If you haven’t heard yet, the Occupy Wall Street movement is under attack. Seems that a new wave of force is being conducted by the riot police stationed in and around the OWS protest locations across the United States. Reports were instantaneous by Occupiers in Oakland early Tuesday morning as the riot police moved in and began to arrest and dismantle the protestors tent city. The pictures, videos and comments started to post on social networks such as YouTube and Facebook as soon as the chaos broke out. The difference this time compared to past clashes between police and the Occupy protestors was the use of riot control equipment and tactics.
Witnesses of the horrifying event were in disbelief at the methods used to disperse the protestors. Evidence from the videos show the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bangs, and bean bag cannons. All of which are non-lethal weapons and a Oakland police department spokes person stated that there were no injuries by either police or protestors . This however ended up being a misinformed statement or just a plain lie. There were many injuries reported by the occupiers who consisted of men, women, and even children. Everything from burning skin and eyes which needed medical treatment, loss of hearing which reportedly returned, scrapes and gashes caused by riot police while arresting none resistant nonviolent protestors – which in turn required medical attention, welts covered the bodies of those hit by rubber bullets which again needed medical attention. There was even a video posted of a young Iraq Veteran and Occupy Oakland supporter, Scott Olsen, who was hit in the forehead from a gas canister that split a gaping blood gushing gash into his head knocking him unconscious and leaving him with a concussion. Soon after, Mr. Olsen was rushed to the hospital and was reported to be in critical condition.
In retaliation to the tactics used against the protestors, some Occupiers started to throw rocks and bottles back towards the riot police directions. This is the first time that the peaceful protestors retaliated with violence during any occupy movement assembly.
“The scene of it all just engulfed my emotions to stand up stronger for my rights!”
One Occupier stated during a brief description explaining how he felt to witness such outlandish methods used by police.
“I just don’t get it, here we are, law abiding citizens, exercising our constitutional rights, trying to make the world a better place and this is how they treat us?, “In my opinion its inhumane, this is America God Damn It! “ “It just doesn’t make since… were not rioters so why are we being treated like them?”
The Occupier was asked what his name and age are. He replied, “Age doesn’t matter and Id like to stay Anonymous .” When asked why… “My face is one of many and so are my views, I don’t speak for but am for the movement… for I am no one, yet I am someone..”
The Oakland Police said they stand by their actions and that the occupiers were in violation of the law. There was an official release to the protestors by the police giving notice that they would be infiltrating the Occupy site with force if need be and that they would be closing down the protest in ordinance to park hours and protest curfew. The protestors were giving this notice hours before the police moved in, yet some decided to stay on the grounds that they were practicing their right to a peaceful assembly.
Ironically the park being used by the protestors was built just for that, a place to assemble in peaceful protest. Unfortunately for the Occupiers the peace was disrupted, not by the protestors themselves but by the police who act upon orders given to them by a higher power. The riot police seem to be oblivious to what the cause is about and place an ever so creepy feeling in the air. The police dressed in destruction gear send a vibe of fear to those who aren’t exactly sure what their lawful rights are.
“It’s sad to think that the lawful rights of the protestors are being ripped away by mindless terrorist called officers of the peace”. Explained an occupier who witnessed the whole event.
Reality is sinking in with the Occupy Wall Street protestors that the tough is about to get a lot tougher. The same actions conducted by police in Oakland have also been repeated in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Baltimore. There is a growing concern that the nonstop onslaught of unlawful police action will start to encourage protestors to become more diligent with a sterner stance of challenging authority.
There also seems to be a uncertainty from officials on how to handle the protestors. In some instances there had been warnings of dispersing police to clear out occupy locations but in last minute scenarios either the mayor or police commanders had halted the raids. This is either do to political agendas or in no other explanation just a change of heart. The laws being enforced to clear away protestors are within jurisdiction of the written law, but in past political protest there has always been an agreement that the cause is justified, allowing these miniscule misdemeanors to be infringed upon.
Occupiers are not backing down, as the movement grows so does the voice of change. The frustration of an un-American way of life has now become a fight for justice, peace and an equal pursuit of happiness. Although there are many views within the Occupy Wall Street movement, one thing remains the same, the show of comradeship when the people chant ‘WE ARE THE 99% !!!”
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