NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COMIn 1776, the founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. This year, 236 years later, 'Occupy' groups from across the country are headed to the city for a 'national gathering' on Independence Mall.
One protester accused of assaulting an Independence Mall Park ranger has already been arrested, according to Action News. The protester was arrested Saturday night. About 1,500 protesters are expected for marches and gatherings in support of the group's push for economic equality and other causes.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said protests like Occupy Philadelphia are unpredictable and pose a challenge for law enforcement, adding, "We're going to be all hands on deck."
A second, smaller conference, dubbed "Continental Congress 2.0", is being held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center starting Monday, July 2 through the Fourth of July. It’s not affiliated with the “Occupy” groups but is organized by the 99% Working Group. About 150 delegates from across the country are expected, said Robert Manning, of Pinole, Calif., one of the organizers.
Manning said the group, which will march to Independence Hall on Wednesday, plans to develop a list of concerns and take it to the presidential candidates and Supreme Court.
Also on the Fourth, the annual celebration of “American Exceptionalism” will be held by the Independence hall Tea Party Association. Roughly 2,000 people are expected to attend, said association co-founder Don Adams.
While Mayor Michael Nutter supports freedom of speech, he said he believes everyone should remember to respect the opposition’s rights, too. “No one has the right to act like an idiot," Nutter said.