Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Protesters storm Councilman Brian O'Neill's office

A group of education activists made the mistake of targeting the wrong Councilman during a boisterous protest in City Hall this afternoon.

Protesters storm Councilman Brian O'Neill's office

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UPDATED:

A group of education activists made the mistake of targeting the wrong Councilman during a boisterous protest in City Hall this afternoon.

More than a dozen marchers bee-lined their way up to Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office on the 5th floor with huge signs and a blaring blow horn to demand a meeting.

Education advocate Emmanuel Bussie, 45, said the group wanted to meet with O’Neill because they thought he voted against a resolution –introduced by Councilman Darrell Clarke in May –asking the Law Department to represent City Council in a lawsuit against Gov. Corbett, challenging the legality of the funding for public education in Philadelphia.

Yet the protesters had it all wrong. There was a nay vote cast by Councilman Jack Kelly not O’Neill.

According to the Clerk's Office there was an error in recording the votes which led protestors to believe O'Neill voted against the resolution, we later learned.

“I voted for it,” O’Neill said adding that he was in a meeting concerning capital projects at the time of the protest. “They were acting very unprofessional in my office. When you come in and go against somebody… you better know what you’re talking about.”

Within minutes the group was escorted out by police.

Watch the video of the protest inside of O’Neill’s office.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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