In light of the clearing of Zuccotti Park by New York City police early Tuesday morning, the American Friends Service Committee is painfully reminded of the Occupy movement’s motivating principles of peaceful protest against injustice, inequality and oppression, and how  large are the challenges ahead.  AFSC is disappointed that the New York Supreme Court will not permit the individuals to return to the park.

Too many people have been left behind by the decisions of powerful business and political leaders, not just in the United States but all over the world.  The Congressional “Super Committee,” in appearing to ignore calls for deep cuts in military, prison, and immigrant detention spending in favor of an adequate safety net, is one example of a system that is not working.

Elizabeth Enloe, Director of the AFSC’s New York Metropolitan Regional Office, placed a call to Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning:  “We urge your support of the peaceful protests of individuals with Occupy Wall Street, including safe, healthy, and overnight encampment in Zuccotti Park,” she said.   “Your wise counsel and partnership on the issues presented by the protestors will be of inestimable service.”

AFSC programs in cities across the country continue to support nonviolent protests that call attention to inequality, bloated military budgets, a broken criminal justice and prison system, oppressive immigration policies, and the needs of people, particularly people of color, who were left out even before the Wall Street implosion that triggered the 2008 Great Recession.  

AFSC welcomes the peaceful protests planned for Thursday November 17 by many around the country and urges supporters to show their solidarity with the Occupy movement.