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    Solidarity with Oakland

    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:

    Boston Police Brutally Assault Occupy Boston

    *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 11th, 2011*

    Twitter: @occupyBOS_media

    Boston Police Brutally Assault Occupy Boston

    At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston, which had peacefully gathered on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Police Department made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers, arresting legal observer Urszula Masny-Latos, who serves as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts branch of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as four medics attempting to care for the injured.

    Earlier in the day, an estimated ten thousand union members, students, veterans, families, men, and women of all ages marched from the Boston Common to Dewey Square, and then to the North Washington Bridge to demand economic reform on Wall Street and the end of special interest influence in Washington.

    Following this massive outpouring of public support, dozens of police vans descended on the Greenway, with batons drawn, assaulting protesters and arresting more than one-hundred people. Members of Veterans for Peace carrying American flags were pushed to the ground and their flags trampled as the police hauled them away.

    Following the raid, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis made no mention of veterans, organized labor, students, or families, nor did he issue an apology for his department’s aggressive tactics. Since the beginning of its occupation, Occupy Boston has worked tirelessly and successfully to maintain a positive working relationship with city officials. Today’s reprehensible attack by the Boston Police Department against a movement that enjoys the broad support of the American people represents a sad and disturbing shift away from dialogue and towards violent repression.

    Despite the city’s attempt to silence us, Occupy Boston remains, and bears no ill-will towards the men and women of the Boston Police Department who were simply following orders. We hope that someday the peaceful pursuit of economic justice will not provoke the beating of elderly veterans and the arrest of medics and legal observers. We encourage everyone who continues to feel as strongly as we do about limiting the influence of Wall Street on our democracy to join us tomorrow, and in the future, down in Dewey Square.

    “We will occupy. We are the 99 percent and we are no longer silent.”

    Occupy Boston is the beginning of an ongoing discussion about reforming Wall Street and removing special interests from government. The continuing occupation of Dewey Square (outside South Station) is just one of more than 120 separate Occupy encampments in cities across the nation and a symbol for “Occupiers” everywhere who support real and lasting change. Video:
    Pictures of the night’s events.

    October 10, 2011: We Will Occupy

    *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 10th, 2011*

    Twitter: @occupyBOS_media

    We Will Occupy

    On Monday, October 10, 2011, 10,000 people marched from Boston Common to Dewey Square to the North Washington Bridge in support of Occupy Boston and to demand fundamental and lasting economic and political reform.. At the same time, Occupy Boston expanded to an adjoining section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy to accommodate the many hundreds of people who come daily to join the occupation. This peaceful expansion was undertaken to make a place for everyone in our movement.

    At approximately 18:00 the Boston Police Department informed Occupy Boston that if they did not clear the site by nightfall, they would be forcibly removed. In response, Occupy Boston has issued a renewed call for any and all people to join the occupation as soon as possible. From the beginning, occupiers have worked tirelessly to maintain a positive working relationship with city officials. Today’s threats by the Boston Police Department represent a sudden shift away from that dialogue. Since making camp on September 30, Occupy Boston has maintained that it will non-violently resist any attempt to end the protest before we have achieved the change we seek.

    The outpouring of public support demonstrates that Occupy Boston’s message of bringing economic reform to Wall Street and ending the influence of special interests on government. This message has resonated nationwide. According to a recent poll by Rasmussen, 79% of Americans agree with the occupiers that “The big banks got bailed out but the middle class got left behind.” Rasmussen also reported that the movement boasts higher favorability ratings than Congress or the Tea Party.

    Occupy Boston stands united with over 120 similar Occupy protests, which have sprung up across the nation since Occupy Wall Street began just over three weeks ago. We seek the restoration of the social rights to housing, healthcare and education. We demand an end to the endemic, international corruption of our legislative bodies by corporate interests. Speaking only the words we have been taught, we ask for freedom, justice, and equality. We will be satisfied with nothing less.

    “We are the 99 percent and we are no longer silent.”

    Occupy Boston is the beginning of an ongoing discussion about reforming Wall Street and removing special interests from government. The continuing occupation of Dewey Square (outside South Station) is just one of more than 120 separate Occupy encampments in cities across the nation and a symbol for “Occupiers” everywhere who support real and lasting change. Video:

    Occupy Boston needs your Support Tonight!

    Police are gathering in mass to remove Occupy Boston campers from the North Camp expansion and possibly from the Main Camp tonight at midnight, by force if necessary. We are calling for all able-bodied volunteers to come lock arms with us in solidarity and defend this Occupation from any police presence that may arrive. Please write the number for the National Lawyers Guild, 617-227-7335 on your body as well as a personal contact, and in the event of your arrest call a family member or other trusted contact with that information so the NLG can represent you.

    For ongoing updates follow @Occupy_Boston on twitter or text “OccupyBoston” as one word to 443322.

    MassUniting/Right to the City to March with Occupy Boston

    In preparation for their march with Occupy Boston today, MassUniting and the Right to the City Alliance released the following advisory to the press early this morning. Occupy Boston stands in solidarity with these groups in their mission to bring reform to Wall Street and to create more good paying jobs, but does not endorse them.

    Hundreds are set to march in support of good jobs this afternoon, as the MASSUNITING coalition and national Right to the City Alliance gather in solidarity with #OccupyBoston. The march, which will run from Dewey Square to the Charlestown Bridge, comes on the eve of an expected US Senate vote on the American Jobs Act.

    “With so many people out of work, we need action on job creation, and we need it now,” said Jay Chambers, an unemployed ironworker who has been with the #OccupyBoston camp since day one. “We can’t just sit idly by while the politicians in Washington play political games with our jobs and our livelihoods. It’s time to take the fight to the streets.”

    The Charlestown Bridge is one of many tunnels, bridges, and highways across the country that have been deemed structurally deficient – and many require considerable work to be brought back into compliance. Repairing these structures is a significant part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which would not only bring needed jobs to the Bay State, but would also ensure the safety of all those crossing the bridge.

    As proposed, the American Jobs Act would invest upwards of $850.7 million in Massachusetts’ bridges, roads and transit systems – creating at least 11,000 local jobs. The US Senate has scheduled a preliminary vote on the bill for Tuesday.

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