Occupy National Gathering

I was down there a little while ago to drop off some bottled water. (Oh, my aching back!) If anyone wants to donate some money for water, I’ll take more down tomorrow:

Occupy participants from around the country have converged on Philadelphia for the “National Gathering” June 30 through July 4. Organizers estimate the event will draw around 1,500 protesters and has been independently endorsed by more than 100 Occupy groups across the country.

From its very beginning, the convention was less about occupation and more about building communities.
“Tents more than likely won’t be necessary,” a statement on the group’s website reads.

Instead, the group plans to develop a list of grievances to take to legislators, presidential candidates, and Supreme Court justices in Washington, and the event will culminate with a planned march to Independence Halls on July 4.

“For me, this is a chance to finally meet face-to-face with people who are doing work in other cities and build real relationships,” said Jeff Rae, an Occupy activist who had his Twitter records subpoenaed by the New York District Attorney in March. “In a much broader scope, I hope that at the National Gathering, we can have some real dialogue about what’s next for Occupy. New tactics and strategies.”

Rae said he believes the Occupy movement is alive and well. “The conditions that created Occupy in the first place have not gone away, and if anything things have gotten worse,” he said, citing the 7,308 Occupy arrests since the movement’s inception, “and I think you have a lot of people dealing with that, along with working on other projects like eviction defense, stop-and-frisk, and banking issues.”