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Cornel West, others arrested at Supreme Court won't be prosecuted

October 17, 2011 | 12:26 pm

Cornel West will not be prosecuted in protest at Supreme Court
Cornel West and other protesters arrested Sunday on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement will not be prosecuted.

Earlier reports had indicated that a hearing would be held for West and 18 other demonstrators, with a return to court at a later date. But prosecutors have decided not to press charges, according to the Associated Press.

Charges had included refusing to leave the grounds of the Supreme Court and demonstrating on court grounds with signs, which is prohibited. Ann Wilcox, a legal advisor to the protesters, had predicted a not-guilty plea from members of the group.

The arrest of West, a former Harvard University professor now teaching at Princeton, may have had added symbolism because it occurred on the day the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial was dedicated on the National Mall. West participated in that ceremony before joining the anti-corporate-greed protest.

West is an outspoken civil rights commentator and the author of books including "Race Matters" and "Democracy Matters."

His scathing comments earlier this year on President Obama's performance in office thus far sparked a racial debate and related headlines. West recently said that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "needs to get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge that the evidence [of racism] is overwhelming." Cain said he found the comment offensive.


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Photo: Cornel West greets supporters on Oct. 7 after addressing a group of people marking the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan with a protest in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles. Credit: Jason Redmond / Reuters