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.