More than 50 writers have signed a petition condemning “the violent crackdown on peaceful, nonviolent Occupy Oakland protesters” earlier this week. The document includes signatures from authors Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit and Dave Eggers.
Here is an excerpt: “As writers, authors, editors, filmmakers and artists from across the country, we believe free speech and assembly are paramount to democracy. We urge you to cease the police crackdowns immediately, and stop trampling on protesters’ First Amendment rights. As Mayor, you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your police department, and by all accounts they have behaved shamefully—attacking, beating, and tear-gassing people who were assembled peaceably in nonviolent protest. Mayor Quan, let free speech and assembly have its day, and its night, and stop your police from these terrible and entirely unnecessary attacks. The country is watching. Let the protesters speak and assemble, and end the attacks—now.”
During Occupy Oakland protests this week, hundreds of police officers have clashed with activists. 24-year-old Scott Olsen was hit in the head by a police projectile. He has been hospitalized ever since and will have surgery to reduce swelling in his brain. Doctors upgraded his condition to “fair” yesterday.