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Thread: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

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    Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    The city has spent more than $400,000 in police costs to deal with the Occupy Philadelphia protest on the west side of City Hall, Nutter administration officials estimated Tuesday.
    The figure includes $164,000 in police overtime through the first five days of the protest - the bulk of the city's out-of-pocket costs - and an additional $237,000 for the plainclothes and uniformed officers stationed at Dilworth Plaza and other City Hall locations on their regular shifts.
    "In one sense the added cost is the overtime number, but there is also a deployment issue - the officers are here instead of other places," said Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald.






    Now entering its seventh day, the demonstration has drawn several hundred people or more to City Hall during peak periods each day. The number of tents that provide overnight accommodations increased to about 100 from 80 over the weekend.
    City budget director Rebecca Rhynhart - now initiating an effort to pare about $47 million from the budget to compensate for three months of weaker-than-expected revenue - said she would ask all city departments to provide reports on what the demonstration is costing them.
    The bulk of the expense comes from the Police Department, but McDonald identified several minor items, including daily trash pickups and a hookup to City Hall's electrical system allowing demonstrators to recharge computers, telephones, and other electronic equipment and keep their website updated.
    "They will ultimately receive a bill for the electricity they're using . . . and they've agreed to pay it," McDonald said.
    So far, the protesters have had to pay only $20 for an open-ended demonstration permit, required when more than 75 people gather at a public place. Some talk of staying indefinitely.
    Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance - Philly.com

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    At a cost of $400,000 a week, the cost to the city's residents could quickly run into millions of dollars at a time when the city has already been forced to cut back on some services because of declining revenues. Should these protesters and those in other cities be required to cover the costs to the city, so that its residents, often those most vulnerable and dependent on city services, do not have to face further cutbacks because of Occupy Philadelphia?
    Last edited by toomuchtime_; 10-26-11 at 02:32 PM.

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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    That's the city's problem. Maybe if they don't want to dish out so much money, they should campaign for economic change instead of towing the status quo.

    What part of "right to freedom of assembly" do you not understand? There is no price tag attached to that. People can gather peacefully wherever they want. Screw the permit system. "Protest zones" are becoming common in most major North American cities. It's the government's way of neutering them of effectiveness.

    Activism is activism, not "activism in a certain part of the city where no one will see it", and certainly not "this activism is costing the city money, so we should charge them a fee."

    Total BS.

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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    That's the city's problem. Maybe if they don't want to dish out so much money, they should campaign for economic change instead of towing the status quo.

    What part of "right to freedom of assembly" do you not understand? There is no price tag attached to that. People can gather peacefully wherever they want. Screw the permit system. "Protest zones" are becoming common in most major North American cities. It's the government's way of neutering them of effectiveness.

    Activism is activism, not "activism in a certain part of the city where no one will see it", and certainly not "this activism is costing the city money, so we should charge them a fee."

    Total BS.
    To the common hard working tax paying city resident, this should be enough reason NOT to support this fiasco.
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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    That's the city's problem. Maybe if they don't want to dish out so much money, they should campaign for economic change instead of towing the status quo.

    What part of "right to freedom of assembly" do you not understand? There is no price tag attached to that. People can gather peacefully wherever they want. Screw the permit system. "Protest zones" are becoming common in most major North American cities. It's the government's way of neutering them of effectiveness.

    Activism is activism, not "activism in a certain part of the city where no one will see it", and certainly not "this activism is costing the city money, so we should charge them a fee."

    Total BS.
    Well, your post suggests you are either confused about how the cost to city residents of Occupy Philadelphia will reduce city services or you are altogether indifferent to how the movement will harm them. The city has already has had previously to close some branch libraries and some fire houses because of declining revenues and the question being posed here is not whether they have the right to assemble but whether they will behave as responsible citizens and pay their fair share of the costs they are generating.

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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by toomuchtime_ View Post
    Well, your post suggests you are either confused about how the cost to city residents of Occupy Philadelphia will reduce city services or you are altogether indifferent to how the movement will harm them. The city has already has had previously to close some branch libraries and some fire houses because of declining revenues and the question being posed here is not whether they have the right to assemble but whether they will behave as responsible citizens and pay their fair share of the costs they are generating.
    Maybe the police should just leave them alone, then.
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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Maybe the police should just leave them alone, then.
    Seriously, it's on the city and the police to justify the use of force against American citizens. Always.

    I'm not convinced the police response is warranted.
    Last edited by GhostlyJoe; 10-26-11 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Maybe the police should just leave them alone, then.
    The police have left them alone. They are blocking access to one entrance to City Hall and the police presence is to prevent them from blocking other entrances to City Hall or other city buildings.

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    The point of social activism is to damage the system being challenged. If OWS protests drive up the cost for maintaining the status quo, that's nothing but a victory for them.

    A sign posted to a streetlight at the end of my block appeared just today. It said just one thing: "99%." I love it.
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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostlyJoe View Post
    Seriously, it's on the city and the police to justify the use of force against American citizens. Always.

    I'm not convinced the police response is warranted.
    The police have used no force here. The question is, how much should the city's needier citizens have to give up in city services to cover the costs Occupy Philadelphia is generating? Close more libraries? Close more fire houses? Shouldn't the protesters pay their fair share of the costs they are generating?

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    Re: Occupy Philadelphia costs city $400,000 in police surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    The point of social activism is to damage the system being challenged. If OWS protests drive up the cost for maintaining the status quo, that's nothing but a victory for them.

    A sign posted to a streetlight at the end of my block appeared just today. It said just one thing: "99%." I love it.
    So you think if the city is forced to cut money for education, public health centers, close libraries and fire houses that is a victory?

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