Seattle police pepper spray 84-year-old woman as ‘Occupy’ crackdowns occur nationally
As much of the national press focused on protesters’ return to Zuccotti Park after their forcible eviction, crackdowns took place on “Occupy” protests nation-wide late Tuesday.
During a crackdown on “Occupy Seattle,” an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant 19-year-old girl were among those attacked by police wielding pepper spray, according to reports.
“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate,” said Dorli Rainey, the octogenarian who said she was nearly trampled after police became violent. “As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out.”
She added: “Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: ‘Screw us and we multiply.’”
The protests were formed in downtown Seattle in solidarity with “Occupy Wall Street” after Tuesday evening’s raid by authorities. Police claim they gave warnings to protesters for blocking streets during rush hour, but protesters say police acted aggressively.
“Occupy San Francisco” saw local authorities remove 15 tents early Wednesday morning, although those tents were located on the sidewalk and not the main camping area.
“What we said tonight was there was a problem with these 15 tents,” said San Francisco Police Cmdr. Richard Corriea to the Mercury News. “They were blocking the sidewalk and there was a level of biohazard we couldn’t leave. We’re talking about seven people in 15 tents at 1:15 a.m. It was a very finite mission.”
Early Tuesday morning, eight protesters at Occupy Charlotte in North Carolina were arrested outside of Bank of America’s corporate headquarters, according to The Charlotte Observer. The demonstrators chanted “Bank of America, bank of coal,” and also dropped a large banner in front of the building’s headquarters that read “Not with our money.”
Reports indicate that a number of mayors participated in conference calls to discuss concerns about the ‘Occupy’ movement and strategies to deal with it. And the Examiner’s Rick Ellis indicates that the FBI and possibly the DHS participated in at least some of those calls.
(Photo credit: David Shankbone)