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Occupy Houston Protests the Worldwide Erosion of Free Speech

Houston, TX, December 2011 – Occupy Houston will be joining Occupy Oakland and other Occupations around the world in protesting recent attacks on freedom of speech. We will demonstrate at the Egyptian Consulate, 5718 Westheimer Road, at 4:15 PM. At 4:45, we will caravan to the Russian Consulate, 1333 West Loop South. We intend to inform Houstonians of these latest threats to free speech, threats backed by the 1% via their co-option of militaries and governments worldwide.

Freedom of speech under is global attack. In the Russian Federation, a third region prepares to outlaw “gay propaganda” and thus further undermines the rights of LGBT persons & freedom of speech. In Egypt this week, troops killed at least 14 people who gathered to demand the end of military rule, and they beat and terrorized women for demanding a place at the political table.

In the United States, Congress passed the NDAA, which grants the U.S. government limitless power to define and then detain terrorists. It threatens to block appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which will effectively silence the voices of union representatives beginning New Year’s Day. It is also poised to pass anti-piracy legislation — PIPA and SOPA — so broad in their definitions and drastic in their measures that they could shut down the internet as we know it. And in Texas, new and restrictive voter ID laws, enacted to address the manufactured crisis of voter fraud, will continue a longstanding tradition of disenfranchising our most vulnerable populations: minorities, the young, the poor and the disabled.

We urge the citizens of Houston to contact the Russian consulate and demand that Russia respect the free speech rights of its LGBT persons and to contact the Egyptian consulate and express outrage over military suppression of peaceful protest. We ask that they contact their elected U.S. and Texas officials to demand that these officials serve the people, not the corporate lobbyists that funded their campaigns, by supporting freedom to criticize our government, freedom to organize in the workplace, freedom to access knowledge via the internet and freedom to vote. Our human rights to speak and assemble without interference require our active protection.

Amy Price
Occupy Houston
Outreach Volunteer Group

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