November 18, 2011 - Occupy Philly Forcloses on Wells Fargo - the full uncensored version.
A jury acquitted a dozen Occupy Philadelphia demonstrators Tuesday -- and the judge shook their hands -- in their appeal of misdemeanor convictions stemming from 2011 arrests during a sit-in at a Wells Fargo Bank branch.
They were charged with "defiant trespass."
But after a Common Pleas Court jury on Tuesday acquitted the 12 Occupy Philadelphia protesters arrested in a 2011 bank sit-in, the trial judge shook their hands and called them the "most affable group of defendants I've ever come across."
"I think what this really shows is that when the people of Philadelphia make a decision, they want someone accountable," said Aaron Troisi, a 26-year-old working toward a master's degree in education at Temple University. "Accountability and justice is not what they experienced with banks like Wells Fargo."
Troisi and 11 fellow Occupy demonstrators were acquitted of conspiracy and defiant trespass in the Nov. 18, 2011, sit-in inside a Wells Fargo Bank branch at 17th and Market Streets in Center City.
The jury of 10 women and two men had deliberated about 13 hours since Friday before it returned the verdict to a packed courtroom shortly before noon.
Afterward, Judge Nina N. Wright Padilla took the unusual step of coming down from the bench and asking all 12 to approach so she could shake their hands.
"I hope you continue your work in a law-abiding way," said Padilla.