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Van Jones

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Defend Occupy Wall Street From Eviction

Posted: 10/13/11 09:35 PM ET

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a cowardly attempt to end Occupy Wall Street, the anchor of a movement that has captured the hearts and minds of the country in just four weeks. Tomorrow at 7 a.m., under Bloomberg's orders, the NYPD will evict the 99%.

Unless we stop that from happening.

We have very little time to act. There are at least three things you can do right now:

  1. SIGN THIS PETITION now. MoveOn.org has started a major petition drive to tell Mayor Bloomberg: "Respect the protesters' First Amendment rights. Don't try to evict Occupy Wall Street." The petition will be put in the hands of the occupiers TONIGHT, and then delivered to the mayor. A massive stack of signatures will show Occupy Wall Street and Bloomberg that the nation stands with the 99%, not the 1%.

  2. Tell everyone you know in the New York area that they should head to Zuccotti Park at 6:00 AM tomorrow (Friday Oct 14) to prevent Bloomberg from evicting the protesters. If enough people literally stand with the protesters, Bloomberg could back down.

  3. Call 311 (if you live in New York City) or 212-NEW-YORK (if you live elsewhere in the US) and demand that Bloomberg back down from interfering with the occupiers' brave stand on behalf of the 99% of us.

The mayor's justification for this eviction is a ruse. Bloomberg says authorities need to "clean" the park. Meanwhile, he refuses to acknowledge that Occupy Wall Street has a functioning sanitation detail, just as they've self-organized every other aspect of their dignified, intentional community (including a working library).

Bloomberg says the protestors may return after the "cleaning," but this also is less than honest. Upon returning to the park, occupiers must follow rules that make the occupation impossible: no camping; no sleeping bags; no tents; no lying down; no storage of personal property.

Make no mistake -- this is an eviction. Winter is coming, and the occupiers cannot continue without the ability to stay safe, warm, and dry.

This is about more than just one protest. What's at stake is the very right we have as Americans to speak out when we've been wronged, and to peaceably assemble as a community to seek redress from the government.

Occupy Wall Street is resonating with the American people. More than a thousand occupations have sprung up in cities and towns everywhere, following the example set by those in New York City. As Al Gore said, Occupy Wall Street is a "primal scream of American democracy." This beautiful manifestation of moral clarity and dignified, nonviolent protest must be allowed to continue.

 
 
 

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