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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