Another Occupier

Meant to put up a quick update about the latest at Occupy Philadelphia, but a lunchtime visit  made me sick to my stomach. The stench of urine is worse than ever, but on the upshot, I somehow avoided stepping on the pile of hypodermic needles and drug party detritus encountered by a couple cameraman buddies.

Instead, as I walked around what's left of the encampment -- dozens of tents, a food crew serving vegetable stew, aimless protesters annoying all by blasting plastic Vuvuzela horns -- I got depressed about what might have been.

The 99 percenters have a message worth hearing, but as a news colleague and I discussed, sealed stifled themselves by focusing on location and process. Their insistence on remaining leaderless (and, some would say, refusing to state any specific goals) led to infighting and splinter groups. After one sympathetic PR volunteer tried to explain the saga of how the Philly group's Facebook page was taken hostage and then rescued, I had to walk away. 

Around the corner, I found City Hall's newest occupier: This small airplane. It has no media rep, making it all the more fascinating.

Gracing the apron not far from the intersection at North Broad Street, the aircraft is protected by police tape. A moving man nearby told me the plane was plopped on that spot as evidence in a local court case. Obviously, they couldn't just wheel it up the stairs.

He knew little else. Anyone else know more? What's the case? Why is the plane so small? Will it stay put for the holidays and, if so, can we decorate it with lights?

-- Monica Yant Kinney


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