Cornel West, the Princeton professor and supporter of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, was arrested on Sunday at a similar demonstration against corporate influence in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
West, a public intellectual and author who discusses race and class issues, was one of 19 arrested on Sunday for refusing to leave the court grounds, according to The Associated Press. Earlier on Sunday, West attended a dedication to a new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall.
Following the dedication, West joined an October 2011 Stop the Machine protest on Washington’s Freedom Plaza. A Web site for October 2011 has been organizing protests in Washington along with Occupy DC. They are akin to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations being held in New York City and are spreading across the U.S.
Messages on West’s situation were posted to his Twitter feed on Sunday. One read “Dr. West is ok and included an #OccupyDC hashtag.
A Twitter user named @BrandonALucas, who is relaying information to West's Twitter feed, wrote that West spent the night in jail and was ordered to appear in court on Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern time. West was charged with trespassing on the steps of the Supreme Court, according to Lucas.
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West on Sunday linked corporate power to the Supreme Court, which allowed an unlimited amount of corporate money into elections with its Citizens United decision. That 2010 ruling allowed companies and unions to fund political ads made by independent groups.
“We know the relation between corporate greed and what goes on too often in the Supreme Court decision,” West said on a bullhorn. “We are willing to put whatever it takes even if we get arrested today and say, 'We will not allow this day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial to go without somebody going to jail', because Martin King would be right here with us willing to throw down out of deep love.”
Here's video of West being arrested, shown at the 2:00 mark.