Video/news roundup: Occupy Oakland attacked by police
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
UPDATE: It has now emerged that a veteran who served two tours in Iraq, Scott Olsen, sustained serious injuries as a result of allegedly taking a police projectile to the head.
24-year-old Olsen is now hospitalized with a fractured skull and brain swelling and is considered to be in “critical condition.”
Olsen’s roommate Keith Shannon, also a veteran who served with Olsen in Iraq, said that Olsen had a curved scar on his head, indicating that he was hit either by a tear gas or smoke canister.
Video has emerged of what appears to be an injured Olsen laying on the ground in front of a line of police in riot gear. Activists then swarm in an attempt to assist the downed protester, to which a police officer responds by throwing what is allegedly a flash bang grenade into the crowd of people attempting to assist the grievously injured protester.
This would not be surprising if it came out of a military dictatorship like Egypt but seeing this type of treatment, especially to veterans, in America at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is nothing short of disturbing.
Oakland Police have confirmed that they used tear gas and baton rounds in an attempt to disperse the crowd, but they continue to deny reports of using flash bang grenades and rubber bullets.
However, the Oakland Police say they cannot speak for the other 15 law enforcement agencies that took part in the assault on the Occupy Oakland camp and the chaos that ensued.
Police are also insisting that the loud explosions were not flash bang grenades as protesters reported but instead were M-80-type firecrackers lit by the protesters themselves.
More on this can be found via live updates at The Guardian.
Hours after the original “eviction” took place, activists took to the streets in an attempt to retake the park, spawning clashes with police.
This took place roughly 12 hours after police forcibly broke up the Occupy Oakland camp that included some 300 people protesting the corporate takeover of America and the system of crony capitalism/corporatism that has economically raped our nation.
The police assaulted the crowd with multiple rounds of beanbags and tear gas. There have been unconfirmed reports of the police utilizing flash bangs and wood dowels launched at protesters.
The Interim Police Chief, Howard Jordan, reports that some 102 activists were arrested during the crackdown, although most of this occurred in the pre-dawn raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment.
Police attempted to break up more than 1,000 protesters who marched in response to the crackdown on the Occupation more no less than three times, all of which were futile.
The activists grappled with police for longer than six hours, forcing officers to close entire streets and re-route traffic.
The number of injured protesters is unclear, although although Mercury News reports, “two officers were hurt when protesters splattered them with paint.”
How exactly are heavily protected police officers hurt by paint splatter? That, among many other looming questions, will have to remain unanswered until more details emerge.
Jordan claims that the officers did not use rubber bullets on activists, just beanbag rounds, which can still cause considerable damage, although demonstrators say this was not the case.
Jordan justified their tactics in saying that the activists used rocks, bottles and more against the police in an attempt to stave off the attack on their camp.
“The crowd started throwing bottles, paints, beer, eggs at myself and the other officers,” Officer David Carman told KTVU-TV Channel 2.
That being said, a spokeswoman for the Occupy Oakland protests says that the police “have gone beyond what was necessary” in their reaction to the protest.
This operation to break up the protest camp has been in the works for a week or so, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Police used the typical “nanny state” reasoning to justify their decision to break up the camp, saying that the camp was unsafe and unsanitary.
More police besieged the Occupy Oakland camp later in the day with tear gas:
Here is footage from early in the morning, around 5 AM:
These events occurred around 8 PM:
Occupy Oakland: Police justified in taking action, chief says (LA Times “LA Now” blog)
The Occupy Oakland eviction in photos (OaklandNorth)
Protesters Clash With Police After ‘Occupy Oakland’ Camp Raided (CBS San Francisco)
Police, protesters clash in Oakland at Occupy camp (AP/USA Today)
Clashes as police destroy “Occupy Oakland” camp (CBS national)
Oakland police fire teargas at Occupy Wall Street protest (The Guardian)
Occupy Oakland protestors [sic] march through Oakland after chaotic day of evictions, arrests (SF Gate “In Oakland” blog)
Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Oakland, Calif. (New York Times “The Lede” blog)