Occupy Philly ventures inside City Hall

CITY HALL - October 20, 2011

They were technically unable to fire at their familiar targets - Wall Street, the big banks, and the fed - those were off limits because council rules say the public can only speak on issues which are pending a vote.

They chose legislation to strengthen the existing curfews on minors.

The mayor imposed the curfew last summer after a number of flash mob attacks and assaults.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the curfews work and he wants now to impose earlier curfew hours for minors, a multi-tiered system for different age groups, parental liability, and expand the mayor's emergency powers.

There were multiple attacks on the mayor's plan.

"Only four of the eleven flash mobs have actually occurred after the hours included in the curfew," activist Nicholas Shanken said.

"Who is this curfew protecting? It's protecting the centers for business in Center City and University City and it's protecting white privileged," Che Gosstt of Occupy Philly said.

"There is no link between youth curfews and reduction in crime rates regardless of their popularity among polls," University of Pennsylvania student Savannah Shange said.

"I also believe the youth curfew would likely only be implemented and enforced under poor communities of color," Khadijah White of University of Pennsylvania said.

The council member who sponsored the bill for Mayor Nutter had this response to the hail of criticism.

"There were a number of compelling points raised; some of those points were already addressed in the bill," Councilwoman Blondelle Reynolds-Brown said.

For the record, the councilwoman says she has more than the nine votes needed to pass these tougher curfew measures and despite her cautious words, she plans to call the bill up for a final vote next week.

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