"The universal rights of assembly and free speech must be protected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights." -- President Barack Obama.
You may be thinking the above quote from President Obama was talking about the Occupy Wall Street protests -- but he wasn't. He was talking about the protests in Iran this past year.
Yet every morning, we read another story from a DFA member involved in an Occupy Wall Street action -- stories about how protesters are struggling with authorities just to be able to exercise their basic rights. Every day we hear about some new dirty trick being pulled in an effort to stifle and break up the movement.
The tactics are varied. Some days it's the Mayor of New York attempting to forcibly evict protesters from Zuccotti Park under the guise of "cleaning" or taking away the power supply. Other days, it's mass arrests in Boston in the middle of the night. And just days ago it was the horrific story of police firing dangerous weapons on unarmed peaceful demonstrators in Oakland -- and even seriously wounding a United States marine who served in Iraq.
The truth is: the universal rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters to free speech and assembly are not being protected right now. It's time for our nation's top law enforcement agency to stand up and defend its own civilians who are under attack -- from New York to Oakland and every occupation in between.
Tell the Department of Justice to make a statement protecting the rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters to demonstrate in safety and peace. Sign the petition now.
At other pivotal moments in American history, the Department of Justice and the President have taken action to protect its citizens engaged in protest from injustice and police brutality.
We need that same leadership again now.
President Obama has stood up and showed great leadership in demanding that all governments worldwide protect the rights of their people to peacefully protest without harassment. It's time for the Obama administration to lead again by demanding those exact same protections for peaceful protestors here in the United States of America.
Add your name to the petition now. Tell the Department of Justice to protect the rights of Americans to assemble and speak freely.
Thank you for everything you do,
- Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America
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