According to press reports, police raided an Occupy camp in Oakland, citing reports of violence and unsanitary conditions caused by the protestors. Police also said protestors were throwing rocks at police, but protestors said the attack was unprovoked.

Rush took the side of the Occupy movement, and claimed that they were all demonstrating peacefully. He also said Americans should not condemn the movement given that Americans tend to support similar movements overseas when they happen.

"Is this not the very thing that we condemn around the world?" Rush asked. "How dare we denounce an action when committed abroad, but yet remain silent when it happens in our own backyard?"

ADVERTISEMENT

Rush also praised the Occupy movement as the next great American protest movement, on par with those in history that sought redress on issues related to slavery, labor, civil rights and the environment.

"Members of the Occupy movement now emerge as yet another generation of courageous Americans, voicing our frustration that many citizens feel with the money-driven elite that mismanage the American economy," he said. Rush also said police need to show more restraint.

"Getting arrested is a fundamental part of civil disobedience," he said. "The Occupy movement protestors, they expected to be arrested. But they should also expect that the police will conduct themselves with a professional understanding and sensitivity of the power that they possess and the government that they represent.

"I ask the police officers who are monitoring these protests to act with a rational head, to act with soberness, to act with restraint," he added. "Violence only breeds violence."

Rush is a former member of the Black Panthers who said he too ran into trouble with the Oakland Police Department 45 years ago.

"I… am ashamed to bear witness once again to the same Oakland police department violating and attacking and brutalizing innocent citizens who are protesting, bringing their deep-felt grievances to the forefront and engaging in acts of civil disobedience," he said.