Unfortunately, the heavy-handed police response in Oakland, California that we posted about earlier has continued. Tuesday evening, and throughout the night, over 500 members or the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and 16 other agencies around central California arrested around 97 protesters at Occupy Oakland and dispersed hundreds more. Protesters who went to reoccupy the space at the Oakland Library were met with heavily armed riot police using tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades.
As in Boston, the Oakland Police Department’s use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist who was also an Iraq War veteran:
Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile . . . .
In another instance of misconduct, OPD treated Occupy Oakland street medics as an excuse to throw more firepower, lobbing a flash-bang grenade at a group of people trying to evacuate a protester who had been knocked out by police.
This video highlights the extreme tactics used by police to remove the peaceful protesters of Occupy Oakland:
This is what the OPD had to say after their actions:
Q. Did the Police deploy rubber bullets, flash-bag grenades?
A. No, the loud noises that were heard originated from M-80 explosives thrown at Police by protesters. In addition, Police fired approximately four bean bag rounds at protesters to stop them from throwing dangerous objects at the officers.
There are reports that some protesters may have thrown bottles, rocks, and possibly fireworks at police; however, it should be noted, that, as The Guardian reports,
The violence in Oakland is against a backdrop of a troubled city whose police force is notorious for its heavy-handedness and has been the subject of numerous allegations of abuse and police brutality.
Oakland City Hall claims that this is a “peaceful dispersion.” To the mayor we respond that this is an unqualified lie. We stand in solidarity with the protesters of Occupy Oakland. For further information we recommend their website: www.occupyoakland.org.