Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) condemns the unjustified and excessive violence that the New York City police used against peaceful protestors in Zuccotti Park the weekend of March 17th and 18th.
We are deeply concerned about the well-being of all those who suffered injuries and particularly that of our valued member Cecily McMillan. We reaffirm the right of all people to engage in non-violent civil disobedience and peaceful assembly, and this has been a guiding principle of Cecily’s organizing and that of our youth section the Young Democratic Socialists. Cecily has contributed selflessly for the past few years to organizing for non-violent social change to create a more just and humane society. Yet too often at past Occupy protests, and again in this instance, the NYPD has failed to exercise appropriate restraint and, at times, has engaged in both provocative acts towards protestors and the excessive use of force. Protestors who are being detained, under no circumstances should be subject to excessive and unjustified force and, if injured, they must receive immediate and appropriate medical attention. DSA is particularly concerned that the medical attention (and eventual hospitalization) that Cecily needed may have been delayed.
Although DSA was not involved in the preparations for this protest, we have been deeply involved in Occupy and reaffirm its spirit of non-violent protest against unbridled corporate power and rampant inequality. DSA is a socialist organization that works for social change through education, movement organizing, electoral activity and nonviolent social protest.