Updates on #occupyICEPHL

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It’s disgustingly hot out on this imperialist holiday, but comrades at the encampment are going strong. Tents are up, there’s a medical clinic and library, food is constantly being served, and folks are well-hydrated.

Yesterday morning, when the camp was low on numbers, DHS officers came forward and began arresting comrades. A number of them were injured in the process, one even being sent to the hospital. Through the chaos, arrestees remained in high spirits, singing Solidarity Forever while packed in vans. All were released within a few hours with only citations.

While people were being arrested, half of the camp was taken over by the police and barricaded. Despite so many being arrested, the camp’s population doubled within a few hours. Thunderstorms came through in the late afternoon and evening but the camp remained productive and engaging in joyful resistance with dancing, arrest training, a political education workshop, and performances from local musicians.

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Today, despite the intense heat, people are out on the streets, chanting and singing. 8th street has been reclaimed by the camp. There has been a live band playing and various speakers throughout the day. It’s starting to feel like a little city.

Friendly Fire had a small tent meeting this afternoon, bringing in folks for a time of prayer, anointing, and healing. We’ve been out here since day one, and will continue to remain present, hoping to support this work and offer spiritual care as long as it exists. Some FF comrades were arrested yesterday, but like the others, were released within a few hours.

This has been an incredible action to be a part of and it honestly feels miraculous. We set up the camp believing we were going to immediately be stomped out by the cops. We didn’t think we would last the amount of time it took for the march to reach us, but we did. And we thought we’d be arrested a few hours later, as hundreds of police surrounded us as we linked arms. But we weren’t. And the camp keeps existing, despite a number incidents of the police threatening and intimidating and even coming in with force.

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All that said, tensions with the police continue, and it all feels a bit unpredictable. It has not been hard to remember that they are indeed agents of a fascist government and tools of empire. Today as we chanted “P-O-L / I-C-E / cops and ICE are family,” the cops joined in, even dancing a bit to the tune. They are shameless.

So if you want to help to ensure the safety and effectiveness of this occupation, you can donate to the camp via Venmo (@occupyICE215), bring portable batteries, make this post’s heading image your profile picture, but most important COME OUT BECAUSE WE NEED PEOPLE HERE.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

For an awesome report and analysis of the occupation: https://itsgoingdown.org/dispatch-from-the-second-day-of-occupy-ice-philly/
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