Despite Police Violence, Occupations are “SO Not Over”


Scott Olsen October 25, 2011

Scott Olsen wounded by Oakland CA police projectile

The counter-attack of city authorities to clear the “Occupy” movement has now led to a serious injury, leaving protester Scott Olsen critically injured by an injury to his brain from a police projectile.  Oakland police attacked a peaceful encampment on Tuesday at 5:00 am, after massing 500 police, for hours.  Within minutes, hundreds were driven away, and police destroyed everything.

Tuesday evening, over 1,000 people gathered again in downtown Oakland to protest the eviction, and they were attacked viciously with tear gas canisters shot into the crowd, concussion grenades, and reports of rubber bullets.

While New York Mayor Bloomberg was not able to carry through on his eviction plan of Occupy Wall Street on October 14, because thousands of people answered a call to defend it, we continue to hear rumors and threats, as the New York Post, Fox News and other reactionary media outlets argue for more police repression.

Last night, hundreds from Occupy Wall Street marched uptown to protest the police attack on Oakland, and have adopted the slogan “We are All Scott Olsen.”  I’ve been on the phone all afternoon with a young woman arrested last night in the march who received a puncture wound in the leg from being beaten up by police.  She’s still awaiting arraignment, and may be there until Friday.

The authorities cannot tolerate such gatherings in public space.  Huge numbers of police are surrounding the encampments, and any marches proceeding from them.  Is there anyone that thinks, if there were just more police, that would solve any of the underlying problems causing people to take to the streets in a mix of desperation, anger, and hope?

Kristin Gwynne writes today on Alternet about Scott Olsen:

The videos of his injury (below) are heartbreaking.  The victim is lying in the street, bleeding from the face.  Demonstrators run to help him, and a cop tosses a canister at the crowd gathering around the injured vet.  It explodes. Carried out by a  group of organizers, Olsen emerges from a cloud of smoke, bleeding from the head, his eyes in a daze. His body is limp, with his arms dangling above his face.  When they scream “what’s your name?” he can’t respond. His hand moves, but his eyes stare straight ahead. The crew screams in horror “MEDIC!! MEDIC!!!”

Jon Stewart was shocked by the Oakland police attack.

“They were concerned about a public safety threat, so they did this? [cue footage of tear gas clouds and exploding stun grenades].”

There’s no evidence yet that the police attacks are deterring people from their righteous occupations in the U.S., as the much, much, more violent state repression against the spring uprisings beginning in Tunisia did not, and has not stopped, the people, who continue in Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen to battle the authorities.

Occupy Oakland is back, bigger than ever, and for the time being, the city has backed off with the heavy police presence, at least for now.  Occupy Wall Street is sending them $20,000 and new tents.

We need our own version of mass support for the occupations.  If you can’t get to one right now, get into print, get online, get on the phone, and weigh in:

“Hands off Occupy!”

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  1. #1 by Brian Harry (Australia) on October 28, 2011 - 9:47 pm

    Freedom and Democracy has become a “sham” in the USA. The govt is not only at war with 5 or 6 other countries, it is prepared to use violence against it’s own population. It will not hold the Bankers responsible for their crimes and expects the people to pay for this theft. The American people are going to have to take back their country from the right wing Fascists who have highjacked the USA. Best wishes to the American people.

  2. #2 by Stephie on October 29, 2011 - 6:04 pm

    As the Occupy movement gains strength and popular public support, and shows signs of becoming a genuine “mass-strike” movement, similar to the mass-strike which swept across East Germany’s population in 1989, the tactics which will be used by the sociopaths and psychopaths among the oligarchical 1%, and their equally sociopathic and psychopathic lackeys in government and law enforcement to suppress, oppress and ultimately crush the movement will grow stronger and more vicious.

    Where the East German government didn’t have the will to shoot the mass-strikers as the took to the streets in peaceful protest, those within our government not only have the will to shoot Americans, but are eager to shoot, and this blood-lust must be exposed for what it is… the attempted “legalized” murder of Americans who’ve grown tired of living with constant inequality and injustice, and they’ve had enough.

    Police violence must be met with peaceful, principled non-violence because the only way to bring down the sociopaths and psychopaths who control our government and our world is to stand on the high ground of principled moral authority, firmly say “no” to their destructive agenda and refuse to take their poisoned bait, no matter the cost or the consequences.

  3. #3 by Brian Harry (Australia) on October 29, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    Stephie, you said it so much better than I did.

  4. #4 by pedro anillo guevara on November 11, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    The growing military police state that IS fascist amerka will get worse, as the empire continues its collapse !
    But, the world- wide Rebellion has come to amerika; the people will not be broken! The oppressors WILL be overthrown !

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