Occupy plan not 99% certain

Posted: October 20, 2011

PHILADELPHIA has been looking in recent years to amp up its convention business - but this might not be exactly what officials had in mind.

A wing of the fast-growing Occupy Wall Street protest movement raised a stir yesterday with a proposal for a months-long convention of 99 Percenters angry about wealth inequity in America - to take place here in Philadelphia, starting on July 4.

A plan that leaked out from the so-called Demands Working Group of the original Occupy Wall Street group said that the confab could last through October with 870 delegates, a man and woman from every U.S. congressional district.

But the word from others in the movement, including the Occupy Philadelphia group that's been camping out in tents at City Hall, is . . . not so fast.

"It's still in a very early stage, still in the committee level, and hasn't been approved," said Sean Kitchen, who started the Occupy Philadelphia group on Facebook and is a key local organizer.

Many protesters have begun to question whether Occupy Wall Street even needs to issue demands, since the movement is growing as a broad protest vehicle for many issues, including mortgage foreclosures, high student debt and taxes on the richest 1 percent.

The local group is planning a major protest tomorrow outside the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, is slated to speak on income inequality.

- Will Bunch

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