NBC10 Philadelphia - Rosemary Connors
Occupy's national gathering is bringing out-of-towners including Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen. NBC10's Rosemary Connors spent Monday evening with protesters as they embarked on a "Corporate Greed Tour."
The Occupy National Gathering began Saturday and runs through the Fourth of July.
Organizers say about 1500 protesters are expected for marches and gatherings in support of the group’s push for economic equality and other causes.
A Monday afternoon “protest for corporate accountability” during the afternoon targeted several Center City corporate business offices, including Verizon, Comcast and Fannie Mae, winding through Center City during the evening rush and stopping traffic.
Twenty-six occupy members were arrested during a protest Sunday night, according to Philadelphia police.
Occupy member, Michael Smith recorded video of the arrests. He says a small band of occupiers were marching peacefully at 12th and Arch streets, when police moved in.
A news media release issued Monday announced Occupy’s Monday relocation to Franklin Square.
Here's a partial rundown of the Occupy National Gathering Day 2 events on Sunday:
The biggest march is expected to take place on July 4th, a day when 600,000 people are expected in Philadelphia to celebrate the nation’s birthday.
“We’re trusting people’s best judgment,” said Occupy activist Dustin Slaughter. “This is a smart movement and people really don’t want to be violent.”
Philadelphia is preparing for extra people during a week that already brings more than 1 million tourists to town for concerts, fireworks and other events. Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia Police say they’re ready for the Occupy gathering and other events planned by other groups.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel says the department will bolster its presence to keep tabs on the protests, using uniformed and non-uniformed officers, mounted units, bicycle patrols and other personnel.
Occupy protesters also took to the Philadelphia streets last May in a march against corporate greed in which police had to get involved. Last winter was a more violent scene in which police arrested dozens of protesters who they say refused to follow orders after being evicted from Dilworth Plaza.
“Like everybody else, come and enjoy all Philadelphia has to offer,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “Follow the laws, have a good time and everything will be okay.”