Fox News reported today that an Occupy Boston participant inside South Station spit on a member of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard has confirmed that an officer was assaulted in this way near South Station and Dewey Square. Coast Guard has also confirmed that there are no allegations that this assault was committed by an Occupy Boston participant. Occupy Boston unanimously condemns violent actions. We are committed to non-violence and consider conduct of this sort to be an act of violence.
Some of our participants are former servicemen and women. One thing we all share is a respect for others in the 99%, including members of our armed services, many of whom stand with us in our pursuit of economic justice. This past Tuesday morning, members of the group Veterans for Peace stood between protesters and police prior to the arrests that took place at 1:30am. They stood in support of our right to free speech. They were pulled to the ground, their banners broken, and their bodies bruised. This also is reprehensible behavior – committed by Boston Police Officers – and deserves widespread discussion and media attention. We stand with the Veterans for Peace and the rest of the 99%, offering our solidarity for all those who have served and continue to serve to keep our country safe.
Fox’s portrayal of the Coast Guard assault was a rush to judgement, at best. Occupy Boston depends upon the fair and diligent reporting of individuals, independent reporters, and professional press organizations to convey important messages regarding: our participatory democracy, our march towards government and financial reform, our ongoing non-violent events, and our culture of inclusion.
Occupy Boston also faces the ongoing threat of authoritarian action, stifling free speech with brutality – this threat and this brutality also deserve regular coverage. For Fox’s message of violence to creep onto the media radar unverified damages Fox’s credibility and the credibility of those who have propagated this message. Few organizations reached out to Occupy Boston in reconciliation of Fox’s poorly researched content regarding Occupy Boston’s commitment to nonviolence, constructive aims, and positive intentions. They often opt instead for sensationalism.
Occupy Boston is the beginning of an ongoing discussion about reforming Wall Street and removing special interests from government. The continuing occupation of Dewey Square (outside South Station) is just one of more than 120 separate Occupy encampments in cities across the nation and a symbol for “Occupiers” everywhere who support real and lasting change.