Ten protesters were arrested during an Occupy Philly sit-in 11/3 at the Center City headquarters of Comcast Corp. Several hundred people, including protesters and onlookers, watched the spectacle unfold. Area traffic was jammed for hours.
About 1:30 p.m., nine protesters got into the lobby and sat for about an hour before being arrested. Another demonstrator had been arrested outside earlier.
They had marched from the Occupy Philly tent city at Dilworth Plaza in solidarity with a “general strike” organized by the Occupy Oakland protest following a police crackdown last week that left an Iraq war vet with a fractured skull.
During the protest, about 20 other Occupy members linked arms on the 17th Street sidewalk east of the city’s tallest skyscraper. They chanted slogans and sang a song about solidarity to the tune of “La Marseillaise.” Dozens of supporters milled about.
Julia Gross, 28, an Occupy member, told The Philadelphia Enquirer the group chose the Comcast building because the company does not pay property taxes. Comcast qualified for the city’s tax-abatement program for new construction.
“It’s not fair that in a poor city, a big corporation can get away with that,” she said.
The protest also came hours after Comcast reported its revenues rose 4.9%, to $14.3 billion, in Q3 compared with the same period last year, while profits were up 4.7%, to $908 million.
Later in the evening, the group posted a request on Facebook for donations to post bail.
RBR-TVBR observation: The right to protest is part of being an American—we get that. But Comcast?! The protester that said Philadelphia is a poor city and Comcast shouldn’t get away with not paying property taxes has to realize that Comcast employs a lot of folks in the City of Brotherly Love-who spend money there–and that tax incentive may have gotten the company to locate there, vs. elsewhere.