Hawkins Blasts Cuomo for Arrests at Occupy Albany

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"Governor 1% Assaults Political and Economic Rights of the 99%"

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party's 2010 gubernatorial candidate, blasted Governor Andrew Cuomo for the arrests of Occupy Albany demonstrators over the weekend.

"The Occupy Albany demonstrators have a First Amendment constitutional right to peaceably assemble and express their views in a public park. Governor Cuomo is assaulting the political rights of the 99% just as he has been assaulting the economic rights of the 99%. Cuomo's attempt to suppress their political rights will only mobilize more of the 99% to fight for their political and economic rights," Hawkins said.

"Cuomo's opposition to the Millionaires Tax or any other progressive tax reform to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes again in order to fund our schools and public services is why we call him Governor 1%," Hawkins said.

State police arrested 25 demonstrators on Saturday night and 13 more on Sunday night in Lafayette Park, a state-owned park. The state imposed an 11:00 pm. curfew for Lafayette Park the same week Occupy Albany began its encampment in the adjacent city-owned Academy Park on October 21, where city police have refused Governor Cuomo's appeal to enforce an 11:00 pm curfew there. The protest expanded to the state-owned Lafayette Park on Saturday and state police came in at 11:00 pm to make the arrests.

"Cuomo is a Wall Street Democrat. He is a far cry from the nearly extinct New Deal Democrats who once campaigned for an Economic Bill of Rights, including jobs, living wages, homes, education, health care, and income support for the poor, unemployed, disabled, and seniors. It is time for new independent political movement to fight for a Green New Deal that adds to the other basic economic rights the right to a sustainable environment and climate based on renewable energy, mass transit, and clean production," Hawkins said.

Hawkins was one of the original signers last May of the call to occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. (http://october2011.org/quotes/author/32). He participated in the kick-off for the Freedom Plaza occupation in DC on October 6, the tenth anniversary of the Afghanistan War. He has also joined many of the marches and demonstrations by Occupy Syracuse since it began on October 2. In last Tuesday's election, he received 48% of the vote as the Green candidate in a close loss in the election for 4th District Councilor in Syracuse.

Hawkins praised Albany County District Attorney David Soares for refusing to prosecute the demonstrators charged with trespassing by state police.

"Soares is upholding the oath he swore to uphold the Constitution. Cuomo is violating his oath of office," Hawkins said.
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