Occupy Philly Takes a Stand Against "Corporate Greed"

Protesters are critical of politicians in Washington and Harrisburg.

By Catherine Brown
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 1:13 PM EDT
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NBCPhiladelphia.com - Katy Zachry

The "Occupy Philadelphia" protesters staged a march around City Hall to press their agenda for social change. The crowd of several hundred demonstrators raised their voices and their banners, claiming to speak for Americans who don't have power. The movement that began on Wall Street in New York City came to Dilworth Plaza on Broad Street with apparent plans to stay until further notice.

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Occupy Philadelphia Stages Peaceful Protest

Several hundred demonstrators carrying signs, chanting and delivering speeches on Dilworth Plaza gathered for the Occupy Philadelphia protest in Center City on Thursday.
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Several hundred people rallied outside Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday as part of an Occupy Philadelphia rally modeled after the ongoing protest on Wall Street in New York.

The crowd began gathering on Thursday morning and swelled through the noon hour.

The event on Dilworth Plaza was a mix of of speakers, demonstrators carrying signs, chanting and some musicians. An afternoon march was planned around City Hall, with police on standby to temporarily stop traffic in Center City.

Organizers said Thursday's demonstration is meant to be a stand by every day Americans against corporate greed and the elected officials who they believe support it.

“We are the 99 percent, said Steve Ross, Occupy Philadelphia organizer. “We are the ones who do not have the power anymore in this country and we need to take it back.”

Ross said the goal is to be peaceful throughout the entire event. The organizers said they have obtained the proper permits and they’ve kept an open line of communication with police.

A large police force was assembled to keep order. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey did a walk through on Thursday morning.

The group remained peaceful and as of 7:30 p.m. no on was arrested, according to police.

A tri-state Tea Party coalition issued a statement on Thursday denouncing the tactics of the Occupy Philadelphia effort.

"While supporting the free speech rights of all, including Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Philadelphia, the coalition members roundly deplore the illegal tactics they employ, including sit-ins that interfere with the free flow of traffic," said the statement. The release included a reference to arrests of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday.

The release said the Tea Party coalition represents American Sheepdogs, UNITEPA, Diamond State Tea Party, Cherry Hill (NJ) Area Tea Party, and the Independence Hall Tea Party.

Occupy Philadelphia has not set a specific date to end the local demonstrations.

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