Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who Are You Protecting? Police Turn Oakland Into War Zone ICH

Who Are You Protecting?

Police Turn Oakland Into War Zone


Dozens of police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement clashed in downtown Oakland Tuesday, with authorities using tear gas.

Posted October 26, 2011

Police Turn Oakland Into War Zone

October 26, 2011 "In These Times" - Incredible footage emerged from downtown Oakland last night - not of basic law enforcement efforts to maintain public "health and safety" as the police have been claiming - but of a war zone in which police shot tear gas, bean bags, wooden dowels, flash grenades, and rubber bullets at protesters.
Rather than using the weaponry once in a final effort to subdue the crowd, officers reportedly used them over and over again in what @OccupyOakland describes as a "relentless" assault on the thousands of activists gathered near City Hall.
"The city remains committed to respecting free speech as well as maintaining the city's responsibility to protect public health and safety," Oakland police said in a statement Tuesday.
The "safety" concerns are the usual complaints levelled at the Occupy movements: sanitation issues, improper food storage, graffiti, litter, and vandalism, although OPD added accusations of fighting, assaults, and "threatening/intimidating behavior." Yes, you read that correctly. OPD is accusing the protesters of using "threatening/intimidating behavior."
The police claim they were ever-so-distressed that they couldn't get medical responders through to attend to the wounded protesters, and they ultimately expressed this concern by shooting the remaining activists with tear gas and rubber bullets. Reportedly, activists retaliated by "throwing paint" on police officers.
Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said that a total of 102 arrests have been made so far, but as of last night that number was still increasing. Eighty-five of those arrests were made early Tuesday when officers raided the Occupy Oakland encampment at Oscar Grant plaza along with an annex in Snow Park near Lake Merritt.
During the assault, police dressed in full riot gear as if preparing to battle a zombie horde or terrorist cell (photo by @garonsen).

Footage of the flash grenades and tear gas being used against protesters:

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