Update on Monday, Oct. 17, at 3:25 p.m.: A spokesperson for Cornel West told The Root that following a court appearance this afternoon, he was released from jail.
Update: According to a message retweeted on Cornel West's Twitter page, "Dr. Cornel West will be spending the night behind bars and is ordered to appear in court Monday at 1 p.m. EST."
Perhaps the historic dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in D.C. today inspired Princeton professor Cornel West to emulate the slain civil rights leader's example of braving jail for the cause of justice. West was arrested today while demonstrating on the steps of the Supreme Court building against corporate influence over government.
In the NCFTV video below, West tells his fellow demonstrators, "We are willing to get arrested or do whatever it takes to say we will not let this day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial to go without somebody going to jail, because Martin King would be right here with us." He also tells the police that he and the protesters stand in solidarity with them "as working people." Later in the video, he declares solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement and other "Occupy" protests around the world.
Reports the Washington Post:
A Supreme Court spokeswoman says 19 people were arrested Sunday afternoon after they refused to leave the grounds of the court.
Ann Wilcox, an attorney and legal adviser to the protesters, says West was among those arrested.
Source: the Washington Post.
West had attended an Occupy DC protest before joining the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration in Washington's Freedom Plaza, a spokesperson for him told The Root.
A message on West's Twitter page said that he is doing "okay" but gave few other details about his status.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article was based, in part, on an Associated Press account that incorrectly stated that Cornel West had been attending the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 16. He did not, according to a spokesperson for him who reached out to The Root.
In other news: MLK Memorial Rite Hails Today's Fight.
Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.