In January Obama called on authorities to protect free assembly and free speech ... in Egypt
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10/26/11 Seán Kinane & Janelle Irwin
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In this photo from two weeks ago, an Occupy Tampa protester sweeps the sidewalk near their encampment.


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

President Barack Obama has not called for restraint by police in their response to the Occupy movement that is sweeping the country ant the world. That’s despite this address on January 28 when the President called on authorities in Egypt to respect the rights of free assembly and free speech of the demonstrators occupying Tahrir Square.

"My administration has been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, and I know that we will be learning more tomorrow when day breaks. As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury or loss of life. So I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protestors.

"The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere."

That’s President Barack Obama speaking in January about protesters occupying Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other public spaces in Egypt.

Here in Tampa there have been six arrests even thought Occupy Tampa protesters have been entirely peaceful. This afternoon the group is organizing a clean up of Curtis Hixon Park, adjacent to the sidewalk where the Tampa occupation has been situated for 17 nights. Our reporter Janelle Irwin is on the scene.

Here's some YouTube video reportedly from the Occupy Oakland protest:

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