We’re finally here in Philly. The trip was made with ease and songs sung, art made and good conversations until we found everyone sound asleep in the back. It had been a long night and some of us only getting to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. With sleep deprivation and incredible heat wave we forged our way to Philly. It was decided among a few of us (when we heard from Chris Wambaugh of Kalamazoo, MI) that we would meet, them from DC and us from Newark so we could make our grand entrance together. We met just outside downtown area and put our OTR badges on our backs then each car took a letter “occupy” and we rolled out. As we entered the area where the gathering was taking place on Independence Mall we were noticed almost immediately and people gathered at the windows, cameras flashed and many questions were being asked. The press were there along with countless cops. The police were quick to tell us that we were not allowed to stay there and must move. We pushed for more time but finally decided to go find parking. The church had been offered up to occupiers as a safe haven. The parking was huge but the drive in was narrow and had somewhat of a climb up. So we decided to park on the streets close enough to walk to the Mall. We listened to the Occupy Philly speakers welcome everyone and provide some important ground rules, etc. Then Mic checks started up with different cities shouting out where they were from, which I found so wonderful but was shut down far too soon. It would have been nice to hear all the cities that were being represented there. But time was running out and many things still to be reported.
We filmed and photographed the activities, noticing the park had been completely fenced off wit only two entrances/exits to control who was coming and going. After the speaches and just before dinner, Hatari and I went back to the “V” to organize 9 peoples backpacks and oddles of stuff, so that we could at least make a pathway to the bathroom. After back and forth from the park to the “V” I decided I was going to make that trek up the narrow drive and join everyone in the Quaker Church parking lot. It was the best decision and some in awe were congratulating me on doing so. We were now all together and enjoying the festivities of the night.
Tino and Ray had been covering the story of the arrests a little while earlier when police, once again, showed their over active authority and beat up on not only Ray for sitting arm and arm guarding a tent but others along with arresting one who’s nose they broke first. It was a sad way to end the day. We heard others had been arrested. The marching group decided to split into two groups and when they did so one group went out of the tourist area and gave the cops less objection and fight to their authoritarian ways.