Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Occupation in Philly, Day 55 (November 29)

Occupy Philly eviction starting around 1 a.m. this December 30–2 days & 8 hours after our eviction deadline, and simultaneously with Occupy LA’s eviction–by many hundreds of police (far outnumbering us), using SEPTA buses, helicopters, on bicycles & horses. We held our ground until exactly the third & final dispersal order, when the cops announced they were offering us free buses home, & then instead of waiting to be arrested, the 100 or so of us bolted off to take the streets and march toward Rittenhouse Park (the front lawn for Philly’s rich), growing to several hundred of us, doing mic checks, chanting “anticapitalista” & “you can’t evict an idea,” running around center city, including back to our commune, now being cleared out.

At around 4 a.m., when people set up a tent in the middle of Market & 15th, the police first smashed the tent, encircled and arrested about 8 folks, then told the rest of us to get on the sidewalk, & then proceeded to use horses against us (one of our hardy media crew, Vanessa, had her foot trampled and probably some toes broken in the process, but kept on filming!). The cops used batons & bikes against about 200 people in another breakway march, tried choking one occupier and pulled a knife on two others, and ended up arresting upward of 50 people before the night was done.

The Friends Center opened its doors to us, where as many of us were regrouping around 5:30 a.m., word came that the mayor was holding a press conference at 6:15 a.m. on municipal plaza, so we ran off to confront him, but he was too scared to come outside, so we did a big mic check about police brutality to some 100 cops, while watching the remains of our plaza be cleared away across the street. We were probably outnumbered all evening 5 or 10 to 1 by police versus us, but we were the ones who remained disciplined, powerful, determined; the police lost control, and the mayor (finally) showed what some of us knew all along: the mayor and the police are not our friends!

As I yelled to the dozens and dozens of cops guarding the mayor’s press conference (from us!) this morning: “Quit your jobs. You’re on the wrong side of history!” And we, from Cairo to Oakland, from ALEC protests in Arizona today, to LA & Philly’s co-evictions last night, to many millions more of us globally, are all surely united in being on the right side of making our own histories–and more beautiful ones by the day. Sleep, then jail solidarity, and then back to making revolution with all my newfound comrades & companions here in still-occupied philly.

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2011 by in Dispatches from Occupy Philly.
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