Blogs Oct 28, 2011 at 9:29 am


The officers' riot shields read "Sheriff" which suggests it is probably Alameda County Sheriffs Department deputies responsible for this, not the Oakland Police Department.
Well if I wasn't convinced by the actual shot, I am seeing two cannisters lobbed directly into the crown trying to assist as there is a certain amount of flash shrapnel and I'm surprised some of the others were not maimed or blinded.
Poor fella. He put on his old uniform and put his health on the line for the sake of everyone who'd rather get footage of forced confrontations with police over camping spots than reform wall street. My thoughts are with him for a continued recovery to full health, physical and emotional.
I hope Scott fully recovers and that the movement grows as a result of this.
That footage is terrible. It's impossible to tell who or what hit him.
Shame on Oakland. Clearly the young man was just standing there, exercising his constitutional rights. A lawsuit will be in order and the city will be billed.
Assault under color of authority is a crime. Police riot if order and discipline break down. These fully-pwnd tools of the rich were very deliberate, hence not technically a police riot. Definitely a crime, federal civil rights violation at the very least. Much more likely, pre-engagement briefings for law enforcement officers constitute conspiracy to commit crimes against the peaceful, First Amendment-having people. (These days, the militarized police refer to us as, "civilians," not "citizens." Crucial difference IMNSVFHO.)
The officers said they attacked because people were throwing water bottles and paint at them. So, they attacked people with tear gas, flash bombs and bean bag bullets. Notice the protesters have no face shields, no body armor. But the officers did! Shame. The retaliation does NOT match the instigating acts. I work across the street, and I plan to donate whatever I can to the people I see out my window every day to help them. If I did not still have a job, I would be there with them.
Gus @3 for the win.
Footage does not appear to be conclusive. Also, it would appear that the anarchist groups in Oakland, managed to get that violent confrontation they were pushing for. Repeatedly refusing the orders of the Mayor (who was on their side), provoking the cops into tear gassing them and even escalating events after it started. A person was seriously injured (due to one or two asshole cops) and now more people are rallying around the OWS movement.

I suspect the same thing will happen in Seattle and all the anarchist have to do is provoke the cops while hiding behind the peaceful protesters, just like they did for WTO.
Required viewing? Of what? Mass confusion?
Yeah, there's no good footage of the actual shot. But, I was surprised at how clear it was that he was injured (he was down on the ground and there wasn't anyone around him), and that the group of people that came over were trying to help him. Made the fact that an officer shot a flash grenade into that group pretty shocking to me...

When I heard "police shot a flash grenade into a group of people trying to help the wounded marine", my first inclination was to think that things were chaotic and it wouldn't have been apparent that he was wounded, but that wasn't the case at all.
Meanwhile our "change and hope" President was a few miles away enjoying an $8000 a plate fundraising dinner.

Makes you proud to be an American!!
And the followup:…


Today, there are occupations similar to the Occupy Wall Street existing at 2300 cities and locations around the planet.

This is what a pissed-off population looks like!

And massive amounts of data, both economic and geophysical, indicate 2012 to be the year of catastrophic convergence: predatory and fraudulent economic activities, together with a dissipating earth magnetosphere and predicted increase in solar flare and solar wind events, suggests a really nasty environment.

And all the sports-viewing, political-spewing bullcrap won't help the masses!

They have been attempting to restart that classic 7-year ultra-leveraged run, beginning again in 2009, but they can't manage two back-to-back ultra-leveraged runs to transfer the last of any wealth to themselves.

The fewmets have hit the fan, finally, and only the most ignorant and stupid remain unaware.…

And the Marine creed states that the way to meet force is with overwhelming force:…
Can anyone explain to me why the anarchists don't disrupt Teabagger rallies? I have suspicions.
@3 - im sure there was the 1960s equivelant of an internet troll who said the same thing about poor civil rights protesters being bitten by german shepherds and beaten by cops for the sake of organizers who wished to "provoke" police into acting violently against sit-ins.
@14 - I was with you until the third paragraph, and then the crazy started flying. Being nuts doesn't help the OWS protesters; keep a grip on it and you'll help your side more.
No, Cato, meanwhile Obama was a thousand miles away being snowed on in Denver, having landed here at 5:22 PM PDT. I don't know where that came from, but it's wrong.

That still doesn't mean he would have given a shit, though.
@15 "Can anyone explain to me why the anarchists don't disrupt Teabagger rallies? I have suspicions."

They dont, but many normal folks went to the Tax Day protest in Westlake last year, just to mock them. I took part in this and dressed up as the "Get a brain morons" guy.

Except I wore a grey Seahawks shirt and a red bandana actually used Photoshop to print out the actual sign he held up. Had alot of anti-tea party folks get the joke. I would mingle through the crowd and rant off about everything and nothing.
it might be prudent to duck or even get the hell out of there when the canisters start flying.....
Meanwhile, there is still ZERO footage of the supposed paint and urine thrown at the cops by the supposed anarchists who supposedly provoked this.

@16: FTW

I feel terrible for this young man's condition and wish him a quick recovery. That said, the "Conclusions" slide at the end of this video states that "No bottles or rocks were thrown" at the police and that "the police shooting was unprovoked" -- is some of the most strained and elliptical reportage.

Look at :49 of the video, right-before Scott Olsen is identified, and notice the incendiary device (tear gas? flash bang?) sailing directly over Scott's head, from the protesters -- and directly at the police.

Let's be honest people.
@5, 10: Yeah, he could have been hit by any number of the things flying through the air at head-level with enough force to crack a human skull.
@10 "Repeatedly refusing the orders of the Mayor"

WTF? Orders from the mayor? That the "free speech area" was closed after 10 pm? Have you read the first amendment?
@22: Looks to me like a tear gas canister, thrown by the cops back at the cops.
Whether or not you agree with the protesters, I haven't seen a single shred of evidence that the protesters did anything to provoke the police retaliation. Scott Olsen is pretty obviously just standing there, nearly passively, throughout the entire thing. Now he has a concussion. The cops must own up to that.
@24, also, the mayor being "on their side" apparently means that hundreds of riot police come when you "refuse" to obey her "orders".

I don't want such people "on my side", and I don't think many worldwide Occupiers do, either.
Here's what the video does show:
- People were standing around calmly.
- Tear gas was fired
- A guy was on the ground bleeding
- People ran up to help him
- Tear gas was very clearly fired directly at the people helping him.

I understand that a shitty cell phone video can miss a lot of in-betweens, but how could anyone watch that video and conclude that the protesters were the problem here? Are you just that fucking desperate to suck up to authority at all costs? Watch it again. The guy (and the other veteran) were both making a point of standing stoically and calmly. There is no reason to crack him in the head with ANYTHING. And as someone else pointed out, there weren't many other things flying through the air with enough force to crack a skull.

There's obviously not enough evidence to convict any individual cops. But there's more than enough evidence to show that cops, especially at these protests, are abusing their power. Which means that it's downright idiotic to make the knee-jerk assumption that the cops ONLY harm people when they have good reason to.

Remember: tear gas isn't a punishment for people being disobedient or disrespectful (ie, failing to be the spineless, masochistic little pussies that call themselves "conservatives" nowadays). It's only to be used to stop actual violent behavior. And even when its use is justified, there is still no reason to fire it at people's bodies. Then it's not tear gas, it's a sledge hammer, and a cop needs to have some DAMN good justification to use it.

Darwin never blinks.....
This whole thing has been incredibly upsetting. I just can't imagine...

As for those of you saying they broke the law... WHAT LAW? There do seem to be a bunch of unconstitutional laws rushed thru but I've got one for you:…

And in case you've forgotten: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I hear the Marines are kinda upset and planning to show up in Oakland in support of their brother.
@24 " Have you read the first amendment?"

First amendment rights dont always trump local laws.

Example being, you have the right to free speech in front of my house, but that right doesnt allow you to setup tents in my lawn or my neighbors lawn. The mayor was on their side, trying to balance their rights, with local laws, but eventually had to clear out the plaza due to radical elements who refused to respond reasonable requests made by the police/mayor. They were looking for a confrontation, they got it and many people were injured in the process. The entire incident could have easily been avoided.
@25 Nice job for recognizing that it looks like a tear-gas canister being thrown at cops. Observant.

Now, what are the implication of standing in between people throwing incendiaries at each other? Injury? Death? Jesus, ya think?

Quite unfortunately, but not entirely surprisingly, this guy found-out.

Whether his rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are justifiably expressed -- at that very moment -- is not the issue: It's not smart to a) ignore police orders, 2) throw tear gas back at them, or affiliate with those who would 3) Stand there and get hit, and 4) Act like this is all somehow surprising.

We have layers of courts and free media to adjudicate the rights to protest. Use them. If you wanna' get all anarchist and trash the system, then please don't be surprised if the world gets a little more Darwinian, and the dumb ones take it on the noggin' a little more often.
So what does this footage prove exactly?

For fuck sake. It's not helping the cause any when you post any random fucking thing that comes along and then ham-handedly attempt to retro-fit your narrative into it.

This footage is conclusive of nothing.
@31, 32, 33: I'm not going to argue with you about this. I already have on other threads.

Do yourself a huge favor and read this, from the a moderate, law-abiding, faith-in-the-system perspective. I found it helpful.…
@28 The video shows that people in the camera frame were calm. But there are MORE people outside the frame. Who knows what they were doing. This footage is also edited. Do we have continuous footage? Why is it edited?

While I have no problem the cops set up to have a tear gas fueled beat down. They'll do that. And I'm sad for Scott Olsen. Truly sad.

But this footage is no smoking gun for anything.
@31, 32, 33: I'm not going to argue with you about this.

Good. I don't want argue about something where no argument exists.

Facts are facts.

And spin is not an argument. It's no better when you do it or Faux News.

Like I said I have no problem believing that is highly probable the cops started some shit in Oakland. However: Belief does not constitute fact. Belief does not constitute proof. This footage is not proof.
36: Were you directing that at me? I said nothing about "proof."
I'd bet Wall Street and the bankers are pleased that the attention is shifting away from them and towards the cops.

Corporate execs love to see the middle class fighting against the middle class.
@16, if you've lifted a finger to read the local newspapers and Mother Jones' coverage, you have context for this video. If you think the events in this video occurred in some sort of vacuum you're swallowing propaganda as foul as Fox News's could ever be. If this protest were in support of rights beyond the privilege of camping in a public plaza I'd be impressed with your metaphor.

Yes, I think it's terrible some cop or cops hit Scott in the head with a projectile - whether it was a member of OPD or sheriff's dept or one of the other hodgepodge of cops they had to call in to try to keep the protestors from re-camping in that plaza, it's not right to hit people in the head.

But the crowd was, by their moving en masse toward the area they'd been evicted from earlier that day by the cops, trying to get a reaction. It's understandable that in Oakland they'd be thinking, these cops tend to fuck people up, we're in danger.

But they put themselves in danger late at night by moving to reoccupy that public area they'd been forbidden from. I understand they have a mix of ideals and goals and stuff, but if you don't want to get hurt by cops don't deliberately disobey a huge group of them at the end of a long day's protesting.

Again, I'm not down with cops hurting that nice ex-soldier, but I'm also not down with ignoring the terrible injury he suffered came from his deliberate bid for flag-wrapped martyrdom, in an effort not to reform Wall Street but to insist on the crowd's right to camp at the plaza the cops threw them out of. To some that may be the same cause but I don't see it.…
What @3 said.
@16, and @17

@16, ryanayr,: great comments, good citizen! In fact, I recall when those southern storm troopers in Alabama and Georgia turned high-pressure fire hoses on the civil rights protesters, some of the parents of the scumbags commenting here today called them freeloaders and said they should be at work instead.

The worms always spawn true.

#17, lanced boil: ".. keep a grip on it and you'll help your side more." Sir lowbrow, I'm not on any "side" simply attempting to convey reality to your feeble itty bitty leetle brainy, sonny.

Instead of commenting among the adults, go in a dark room with a flashlight and mirror and try, oh so try, to locate your vagina. (By do it with adult supervision this time.)
@39 - the occupy protests are primary protesting income inequality. The tactics being used are akin to sit-ins. Now, for a comparison, egyptians this year began sit-in and rolling protests in tahrir square in reaction to huge youth unemployment rates, severe income inequality and freedom of speech issues. Problems quickly arose when highly militarized police, gendarmarie and paramilitaries attempted repeated attempts to clear the square. So, judging from your attitudes on oakland, do you think the egyptian protests were rightfully attacked by the mubarak regime?
@42, ryanayr: FYI the character, gloomy gus (along with the signon giffy) is over at the Discovery Institute, where he's either paid to do this or has nothing else serious to occupy his time....
@42, you want to cloak the Oakland few in the borrowed heroism of the Cairene protestors? Good luck with that.
@43, I'm nowhere near the attitude or location of the Discovery Institute - your specialty is identifying conspirators so let me save you the trouble: I am a Rockefeller heir on my mother's side and a Rothschild on my dad's, who whiles away his days with fellow Illuminati at our continual online meeting of the Trilateral Commission's special Freemasons committee. Henry Kissinger says hi, by the way - he promises to beam down a special something onto your tinfoil toupee in a few moments. Brace yourself!
Hardly, the point i am making is about disproportionate response and the kneejerk reaction to leftwing protests being unruly and unprincipled a priori. This is certainly a protest based on civil disobediance, so arrests are a given, and actually expected. The presense of violence is a given when the police have a militarized mindset and the protests are demonized. It doesnt have to be that way. But the question remains, on matter of principle, do you think the occupy protests in tahrir square were rightfully cleared by police? Presently, egyptian youth protest movements have been marching in solidarity with oakland. They seem to beg to differ with you.
Stop blaming the victim. It's the same logic that says rape victims deserve it for dressing "slutty". That line of thinking is sad and disgusting.

No, the video did not show him being hit by a tear gas canister being fired from the police.

Yes, moments before hand there was a tear gas canister being hurled back at the police.

What the video did show was worse. It showed the police throwing a flash-grenade in the midst of a group of people coming to the aid of a gravely injured man who had done nothing but stand peacefully. That action is so malicious and despicable it blows my mind.

So those of you who have never cared about something so dearly, and felt so frustrated and disillusioned with you lack of ability to change or influence it, that you feel your only option is to take to the streets... Well you can sit in your living rooms, tell jokes or critique what others are doing. But for those of us who have no other options, this is a sad, sad event. He was one of us and he did nothing wrong.
@46, what do you mean, "the occupy protests in tahrir square" being cleared by police? Egyptian Spring leaders are trying to talk sense into the Occupy folks where they can - get a message and stick to it, is their thrust - but that's not to say agitating for the military to cede power to a civilian government is anything like getting conked in the head for trying to camp.…
@42 - Hosni Mubarak = Jean Quan? A little dramatic, don't you think? No disrespect intended, but reign it in a little— most people will immediately tune you out when you start with this kind of stuff.

There was some good folks caught up in a bad situation the last few nights in Oakland, on both sides*. I know people that went to this, and I also know what some of them are capable of and how they are likely to behave.

*Having to describe police and protesters as being on different sides probably being the crux of the obfuscation of the original message.
" poor civil rights protesters being bitten by german shepherd"

Except having the government paying off your student loans or give u free weed or protect tent rights or letting u shit in a bucket or whatever this is about, doesn't exactly have the same moral urgency.
@45: Gus - you (and so many other liberals I know) are being a just tad concrete, and perhaps a bit snooty, in your thinking about the potential value and impact of these protests.

The bottom line is that the right is running this country into the ground, and to date, none of the traditional mechanisms of political leverage - the press, elections, lobbying, leadership, etc. - seem to be able to stop them. OWS has the potential to tip the balance by reclaiming the terms of political discourse from the right and demonstrating that there are lots of people who are sick of the bullshit and who won't be ignored.

I don't know if it will succeed, but you're fucking right I'm going to support their effort. So should you.

Of course, the vast difference being that Egyptians didn't have their basic human rights being assured by representative, democratically-elected government -- or with an effective judicial system to assure the protection of their people from government, under laws.

Our system operates imperfectly at times. And so we learn from and seek to improve it. The Egyptians had no system, and therefore, sought justice.

Whether anyone thinks this current government is representative of their personal interests - at this very moment -- is not the case. We are a nation of laws, and let's not feign surprise kids! - they are gonna' be enforced.

And it doesn't matter if your own personal description of free speech doesn't sit squarely with OPD's. Not smart to make that point by lobbing tear-gas back from the patch of turf you've declared for your speech. That's what courts are for.

The police have a militarized mindset. Fine. Militarized means organized for conflict. Should they have dressed-up for a square-dance?

I'm sure there are some Egyptian youth lining-up in support, just as soon as there are millions upon millions of Americans who, while completely supportive of Occupier's Constitutional rights to peaceably assemble, speak and redress grievances -- simultaneously recognize the self-aggrandizing, message-diluted, cop-baiting, strategy-free, blame-others naivete of The Unmovement.

And besides, the Egyptian think you're all a bunch of pussies who think Twitter-ing to each other is gonna' do dick.

Revolutions happen when people don't mind gettin' bloody. And Occupy doesn't wanna' answer that bell.
@51, I've always supported and worked toward the goals around which OWS originally coalesced - addressing income inequality, reforming taxation, re-regulating the world of finance. My political activites, and also my comments here for several years (hi boss! how's my productivity been?), I think bear that out pretty well. I have always supported and often participated in all sorts of direct actions that are focused and organized.

This is not that, and I'm getting a little heartsick by how many people are jumping on the idea that the end justifies the means, and that criticism of anybody claiming the Occupy mantle is a sign of disloyalty.
@39- Your argument seems to be against civil disobedience as a tactic.

The ghosts of Martin Luther King and Gandhi are too polite to say it, but fuck yourself.
Oh, civil disobedience is definitely an extremely effective tactic. But you're gonna get arrested, you're gonna get beaten, you're gonna get tear-gassed, and you might even get shot. When that happens, don't come whining to me about it.
@54: I've been reading your comments long enough to know that you are liberal in the true sense of the word - smart, open-minded, funny, and kindhearted - and I'm not questioning your values or your "loyalty" (unlike so many of the predictable lefty dunderheads here on SLOG).

I am questioning your assessment of the value and significance of OWS, however. You and many other thoughtful liberals (I've had this same conversation with several close friends already) are missing the forest for the trees. OWS doesn't have a single demand, nor should they - there are scores of problems that need to addressed, and not everyone agrees on the fixes. If there's an overriding message to OWS, it's simply to stop the dramatic rightward slide of this country.

And clashes with the police come with the territory when you are protesting - that's always been true - but that doesn't make them any less effective. If anything, the heavy-handed police response to occupy Oakland has given the movement legs.

Finally, Scott Olsen wasn't injured for nothing - he is proof that the movement isn't just a bunch of anarchist and hippies in "drum circles". It's also decorated war veterans with good jobs. It really should be you and I as well.
@56- There's right and wrong in this world. It's wrong for a person to get a brain injury for the crime of standing in the street.

Don't pretend apathy is some sort of superior reaction.
@56: Spoken like an ex-cop.

If someone takes a tear gas canister to the head to advance a cause that I believe in and that I benefit from, they can whine all they want as far as I'm concerned.
@above -im not saying egyptian protests = oakland in all ways. Im not saying mubarak= oaklands mayor. Im saying as before, that just because they are protesters with left wing goals, doesnt make them flag burning hippies. A militarized police is often violent. Civil disobediance is inherently about breaking laws. The protests are not about the right to squat or camp. It is a tactic not a cause. If you support this tactic in other countries; tunisia, egpyt, syria, wherever, and you dont here, maybe you dont mind the principle of occupying public areas for a cause, but you are against what you find to be people who you dont believe deserve any respect. All the above talk just generalizes occupy protesters as generic hippie tropes, but i dont think its accurate or relevant.


With that recognition should come emphasis that Occupy isn't JUST a bunch a of anarchist and hippies in "drum circles."

But mostly.
Jesus, people. All of you in Seattle making guesses about what is happening here, where I live. I work across the street, on the 8th floor of an office building. I saw what happened here, bird's eye view. There were some water bottles thrown by the protesters. Some cops had blue paint on their uniforms. BUT THE OFFICERS ARE WEARING BODY ARMOR AND FULL FACE SHIELDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only PPE I saw on protesters were bike helmets. And handkerchiefs. It must be nice to be a 1000 miles away making comments that you THINK may be true. But, you are still wrong, and need to stop commenting with incorrect information. Read, inquire, then comment. please. Because I am here, and you are not. Peace.
Could anyone tell what that flag said? Was it "veterans for peace"?

the police are not there for a 'fair fight'.

there are there representing Real America enforcing the law.

throw one water bottle and expect an ass beatdown.
Who is the guy in full navy uniform with the flag next to Olsen?He doesn't flinch during the whole thing and isn't targeted even though he was much closer to the cops.
"im sure there was the 1960s equivelant of an internet troll who said the same thing about poor civil rights protesters being bitten by german shepherds and beaten by cops for the sake of organizers who wished to "provoke" police into acting violently against sit-ins. "

Nowdays, when almost everyone thinks of Martin Luther King as having been on the right side, we tend to forget how much mainstream opposition to him there was. For example Life magazine described one of his speeches as "a script for Radio Hanoi," and Ronald Reagan described him as "near" to being a Communist.

'Letter From Birmingham Jail' is written to rebut this kind of mainstream criticism (it was specifically directed against a statement by eight clergymen). It's noteable how relevant it is to a lot of the statements made here.

(it's at… among other places).

@47: Did it? Or did the video show a police officer unaware of the injured man on the ground firing a teargas canister at a group who appeared to be rushing the police barricade in an already highly tense situation? I don't know and this video isn't conclusive by itself. An investigation is probably warranted based on this video and whatever other evidence exists, which I'll wait to hear the results of.

Please wait...

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