Tag Archives: Occupy Wall Street

A Priest, a Pregnant Teen, and an Old Lady Go to Occupy Seattle… and Get Pepper Sprayed

An Occupy Seattle rally turned chaotic as police scattered a crowd of protesters, including a pregnant nineteen-year-old and an eighty-four-year-old activist, with pepper spray.

The Occupy Seattle movement released a statement late Tuesday expressing support for “a 4-foot 10-inch, 84-year-old woman, a priest and a pregnant woman who as of this writing is still in the hospital.”

Dorli Rainey is an activist who has supported liberal causes in Seattle for decades. A photo showing Ms. Rainey being cared for by fellow activists in the immediate aftermath of the police incident appeared on news websites around the world.

Paramedics examined a handful of people, including a nineteen-year-old woman who is pregnant, Seattle fire department spokesman Kyle Moore said. The woman was taken by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center.

The skirmish Tuesday was the first clash in weeks.

Occupy Seattle moved its encampment to Seattle Central Community College late October. Before that, the group had camped at Westlake Park.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Occupy Wall Street Faces Quandary Regarding Homeless Amid Their Ranks

From Los Angeles to Wall Street, homeless men and women have joined the Occupy Wall Street protesters in large numbers, or they at least have settled in beside them for the night. While the economic deprivation they suffer might symbolize the grievance at the heart of this protest, they have come less for the cause than for an easier existence. There is food, as well as bathrooms, safety, company and activity to pass away their days.

Their presence is posing a quandary for protesters and the authorities. Divisions have arisen among protesters about how much to embrace the interlopers. The number of homeless, many suffering from mental disorders, makes it easier for Occupy’s opponents to belittle the movement and has raised the pressure on authorities to crack down.

In Atlanta on Saturday, demonstrators thrown out of Woodruff Park moved into upper floors of the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter. It gave the demonstration more of a political focus, and not incidentally expanded its size.

In Nashville, organizers described the homeless as more of a detriment than an asset. “This is keeping people away: It distracts a lot of energy away from the issues we’re fighting for when we’re just managing life in the camp,” said Bob Titley 56, a participant in Occupy Nashville. “A lot of women felt unsafe camping out at night.”

The influx of homeless continues at a steady pace, even as the populations of some of the demonstrations have faded under the pressures of dropping temperatures, the passage of time and increasingly aggressive police tactics. Some organizers estimated that as many as 30% of the people camping out in some cities were chronically homeless.

1 Comment

Filed under National

Veteran’s Injury Solidifies Occupy Wall Street’s Resolve

USGS Satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay ...

Image via Wikipedia

For supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the wounding of an Iraq war veteran protesting in Oakland has provided a powerful central rallying point.

The veteran, Scott Olsen, was injured Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a projectile thrown or shot by law enforcement officers combating protesters trying to enter a downtown plaza. Mr. Olsen, who served two tours in Iraq as a Marine, suffered a fractured skull.

While Mr. Olsen’s condition has since improved, his injury has prompted sympathy and calls for solidarity among the scores of Occupy encampments around the nation.

Friends of Mr. Olsen said that he had eagerly joined the Occupy movement, heading to the San Francisco camp after work and sleeping on the streets in solidarity with the campers there. He was in Oakland on Tuesday to take part in the demonstration there.

Video of Mr. Olsen, bleeding and stunned, has been shown on the Internet and television news reports, though what exactly hit him remained unclear. Joshua Shepherd, another veteran, said there had been a “barrage of police tear gas canisters flying everywhere.”

“I did not know Scott had been hit,” Mr. Shepherd said. “People dragged him away.”

Since the skirmish, which resulted in more than 100 arrests, several groups, including Amnesty International, have condemned the use of tear gas and the actions of Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan, who said the measures were justified because protesters threw rocks.

The Oakland police have promised an investigation, and Ms. Quan stated on that Oakland is a “very progressive city” that supports Occupy Wall Street. Nonetheless, petitions are circulating calling for the resignation of Oakland’s interim police chief.

Three thousand people gathered on Wednesday night, debating the merits of calling a general strike in Oakland next week. That event was followed by a march through downtown. The Oakland police kept their distance.

Outside City Hall on Thursday, several tents sprang up on the plaza, after protesters removed a police barricade the night before. Nearby, a tribute to Mr. Olsen was built around a flagpole, with the words “Pray 4 Scott” chalked onto the pavement.

A handful of protesters also stood guard, including Joann Herr, 60, of Oakland, who said Mr. Olsen’s injury had enraged her. “I was mad,” Ms. Herr said. “How could you not be?”

Leave a comment

Filed under National, News