As relatively well-behaved as the protesters have been, as the movement moves into its fourth week, it has been criticized for its cost to the city, lack of philosophical focus, and for creating an eyesore.
Police patrol the plaza day and night. Most are officers from Center City precincts assigned during their regular hours, but so far, overtime has cost the city about $500,000.
Amid the 200 tents pitched around City Hall are signs advocating a flurry of causes: "Corporate Owned Media = Corporate Lies," "Capitalism is failing, socialism is the alternative," "Stop Foreclosures," "No Fracking," and "Ron Paul for President."
The activists are planning a "march to end the silence" on Saturday to coincide with a visit to the city by former President Bill Clinton. The march will start at 12:30 at City Hall and head to Temple University. Participants will cover their mouths with bandannas printed with the names of corporations that organizers say exert too much influence on politicians.
To ask what the movement's main issues are is "a loaded question," says Chris Goldstein, a volunteer for Occupy's public-relations working group. A general assembly meets daily to reach consensus on all aspects of the demonstration. "The direction is being defined. No one wants to presuppose what that will be, but it's mainly the issue of bringing awareness about corporate greed and economic inequality."