Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oakland police riot against demonstrators after Democratic Mayor cracks down on free assembly

Mayors in two major American cities, both members of the Democratic Party (Jean Quan in Oakland and Kasim Reed in Atlanta), shut down free assembly by "Occupy" dissenters yesterday. In Oakland, the crackdown blew back as a larger demonstration during the evening hours. Several live feeds and social media observers reported that police used tear gas, flash grenades, non-lethal projectiles, and a military-style sound cannon against the demonstrations.

WARNING: the following videos contain violent content and adult language.

The first video shows the utter chaos and a man carried away by protesters after he was reportedly hit in the head with a tear gas canister:

If this injured man is the same person in this still photo, journalist Max Blumenthal reported on his Twitter stream last night that he is an Iraq War vet.

In the second video, demonstrators do not appear to be escalating beyond nonviolent protest when the grenades and tear gas start (note that organizers jump into action encouraging the crowd to stay calm):

Oakland police charge that they opened fire because rocks were being thrown at them and tear gas was fired at their blockade. The video gives no indication of that. Several reports note that OccupyOakland organizers actually stood between protesters and the police blockade to discourage violent action on the cops.

In the next video, Oakland police fire tear gas and throw grenades nearly point blank at a crowd that includes a Navy veteran in uniform, a woman in a wheelchair, and a woman on the ground surrounded by other protesters trying to lend her aid:

What a shameful display by a municipal government controlled by a member of the Democratic Party, which is supposed to be the party of progressives.

UPDATE: More photos and info on the injured Iraq War vet at the Bay Area Independent Media Center.

UPDATE: Earlier reports referred to the person lying on the ground in the third video above as a woman. Now observers report that the person lying on the ground is the war veteran hit by police weapons fire. This video highlights the moment he was hit before protesters went to his aid and themselves were targets of a police grenade:

UPDATE: Huffington Report says that Scott Olsen, the Iraq War vet injured by the Oakland PD, is in a hospital under sedation because doctors found swelling in his brain. They are determining whether to perform surgery.

UPDATE: police brutality and suppression do not look very effective. This photo was taken about 10:30p, Wed. at OccupyOakland protest:

Photo credit: jsight.

UPDATE: US Marines around the world are outraged at the Oakland police for wounding one of their own.


  1. I'm a pro-gun person. And a "liberal." I tend to vote Dem (especially of late).

    What I can't figure out, is why the Right-Wingers, and wacko GOPers, are so pro-gun. You'd think they'd be the ones wanting to take them away from us, since they want to take away all our other rights.

    Haslam will probably send SWAT team or National Guard personnel to arrest (and possibly shoot) those "trash" who are protesting down on Legislative Plaza.

    The folks encouraging Haslam are likely those who are in control of much wealth and political power. They are thinking, "We can squash this. We have authority on our side. In fact we ARE the authority!"

    Well, well.

    I'm sitting back. And I thank you folks for making sure we have the right to own arms.

    Big walls and private gates are meant to fall.

  2. My worry:

    What if these OW people were in Hillsboro Village?

    Do you know that Vanderbilt Police have basically been granted the same authority as Metro cops? Do you know they can pull you over on Wedgewood, or 21st Ave. for expired tags. And maybe more?

    Let's say Vandy cops came to an OW protest in front of the Pancake Pantry. Vandy police are paid by Vanderbilt. They ARE a PRIVATE police force (regardless of what the state has granted them). Yet they can arrest you and me.

    I live in Hillsboro Village. I am a Vanderbilt grad. I have been pulled over by Vanderbilt police for expired tags OUTSIDE of campus.