Penn Professor Recalls His Arrest During the Raid on Occupy Philly

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 16 | Posted Dec. 1, 2011

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Finally, around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Ghose estimates, he was brought into a room along with attorney Larry Krasner, who has been representing arrested Occupiers, where a judge appeared on a TV screen.

She read off the charges: Criminal conspiracy, defying orders to move and obstructing a highway. “I started laughing when she said criminal conspiracy, because it’s so ridiculous,” says Ghose. “After 14 hours of this fiasco, then appearing in front of this screen, when she said criminal conspiracy it was too funny.” Ghose says Krasner advised him, “You don’t have to say anything, just hear it out, get in touch with me as soon as you get out and we’ll formulate a plan.”

Ghose was moved to another room to be processed out, then given his belongings. He didn’t have to post bail—he was released on his own recognizance. When he emerged from police headquarters, there were no Occupiers to meet him—the few hundred Occupy Philly protesters who had gathered in Rittenhouse Square on Wednesday afternoon who then marched to the Roundhouse wouldn’t arrive until later in the evening.

But Ghose wasn’t worried—his chief concern was making it over to Penn for the 6:45 p.m. class in “Foundations of Social Work Practice” he was scheduled to teach. “It was this running joke up and down the cells all day—‘We have a professor here who’s trying to make his class,’” he laughs.

Ghose adds that he was covered because just prior to getting arrested, he managed to make one quick phone call on his cell—not to his wife, but to his teaching assistant. “I left her a message saying, ‘I’m going to be arrested, can you make sure that you prepare to have to teach?’” he laughs. “I don’t know why I was so worried about that. Maybe it was just a response to crisis.”

He made it to class five minutes late. His 20 students knew what had happened—they’d seen the video of him being arrested played on the news over and over throughout the day. They voted to go back to PPD headquarters, where the Occupy Philly demonstrators marching from Rittenhouse Square had finally arrived, and Ghose held the class outside the Roundhouse.

His first court date is set for Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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Comments 1 - 16 of 16
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1. Pat I said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:30PM

“In the real world most, if not all of us would have gotten fired for leaving our jobs todo shit like this. But then again, most of us aren't coddeled liberal arts professors.

i wonder if this self-important tool is going to refund the tuition for the days he didn't teach class. Then again - what he teaches really has no use in the real world.”

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2. Pat I said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:31PM

“In the real world most, if not all of us would have gotten fired for leaving our jobs todo shit like this. But then again, most of us aren't coddeled liberal arts professors.

i wonder if this self-important tool is going to refund the tuition for the days he didn't teach class. Then again - what he teaches really has no use in the real world.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:44PM

“While I kind of agree with "coddled liberal arts professor' sentiment since when does the pursuit of knowledge have no practical use in the "real world". Since when does critically thinking about our past or the structure of our society have no value?

Welcome to the Dark Ages I guess. Totalitarian regimes like the Nazis and the Soviet Union held no value in such critical thinking.”

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4. Armenian Immigrant said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:52PM

“I don't know what to be more angry, the lying to the press(and thus the public) about the arrests or the racist and disrespectful comment by the ICE officer. This a shame.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:45PM

“Dear Pat,
I think if you read the last paragraph of the article, you will notice that it says "He made it to class five minutes late." There were no missed classes. And I think that Foundations of Social Work Practice is probably one of the most important things to teach for half of Americans.”

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6. Charles said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:59PM

“These accounts are so totally consistent with appropriate and respectful police behavior that it is truly hard to imagine where the complaints about police misconduct originate. As a witness to the RNC in 2000, this is soooooo much better. It would be nice if these folks could figure out how to accomplish something other than obtaining press coverage. It's impossible not to agree that money commands too much power in out politics these days and that income inequality is now out of hand BUT how is that going to change?”

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7. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:36PM

“Without social sciences we'd still live under Despotism, pat. Do you know that word pat? "dag gubment" pat says "takin mah job if i speek mah mind. i got me use in the real word!"”

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8. Anonymous said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 01:42AM

“I looked up this professor on the U Penn website. He is deeply involved in trying to help people who are too often ignored in our society for the fact they are HIV positive and have a host of other problems. His work alone to save the lives of millions in multiple countries is brave and commendable. Can you say that you have been brave enough to do something like that? Most people in our society are comfortable in our little worlds working our little jobs not thinking of the better good of society because we are too selfish to notice the poor or sick in our society. Good for him. When we all lose our jobs thanks to corporate greed or the disrespect we have to public workers especially anyone in the teaching profession you will wish you had stood up for the 99%.”

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9. sacajaweabcn said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 07:36AM

“We need the R-evolution & the global changes, i believe in the occuppies of the earth, I vote to Democracy 4.0
signed 15M Spain member”

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10. treisiroon said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 07:46AM

“"coddled liberal arts professor". Let's take a look. Worked hard, got his degrees, got a good job, is engaged and working for betterment of civil society. Yeah, a real schmuck for sure.

According to OWS critics, protestors without jobs are lazy freeloaders and protesors with jobs are coddled. How constructive.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:23AM

“This professor is like totally like radical. I totally like I want to take his class. Because he can like totally like talk.

"... and my wife was like, ‘There are a lot of helicopters ..."

"... I was like, ‘You guys look like ..."

"... He was like, ‘Is this gonna go on our record?’ ..."

"... Like, now that we’re getting arrested, ..."

"... we were like, ‘OK, this is the continuation ..."

"... it’s literally like a dungeon ..."

"... So the cops were like, ‘Hey, ..."

"... They were like, ‘This has never happened'. ..."

"... I was like, ‘No I do not, ..."

"... I was like, ‘You can’t just say that ..."

OK, in one sentence, he uses "like" appropriately, but misuses "literally". After reading this article, I was like, "He teaches at Penn?"”

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12. supporter said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:31PM

“Dr. Ghose sounds awesome. And as a social worker, I can say that Foundations of Social Work Practice is an essential course. Great job Professor, giving these students opportunities for hands on learning!”

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13. Anonymous said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 01:18PM

“Hey Pat! chill out dude!”

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14. Pat I said... on Dec 2, 2011 at 01:26PM

“You know, to be honest, what I'm saying isn't really a reflection of my thoughts towards this professor, its more a reflection of the deep hidden anger inside myself that I need to find ways to vent. One of these ways is through expressing anger towards people who do not share the same individualistic notions as I do. On a deeper level, this very individualistic notion is rooted in anger that was instilled in me as a child.

I ask you all to excuse my cruel words and I promise that from now on I will try to think things through before writing them so that my words are not motivated by an unrelated hatred borne out of neglect.”

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15. Debra said... on Dec 3, 2011 at 11:41PM

“Pat is representative of those who have a complete misunderstanding of the plight of university professors. "Coddled" is hardly the case. 75% of all university professors in this country are hired fifteen weeks at a time, and earn about $25,000 a year with no benefits, no job security. While Dr. Ghose is an assistant professor with a full-time position, that is not the case for the majority of faculty in this country, who struggle against poverty while doing our best to continue to educate the next generation of students. Where does the tuition go? To the administrators, the college presidents. The university system now replicates the corporate system, where "workers" are underpaid and the CEO earns obscene amounts of money. The Dr. Ghose is standing up for the 99% speaks volumes for him; I'm sure he knows that the 99% includes most university professors in America. As for your "real world," Pat - I assume it has no intellectual rigor at all.”

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16. Milind Sharma said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 10:14AM

“I would like to protest involvement of TJ Ghose. He an anarchist and has record of arrest. He should be prevented from anystage in on any forum in US. As he doesn’t support others right to express, I don’t believe he has right to speak either.”


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