House Majority Leader Eric Cantor abruptly canceled an economic speech at the University of Pennsylvania after learning his Friday address was likely to be packed with Occupy Philadelphia protesters.
Cantor (R-Va.) was expected to address the issue of income disparity in a speech titled "A Fair Shot at the American Dream and Economic Growth" at the university's Wharton School of Business, according to The Hill. He reportedly canceled it just three-and-a-half hours beforehand.
Occupy Philadelphia, the city's offshoot of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement, had planned an "Occupy Eric Cantor" demonstration and march, according to the group's Facebook page. They planned to march from City Hall to the campus to protest Cantor.
A Cantor spokeswoman said the last-minute cancellation was because the school couldn't guarantee the previously set attendance policy.
"The Office of the Majority Leader was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be met,” Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon told The Hill. “Wharton is a educational leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Majority Leader appreciated the invitation to speak with the students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the UPENN community."
Cantor said earlier this month he was "increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country." He later walked back those remarks, saying the frustration they represent is "warranted."
As news spread of the cancellation, Occupy Philadelphia celebrated on its Twitter account with the post: "#Winning. #OccupyPhilly." It also changed its plans from a protest against Cantor to a "March for Integrity."