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City meets with Occupy Philly group, will not evict today

Reasonable Solutions committee discusses moving, while city says Dilworth Plaza renovation may not begin until December.

The city is currently meeting with a group of Occupy Philly protesters to discuss relocation.

The Reasonable Solutions committee, an Occupy group that opposed last Friday's decision to remain at City Hall, gathered over 100 signatures advocating a move and reached out to the Managing Director's office and other city agencies to discuss details at 4 p.m. today.

"Today is an initial meeting in which we're having a conversation we've been trying to have for a month now," said Managing Director Rich Negrin. "These folks are telling us they're a majority and the fact that they have 100 signatures is a good sign."

The committee does not represent the opinions of all of Occupy Philly and it is unclear if the movement would divide into two camps if Reasonable Solutions decided to move.

"I've been hearing that the vote on Friday was co-opted by a group bussed in, so for all we know, these guys legitimately represent the majority of Occupy Philly and what happened Friday was something else," Negrin said. "We're willing to sort through all that stuff. I think the important thing is that we're willing to talk."

Negrin also said that his office has reached out to other Occupy Philly committees to coordinate more meetings.

On another note, Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said that no action will be taken against Occupy protesters today because necessary preparations for the Dilworth Plaza renovation are not yet in place.

"The city is not removing, evicting or doing anything to anybody today," he said. "What we have told folks is that a prudent person would prepare to leave. It’s probably smarter to get your stuff together and leave on your own time rather than wait around until the last moment."

"All I can say is that we’ve made it very clear that there is a
construction project that will start shortly and when we get a specific date
from the project manager, which is in this case is the Center City District, we will begin the
process of preparing the site and that will necessitate the people who are now
there to leave." But McDonald said that date has not yet been set and could be as late as the end of December.

 
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