Big moment: Occupy Philly is formed and calls itself a “leaderless movement.”
Small moment: After being evicted from Dilworth Plaza, OP member Vanessa Maria Graber criticizes the media for interviewing random members of the encampment, and not, as she put it, “the quote-unquote leaders.”
Big moment: A spokesperson for Occupy Philly accuses reporters of not “embedding” themselves with Occupiers during the two-month encampment to get the complete story of the movement.
Small moment: PW spends many days and nights at Dilworth Plaza covering all aspects of Occupy Philly, and is so embedded with Occupiers during eviction night that one of our reporters is grabbed by riot police and has his camera lens broken.
Big moment: Members of the homeless population already living at Dilworth Plaza and elsewhere in Center City gravitate toward the newly established Occupy Philly encampment, and Occupy welcomes them with open arms—providing food, tents and clothing and spotlighting the issue of homelessness in Philadelphia.
Small moment: Many homeless Occupiers accuse the movement of exploiting them—“recruiting” homeless people merely to swell Occupy Philly’s numbers and physical presence.
Big moment: Occupy Philly splinters over whether or not to point their sing-song derisive chants away from corporate influence in national policy and instead yell at Mayor Nutter. The newfound Nutter haters vow to live in tents forever, or something, and now also hate Reasonable Solutions, a splinter group that worked with the Mayor to obtain a permit to protest on Paine Plaza. Reasonable Solutions also calls themselves Occupy Wall Street Philadelphia.
Small moment: Amused news readers everywhere punchbuggy with the Monty Python line: “We’re not the Judean People’s Front—we’re the People’s Front of Judea! We hate the Judean People’s Front!”
Big moment: Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is arrested on charges of raping and molesting at least eight young boys over 15 years. Head coach Joe Paterno and PSU president Graham Spanier are fired, and athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz face criminal charges for allegedly covering up one of Sandusky’s sexual assaults.
Small moment: City Paper lambasts PW for live-tweeting preliminary hearings in the Sandusky case, accusing us of trying to “thrill” readers with “salacious details.” Um, no. That’s fucking disgusting.
Big moment: 89-year old California doomsday “prophet” Harold Camping declares Judgment Day will come on May 21 and the world will be consumed by a fiery, earthquake-filled cataclysm. Darby-based ministry eBible Fellowship helps spearhead the cause by erecting ominous May 21 billboards around the globe including a dozen in Philadelphia.
Small moment: May 22.
Big moment: Union Transfer opens at the site of the old Spaghetti Warehouse on Spring Garden St., finally giving co-partner and booker Sean Agnew—head honcho of Philly’s long-running R5 Productions—the sprawling and majestic music venue he’s so richly deserved.
Small moment: South Street live music institution Tritone—a home for emerging local acts of all stripes, from hip-hop to death metal—announces it’s closing in early 2012.
Big moment: Philadelphia Schools Chief Arlene Ackerman gets almost $1 million to leave the school system.
Small moment: She begins collecting unemployment—and it’s completely legal! After a week of criticism, she goes on NBC to explain her decision to take the money and run, then collect a steady stream of money and sit. “I thought I would be working for three more years. I was depending on it. I didn’t get a chance to get vested in the Pennsylvania retirement system. If I had that opportunity, I would have had a comfortable retirement for the rest of my life. So, this early stepping down from my job cost me thousands of dollars a month,” she said.
Big moment: After spending the winter with daily headlines about “The Kensington Strangler,” police arrest Antonio Rodriguez, and charge him with murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse in the 2010 deaths of 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg, 35-year-old Nicole Piacentini and 27-year-old Casey Mahoney.
Small moment: When the cameras left, the cops left.