Public Reaction to Cornel West Arrest at Occupy Washington DC

The surprising arrest of Dr. Cornel West in Washington’s Occupy Wall Street protest has left many Americans shaken and confused. How did this teacher from Los Angeles end up in this debacle? Over 1,530 people responded to the update West posted on his Facebook fan page early Monday morning on October 16 to show their support.

B. Lucas posted a quote for those concerned from Dr. West saying, “I will be spending the night behind bars.” Lucas went on to post, “He (West) has been ordered to appear in court Monday at 1pm EST to answer charges of trespassing on the steps of the Supreme Court.”

Sixteen hours later, Dr. West’s latest post states, “I thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers. I emerged from jail with a stronger fortitude and greater determination to fight for justice. Our criminal justice system is the night side of American society. It needs fundamental transformation. The community with my 19 disturbers of the peace, including my dear brother Raheem DeVaughn, was majestic. Let us continue to try to change the world.”

Later on Monday, the courts stated that no charges would be pressed against Dr. West. However, supporters were soon voicing a strong opinion that had everyone chatting. As one supporter publicly posted on his Facebook page, “Is Dr. Cornel West the leader the Occupy Wall Street Movement has been looking for? After Dr. West’s arrest on Sunday in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., it is becoming apparent that the distinguished professor might have the passion, dedication and grit required to lead a successful civil rights movement. And, it’s about time a prominent public figure showed some backbone.”

Others supported the notion of Dr. West as the leader of Occupy Wall Street by saying, “I cannot think of anyone else I would rather have representing so many voices of all types. Thank you, Dr. West, as well as those who stood with you, for setting such a strong precedence that change does require sacrifice.”

Still, others saw his actions as “unimpressive” stating, “I’m sorry, I just think this was a media stunt to get attention. Too much coincidence with the MLK dedication…he knew the rules, he’s an educated man. He chose to break them and get arrested.”

However, the general feelings of most supporters that posted on Facebook were thankful to Dr. West saying, “Dr. West, Thank you for your sacrifice in the name of democracy. Sending positive vibes your way…stay strong, we love you.”

Over the next week, Dr. West will have more to share about his participation in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. To stay in touch, join his public Facebook page.

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