Press Release For Sept. 30 Demonstration
journalists, bloggers, live streamers, gadflies, tweeters , and facebookers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alex S. Vitale 917-293-4862
Penny Lewis 917-328-2456
Demonstration Against Police Attacks Targeting OCCUPY
Friday, September 30,
at 5:30PM at One Police Plaza. Over 1,000 people are expected.
Dozens of trade union leaders, academics, writers, students, and other New Yorkers
have called for a demonstration in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street for this
Friday, September 30, at 5:30PM at One Police Plaza.
United under the banner, “We are the 99%,” Occupy Wall Street demonstrators
are taking a stand against runaway corporate power in the United States, and
the incredible inequality that exists in the country today. To this end, they
have been practicing non-violent direct action–peacefully encamped at Zuccotti
Park downtown since September 17, and in small and larger marches around the
Wall St. area and the city.
They have been raising issues that cut to the core of the lives of millions of New
Yorkers. Our city is the most unequal in the country. A fraction of
the population controls staggering amounts of wealth, while life for the vast majority
has been getting harsher and more precarious. One in five New Yorkers now
live in poverty, official unemployment remains high, and the public sector has
been absorbing round after round of cuts. Occupy Wall Street has helped
to make these issues more visible, and they have inspired many around the
country and the world by their actions.
On September 24th, members of Occupy Wall Street marched to Union
Square, and were subsequently met with extreme police violence, including
violent arrests of non-violent protesters and pepper-spraying people in police
We are outraged by these police attacks. At
the worst protestors were guilty of a minor traffic disruption, which in no way
warranted the excessive use of force witnessed on numerous videos. This use of
force serves to criminalize dissent and intimidate potential participants.
There is nothing new about the NYPD’s heavy handed approach to protests. During the
2003 Anti Iraq War protest organized by United for Peace and Justice, hundreds
of thousands of people were denied their right to demonstrate by unreasonably
restrictive crowd control practices. In the ensuing and completely avoidable
chaos dozens of demonstrators and police were injured by horse charges, pepper
spray, and violent arrests.
During the Republican National Convention in 2004, the NYPD spied on protest
organizers, used agents provocateur, denied demonstration permits, and arrested
over a thousand people without a legal basis, resulting in millions of dollars
in legal claims against the city.
We call on the NYPD to stop treating dissent as a criminal activity and to
acknowledge the legitimacy of non-violent protest—even when it is disruptive. We call on them to end their unreasonably
restrictive practices that undermine the very nature of free assembly, such as
the use of protest pens, deployment of excessive numbers of officers directly
surrounding demonstrations, subdividing of crowds, bag searches, and denials of
Details and a list of co-sponsors can be found at:
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