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Occupy Wall Street isn't behind Philly conference

PHILADELPHIA — Occupy Wall Street isn't endorsing the Occupy conference being planned in Philadelphia because the idea wasn't approved by its general assembly.

An attorney who advised some Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last year said this week that his 99% Declaration Working Group is planning a national Occupy conference in Philadelphia over the Fourth of July. The attorney, Michael Pollok, said delegates will be elected from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories. Participants will draft and ratify a "petition for a redress of grievances" and present them to President Barack Obama and Congress, he said.

But Han Shan, a member of the Occupy Wall Street public relations working group, said Thursday that the conference was mainly Pollok's idea and that, while Occupy Wall Street may support some of its ideas, the group isn't endorsing the conference itself.

"We think it's critically important to truly build consensus," Shan said. "This was not something that was built around consensus."

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York City and spread across the country, with protesters denouncing corporate excess and economic inequality.

Pollok, an attorney in Rhinebeck, N.Y., said delegates to the summer conference will convene during the week of July 2 and hold a news conference in front of Independence Hall on July Fourth.

Organizers won't take a position on what grievances should be included, according to Pollok, but they will likely include issues such as getting money out of politics, dealing with the foreclosure crisis and helping students handle loan debt. Once the petition is completed, Pollok said, protesters will deliver copies to the White House, members of Congress and the Supreme Court.

—Copyright 2012 Associated Press


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