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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rev. Jesse Jackson joins Occupy Atlanta

Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced support for Occupy Atlanta at Peachtree-Pine shelter today
  • Joeff Davis
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced support for Occupy Atlanta at Peachtree-Pine shelter today

This morning, at its temporary encampment on the fourth floor of Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter, Occupy Atlanta held a press conference to address a comment made by Mayor Kasim Reed.

In an October 27 interview with Fox 5 news, Reed said that when Occupy protesters were arrested in Woodruff Park the previous Tuesday, females were, "for the most part," arrested by female cops. Occupy contends that of the dozen-or-so female protestors who were arrested that night, most were actually arrested by male cops (in fact, CL has several pictures that show young ladies being arrested by men — I'll post a few after the jump).

That quibble became little more than a footnote — which is probably all it should be — when Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived to address protestors and the media in a show of solidarity with the Occupy movement (he's also visited Occupy sites in New York, Chicago Toledo, OH and Detroit).

"The focus now is on mayors," said Jackson, "but it should be on bankers."

Jackson called the Occupy movement a "quest for an even playing field and economic justice," and likened it to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last effort before his assassination, a journey toward Washington to occupy the National Mall to protest socioeconomic disparity.

During his roughly 20-minute speech, after which he answered questions, Jackson advocated for student loan forgiveness, a revival of the war on poverty and a wholesale renewal of hope — the kind that got President Obama elected in 2008, but has waned as economic conditions continued to deteriorate.

"Do not lose faith," Jackson said, a pale woman in a camoflauge hat weeping before him, "Don't let difficult times break your spirit."

Other things of note ...

It appears Occupy Atlanta is determined to reoccupy Woodruff — ahem — Troy Davis Park on Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. Rev. Jackson won't attend because he has a conference elsewhere. Currently, about 100 occupiers have taken up temporary residence at Peachtree-Pine. And according to Occupy spokesman Tim Franzen (pictured above alongside Jackson), 25 more are staying in a suite at the *Westin — yeah, the Westin — where most of the food preparation is being done. Franzen said the room is being covered by donations.

*UPDATE: An email from an Occupy Atlanta participant says several members are actually staying IN the "West End" not AT the Westin and THAT is what is being paid for with donations. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Check out more photos from the press conference

And here are some images — captured by Joeff Davis — of male officers arresting female protestors:

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