For Immediate Release
The 1st Amendment is Our Permit
WASHINGTON - This is an emergency appeal. Spread it widely.
This morning, Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated when New York authorities beat a last-minute retreat from clearing Liberty Plaza – as hundreds of labor and other activists rushed to defend the square.
But at the same time this morning, dozens of state troopers in riot gear cleared out Occupy Denver protests. In cities across the country, Occupy protesters have faced police violence and arrests. Some occupations have been forcibly removed while others have stood their ground successfully.
The authorities say we don’t have the proper permits to occupy public spaces. Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment.
Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:
Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest.
We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop.
Action for a Progressive Future (the organization that runs RootsAction) is a nonprofit, progressive, public policy advocacy group that will engage citizens in the democratic process and help make sure legislators hear their voices.