Day: October 26, 2011

Marine veteran’s skull fractured by police projectile at ‘Occupy Oakland’ protest

This is outrageous.  The Oakland PD may not have targeted this young man directly, but throwing “non-lethal” incendiary projectiles into the crowd was just wrong!

Raw Story

A Marine veteran protesting with “Occupy Oakland” sustained a skull fracture Tuesday night after being shot in the head with an unidentified police projectile.

Scott Olsen, a two-time Iraq war veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was at 14th Street and Broadway when he was struck in the head.

“We need medic!” one protester was heard screaming. “Medic! Medic!”

“What happened?” another asked.

“He got shot!”

As Olsen was carried away, he appeared unconscious and bloody, unable to even respond when asked his name.

He is currently sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon.

“Scott was marching with the 99% because he felt corporations and banks had too much control over our government, and that they weren’t being held accountable for their role in the economic downturn, which caused so many people to lose their jobs and their homes,” said Keith Shannon, who deployed with Olsen to Iraq.

Police in Oakland last night repeatedly clashed with demonstrators who refused to disperse, even after every one of their repeated assemblies were declared illegal.

Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers surrounded protesters at their small tent city in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The police fired tear gas and beanbag rounds to clear the protesters, and arrested 97 people.

The two week-long demonstration was broken up, according to police, because of “continued violations of the law” including “numerous reports of fighting, assault and threatening/intimidating behavior.” Medical responders were denied access to the camp on at least two occasions.

The “Occupy Oakland” protesters regrouped later that night and marched towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim the site.

Police claimed that protesters threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at them, which resulted in the declaration of an unlawful assembly and the order to disperse. When the protesters refused to leave, police fired tear gas into the crowd.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, protesters threw paint at the officers and chanted, “This is why we call you pigs.” Some also set trash cans on fire.

The back window of a California Highway Patrol cruiser was also smashed.

More than 100 were reportedly arrested Tuesday night. Two officers were reportedly injured.

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The Right’s Failed Protest Smear

You know the Occupy movement is working when Right-wingers start trying to smear the massive movement…

The Daily Beast

Right-wing figures like Bill Kristol are pushing the idea that Occupy Wall Street is anti-Semitic to scare Jews and embarrass politicians like Obama, but the tactic is not gaining traction. 

When your cries of anti-Semitism fail to rile the Anti-Defamation League, you might be on the wrong track.

That, however, has not stopped various right-wing figures from pushing the idea that Occupy Wall Street is a hotbed of Jew hatred. A group called the Emergency Committee for Israel, co-founded by Bill Kristol, is running television ads designed to scare Jews about the movement and embarrass politicians who’ve been sympathetic to the protesters. They feature footage of three men saying hateful things about Jews, before a voiceover asks: “Why are our leaders turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks? Tell President Obama and Leader Pelosi to stand up to the mob.” Since then, other conservatives have ceaselessly amplified the message, while complaining that the rest of the media is ignoring rampant bigotry on the left.

But the Anti-Defamation League, which no one can accuse of ignoring anti-Semitism, has been less than alarmed. In a statement, ADL head Abraham H. Foxman expressed concern about a few anti-Semites who’ve showed up at the protests, but said, “There is no evidence that these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are representative of the larger movement or that they are gaining traction with other participants.” Indeed, when Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen went to the demonstrations searching for bigots, he failed to find any. “This was my second visit to the Occupy Wall Street site and the second time my keen reporter’s eye has failed to detect even a hint of the anti-Semitism that had been trumpeted by certain right-wing websites and bloggers, most prominently Bill Kristol,” he wrote.

This is not to say that there is no one at Occupy Wall Street, or its many national offshoots, expressing despicable views. Protests always attract fringe characters, particularly when they provide free food and warm clothes to all comers. The footage that the Emergency Committee for Israel used is real, though somewhat disingenuous. For example, one of the ad’s anti-Semites, a guy holding a sign saying “Google: Zionists Control Wall Street,” has since been identified as a homeless man known to picket the area with such placards before the protests even began. Occupy Wall Street has tried desperately to get rid of him, but the police have (correctly) refused to eject him, citing his free-speech rights. “This guy with the Google Zionist banker sign, nobody wants him there,” says Daniel Sieradski, a Jewish activist who organized an open-air Yom Kippur service at Occupy Wall Street, attended by almost 1,000 people. “Everybody is harassing him, screaming at him, totally flipping out on him. Everybody wants him gone, and the police say if you have a right to freedom of assembly so does he.”

Continue reading here…

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