“I was terrified. I didn’t know what was happening. All of a sudden my tent was ripped open and an officer was screaming in my face: ‘Get out! Get out!’ I said, ‘I can’t walk, sir, my foot is broken and I’m on crutches,’ but they wouldn’t listen.”
Stories of horror by Phillip Birchman, looking dazed and confused after fleeing Dilworth Plaza in an eviction that caught the occupation by surprise. Sitting on a curb outside the 711 on Filbert Street around 2:30 am with nothing but a few cigarettes, his identification, and a pair of crutches to aid with his cast, Birchman’s only comfort was the warmth of a newfound friend. He said he had nowhere to turn and no reasonable way to move from Dilworth; he had been living on unemployment checks for months leading up to the occupation.
However, earlier in the morning of November 30th, the Occupy Philly movement was formally ousted from Dilworth Plaza at City Hall when police entered the park, some mounted, some on foot, and forcibly removed the people camped in tents. Police then cordoned off City Hall in a two-block radius and removed all media, protesters and passerby until the early hours of the morning.
With nowhere to go, the OP protestors marched around Center City, heading down to Rittenhouse Square in a failed attempt to breach the entrances to the square. After a moment to rest and rally on the curb in Rittenhouse, the group of nearly 100 proceeded to march around City Hall in an ineffective attempt to break through barriers and take back the plaza. Police were two steps ahead at all times, using bike police to jockey for position around the nomadic un-occupiers who at times seemed downright confused.