and this should have been a key factor in the decision to go to Dilworth in the first place.  Why this fact was not communicated with greater volume and clarity during the early stages of planning may remain a mystery indefinitely. If someone would like to explain this oversight, please post a comment below. Never the less, we need to face the reality and work toward solutions in order to prevent an early end to this movement in Philadelphia.

Recap of events since Tuesday:

  • Tuesday 11/15 at 4:00pm – Reasonable Solutions invited members of all working groups, with the exception of two, to a meeting with City officials – notes available here. 23 occupiers were invited, 17 occupiers showed up.  The notes do not include two members who were dealing the the chaos in the lobby.  The agenda was to open a fresh dialog with city representatives after they had been stonewalled on more than one occasion but the G.A. We wanted to discuss the petition that was signed by 650+ occupiers and supporters; posted previously to this blog. We also wanted to discuss how to move forward toward in securing a new location which complies with the city’s need to move forward with the planned construction. Overall the meeting was very successful in many participants opinions.
  • Tuesday 11/15 at 7:30pm – Reasonable Solutions along with several groups met to discuss which parks we should present as potential locations for new encampments. We were pleased to have Congressman Robert Brady in attendance. He was very supportive of our efforts both as the 99% movement, but also our approach in being willing to negotiate. Two locations were decided for potential permit applications – Thomas Paine Plaza was clear first choice, with Washington Square Park as a back up option. 25 new members to Reasonable Solutions were added (welcome!). We left feeling optimistic and generously supported by many wonderful souls.
  • Wednesday 11/16 Online – Reasonable Solutions received over 200 emails and wrote responses to nearly all of them. Exchanges on the listserv, google groups, facebook and twitter occasionally turned ugly, but by this time Reasonable Solutions unanimously decided to ignore threats, accusations, etc. It was chaotic and emotional for many of us. Rumors with many outlooks were also flying due to the notice of eviction from Dilworth Plaza.
  • Wednesday 11/16 at Dilworth – Eviction notices were posted by the city. Also, one member of Reasonable Solutions decided to attend a Coordinators Committee meeting and the GA in an attempt to reduce confrontation. That was only partially successful.
  • Wednesday 11/16 Evening – Reasonable Solutions prepared a permit for morning delivery. There will be three people listed on the permit which will make up the Operations crew for Thomas Paine Plaza. Washington Square had at this point been eliminated due to a message received by the city which stated that the National Park Service would need to issue that permit.  Given the small camp already on federal land at independence hall, we decided to not proceed with that direction. The occupation was also the top story on many main-stream news programs.  In the ABC broadcast, Congressman Brady publicized our agreement, which we were relieved to see. The agreement discussed with him was that the unions will help willing participants in moving to Thomas Paine Plaza this weekend. He also implied that he would work with the city to expedite the permit process and push the issue to allow for camping at the new site. We respect Congressman Brady very much, he is a man of his word. We are also extremely appreciative of his help.
  • Thursday 11/17 at 9:30am – The permit application for the new site was presented to city officials at their offices in the Municipal Services Building. It also happens that Thomas Paine Plaza is right outside. They assured us that the application would be reviewed and a response would be made soon. We will post an update, once we have heard back from them, with details regarding terms.

We suggest that people remove their personal items from the Dilworth camp ASAP, but clearance for Thomas Paine has not yet been provided. It is likely that police would remove those that migrate across the street until further notice. Patience is a virtue. We also think that the most reliable evaluation is that the city will likely not move forward with forced eviction today. With that in mind, we know people will, in the end, do what they want to do as individuals. That is a principle that many at Reasonable Solutions respect and live by everyday. I guess what I am saying is: if you feel you are at risk or if you plan to take risks, try to be prepared for unfortunate outcomes.

If you have further questions, please contact us through our website – http://www.occupyReasonableSolutions.org

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About llllll12llllllgllllll

Philadelphia Resident Activist, Philosopher, Artist, Film Maker
This entry was posted in Issues and Discussion, News, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Recent Developments Regarding OWS and RS

  1. Colin says:

    Psst… Please feel free to let me know who needs editor access from reasonable solutions so they can post some information at occupyphilly(dot)org… Trying to keep everybody informed here…

  2. You are entitled to you opinions. A few quick responses to your points:

    – I don’t think anyone among us wants to be “in charge”. I certainly don’t.
    – We tried to go with the process and it was met with strong opposition. The matter was time sensitive so we decided to act as individuals. If people decide to move on their own accord now, great. Keep in mind though, the true majority spoke out against the GA decision before we tried to meet with city officials. We were the only group with the courage to stand up publicly to the bullying, etc.
    – Your suggestions about the writing have been noted. This wasn’t intended to be victory speech. That aside, I am not sure how much you have slept lately, but I have had about 4 solid hours since tuesday. This process was hard on all of us, and some statement needed to be posted. Any chance you could give me the benefit of the doubt?

    Thanks for responding

  3. Mike says:

    Reasonable Solutions,

    Guys and Gals, I’ve agreed with your stance on the move from Dillworth this whole time, even debated for it at GA and with folks I know. The GA mostly agrees now, they even tried to move earlier tonight, but the city and cops will arrest us if we attempt to go there, until we have a UNIFIED permit.
    We, as Occupy Philly, have bigger fish to fry than this issue. But it’s teaching us a lot about working together. When the 11/11 GA voted to remain at Dillworth, I understand a lot of your voices were not heard, and you decided to splinter off of the main group, calling it co-opted. As an emotional response, this is understandable. But many, including “reasonable radicals” like myself, thought this was uncalled for, because it betrayed a lack of attempting to work WITH the group to amend the fact that your voice was not heard. It was a very emotional, fear-based response, and we’re all human and I don’t blame you. HOWEVER, a more mature response is now required to re-unify our amazing movement.
    Thank you for going ahead with the permit process, it was good foresight, and I appreciate the work you did. To make amends with the rest of Occupy Philly, though, I think you should formally apologize to the GA for attempting to go over their heads. I think you should explain that you did it because you were afraid of the movement falling apart. Show humility and humanity, without caring if they understand or not. The people who did not respect you should also do the same. We NEED, as Occupy Philly, to chill out and understand where one another are coming from and thus why we believe what we do about issues. Most of us mean well, regardless of what we feel about particular issues. I think you should promise to work with the entire group from now on. And they should promise the same to you, too. If we’re going to have a permit for TPP, let’s apply for one together. Together, also, we can work on amendments to our democratic process to make it fairer for us all, but first we must stand united and work towards understanding one another!
    To end, I want to let you know that I have, indeed, one-on-one talked with people of all stripes of opinions about this issue and have had mutual understanding without animosity. In fact, I think this kind of mutual understanding is possible within groups but takes courage and hard work. It will, though, make it possible for us to evolve into a group that can make big, unifying, revolutionary decisions together, while working through disagreements.
    Thanks for reading, solidarity!

    • Excellent post. Thank you!

      Are you willing to coordinate a meeting between the groups? I am only asking you because you are the first to step up with this perspective. I would be willing to follow through with your suggestion, although I would want to discuss the idea with other members of RS before making a final decision.

      If you want to help resolve this, please contact me at 12gaugeangel@gmail.com
      – Twelve

  4. Mary says:

    Has anyone ever considered doing volunteer work in Philly as a way to look positive? You have hundreds of people sitting around that could make a difference. Stop protesting and accomplish something. If this really is about helping America, why hasn’t anyone gone out and cleaned up a playground or older neighbors yard. They are so many in Philly that need help and you sit there arguing about tents.

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