By Veronica Nowakowski
From the beginning, the Occupy movement has been under attack by the political establishment. Police had been sent to harass the protesters by preventing them from putting up tents and had begun using archaic laws against wearing masks in public to arrest protesters by day four. By day ten, the police began unprovoked physical intimidation of protesters by making them randomly.
On October 10, police began arresting protesters for not vacating in Boston, a Democratic Party stronghold. On October 25, police began assaulting protesters with tear gas, and other “nonlethal” weapons in the Democratic stronghold of Oakland, California. Many were injured and an Iraqi War veteran, Scott Olsen was rendered in critical condition after a police projectile fractured his skull; those who ran to his aid were further attacked by police while trying to save his life. Throughout the country, other evictions have been attempted by mayors of both Democratic and Republican parties.
Yesterday, on November 15, the city of New York finally made good on its threats to prevent camping in Liberty Square so as to turn back the movement. Protesters have been forcibly evicted during the day, while the media was intentionally kept at bay during the raid in order to keep the country from knowing. The protesters promptly gained a court order granting them access to the park, only to see that the police would not obey the rule of law, only the rule of the 1%. Those that hopped barricades to affirm their court-approved rights were brutalized. One was even physically thrown back over the barricade by police in contempt of the justice system they are supposed to enforce. The New York Supreme Court later reversed the decision by the lower court, forcing the protesters to continue without sources of sustenance as winter sets in.
The campaign believes that since the protesters already oppose the political and economic situation in the United States, they should also begin to firmly acknowledge all of those whom are attacking them. After all, the Democratic Party is near literally assaulting them with the truth.
“Remember well who is behind these assaults on you,” urges Stewart Alexander, presidential nominee for the Socialist Party USA. “These are the men and women who are bought and sold like commodities by corporations. These are not just Republican officials, but also the Democratic Party that are assaulting your rights to free speech. Your calls for social and economic justice do not sit well with their owners. When the Democrats try to sweet talk you into believing they support the 99%: forget their words and remember their actions.”
Setting up camps in order to protest also has significant precedent according to the campaign.
“I remember learning about the Bonus Army in high school,” explains Alex Mendoza, the ticket’s vice-presidential candidate. “World War I veterans marched on Washington and set up camp to demand payment on funds promised to be paid to them, more than a decade later be paid to them early. Their encampment was a symbol that they would not simply go away – that they were determined to stick it out until their demands were met. Police met these men with violence back then too, about eighty years ago.”
Alexander and Mendoza are opposed to the assaults on both the protester’s bodies and liberties. They claim that this is more of the same from the Democrats and Republicans alike. They cite the curtailing of our liberties by the PATRIOT Act, the FBI raids on the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) for simply speaking in favor of a group opposed by the US Government, and the creation of “free speech zones.” The assault on the FRSO was made possible by the case of Holder V. Humanitarian Law Project, in which it was ruled that merely speaking in favor of a group deemed terrorist by the Secretary of State is considered offering them material support. The Holder whom had sued and pushed for this interpretation is Eric H. Holder Jr., Attorney General for Barack Obama.
“There should be no ‘free speech zones’ in America,” says Mendoza. “America is one big free speech zone where one should be able to show their freedom of conscience absolutely everywhere without fear of repercussions from the powers that be.”
“Our administration would be pushing for radical change in this system.” Alexander continues. “First, we will enact radical change in our economic system to express economic justice and economic democracy; second, radical change to our political system to have more representative democracy and reinvigorate our civil liberties. As President, even if Nazis or Klansmen protested peacefully outside my front door at the White House, for weeks on end, I would not raise a finger against them or instruct anyone else to do so.”
Both candidates have supported the Occupy campaign from its beginning and the campaign considers the sentiment of the protesters as central to their campaign.
Alexander explains: “This is our constituency, the working class, every day people who are fed up with the system and need real answers to their problems, not sacrifices upon the altar of the market to buy favor and prayers for minimum-wage jobs.”
Find more articles: Stewart Alexander for President; Stewart Alexander 2012; Alexander/Mendoza 2012
Socialists Condemn the Raid of Zuccotti Park – Long Live OWS! http://socialistparty-usa.org/occupywallstreet.html
Stewart Alexander / Alex Mendoza 2012 – Socialist Party USA http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stewart-Alexander-Alex-Mendoza-2012-Socialist-Party-USA/305242179487567