Second Penn Meeting Disrupted by Protesters
— Philadelphia JwJ (@PhillyJwJ) February 26, 2015
We told you yesterday about how activists disrupted a meeting of the Penn Board of Trustees for a protest aimed at the board’s chairman, David Cohen, who is also executive vice president at Comcast. Turns out activists weren’t done: They also disrupted a later meeting held by the trustees at the Inn at Penn.
The Board of Trustees Budget & Finance Meeting today quite literally ended in protest. Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, a local labor union-backed nonprofit, stood outside of the Inn at Penn’s Walnut entrance to demand that the University pay payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, to the city government.
Protestors were questioned by a Penn detective and grilled by Penn President Amy Gutmann’s security guards, said Gwen Snyder, Executive Director of Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice. Protestors were also given pamphlets specifying the limits to their free speech by hotel management, Snyder said.
“We made it public that we were planning to attend the trustees meeting,” Snyder said. “We thought it was really important for them to hear not just from us but from community members and supporters across the city that we think Penn should pay its fair share.”
As seen above, protesters also projected their demands onto a building across from the Inn; the want Penn to pay City Hall to give greater support to local schools. Pennsylvania Jobs With Justice describes itself as “a coalition of labor unions and student, community, and faith groups united in our shared work fighting for the rights of all working people.”