Greetings from Philly

Earlier today, the Occupy Boston Media Working Group received the following email from a member of Occupy Philadelphia. We would like to share it with the wider Occupy Boston community.

Greetings from Philly, to my old home, Boston.

Tonight, Occupy Philadelphia faces what many occupations across the country have faced over the course of the last two months. Mayor Nutter has issued a 5 pm deadline for us to permanently vacate Dilworth Plaza – the public space in front of City Hall – to make way for a $50 million dollar construction project that will turn this public space into a pseduo-private space. Maybe it will become Philly’s personal big dig – overdue and overbudget. We realize that the narrative from Occupy Philly may be confusing. Who’s working with the city? Who’s this other group that has a permit for that space across the street? Ignore it. All of it. Like other occupations, we have our own internal demons and people working against us – which invariably includes the city. The same tired old tales have been regurgitated in our media – the anarchist boogeyman has been invoked, the radicals have supposedly taken over. As a member of the Legal Collective, the group empowered to act as liaisons to the City, I can state with certainty that it is the City who, while waxing prophetic about open communication, have remained reticent.

Like Occupy Boston, Occupy Philly is made of a diverse group of people from all walks of life. We feed 1500 meals a day to those in need. We have provided tents, sleeping bags, and clothing to those who need it. Everyone – the homeless who lived on the plaza before occupation, occupiers, part-time occupiers, members of working groups – participates in our direct democratic process to make decisions that affect our newfound community. A voice has been given to the voiceless. Since the official notice of eviction was given on Friday, we have become even closer, and even stronger. Our people’s mic has taken on new life. We are strong. We are not simply this plaza, or the plaza across the street. We are not simply an encampment. We are prefiguring a new society. The city may remove our tents and our bodies tonight, but we will come back. Maybe not to this space, but we will be back – rejuvenated and stronger.

On the night of Oct. 11, I sat in front of my computer, clutching my phone, watching the livestream from Occupy Boston and reading text messages from my friends who were out there risking arrest. I couldn’t be up there in person, linking arms, but the least I could do was support Occupy Boston from afar and post about what was happening on facebook and twitter. I ask for no more and no less from the Occupiers in the city I called home for 8 years. Watch our livestream. Tell your friends. Post about it. Ask friends in Philadelphia to come out and show their support, to get themselves to city hall (right now! but at least by 3pm!) to bring signs and stand witness. Our strength is in numbers. Our strength is in our goals. Our strength is in our idea.

Because you cannot evict an idea.

In Solidarity,
Diane, member of the Occupy Philly Legal Collective and Boston ex-pat

Information about today’s eviction planning