Despite many positives, the recent five-day NatGat Occupy gathering in Philadelphia was rife with contention. The heavy police presence, which included officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, the National Park Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, intensified the divisions around Occupy’s relationship with the police.
On June 30, Occupiers were prevented from laying down any "bedding material" at the National Historic Park near Independence Mall. In defiance, a group encircled a tent and locked arms, resulting in a prolonged clash and one arrest for assaulting a federal officer. The aftermath was just as confused — some activists joined hands and hummed "ohm," while others shouted that the cops were Nazi pigs. An ad-hoc General Assembly to discuss the next step of where the activists would sleep fell apart when several Occupiers explained that they did not feel safe discussing strategy while encircled by police. On July 1, twenty-six protesters were arrested in a nighttime jail solidarity march, raising tensions and anger further.
This mini-documentary explores the internal conflict over police confrontation at the Occupy National Gathering, particularly as it relates to the future of the movement. Interviews include former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis, Native American Un-Occupy Albuquerque activist Amalia Montoya, and InterOccupy organizer Tamara Shapiro.