At least twenty-seven people were arrested in an impromptu march at the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. Two of the people arrested were livestreamers—Jesse Hadden of Occupy PDX and “Cowboy Mike” of Occupy Philly. Two of the people arrested were also medics.
Here is video of the “kettling” and arrests:
Most of the people in the march were arrested, according to Dustin Slaughter, a media spokesperson with the Occupy National Gathering. Five to ten people hung back and were not caught up in the action when bike cops forcefully pushed them off the street and on to the sidewalk.
Slaughter informed me that a Homeland Security Department tactical vehicle was following close behind. People there thought something strange was going on because there was a similar tactical unit at the last “mass arrest” in Philadelphia.
Livestreamer Tim Pool reported, according to a Philadelphia police captain, arrests were for “obstructing a highway.” All would be issued summary citations and arrestees would be out in about 2 hours.
Occupiers went to the jail at 8th & Race where the arrestees were taken to show support.
Moments before occupiers took off from Franklin Square, where Gathering activities had been taking place, this was the scene behind the police department across the street from the Square:
The Philadelphia Police and Homeland Security definitely were prepared to make arrests during whatever action happened tonight.
Five people who came to protest NATO and were charged with planning to commit terrorism-related offenses ahead of a summit in Chicago in May are being arraigned today. They intend to all plead not guilty. Occupy Chicago will be holding a press conference in the morning and solidarity actions throughout the day.
For more details on the NATO 5, which The Dissenter has been following closely since three of the five were first arrested in a preemptive raid, go here.
The three were arraigned—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase and Brian Church. They each pled not guilty. The major nugget to come out of today’s arraignment is that prosecutors handed over discovery evidence indicating the authorities “overheard” these men “plotting” over wiretaps. This adds another dimension to the story. When did the wiretapping begin? Under what pretext? Did the infiltrators give them information that gave them what they needed to go get a wiretap?