Scott Olsen, the 24-year old ex-Marine who was injured in the Oakland protests this week is about to have brain surgery. I found this out from an article in Boing Boing, of all places, which quoted The Guardian. I see that President Obama is saying the usual banalities, that he understands the frustration of the Occupy movement, while stressing the need to uphold the law. What the hell?!
These protestors are unarmed, peaceful, and mostly completely law-abiding, with the exceptions being things like marching in the street instead of staying on the sidewalk, or, say, sleeping in a park. No one is burning cars or throwing molotov cocktails like they have in Italy, for chrissake. Meanwhile the police are showing up in riot gear, using pepper spray and teargas liberally and offensively.
And why is The Guardian, a BRITISH paper, the most thorough and updated source for information about protests happening in our own country??
Meanwhile, Michael Moore is heading to Oakland now to “stand with the Occupy Oakland against the out-of-control police.”
Last night I was following along with the #occupyoakland tweets from some folks who were at the protest in Northern California. One attendee—a journo-cartoonist (yes, that is a thing, yes, it is awesome) I’ve edited in the past named Susie Cagle—even tweeted as she was being teargassed and later posted a short video:
Funny enough, this morning the Post’s print coverage of the events last night amounted to an AP picture of your friendly local Oakland police officer petting a kitten and a headline which read: “Protesters Wearing Out Their Welcome Nationwide.”
Click on the pic and scroll down to find my interview. This is one of a number of interviews I’ve done while down at Zucotti Park and one of several being done by folks who are trying to ‘put a face to the protest.’ The interview is for Voices by the Wall, a blog by Samantha Weiner.
My second day at the Occupy Wall Street protests, on September 21, 2011, which is Day 5 of the protest in NYC. No arrests have been made at this point. I was down there shooting video of the mostly quiet streets, and ran into this very friendly policeman, who asked me what was my definition of hypocrisy. Love the part where he says some people don’t like cops; “if I wanted to be loved, I shoulda been a fireman.”
It’s very quiet in the financial hub of the world, lots of barricades and empty streets – sort of eerie, almost like a ghost town in some areas. There were WAY more cops than protestors; maybe a few dozen demonstrators and at least four times that many police.
My cousin is a cop in Seattle, and I have seen some of the pressures of his job and the complexities of situations involving cops and large numbers of people, such as protests, so I have sympathy for policemen – I know I would not want to be a member of the NYPD right now, that’s for sure. They are mostly just folks trying to get by, like the rest of us, and not getting paid all that much to be shot at, screamed at and hated while putting their lives on the line to protect us. However, there’s a douchebag in every crowd, and that goes for crowds of law enforcers as well as demonstrators.