Although Occupy Cleveland has a nice little statement on its website attempting to distance the group from the terror suspects who were active members of the group, directly below the statement is a video hailing the actions of suspected would-be bomber and Cleveland Occupy leader Brandon Baxter for his March 5th arrest. From the Occupy Cleveland site:
“On the morning of March 5th, Occupy Cleveland, in conjunction with labor and community organizations, marched from Public Square to the Justice Center. Every Monday morning, in a room on the first floor, there is a sheriff auction of foreclosed properties. Our aim was to shut it down. 5 very brave young men (Peter, Jonnie,Brandon, James and Ston) waited in the room where the auction was taking place for their cue…All five were arrested before they finished the mic check, but the demonstrators outside picked it up and made so much noise that people inside couldn’t hear what was going on. The demonstrators were eventually moved from the area right outside the sale, to the sidewalk, but we rallied on that sidewalk for approx. 2 hours. We may not have been successful in shutting it down completely, but we definitely brought a lot of attention to the issue, handing out flyers to everyone who walked by. The 5 were eventually cited for disorderly conduct and released. We celebrated their release, shouted “See ya next week!” to the Sheriff’s deputies, and marched back to the tent.”
The Plain Dealer reports that Baxter was arrested for disorderly conduct, skipped his court appearance, and was arrested again the first week of April. He later pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service. What? Occupying isn’t considered community service? Couldn’t fellow-Occupier, City Councilman Brian Cummins work something out?
Baxter said at the time:
“I took the risk of getting arrested because I feel the powers that be, whoever they might be — on all levels of government and those who hold corporate power — are not listening because not enough people are actually taking a stance” against foreclosures.
“I was hoping that this would be a great way to get Cleveland more involved by showing the potential that a small group of dedicated people can have in making an impact. Even though we are not in any government position or in Congress, we do have the power.”
Apparently, Occupy Cleveland is so proud of their leader and his arrest for their cause that they don’t mind featuring him on their front page along with their denouncement of his tactics. Ironic, isn’t it?
Below are screen shots of the current Occupy Cleveland front page and the section of the YouTube video where Baxter appears (at the end). I’ve also embedded the full YouTube video of the protest at the end.