Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, strongly condemns the recent assaults on the Occupy Wall Street movement in Oakland, D.C., Miami, Maine, and elsewhere. Dr. Stein has initiated a “First Amendment Pledge,” that thousands have signed.
I pledge non-cooperation with police repression and will not vote for or support those responsible for it.
The pledge (http://www.firstamendmentpledge org/) ) states that we
affirm our support for the constitutional right of the people to freedom of assembly in the public spaces of our nation, whether to protest government policies, to request relief from persecution, or to call attention to injustices. Free assemblies such as the Occupy Wall Street protests serve an invaluable civic purpose and should be accommodated, not suppressed, by government agencies.
Stein urges her fellow candidates for president, including Obama, to make strong public statements in support of the rights of the Occupiers to
peacefully protest. Furthermore, President Obama has the ability to stop federal encouragement of and support for police raids and the unjust use of police force through his oversight of the Homeland Security Agency, and Stein calls upon him to put an end to this coordinated assault.
“I stand firmly with those brave Americans in the Occupy Wall Street Movement in hundreds of communities across our country who have been willing to put their bodies on the line for democracy. The demand to end the rule of the 1% is the civil rights movement of our time. People are rising up to demand a more just nation, and police brutality and state violence are being unleashed to suppress democracy for the 99%,” said Dr. Stein, who has visited many Occupy sites across the country.
Last Saturday, thousands of parents, families and engaged citizens gathered to open a community center in downtown Oakland. The police, under orders from Mayor Quan, responded to this peaceful demonstration by arresting around 400 people. Hundreds were injured when officers marched on unarmed families, raised their guns and fired bullets, tear gas canisters, smoke bombs, concussion grenades and other explosive devices into the crowd.
In DC, occupiers have been served notice that the police will evict them this week. On Sunday, D.C. protesters complained about excessive force by police after a occupier protesting the pending eviction was subjected to an electric shock. “Occupying public spaces as protest is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. I call upon local, state and federal officials to stop attacking the Occupy Wall Street movement. I also call upon our courts to enforce the constitution and protect the first amendment rights of the occupiers,” added Stein, who spoke at the recent Occupy the Courts protest in DC.
Stein said she supported efforts by groups such as The Partnership for Civil Justice in their Freedom of Information Act ( FOIA) demands to federal and local law enforcement agencies seeking public disclosure of documents and information concerning their involvement in the coordinated crackdown on Occupy encampments. Records demands have been issued to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Parks Service (NPS), as well as local municipal offices. The agencies have refused to comply.
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- Saturday morning: Occupy DC being unfairly evicted (onthewilderside.com)