Occupy protesters begin filtering out of jail

Cops round up a group of Occupiers late Sunday night on the 1200 block of Race Street, in the Chinatown area. Tom Kelly IV / For the Daily News
Cops round up a group of Occupiers late Sunday night on the 1200 block of Race Street, in the Chinatown area. Tom Kelly IV / For the Daily News
Posted: July 03, 2012

A BANANA, an acoustic guitar, a few backpacks and some members of Occupy's National Gathering sat along the steps at police headquarters Monday afternoon, waiting to reunite with those still occupying jail cells inside.

"Sol … Sol ... Solidarity," a group of people yelled to them from across the street.

Philadelphia police said that 26 members of the Occupy movement had been arrested Sunday night, mostly for disorderly conduct and obstructing a roadway during a march toward City Hall. They were being released in "drips and drabs" Monday, said Lt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman, but Occupy members were waiting for them all before they left the station.

"We were just doing our march," said "Coyote," a 25-year-old member of Occupy New Haven, who said that he'd been arrested Sunday. "The police were just being rude."

Another Occupy member was arrested earlier in the weekend, police said, for allegedly assaulting a federal officer.

At Franklin Square, a block away, several hundred members of the Occupy National Gathering were broken off in groups in the shade while curious children on field trips stared, walking single-file toward the park's carousel and playground. One Occupy group was discussing the apparent perils of mountaintop-removal coal mining used in the Appalachia region, while another was discussing the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster. The largest group seemed to be circled around Matt Taibbi, a journalist for Rolling Stone who's written extensively about Wall Street, government bailouts and corporate misdoings. Taibbi, listed as a guest speaker for the Occupy National Gathering, took questions from the audience and questioned the end result of major bank bailouts.

"These guys are definitely sitting on money and not using it to create jobs like they were supposed to," Taibbi, sporting a Phillies hat, told the crowd.

Nate Kleinman, an Occupy Philly activist, said that the National Gathering in Franklin Square has been a success so far.

"It's been really amazing," he said. "Folks have come to this gathering from across the country, from Alaska, Hawaii and Alabama."

Another unrelated group, the " 99% Declaration," is holding a "Continental Congress 2.0" till Wednesday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

On Sunday, some on Twitter and Facebook were wondering whether members of the Occupy movement had visited the Frank Rizzo mural, at 9th and Montrose streets, in the Italian Market. Vandals threw black paint at the former mayor's face and sprayed "fascista" in red beneath it. Evers said that there was no evidence that Occupy was connected. Kleinman hadn't heard of the incident.

"It's possible, who knows," he said.

The city Mural Arts Program is cleaning the painting.

In Franklin Square, Helen Evelev, of the Granny Peace Brigade, said that the National Gathering had been wonderful so far, but then a man came over, gave her a hug and warned her about another target of many Occupy discussions: the media.

"Don't talk to him, he's press," the man told Evelev. "I hate the Daily News. All you do is write s--- about us."

Contact Jason Nark at 215-854-5917, narkj@phillynews.com or on Twitter @JasonNark.

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