Occupy Philly: What Do You Think About It? Listen to Court Radio at 7 a.m. Sunday

June 28th, 2018

By Dean I Weitzman, Esq.


The headline-grabbing, controversial Occupy Wall Street movement, and its local offshoot, Occupy Philly, will be the topics of discussion on Sunday morning’s Court Radio show with MyPhillyLawyer’s managing partner, Dean Weitzman.

The show, which will air live tomorrow, Nov. 20, at 7 a.m. on WRNB 100.3 FM, will include special guest Everett Gillison, who is the newly-appointed chief of staff for Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. Gillison previously served as Nutter’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety until taking on his new post in October.

everett gillison photo from

Everett Gillison, chief of staff to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter

In his former post, Gillison oversaw the Police and Fire Departments, Prisons, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-Offenders. Earlier, Gillison served at the Defender Association of Philadelphia for twenty-eight years; six years as a social worker and twenty-two years as an attorney. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Syracuse University’s College of Law. Gillison grew up in West Philadelphia and graduated from University City High School.

Weitzman invited Gillison to Court Radio to discuss the city’ approach to the Occupy Philly movement and its encampment at City Hall.

So what is the original Occupy Wall Street group, and its Occupy Philly sister group?

“ is the unofficial de facto online resource for the growing occupation movement happening on Wall Street and around the world, ” according to the group’s Web site. “We’re an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements.”

“Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally,” the group says. “Occupy Wall Street is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”

The Occupy Philly group, on its own Web site, describes the overall movement as a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. This movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians to build a better society.”

The group has issued what it calls The 99% Declaration, which lays out a plan for the nation so that the rest of the citizens in our country can be properly represented by our government – not just the 1% who control most of the money in the U.S. The declaration espouses a total ban on all private contributions to political campaigns for any persons running for federal office. The ban would “extend to all individuals, corporations, political action committees, super political action committees, lobbyists, unions and all other private sources of money or anything of value,” according to the group. Instead, the system would be replaced with a fair and equal public-funded system, they say.

The group’s declaration would also eliminate perks and private benefits to politicians and would set strict term limits for members of the U.S. House and Senate – no more than four two-year terms for the House and no more than two six-year terms for the Senate.

The group also proposes “a complete reformation of the United States Tax Code to require ALL citizens and corporations to pay a fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax by eliminating loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and unfair deductions, subsidies and ending all other methods of evading taxes.”

The Occupy movement also proposes other reforms aimed at protecting the health of the planet, ending the war in Afghanistan, providing healthcare for all Americans, creating an effective jobs program for all Americans who are jobless, public education reform, student loan forgiveness and more.

Yes, that’s quite a topic, and that’s why Weitzman will bring it up on Court Radio, along with his co-host and fellow attorney David M. Rapoport.

Weitzman, Gillison and Rapoport will discuss the group’s First Amendment rights, their City Hall encampment and more related to the local gathering, which has been going on for more than a month.

Is the encampment legal?

Should the protesters be allowed to do this?

Is this truly about a protest over Wall Street and how banks and investment companies tanked the U.S. economy over the last decade? Or are there other agendas?

What else is it all about?

What do you think?

Those are some of the issues to be discussed on tomorrow’s Court Radio show.

So how do you, our Court Radio listeners, feel about Occupy Philly?

We invite you to listen to the show at 7 a.m. and to call in with your comments and questions during the broadcast.

Court Radio is broadcast every Sunday at 7 a.m. on WRNB 100.3 FM in the Philadelphia metropolitan area or listen live over the Internet. Click the “Listen Live” button on the top right to hear the live broadcast from anywhere.

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