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 tents
to 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
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
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
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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