One protester dead in Oklahoma City, nine arrested in Portland

By David Edwards
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 11:21 EDT
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Street Poet at Occupy Oklahoma City
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In what was an otherwise calm night across the country, one Occupy Oklahoma City protester was found dead and nine Occupy Portland protesters were arrested.

In a press advisory Monday, Occupy Oklahoma City organizers expressed their sadness at the passing of a homeless protester who went by the name “Street Poet.”

“The Poet was found dead in his tent at Kerr Park earlier this afternoon by other participants,” they wrote. “Police and emergency personnel were immediately contacted. Occupy OKC is withholding information concerning The Poet’s identity pending notification of his family by authorities.”

Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said that although the man appeared to be in his 20s, the death was not suspicious.

In a video posted to Facebook, Street Poet explained that he had been “traveling the road on foot doing poetry” since his dad kicked him out at the age of 16 or 17. Another video posted to Google Plus shows the man performing poetry.

“I’ll tell you right now, unless you crawl under that bridge and huddle up against the wall, take off them busted-ass shoes then you don’t know what I’ve been through or where I’ve been,” he said. “Knowing tomorrow, I’ll be in the same place again, drying my tears in the wind. You save me from my pain, but you don’t even know what pain is.”

Early Tuesday morning, police cleared an encampment of Occupy Portland protesters from Terry Schrunk Plaza. Nine protesters who refused to leave will face federal charges.

Officers with helmets and nightsticks surrounded the plaza to make sure protesters didn’t return as the camp was dismantled.

Protesters shouted “The whole world is watching” and “”The tents will go back” as they looked on.

“It definitely got a little tense, maybe heated,” Portland police spokesman Lt. Robert King told The Oregonian.

Other protest sites around the country were largely quiet.

The roommate of Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, who was wounded during clashes with police in Oakland, said the former Marine “seems to be doing well” after a hospital visit yesterday. Keith Shannon told The Associated Press that Olsen still can’t speak but doctors expected him to make a full recovery. He is still suffering from a fractured skull caused by a police projectile.

Occupy Wall Street protester Felix Rivera-Pitre, who was videotaped being hit by New York Police Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona, met with the District Attorney yesterday in hopes that assault charges will be filed.

“Had it been any regular white guy, instead of any angry white shirt, had committed that attack, that person at best would be able to plead out to assault,” attorney Ron Kuby said after meeting with the DA. “Three years’ probation and some serious court-ordered anger manager.”

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings is still refusing to push law enforcement to arrest peaceful protesters camped out across from City Hall.

“If people don’t like it, they can vote me out,” Jennings said on his Talk 1300 radio show. “That’s the way it goes.”

Watch this video of Street Poet, uploaded Oct. 31, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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