USA: Occupy Oakland: Tear gas & flashbang grenades (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Occupy Oakland: Tear gas & flashbang grenades (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published: 26 October, 2011, 15:14
Edited: 27 October, 2011, 12:33

Police used tear gas on at least three separate occasions to disperse more than 1,000 demonstrators who took to the streets of Oakland, California Tuesday evening as running street battles engulfed the city for more than six hours.
­Thick billows of smoke and exploding projectiles filled the streets of downtown Oakland as television footage showed a man who was bleeding after reportedly being hit in the head by a tear gas canister, the Oakland Tribune reports.
“We had to deploy gas to stop people from throwing rocks and bottles at police,” said Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, as cited by the daily.
However, other unconfirmed reports indicate that flash-bang grenades and wooden dowels – solid, cylindrical rods – were used against protesters.

A still of Ali Winston’s video
The authorities denied those reports, however, claiming that the commotion had been caused by protesters who were lobbing fireworks at police.
The conflicting reports came as live helicopter camera feeds for both ABC and CBS news networks were apparently cut right before police hurled tear gas canisters, only to cut back in later, as reported by the popular website, Gawker.

UNITED STATES, OAKLAND: The Occupy Oakland protesters carry away a man, who was hit by a tear gas canister shot by the police, near the Oakland City Hall on October 25, 2011 (AFP Photo Kimihiro Hoshino)
­Protesters say that at least three were injured and more than 105 arrested in the skirmishes.

Among the wounded was Veterans for Peace member Scott Olsen, who was struck by a non-lethal round fired by either San Francisco Sheriffs deputies or Palo Alto Police at 14th Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland, as shown by amateur footage shot by Ali Winston.

Problems began when protesters attempted to retake an encampment that had been broken up at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza before dawn on Tuesday. Police arrested some 75 people who refused to vacate the area. Authorities claim the encampment was broken up over public safety concerns.

The Plaza, which many protesters have started calling the “Oscar Grant Plaza” after an unarmed man who was killed by police in 2009, has become the epicenter for the Occupy Oakland movement.

The Occupy Oakland protesters carry away a man, who was hit by a tear gas canister shot by the police, near the Oakland City Hall on October 25, 2011 (AFP Photo / Kimihiro Hoshino)
In response, at around 4 pm, some 500 protesters gathered at the Oakland library, where they had planned to march back to the Plaza.
Marching through the streets of Oakland, demonstrators chanted they would “reclaim” the Plaza. According to one protester identified as Mr. Smith, the marchers had every intention of proceeding peacefully despite the heavy police presence.

“I got the feeling they meant business, but people were not going to be intimidated. We can do this peacefully, but still not back down,” he said as cited by the Daily Mail.

UNITED STATES, OAKLAND: The Occupy Oakland protesters march through streets of Oakland as a part of the Occupy Wall Street movements, near the Oakland City Hall on October 25, 2011 (AFP Photo / Kimihiro Hoshino)
Trouble began when police officers in riot gear attempted to block the path of the marchers.
Reports indicate the situation escalated after some demonstrators began to throw red and turquoise paint at the police. While many demonstrators urged calm, tensions erupted as police clubbed more aggressive protesters.
Occupy Oakland began on October 10, and, like movements inspired by Occupy Wall Street all over the country, focused on corporate greed and rampant unemployment.
However, in a city notorious for violence and poverty, the movement became increasingly focused on local issues, including housing rights, fair wages, and support for prisoners who had gone on hunger strike.


3 responses to “USA: Occupy Oakland: Tear gas & flashbang grenades (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

  1. ARMY VET…..

    When former enlisted Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas saw the scene himself in Times Square, he was quick to voice his objecting to how the cops were acting, with their weapons ready and protesters perturbed.
    “It’s not a war zone,” Thomas is heard yelling to the NYPD. “These are unarmed people.”
    Thomas repeatedly tells the cops, “These are US citizens. Leave these people alone.”
    Sgt. Thomas says that he took an oath to protect and serve his country as a member of the US military, and adds that it is not an oath that he has taken lightly.
    “What made me angry was to see the police hurting unarmed protesters that I haven’t seen become violent with the police or dangerous to anybody else that was in the populace,” he says. Much like the oath he took to serve and protect as a member of the US military, Sgt. Thomas says that the officers of the NYPD have a job to look after their fellow Americans domestically. When he saw them taking on peaceful protesters with weapons, however, it made him question what is good and just about America.
    “This country has an ongoing war that I don’t necessarily agree with,” says Thomas, “but to hurt the citizens that you swear to protect is kind of a contradiction to the oath that you take as a police officer to be courteous and professional.”
    Thomson adds that while serving for his country in Iraq, his force was once pelted with rocks by Iraqis. “After the rock throwing was done,” he says, “we didn’t go into the crowd and start beating and arresting people. To come back to my country and see the police doing this to the people . . . I’m not going to stand for it.”
    As Sgt. Thomas made a stand last week, he said other veterans should follow suit if they believe in continuing their protection over the American people.
    “As part of the 99 percent, I think it’s my duty as a leader, as somebody who chose to serve and protect my country, to continue my job,” he says.
    And for those that are just civilians, Sgt. Thomas adds that they should also be willing to voice themselves before it is too late.
    “This is our opportunity our opinions and people need to take this opportunity and go support their local occupation because we can’t leave it into the hands of senators and congressman…to one day wake up and fix everything. We have to use our voices,” he says.
    Though the Occupy movement will go on to be leaderless as participants rally together as once, Thomas may not be their figurehead but he has become a respected member who is helping lend a voice, and a big one, to a growing movement.

  2. mgbincn October 24, 2011, 05:27

    NYPD (Not Your Police Department). Cowards and bullies that are bought-and-paid-for by JP Morgan, et al.

    Ron Burgandy October 24, 2011, 02:32

    It appears that some of those police officers shown in that video have turned up as Protesters at other events – they have been captured on film previously and are popping up all over the place, including the reporters and cameramen filming.

    How many of these smaller ‘events’ are staged – and what is the importance of the people in them staging them?

    NePatriot1776 October 24, 2011, 01:13

    “All he did is taunt police and talk about how he WATCHED police (earlier that day) assault “unarmed civilians”. Well, if he was the HERO he claims to be he should have stood up for them THEN instead of waiting till all was settled, cameras rolling……..”
    @David Casler

    so let me get this straight you wanted a large man who was ‘enthusiastically’ ‘taunting’ police to attack the police for attacking innocent people… have you ever herd the saying an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind??? i’d say we are already partiality deaf… i think we need what we got left to observe with… but enough of the metaphors

    1)really how do you expect that situation to work out… 1 soldier verse all of NYPD… like really? he wouldn’t have been off any better than all the other people who were illegally beaten and attacked by the angery SS white shirts(NYPD). 2) he would have been a hypocrite if he did that cause then he would be no better than any of the cops…. you know those cops are innocent Americans too… just the difference is they are in the position to abuse their power were as the citizens don’t have that pleasure.

    the fact of the matter is what that solider did was heroic and we need more of it if we want this (r)evolution to be bloodless…

    RON PAUL 2012!!!!!

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