Occupy Phila. protestors hit the streets

CENTER CITY - October 12, 2011

On Wednesday afternoon, the protestors marched from their camp site at Dilworth Plaza, taking to the streets in Center City.

They marched from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Bank headquarters on South Broad Street. The marchers tied up traffic and turned heads.

Action United claims Wells Fargo and other banks ripped off the school district when it bailed out of shaky investments.

"We want the money back. We want the money back to the school where they stole it from," said Carolyn Banks of Action United.

It's just one of the Occupy movement's many grievances. They attracted a lot of attention as they marched and chanted, and not all of it negative.

"I think they're really been sold a raw deal. I know a lot of my kids and their friends say work is hard to come by, and they're really having a hard time of it. So, it's good that they're becoming vocal," said Beth Cross of Elkins Park, Pa.

Others praised both the police and the protesters for maintaining order. Demonstrations in other cities have turned violent with mass arrests, but not here.

The biggest threat to Occupy Philadelphia right now is the weather. As rain and cooler temperatures move in, will they maintain their resolve?

"I will probably be in and out, especially as it gets colder. I don't know if I can deal with the cold. Maybe around November or December I'll sleep at home and come here during the day," said John Wong-Shing of Fairmount.

The movement still faces the question of direction. They are angry at the banks and what they call corporate greed.

But, will they coalesce into a political force to be reckoned with?

"We have enough people on both sides of a lot of issues, both conservatives as well as liberals. It would take a lot of difficulty to form a political party here," said Chase Doyle of Fishtown.

No one knows where it's headed, but the people out here are convinced they're at the forefront of something big.

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