Now is a critical time for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The initial momentum of the NYC demonstrations has begun to fade.
And although hundreds of similar protests sprang up seemingly overnight, local governments are doing their best to intimidate and harass Occupiers into submission.
Denver, Colorado : The #occupyeverywhere protests have attracted thousands of supporters, but Governor Hickenlooper has indefinitely closed the park where the action takes place. People have been arrested for participating in the strategy of occupation and the modest infrastructure built on community donations was destroyed by the police. Overall police harassment of the peaceful protesters has cost the taxpayers of Colorado $365,000 in overtime expenses.
Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Police and Mayor Frank G. Jackson refused to renew Occupy Cleveland’s permit so that they can put up Christmas decorations in Public Square. Despite the arrival of hundreds of Midwest Powershift members right before the incident, over 10 leaders of the Occupation were arrested.
Melbourne, Australia: Almost 100 protesters were arrested after clashing with police who showed up to evict them from their CBD camp. The protesters said they had recorded numerous incidents of police violence and brutality and had assembled a legal team in anticipation of legal action.
To those Occupiers who will spend tonight, and the many nights ahead, in chilly tents or on the cold ground: we salute you. You are a vision of democracy in action.
You are the voice of millions of Americans who have lived in silent desperation for decades. You are the reason the 1% are worried. You are our last hope for getting our country back.
(And to the millions who haven’t yet voiced their support for this movement…what are you waiting for?)
Here, set to Buffalo Springfield’s protest song, are some of #OWS’s finest moments:
Image Credit: Flickr – meadow03