Civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West made an appearance at the Occupy Seattle camp Wednesday afternoon one day after the protesters faced stiff SPD force in a downtown confrontation.
“It’s a love movement,” Dr. West shouted to a crowd huddled together surrounding a rain tent as a near-freezing drizzle fell continuously on Capitol Hill. Many cheered and waved their fingers in the hand gestures of the Occupy movement’s general assemblies.
“The old freedom fighters smile from the grave,” he said.
West also had sharp words for Seattle City Hall following Tuesday night’s use of pepper spray on protestors saying leaders “ought to be ashamed” for the tactics. One attendee asked him what the ultimate goal of the Occupy efforts should be. “We want to change the ethos of the nation,” Dr. West said.
The rally, speech and Q&A session came as Dr. West is scheduled to appear Wednesday night at Green River Community College. The Princeton University professor who has become one of the leading figures in the Occupy protests said that even if the Seattle Central school administration decides to move forward with efforts to remove the Occupy Seattle camp from its campus, the movement will continue.
“You can never evict the belief,” Dr. West said. “You can never evict the commitment.”