At noon today, Occupy Seattle protesters are meeting at Seattle Central Community College and marching to Seattle Police Department headquarters to protest what they characterize as a over a month's worth of escalating violence perpetrated by police against activists.
"They're routinely falsifying reports—there have been a number of assaults from them that are disguised as assaults by us," states Duff Badgley, a spokesman for Occupy Seattle. "They pick up bikes, shove them into us and when people raise their arms to defend their bodies from the bikes, they charge them with assault. They've also threatened to trample us with horses. We have videos of these incidents," he explains.
Badgley says it was only Tuesday, November 15, after pepper-spraying a number of people, that the police "stopped their thuggery."
I ask Badgley if Occupy Seattle has filed a public records request with the department for the reports. "We haven't yet," he says. "That's one of the things we're doing today." Badgley also isn't certain how many protesters have been arrested versus how many have been charged with assault or with other crimes. "That's why we're demanding copies of all records of police interaction with the movement from October 5 onward," Badgley says.
I ask if protesters have been lodging their complaints with the police department's Office of Professional Accountability, which investigates incidents of police misconduct. "It may be that we have not been," he says. "I don't know the answer. But that is going to change today."
Activists are planning to march downtown, through Westlake Park, and then to a rally in front of the Office of Professional Accountability at Seattle Police Department headquarters, 610 5th Avenue. At 1:00 p.m., Dorli Rainey, the 84-year-old activist pepper-sprayed by Seattle police Tuesday, and Reverend Rich Lang, a clergyman who was also pepper-sprayed by police on Tuesday, are scheduled to speak, among others.