By Joshua Taylor www.AmericanEthics.org
Occupy Wall Street was raided last night at Zuccatti park. We at Occupy LA stand in solidarity with all of the other Occupations around the world. Around the country our first amendment rights are being violated. Occupy Wall Street is only one of many occupations that have been raided this past week alone. Oakland, Berkley, and Portland along with others have been raided this week too. This is just a tiny fraction of the 1st amendment right violations that have been going on around the country. Our first amendment right will not be infringed upon
We at Occupy LA are blessed because we have not been raided yet. We have been attacked in other ways. They have been trying to cut off our supplies and food, but we will not leave. We decided to take to the streets last night, at midnight, to show everyone that we do not except police suppression of any of us. We do not except suppression of the first amendment of any kind. The Police finally caught up with us about half a mile down the road. I personally talked to a lot of bystanders and informed them why we are marching. I explained to them, with my hands held high palms out, about what’s going on at Occupy Wall Street and the suppression of the first amendment rights. Quite a few of the people on the street decided to take to the streets with us. There were surprisingly a lot of people out at this time at night. People in suits and ties, Transvestite hookers, Shop owners, and people in bars were the mix of crowed we talked to. Most had favorable things to say in return, those who disagreed remained silent. I smiled at them and told them to have a good evening. The public was real nice.
When they finally caught up with us they trailed for quite a while before trying to use their cars to edge us off the streets. Yes, we were in the streets. This country violates occupiers’ rights; we show them that they need to stop. After the police were unable to push us back onto the side walk, they deployed the troops. Some of the cops had batons, and a few had shot guns with bean bag rounds. They got into a huddle. I then saw the lead officer raise his hands out from his side. I screamed to the masses; they were getting into a line formation. They did just that. They looked poised and ready to take us into custody. Me, along with others organizers in the crowed, guided the crowed into the opposite direction, away from the police and towards the camp. People shouted, “This is just a warning, we stand with all occupations. No Americans first amendment right shall be infringed upon.” They stood there stoned faced. We walked back towards Base Camp. The cops marched in line formations and hands on batons behind us so we couldn’t turn back. The whole protest lasted about 2 hours and ended at the corner of city hall. Helicopters were everywhere and there were about 30 police officers cutting off the streets with their cars and the line of riot police. No one in the march would have attacked the shops on our march. A lot of the shop owners we walked buy didn’t seemed threatened by us, just in amazement that we were taking the streets. A lot of them cheered us on. All the people, including the small business owners are with us. They are with us because we are all the 99%.