Occupiers surrounded retired Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis on the West Lawn of the Capitol this afternoon at Occupy Congress. Many thanked him profusely for his support of the movement.
Captain Lewis received much attention when he was arrested on November 17, 2011 during an Occupy Wall Street protest. He criticized Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD for their handling of the protests and forceful tactics in evicting OWS from Zuccotti Park.
Dressed in his police uniform and sunglasses, Captain Lewis chatted with attendees and took pictures with them as the wind blew across the muddy West Lawn. He offered candid opinions and full-throated support of Occupy.
“I am here to further show solidarity with the Occupy movement,” emphasizing that by attending he sought publicity for Occupy and not for himself. “I am in full agreement with the declarative statements [of Occupy Wall Street] as posted online,” he said.
There had already been two confrontations with Capitol police earlier in the day. Many protestors were openly antagonistic. I asked him what he thought when he heard them yell, “Fuck the police!”
“I fully understand,” he said. “They are so sensitive to evil and corruption in government. They tried working within the system and with Obama.”
He continued by harshly assessing President Obama. Following Obama’s election, “What did we get? One of the biggest political betrayals in history. He’s nowhere near the president he said he would be.” He added, “He’s nothing more than a black George W. Bush.”
He praised all the alternative media arising from the Occupy movement and stressed the necessity of bypassing mainstream media. “What you’re doing is so important,” he said. “We didn’t have this during the Vietnam War.”
- Retired police captain arrested at Occupy Wall Street (dailykos.com)
- Occupy Congress rallies on West Lawn, marches to Rayburn Building (coolrevolution.net)