You have to love the Occupy Wall Street movement’s growing presence, and you also have to love Obama’s classy, thoughtful, and seemingly concerned response to the group that mic checked him yesterday, as well as his response to some of the concerns of the Occupy movement later in his speech.
As Beth Buczynzski of sister site Insteading and of Care2 writes, “The President didn’t belittle the protesters by trying to shout over them as so many others have done. Instead, he silenced the crowd’s boos and allowed the OWS group to deliver its message.”
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that Obama made widely televised remarks earlier this year saying that violence should not be used on protesters in Egypt. However, despite tons of police brutality and over 4,000 arrests in the U.S. in response to the Occupy movement, Obama hasn’t made any similar statements.
Note that there has been loss of life in the Occupy movement now — a kicked and pepper-sprayed pregnant woman has lost her child; an 84-year-old woman has also been pepper sprayed; and an Iraq war veteran has had his skull fractured; and much more violence has been inflicted upon peaceful protesters.
Everything Obama says in the video above could be directed back at him and authority figures in the U.S.
But back to the event yesterday: as shown in the above, after the event, one of the Occupy protesters was able to shake hands with Obama and slip him the text of what they chanted: “Mr. President: Over 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While banksters continue to destroy the
American economy with impunity. You must stop the assault on our 1st ammendment [sic] rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.”
Obama seems to sympathize with and even perhaps fully understand the Occupy movement, but he has a long way to go to support the movement and help it bring more justice and freedom to the United States.