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MLK Day Union Rally at Independence Hall; Code Blue in Philadelphia; Meek Mill Sues Philly Police
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 01/20/13 6:35 am | updated: 01/20/13 6:35 am
Thousands of union members gathered at Independence Mall on Saturday for a rally. They were representatives of various unions currently locked in negotiations with the City of Philadelphia over contracts. The heads of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) were at the rally that lasted for more than two hours. They chose the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor to civil right's leader. Some pointed out that King was in Memphis supporting AFSCME sanitation workers when he was shot. They hope the rally will call attention to what is happening with some of the biggest unions in the city and force Mayor Nutter to negotiate. Some unions have been working for up to four years without a contract.

Nutter has not signed contracts with AFSCME district council 33 or 47. He gave DC 33 a final offer this week. The city is also fighting an arbitration ruling for the firefighters union that awarded them retractive raises. Mayor nutter released this statement, "We need contracts that are fair to city employees and to the taxpayers now and in the future. We can't afford the firefighters arbitration. We won't sign contracts with DC 33 and 47 until they agree with reforms they need so they can have sustainable budgets in the future."

The City Philadelphia will declare a “Code Blue” starting at 6 pm on Sunday night. Leticia Egea-Hinton, deputy director of the Philadelphia Office of Supportive Housing, says that the purpose of the Code Blue is to try and get homeless off the streets in the event of severe cold weather. The Philadelphia area will see a significant cold snap with temperatures dropping into the 10's and 20's at night, and not even making it out of the 20's Tuesday and Wednesday. If you see someone who is living or sleeping on the streets over the next few days, call the outreach number 215-232-1984. A city worker will come out and check on the person and hopefully get them to a shelter during this dangerous period.

Meek Mill is suing the Philadelphia Police department and Officers Andre Boyer and Michael Vargas for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy. This stems from an October 31, 2012 incident when Meek Mill aka Robert Williams was pulled over near 11th Street and Girard Avenue Philadelphia around 7:30 pm. The complaint states that the officers had no reason to stop the vehicle in the first place. After the stop, they handcuffed Williams at the scene and transported him the 22nd Police District. While at the station the officers took photographs of the plaintiff which were published to Instagram. Williams spent 9 hours in a jail cell before being released without being charged with anything. His detainment caused him to miss a scheduled private flight to Atlanta for a promotional appearance in Atlanta. This incident also weighed in on his probation status. He has been ordered to stay in Philadelphia and has missed many appearances since. The complaint states that the unlawful detention has cost him "the loss of numerous sponsorships and endorsements; the loss of plaintiff's solitude, seclusion and privacy; the anxiety and embarrassment associated with plaintiff being placed in a false light; and the anxiety and embarrassment of being seized, detained, confined and imprisoned against plaintiff's will."

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