Dr. Cornel West and 14 Others Arrested Protesting Corporate Power at US Supreme Court

Washington – The October2011.org Movement that is occupying Freedom Plaza, led an impromptu march of 250 people up Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Supreme Court where Dr. Cornel West climbed on the steps of the Supreme Court and denounced court decisions that have produced money-based elections that empower corporations. Dr. West was holding a sign that said “Poverty is the Greatest Violence of All.” He was arrested because holding political signs on the Supreme Court steps is illegal.

Dr. West spoke to more than 500 people on Freedom Plaza where he said that “if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would be on Freedom Plaza.” West described how the struggle against, poverty, war and injustice continues and confidence that the people will succeed. He applauded the occupation as “an inclusive social revolution for all of us” and a “leaderless-leader-filled movement” where people are “finding their own political voices rather than echoing others.”

Kevin Zeese, an organizer of October2011.org said: “It is a fitting tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for Dr. West and the others to risk arrest protesting the unfair wealth divide and the Supreme Court empowering money over voters. In the battle for a real, participatory democracy getting money out of politics is a critical step.”

October2011.org seeks to end corporate rule and shift power to the people. The occupation of Freedom Plaza began on October 6th, the beginning of the 11th year of the Afghanistan War and a new federal fiscal year that promises austerity for everything except militarism and war. Among those arrested with Dr. West were Tarak Kauff of Veterans for Peace, Ellen Davidson of the Indypendent newspaper, filmmaker Dennis Trainor, Jr. and Maria Allwine an independent political activist.
According to attorney Ann Wilcox (202-441-3265) the Supreme Court police are threatening to hold Dr. West overnight because he is from out of town and therefore they question whether he will return for his court appearance.

Kevin Zeese of October2011.org said “it is absurd of the police to doubt whether Dr. West and the others will return to court. These are political protesters who want their day in court. Holding them overnight is an unjustified way to punish them before trial.”

r. West will be arraigned in DC Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave. tomorrow at 1:00 PM. He and 14 others of the 17 arrested today are being held overnight.