Advocacy Group Fight for Philly Goes to War for Jobs

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Nov. 23, 2011

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West Philadelphian Edward Payne, an Army veteran who has been unemployed since 2008, joined Fight for Philly this summer. In August, West Philly organizer Fred Jones knocked on his 52nd Street door asking what Payne’s main concerns with his neighborhood were. “I said, ‘Unemployment, crime, drug addiction, abandoned buildings,’” Payne recalls. Then he got in touch with Jones and began doing unpaid community work with Fight for Philly.

His work came to a head earlier this fall, when he helped facilitate a large meeting in which he and others argued for the American Jobs Act and increasing taxes on corporations. It was Payne’s first public speaking event, and he was prepared. “I went over some stats,” he says, “and saw that 71 of the largest corporations don’t pay any taxes at all. They pay zero. In my book, that’s fraud.”

Fighting for Philly requires commitment and sacrifice. Both were on full display last Thursday as the group organized perhaps the largest, most diverse rally from Dilworth Plaza to the Market Street Bridge to reiterate the call for infrastructure jobs. “This bridge is a symbol of what’s going on in this country,” said a man named Dennis, sitting cross-legged on the bridge, arms linked with the man next to him. “This bridge has the same conditions as the bridge that crumbled in Minnesota [in 2007].”

He and 23 others, including Rivera, were arrested, taken to police headquarters and charged with a misdemeanor.

Payne, later interviewed by NBC10, called them and others arrested “brave.”

“Both the military and the Fight for Philly is about sharing your strengths, standing up for what you believe in,” he says. “The feeling that you’re doing something for your country and community.”

For more information on Fight for Philly, visit fightforphilly.org.

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1. haskins_eddy said... on Nov 23, 2011 at 10:47AM

“West Side:

Vote Conservative. This is very important to gain your desires for employment. I remember what is there and what is not.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Nov 23, 2011 at 10:25PM

“This thanksgiving I will count my blessings and thank God for people that are willing to stand up against social injustice. Every day working people are under attack. Its great to see this group and many others fighting back. Its about time. The 99% need their voices heard.”

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3. Andrew said... on Nov 23, 2011 at 10:31PM

“Blah, blah, blah. Tax the "rich", stick it to "corporate America", oh and always cry "RAAAAACISM!!!". Yep, nothing new here. Same idiots who want to keep the poor poor, marinating in ignorance and voting for the same Democrats who only care about how they vote.”

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4. Florian Schach said... on Nov 27, 2011 at 09:28PM

“Nothing is more crucial than Jobs and growth in the United States. In Pennsylvania the American Jobs Act seeks to create almost 30,000jobs in infrastructure alone which would be a great help to folks in PA (http://eng.am/sjJ4dy). We also need to remember how important it is to be in work for the long term rather than just what would heal us immediately. Our economic long term recovery is more important than just any quick fix. It will be interesting to see what will happen in Philadelphia after these rallies have now taken place”

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