Is Occupy Philly a Man’s World? Sounds like it.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Nov. 18, 2011

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While the Twitter and Facebook page remained silent, the Occupy Philly Media website did publicly acknowledge the incident.

In light of what they posted, maybe they should have stayed silent, too.

Very late Saturday night, an Occupy blogger who goes by the handle “gadget” posted on on the Occupy Philly Media website:

“I am deeply saddened to have to report an incident that just occurred on site. According to two police officers, a sexual assault was reported on the north side of the camp.”

For full text of original statement, click here.

Beneath that, Gadget posted a comment titled “Update.”

“The accused man came into the media tent after being released by police. Officers told him the DA ordered him released pending investigation and to keep in touch. He said he willingly submitted to DNA testing and offered to take a polygraph, and the woman recanted her statement.”

Announcing that an accused is walking around claiming that he’s innocent and the alleged victim recanted—she made it up, man—doesn’t sound at all like revolution.

In fact, it sounds a lot like the status quo. And that pissed other Occupiers off.

“I hadn’t actually seen it, but I heard it secondhand but I was … very disgusted and surprised … It was kind of revolting, honestly,” says 21-year-old Gia B., a protester who says she’s been on the Plaza since the beginning. “There’s been very heavy dialogue about that.”

“[The comment] is another reason that our group was formed,” says Amanda Geraci of the Women’s Caucus. “We are acknowledging that Occupy Philly’s participants are not immune to the sexist society they were raised in.”

Another post by regular Occupy blogger Cory Clark stated “the alleged perpetrator was released late last night due to insufficient evidence.”

Read the entire post here.

“Spoken like a true dude,” commented “Mattack.”

In an interview, Clark said his posts are his own and do not reflect the movement, but posts are written on the official site in the plural. Occupy Philly Media bloggers do speak for the movement, whether the individual bloggers realize, or admit, it or not.

Clark says he was in the media tent when the accused came by Saturday night.

“He showed us reports that he had been released due to insufficient evidence and reported that the victim had recanted her statement,” said Clark. “My position is that it is still an ongoing investigation, and I’m not prepared to make any definitive statements one way or the other until I have all of the facts.”

But as a critic already commented beneath his post, announcing there is a current investigation would’ve been sufficient, accurate and neutral. Posting the accused commentary on the veracity of the alleged victim’s statement is not.

Clark says he’s aware that the posts have upset people.

“My response to them is if you’re going to be making judgments about stuff that you don’t know about then you need to have yourself checked,” he says.

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Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. Matt said... on Nov 18, 2011 at 04:28PM

“What? So, because we can't eliminate ALL violence and injustice from the world we should not cast a critical eye over the systemic corruption? You are right with news articles like this there is little hope.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Nov 18, 2011 at 06:55PM

“No, with articles like this someone is shining a bright light on the hypocrisy that is the Occupy movement. They try to cover up what they don't wish people to know about them.

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3. Occupy Philly Media team said... on Nov 18, 2011 at 07:43PM

“I'd like to say this is all completely false, the fact is that we covered this very soon after it happened on our main media site which is well read, we didn't respond on facebook or twitter because there where technical difficulties that needed to be addressed. Those issues were soon taken care of, so yes there was an interruption in the flow of information through facebook and twitter, however that interruption was mediated by posts on Occupy Philly Media which is the main news outlet for Occupy Philly.

The public should know that there were two article published about that incident in the first 24hrs after it happened.”

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4. Matt said... on Nov 18, 2011 at 08:40PM

“What I was trying to highlight was the inherent, and perhaps deliberate, stupidity in the premise that a messager must be perfect to carry a valuable message. The occupy movement is a conglomeration of different people drawn together by their shared belief that the Global Financial Meltdown was caused by a flawed system and that the system is still deeply flawed, and that there is no will by the lawmakers to tackle the real, fundamental issues. On that point I agree with them.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Nov 18, 2011 at 09:09PM

“What a bunch of dopes.....

Now the Occupy movement has come to quoting facebook posts, tweets, website updates from anonymous faceless people. Shocker, you put a bunch of hippie dopes together without a coherent message, sharing tents in a park with strangers, hating "the man", the police, and the laws that rule our land, and someone is assaulted Nothing to see here, move on people”

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6. Mandy said... on Nov 19, 2011 at 01:41PM

“It's a shame that the Occupy movement is falling victim to the very things they protest. That doesn't make the grievances the movement has been espousing all along insignificant. It does show, however, show that no matter the situation, we, as humans, have something inherent within us to make sure what we're espousing is never shown in a negative light.

With saying that, it's a rookie who would update using the accused as the source for their information.

Occupy media may have been started in order to maintain transparency for the movement, having a fear of the mainstream media that covers them, but this particular incident makes everything far more opaque. Protesters may not want to deal with the police in a matter like this, but they would have far more accurate information into the alleged assault. The accused simply would be speaking to his own benefit.”

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7. Anonymous said... on Nov 21, 2011 at 02:16AM

“Wait, so if someone is accused of rape their side of the story is not allowed to be reported? Guilty until proven innocent? Isn't it standard journalism that folks in the hot seat get their say?”


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