Philadelphia Mayor Wants Occupy National Gathering Participants to Go Thirsty in Heat [View all]
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Source: Kevin Gosztola
Philadelphia Mayor Wants Occupy National Gathering Participants to Go Thirsty in Heat
By: Kevin Gosztola Sunday July 1, 2012 4:26 pm
Record-breaking heat has been sweeping the United States. The Occupy movement is holding a major National Gathering in Philadelphia right now, where the temperature has reached ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. Anyone spending hours out in this weather needs to drink water so as not to pass out from heat exhaustion. But Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a Democrat, has issued orders instructing city departments and other organizations in the city to not give water to occupiers.
Occupiers intended to be able to get water from a fire station nearby where the Gathering has been taking place (right downtown around Independence Mall). When occupiers went to get water for participants who would be at today’s activities, a firefighter said the department could not give occupiers water. A direct order had been given from Nutter to not provide water to occupiers.
A person who is out in heat for a long period can get an illness. In extreme cases, people can die. The most serious illness, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is heat stroke. One of the factors that can contribute to the cause of these heat-induced illnesses is “low liquid intake” or lack of water. It is highly encouraged that people drink water “every fifteen minutes.”
This order is a clear example of repression. A Democratic mayor does not want to be seen as encouraging the Occupy movement. He would like to make sure none of his precious campaign donors in the city get wind of city employees like firefighters helping people stay well throughout the Gathering. Ordering firefighters to not give out water may keep the numbers low. Having police not let people have water to distribute can keep numbers low, too. The mayor would rather have occupiers pass out and go to the hospital with serious heat illnesses than risk being seen as too sympathetic to this movement for economic equality and justice.