Saturday, November 5, 2011 7:27 PM
October 27, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif.Anti-Wall Street protesters filled a street with a late-night march Wednesday and Oakland’s police chief pledged a vigorous investigation into an earlier clash between police and protesters that left an Iraq War veteran in critical condition with a fractured skull. Police Chief Howard Jordan spoke as tensions grew over demonstration encampment in the Bay area. “It’s unfortunate it happened. I wish that it didn’t happen. Our goal, obviously, isn’t to cause injury to anyone,” the chief said at an afternoon press conference. Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull Tuesday in a march with other protesters toward City Hall, said Dottie Guy, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. The demonstrators had been making an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of a disbanded protesters’ camp when they were met by officers in riot gear.
It’s not known exactly what type of object struck Olsen or who might have thrown it,  though Guy’s group said it was lobbed by officers. Several small skirmishes had broken out in the night with police clearing the area by firing tear gas and protesters throwing rocks and bottles at them. An Oakland hospital spokesman said Olsen, a network administrator in Daly City, was in critical condition Wednesday. “The irony is not lost on anyone here that this is someone who survived two tours in Iraq and is now seriously injured by the Oakland police force,” his friend, Adele Carpenter, 29, alleged in a phone interview with Reuters from the hospital waiting room Earlier, Oakland officials allowed protesters back into the plaza outside City Hall where their 15-day-old encampment had been raided the day before, but said people would be prohibiting from spending the night.

About 1,000 people quickly filled the plaza, but later many of them filed out and began marching down nearby streets. ‘A sad day’ – A reporter at the scene says police erected wooden barricades to block the march, but the protesters veered off as a group and continued down another street. There were no signs of clashes between the two sides. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were left in the plaza, where some had vowed to spend the night. “I’m going to stay here tonight,” said Jhalid Shakur, 43, of Oakland. “I don’t have a tent, but I’ll sleep on a bench if there’s space.” “We’re about to build our city back,” he said. Mayor Jean Quan said Oakland supports the protesters’ goals but had to act Tuesday when a small number of them threw rocks, paint and bottles at the police. “We had, on one hand, demonstrators who tried to rush banks, other demonstrators saying don’t do that, and we had police officers, for the most part, 99 percent,  who took a lot of abuse,” the mayor said. “So yesterday was a sad day for us.” Jordan, the police chief, said an internal review board and local prosecutors have been asked to determine if officers on the scene used excessive force. He asked witnesses with recordings of violent interactions between civilians and the officers who came from several Bay Area agencies to submit them to investigators. The clash Tuesday evening came as officials complained about what they described as deteriorating safety, sanitation and health issues at the dismantled camp. Plea for peace – Oakland City Administrator Deana Santana said protesters would be allowed to assemble in the plaza outside City Hall from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. She pleaded with those who planned to make another stand there to refrain from smashing windows, lighting fires and attempting to stay overnight. “If we could have these simple, reasonable requests,


we think we can assure safety in the streets tonight,” Santana said. At 10 p.m. there was only one tent on the plaza, SFGate.com reported. The same concerns were being raised by San Francisco officials who warned protesters Wednesday that they could face arrest if they continue camping in a city plaza. In a letter, Police Chief Greg Suhr said the protesters could be arrested for violating a variety of city laws against camping, cooking, urinating and littering in public parks. “Existing and ongoing violations make you subject to arrest,” Suhr wrote in the notice, but didn’t say if or when arrests would occur. Police have taken down a previous Occupy San Francisco camp in the Justin Herman Plaza and also cleared another camp outside the Federal Reserve Bank downtown. Late Wednesday some of the San Francisco protesters, estimated to be about 200 people, had their arms locked and were practicing trying to keep police from entering the perimeter of their encampment. In Portland, Oregon, a crowd estimated to number at least 1,000 joined in a march organized by the AFL-CIO labor federation in support of the anti-Wall Street movement. Demonstrators also rallied peacefully in San Francisco, and Twitter buzz suggested turnouts may have gotten a boost from outrage generated by news of the injured Oakland veteran. Supporters in New York voted on Wednesday to send $20,000 and 100 tentsto their peers in Oakland, according to a Twitter message from a protester identified as J.A. Myerson and re-tweeted by the Occupy Wall Street group.

Aggie Wrote – I STILL don’t get what these protesters want. So far, all I’ve gleaned from various news stories is that they want student loans forgiven, and to “tax the rich”. Sure the rich can and should pay more taxes, but even then that’s not going to pull the country out of the huge debts and the deficit Obama has borrowed us into. He’ll continue to court Wall Street to help finance his campaign, and make impossible to keep promises to forgive OWS protesters student loans, pandering to both groups for their votes. I don’t see how the OWS group expect to have WHATEVER it is they want, to be clearly understood and/or respected while they are just marching, marching, marching, trashing city parks and property with garbage, urine, feces, drinking, doing drugs, and thinking they have the right to go storming into banks, etc. They are disrupting people’s RIGHT to get to and from work safely, with even a modicum of convenience and security.
They defy law enforcement by refusing to comply with city laws and ordinances, then throw bottles and rocks at the officers who are just doing their jobs…and their jobs are meant for the protection of ALL the city’s citizens…not just them. Now one is injured, of course none of them mentions that police officers were also injured, and they are carrying on like this kid was pulled from his home and beaten. It’s a shame that he is seriously injured, but when you go looking to disrupt and cause chaos, an defy laws, that’s what happens. That park belongs to ALL of the citizens of Oakland, not just the squatters to take over and trash. I’ve seen photos of some protesters jumping on a police officer’s BACK…but that’s okay, huh? Officer has no right to defend himself or arrest the guy for assaulting him?
Of course, that’s what some of these squatters want…then they can whine to the camera about the police. Peaceful protesters?… my aunt fannie. So far, all I can see in these occupier groups is a massive temper tantrum. And…a chance for one big party. Magni Thorson Wrote – Aggie, you don’t know because we have almost no journalists anymore. They are all political pundits now.The OWS people want Wall Street to stop stealing their money and losing it on stuff like derivative bets. A lot of those people lost their retirements in the 2008 financial crisis because of Wall Street using their money to make very bad bets.They also want these big corporations who send jobs overseas, give little or no raises while the CEOs and other top executives get massive raises or charge so much for their products that are essential items like health care to end their greed. I agree that the corporations need to make a profit,
but they are by a massive amount. They are doing so well that their CEOs get unbelievable amounts of compensations. When does top executive pay turn from appropriate compensation to just blatant greed? The 10 highest paid CEOs from last year made from around 40 million to 123 million a year. The one who made 123 million dollars works for McKesson which is part of big Pharma. Big Pharma’s excuse for charging so much for their products is to cover research costs. Kind of hard to believe when one company is doing well enough to pay their CEO 123 million dollars. They also want campaign finance reform. We all know that Congress is bought by big corporations. Do I really need to argue this point?’ Jeff Wrote –It’s pretty common for police to use non-lethal weps to cause injury if they want to. Shooting CS canisters at people (CS is overkill for these protest btw), firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds (which can kill and/or penetrate the skin) at people’s heads and necks etc.
I would love to know what the protestor “attack’ really looked like.  Was there a rain of bottles and rocks coming down on the cops or did one person loft a bottle and the cops used it as an excuse to come down on them? Where are all the injured cops if they were attacked so viciously? Something doesn’t seem right about this. I know every time I read a story like this I have even less respect for cops. Most of the ones where I live are fat, out of shape and are more interested in being tough guys than helping anyone. You can’t just trust a cop any more. Sad but true. When I was a kid parents used to tell their kids that if they were lost or in trouble to look for a cop. I don’t know of anyone that tells their kids that now. Rabid American Wrote –I don’t care if the guy was a vet or not! This goes with the territory of participating in an aggressive protest. It’s the chance you take when you become an agitator. Most of these protesters are nothing more than re-incarnations of the filthy nitwit hippies of the 60’s.
They obviously have nothing constructive to do in life and most people are ignoring them as just an annoyance. They are keeping other citizens from using the public spaces that they have soiled with their filth and trash, and they are consuming tax payer dollars for their own narcissism! It’s time to end this crap. Get out the fire hoses and clean the places up! Debbie McCarten Wrote – What would they have the protesters do?……write their congressman?…like that would get anywhere…… Americans have a constitutional right to protest against their government…right? The only people who seem to be getting hurt are the protesters..why is that?
How many battered and injured law enforcement people have been hospitalized or carried out on stretchers? This smacks of what is so common in countries run by dictators. Have our local governments become the very thing that our men and women in the armed forces have laid down their lives for fighting against? perhaps what the protesters should do is start a caravan and drive to Washington DC and engulf the congress and at the same time do the same thing to Wall Street – by the millions – guess the government locals would call out the national guard for that.pitting American against American.
Next thing you know the republicans will go from calling the protesters names and labeling them as insurgents(armed only with words and determination and faith in right and wrong) and create a SS squad to deal with the matter…. Why doesn’t Wall Street and the republican congress just give into the wishes of the people and create jobs and work for these 99% who pay their salaries and then things would settle down. This holding a hard line for money or ego or what ever is non productive and non constructive and simply inflames the situation – there is an easy way to solve this. PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND PROTECT AND SERVE THEM AS THEY PAY YOU TO DO. NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THE CAUSE….learned that in typing class, couldn’t be truer than right now.

The Cavalier Wrote – challenge the idea that any legitimate member of OccupyOakland threw anything. Republican provocateurs have been caught already trying to make this movement look violent. Why not this time too? It’s the republicans that have lost any credibility with me, and every time I hear of a thrown object/public urination/defecation, or inappropriate marches, I have to think it’s just another thug the republicans sent in to make OWS look bad. They made that bed, proudly flaunted their intentions on Fox, so they have to lie in it. Catch the people that threw things and prove they are not republicans. From the moment they started the infiltration, the burden of proof shifted to the republithugs. MireV03 Wrote – I love how all the anti-protest people just assume that the protest provoked the officers… no where in the story does it say that… Did they throw rocks and bottles? Is there any video showing that they did?… Were you there?… or did you just immediately accept it as fact because it easily fits into your delusion? ..if you had actually been to a protest in your state you would know this protest is advocating non-violence very often… and you learn the Media is already against the protests often spreading exaggerations and lies…. keep lying to yourselves people its the only way to support the delusion that banks and corporations had nothing to do with what happened to the economy and the middle class. PrecededByNone Wrote – I’m appalled and ashamed for anyone who sides with the Oakland Police in this case with the “well, what do you expect?” attitude.

This is exactly what OWS has been protesting: the status quo. What happened was NOT OKAY. There is no mistaking that the police showed excessive force at best, but more accurately this is just outright brutality, caught on film. Claims of rocks and bottles being thrown I meet with skepticism. This is the Oakland Police here, folks! Not exactly known for being the best and the brightest… Even if these claims are true, and they had to bring in the riot squad, shooting a person who is clearly dispersing and obeying the law POINT BLANK in the head is unforgivable. Going on to throw tear gas at the people trying to help him is a crime. To say that “well, he had it coming” is low-down cruelty, and I hope you are ashamed of yourself. We have the right to protest peacefully, whether or not you agree with our message. That’s what THIS VETERAN was doing, even if others in the group may have gotten unruly, he was leaving the scene as instructed when he was attacked. I hope these officers are found and punished appropriately. TiredofPirates Wrote –First, to the marine. He took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. then he allied himself with a group with many members who publicly call for the violent overthrow of the US and joined a skirmish line against the police enforcing the law. I think that calls for him to lose all gi benefits present and future, including medical. Next you morons , tear gas is NOT a high velocity projectile. It is a low velocity projectile that is lobbed in an arc . try to hit a moving object from more than a couple of feet away and there is no way, cept for luck that you are going to hit it. Next you punks do not represent 99 percent of anything…maybe 25 % and you are really starting to piss off the rest of us. even those who agree with some of the things you say you are protesting. and by the way, why dont you “leaderless grassroots movement” get together with your planning committee and come up with something that does not involve you getting the legal contracts and obligations that you incurred canceled.

you took out student loans by signing a contract saying precisely what you would have to pay back, how much and at what rate. PAY IT BACK funny how many people think its evil for people to loan money and actually expect it to be paid back. ( even the millionaire president and his millionaire wife didn’t pay their loans back till he started to run for office). PrecededByNone Wrote– Who is calling for a violent overthrow of the US? NOT OWS… these have been peaceful protests, up until this point. A few individuals have maybe said something to this effect, but it is not the message they are going for. At all. Despite what Fox & Friends is telling you, or even MSNBC on occasions. Tear gas, bean bags, and the like ARE high-velocity projectiles when you are shot in the head with them, point blank, like the Vet was. He’s in critical condition in the hospital now, and deteriorating, last I heard a few moments ago. He was dispersing at the time this happened, and when people tried to help him, a cop lobbed a can of tear gas into the crowd. I posted a video above for your viewing “pleasure”, and I’m sure you will get pleasure at seeing a protestor’s blood, so enjoy. Furthermore, whether or not you agree with the message of the protestors is irrelevant. They have the right to gather peacefully, whether you like it or not. Which they have been until now. Things were getting unruly in Oakland, but in a city that is notorious for police brutality, I’m highly skeptical of the rumors of rocks being thrown by protesters. I’ll do the research for myself to figure that one out. I suggest you turn off Fox and do the same.

The mayor of any city that is not out on the front lines with the police, and not everything they do can be laid at the mayor’s feet. But if one night peaceable protestors exercising their rights guaranteed under the Constitution, and not rights made up by the cops, like “lawful command” and “imminent threat,” they’re attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets and the mayor commends the police chief saying, “A generally peaceable solution to a situation.” she is endorsing and assuming responsibility for their actions

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