Occupy Philadelphia protesters acquitted of charges following eviction

Protesters camped outside City Hall for more than 50 days to oppose corporate greed.

All 31 people arrested in the hours following Occupy Philadelphia’s eviction from Dilworth Plaza have been acquitted.

The protesters were arrested early on Dec. 1, the 56th day of the Occupy encampment outside City Hall. Police chased the crowd from City Hall, which prompted a three-hour march that ended with about 50 arrests on 15th Street just south of Spring Garden.

The defendants were charged with failure to disperse, criminal conspiracy and obstructing the highway. Municipal Judge Karen Simmons granted the defense motion for acquittal, ruling prosecutors did not prove the protesters engaged in disorderly conduct or disobeyed police orders to disperse.

Simmons’ decision followed testimony from Capt. William Fisher, former head of the police Civil Affairs Unit, and video of the raid and ensuing march. Fisher testified that he ordered protesters to move to the sidewalk, but was instructed to make arrests.

Prosecutors said they were disappointed with the decision. Meanwhile, the defendants and dozens of supporters who filled the courtroom cheered the ruling.

“It’s refreshing to see a victory for the First Amendment in the courts [regarding] Occupy,” said Gwen Snyder, a member of Occupy’s legal committee. “I think it vindicates a lot of what we’ve been saying before that our conduct was peaceful [based] on free speech, not violence.”

Charges against two other protesters were withdrawn.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Going Out

Spend an evening in Franklin Square

Support historic Franklin Square on May 15 during the sixth annual Evening in Franklin Square soiree. The evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and…

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.