Philadelphia police, with careful planning, managed to clear the Occupy demonstrators from the city’s Dilworth Plaza without incident, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. “No force, no arrests, that’s a grand slam,” said Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan, who noted that the protesters “are not criminals–they are not our enemies.”
Capt. Bill Fisher told officers to “act professionally at all times,” and ensured that officers were not carrying pepper spray or Tasers – weapons banned for the night – and made clear that force would be authorized only by their superiors. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey also reminded officers that protesters would train cell phones and cameras in their direction – and said that was fine with him. “If that happens, it happens,” he said. “Smile for the camera.” While planning the massive operation, top commanders admitted being mindful of the ugly police assault in Oakland, Ca., and the indelible image of a California campus officer casually pepper-spraying seated demonstrators – and the contrast the Philadelphia police had established so far.