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Civil rights activist, others will not face charges for Supreme Court protest

Princeton University professor and activist Cornel West was hugged outside Superior Court in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Princeton University professor and activist Cornel West was hugged outside Superior Court in Washington, D.C., yesterday. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)
Associated Press / October 18, 2011

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WASHINGTON - Author and civil rights activist Cornel West and 18 others arrested with him for protesting at the US Supreme Court will not be prosecuted, officials said yesterday.

Prosecutors decided not to press charges against those arrested Sunday after refusing to leave the grounds of the court.

Demonstrating on the grounds with signs is prohibited .

West, a professor at Princeton University, was in Washington to attend Sunday’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.

West is the author of “Race Matters’’ and “Democracy Matters.’’

The 19 were taking part in the October 2011 Stop the Machine protest on Washington’s Freedom Plaza.

The protest, which was marking 10 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan, was called to protest war, corporate greed, economic injustice, and human rights abuses.

Ann Wilcox, a legal adviser to the protesters, said the charge carries a possible punishment of 60 days imprisonment and a fine.