Cornel West was arrested on Sunday along with 18 others while protesting at the Supreme Court.
His arrest came on the day that the King memorial on the Mall was officially dedicated by President Obama. West has been a vocal critic of Obama for not moving swiftly enough to address the needs of the poor. Prior to his arrest, West met with protesters at Freedom Plaza in Northwest Washington who have “occupied” the plaza to mark 10 years since the start of Afghanistan war.
West gave a rousing speech in which he rebuked corporate greed and the prison industrial complex, and discussed King’s legacy as being alive with the protesters at Freedom Plaza.
“We will not allow this day of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to go without somebody going to jail,” he said before being arrested.
Earlier in the day, West elaborated on his differences with the president.
“It’s not personal,” he said. “Anytime I look at a president, I don’t care what color he is. I am excited to have a black president because white supremacy is real and it needs to be shattered. Every president needs to deal with the permanent government of the country, and the permanent government of the country is Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats and the questions becomes what is the relationship between that president and Wall Street.”
West appeared in court and the charges were dropped..