As Occupy Philly's Encampment Empties, Protesters Ponder the Next Step

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 28, 2011

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“The middle class is getting squeezed to the point where I have to come out here into the street,” says Hank Finkel, a chiropractor who says he’s recently taken two other jobs to make ends meet. “I’m not an activist. I’ve never stood anywhere with a sign. In fact, I kind of resent that no one’s looking out for me, so I have to do it myself.”

They’re not camping out at Occupy Norristown, but Finkel says they get anywhere from 20 to 50 demonstrators in front of the courthouse each Saturday. They’ve also been coordinating with similarly sized occupations (some of which are encampments) in Bucks County, Phoenixville, Lansdale, Lancaster, Easton and elsewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as with Occupy Philly, to plan marches and events. They’ve scheduled a Dec. 17 regional General Assembly for in Valley Forge.

“It’s the networking right now that’s important—meeting other activists, setting up the infrastructure and coming up with new ideas for the movement,” says Finkel. “I think come springtime, when we have everything in place, you’re gonna see bus trips to D.C., big and little things, flash mobs here and there, lots of things to keep this rolling.”

“The camping in Philly sparked the fire,” he says. “Now the genie’s out of the bottle and there’s no putting it back.”

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1. Joseph said... on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:02PM

“Agreed that its a good thing that they have to figure out what to do next. Honestly, people's attention spans are pretty limited, and the fact that Occupy has been covered so well for more than a month is a blessing. But eventually it's gotta get on with itself, maybe start a PAC, and get some political action going. Boring and unsexy as it is, that's how you really get things going. Donations, signature collecting, ballot initiatives. That's also what democracy looks like.”

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