Nine Occupy Philly protesters occupied the lobby of Comcast world headquarters for more than 2 hours today before being arrested at about 3:30 pm. Outside, we cheered, sang, and rejoiced. In case anyone isn’t familiar with why all of Philly hates Comcast, check out these stats from Occupy Philadelphia’s facebook:
For locating its headquarters in Center City, Comcast was given $42.75 million from the state, and pays no taxes for the first 10 years. The construction firm that built the headquarters, Liberty Property Trust, received $30 million from the state. These subsidies and tax cuts could save the AdultBasic program that Governor Corbett has gutted, which provided over 45,000 low-income Pennsylvanians with health insurance. Occupy Philly activist Melanie Bartlett notes that the CEO of Comcast’s salary – $31.1 million – works out to more than $4 per second.
This action, which pleased countless Philadelphians, was taken in solidarity with Occupy Oakland’s call for a general strike there today.
A Brutal Arrest on the Sidewalk
Those of us who didn’t go inside chanted and sang outside. While linking arms with several dozen others in front of the police vans brought to arrest our comrades, a member of Occupy Philly was knocked down by police and arrested. Eyewitness Catherine DePrince says, “The police came forward, pushing with their bikes. She was pushed down backwards.”
“She landed like a ton of bricks,” says Wayne DePrince, who was next to the arrested protester at the time. “When he pushed her with the bike, she fell backwards off the curb. That’s why she went down so hard.”
“After she was on the ground, in an instant, they swarmed on her and dragged her into the van,” Catherine DePrince adds. “We assumed they were going to help her up and push her out of the way. But instead they very aggressively dragged her into the van. The way I see it, she was arrested for falling down when she was pushed.”
“She wasn’t resisting. She was screaming, ‘What are you doing? Shame!’” Wayne DePrince says.