Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Battle of Oakland, California: Disabled Woman Gassed as Caught in Clashes, as Police Fire Tear Gas Canisters into the Crowd

Running battles between police and protesters were taking place in the streets of Oakland last night after police fired tear gas into a crowd trying to reclaim an encampment.

Officers had cleared the site of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators around 12 hours earlier in a dawn raid where at least 85 people were arrested.

Police gave repeated warnings to demonstrators to disperse from the entrance to Frank Ogawa Plaza in the Californian city before firing tear gas canisters into the crowd at 7:45 pm. There were reports from officers that some protesters had been throwing rocks.

Police had announced over a loudspeaker that those who refused to leave could be targeted by 'chemical agents'. One woman in a wheelchair, who was struggling to breathe, had to be helped away by friends while another woman, hit by a canister, was carried off.

Jerry Smith, 35, said a tear gas canister had rolled to his feet and sprayed him directly in the face.

Mr Smith said: 'I got the feeling they meant business, but people were not going to be intimidated. We can do this peacefully, but still not back down.' Read More