Retired Phila. police captain joins Occupy Philly; Comcast petitioned to carry Al Jazeera English

    Retired Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis is making waves again today with the Occupy movement, this time in Philadelphia.

    Today he has taken up with the Occupy Philadelphia protesters who are participating in a demonstration at the Comcast Center where activists will present a petition carrying a reported 23,000 signatures for the cable company to include Al Jazeera’s English news service among its channel lineup.

    Lewis, who is joining today’s demonstration, was arrested in November during an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. He caused a stir because he appeared in his Philadelphia Police Department uniform. Commissioner Charles Ramsay sent him a letter, which begins, “While the Philadelphia Police Department supports your First Amendment rights, those rights do not extend to the improper and/or illegal use of the official uniform of the Philadelphia Polie Department.”

    Al Jazeera English has been widely praised for its coverage of last year’s Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East, and its award-winning coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, but many Americans still regard it as a mouthpiece of terrorist networks. The news channel reaches a global audience of 250 million people.

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    More on this later from WHYY’s Tom MacDonald and Kevin McCorry.

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