For Immediate Release
Violence Never An Option Against Peaceful Protests
WASHINGTON - Law enforcement officials broke up the Oakland offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests this week with tear gas and, some protestors say, rubber bullets. An Iraq veteran who was hit in the head with a projectile is currently in critical condition with a fractured skull.
Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation, said:
“Violence should never be used against a peaceful protest. While most law enforcement officials across the country have done their job in ensuring public safety while letting Occupy protestors exercise their constitutional rights, this week’s events in Oakland are disturbing. Political leaders and law enforcement in Oakland and across the country must show restraint as Americans peacefully invoke their right to protest and to speak out about their vision for our country’s future.
“Our freedom depends on being able to gather and speak our minds without fear of violence. People across the country have peacefully risen up to defend the American values of equality and opportunity. Their right to peaceful protest must be respected.”
People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.