The following speech was given by Justin Warren of Occupy The Stage. Justin is currently behind bars for making this speech on the steps of the Louisiana state capitol without purchasing a permit. See below for more information and find out how you can lend your support!
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow free peoples of the world. Our governing bodies in their current state have proven themselves ineffective within regards to the interests of the common man. The beautiful ideal that was Democracy has been perverted and totally replaced by the repugnant and relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar, Capitalism. For our entire lives we have been fed lies that lead us to assume such absurdities as the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and there is simply nothing to be done about it. We are told our fates will be better off in the hands of soulless, faceless, and socially irresponsible corporations.
We're told cutting education and expanding our prison systems are the sure fire treatments of our social ills. The heart of Democracy now has more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world. And we are told this is the land of the free.
Through the lobbying system, corporations have been able to not just influence, but completely hijack our government. We have been stripped of our liberties, we have been stripped of our property, we have been robbed of our freedom.
Now, a growing number of people around the world are waking up to the realization that we simply have nothing left to lose. All over the world people are standing up and shrugging of the authority of their oppressors.
We are bearing witness the single greatest social correction the world has ever known, and it's about damned time.
All throughout history the ebb and flow of elitist tyranny, and the social correction of massive upheaval has been a constant. This time however we have the ingredients to get it right. At this height of our technological advancement, we must, for the sake of our own prosperity, get it right.
To all the social parasites and those that hold dear the absurd and repugnant: There is a really big storm coming, and your god may be the only one to forgive your transgressions.
Occupy The Stage founder, Justin Warren is being held at Orleans Parish Prison on a warrant he didn't know existed and today faces impending transfer to Baton Rouge. Justin Warren has a voice that can carry and be heard over the din of city streets. His key voice at assemblies and protests in the occupy community has demonstrated his dedication as an advocate of freedom of speech. The charges he is facing are for allegedly disturbing the peace on the steps of the capitol building in Baton Rouge. On the 12th of March, he was in Baton Rouge with Occupy The Stage, Occupy NOLA and Occupy Baton Rouge for the opening of the 2012 session of the Louisiana Legislature that included a protest against budget cuts in education.
He was making a speech when an officer approached him and attempted to silence him. He continued exercising his First Amendment rights and was then approached by several officers who attempted to grab him from behind. However, he slipped out of his jacket and left the steps of the State Capitol.
After he departed, Officer Holman (badge # 6071) said on camera that Justin was no longer disturbing the peace and would not be arrested. (see min 1:40 here: http://youtu.be/86OSs6YmM8s)
When questioned as to why Louisiana State Police were interfering with Justin's First Amendment rights, Officer Holman replied that he was speaking without a permit. Apparently, The Tea Party had scheduled a separate event in the same area, and they were not approached by the police because they had bought said permit. The New Orleans protesters did not have a permit, nor did they need one according to The Bill of Rights. Occupy movements across the country continue to battle relentless attacks on free speech and assembly, which are assured to all citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The warrant and the ensuing transfer to Baton Rouge are obviously a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money. No citizen should need a permit to exercise freedom of speech in the State of Louisiana. Public spaces, including the steps of the capitol building, are protest points where free speech has been exercised for decades.
It appears that the steps of the State Capitol are currently off limits to free speech unless you are able to buy your way onto them.
Justin Warren needs to be released and compensated for his loss of income while being held for no justifiable reason.