Charges Dropped Against Cornel West and Others

By Mary Compton

Oct 17, 2011 5:39pm

“We’re like Duke Ellington’s band, everybody’s got a voice in it,” author, professor and activist Cornel West told supporters outside Superior Court in Washington, D.C., this afternoon. West and 18 others were arrested Sunday while taking part in a protest against corporate influence in politics.

All charges were dropped against West — and the 18 other protestors — at their arraignment today.

Upon their release, West and the others were greeted with cheers and the now-familiar chant of “We are the 99 percent!” The Rev. Jesse Jackson walked out of court with West and offered hugs of support to the crowd.

“It’s important that the press understand that this movement is both leaderless and leader-full,” West told the crowd of protestors and media. “Which is to say, we take very seriously lifting every voice, it’s not just about the one or two or three persons out in front.”

West said the 24-hour incarceration left him with a deeper fortitude to continue fighting justice. The 19 arrested Sunday posed for a group picture, and West departed in a black SUV.

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