Civil rights legend John Lewis snubbed by 'Occupy Atlanta'

U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon, John Lewis (D-Ga.) may have had something profound to say at Occupy Atlanta — but he wasn’t given the chance to speak.

Friday evening, Lewis attended Atlanta’s offspring of Occupy Wall Street, which has inspired similar protests around the nation.

Slideshow: African-American faces of ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Lewis was introduced by the Occupy Atlanta general assembly, but he ended up not saying anything at all due the assembly rules, which mandate a consensus before anyone can make a public announcement.


“John Lewis is no better than anyone else!” yells a protester off camera.

Lewis later said he was not disappointed that he was not able to address the crowd, but some of the protesters were quite upset by the public dismissal of a well-respected veteran activist.

“To #occupyatlanta general assembly. U are a bunch of d***heads. Congressman John Lewis is an American hero,” hip hop mogul, Russell Simmons tweeted. “In order for #occupywallstreet to succeed we are gonna need John Lewis to write legislation,” he added.

One attendant, Michelle Williams told a CBS Atlanta news reporter that the protest is no more than an “organized mob.”

“I’m angry because this is not what democracy is about” Williams said.

“Occupy Wall Street is saying, ‘We will not take it anymore,’” Lewis said in a statement.

“They are saying we must not forget about those in need, about those who work for starvation wages, those who bear their burden in the heat of the day and in the darkness of the night.”