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NEWS: Occupy Oakland attacked by the police

Canadian activist Judy Rebick writes, “In Oakland at 4:30 a.m. several hundred police equipped with riot gear, armored vehicles and helicopters, moved in violently, using rubber bullets, tear gas and flash grenades. The camp has been evacuated, tents smashed, gear confiscated or dumped, and some 75 people have been arrested. Police continue to surround the plaza and adjoining areas, including the nearby Snow Park where a smaller annex encampment was also raided and destroyed.”

Al Jazeera reports, “In Oakland, California on Tuesday night, riot police forcibly disbanded a large group of protestors and arrested more than 100. The demonstrators were associated with the ‘Occupy Oakland’ movement… Police defended their use of tear gas, bean bag rounds, and flash grenades, saying they feared an imminent escalation in violence after the crowd began throwing paintballs and bottles at policemen. Some eyewitnesses report officers fired rubber bullets and wooden dowels into the crowds, but officials deny the claim. Videos recently posted to YouTube video appear to show wounded protestors, including one veteran who appears bloodied from a severe head wound.”

The Telegraph UK reports, “Protesters from Occupy Oakland who posted video of Mr Scott Olsen online after he was injured said that the shooting happened at 4th Street and Broadway in Downtown Oakland during a march to reclaim a plaza which the group had been using as a base for two weeks until it was cleared by police. Witness Jay Finneburgh said that Mr Olsen ‘was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile, he went down hard and did not get up’. In the video Mr Olsen is unresponsive and bleeding from an apparent head wound as he is carried away by protesters, one of whom is screaming for a medic. In another video, filmed from a different angle protesters who go to the aid of Mr Olsen as he lays unconscious on the ground also become a target for police tear gas canisters. Reports online suggest Mr Olsen was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland where he has serious injuries but is in a stable condition.”

The Council of Canadians first expressed solidarity with the Occupy movement on September 23. More than 25 Council chapters participated in 21 occupations across the country starting on October 15. We have provided three portable washrooms for the Occupy Vancouver site. During the recent Indignez-Vous! conference, Council members, Board directors, and staff visited the Occupons/ Occupy Montreal site at Square Victoria.

More soon.