November 17th marked the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. To demonstrate resilience and solidarity in the face of coordinated crack-downs, Occupiers around the world organized a massive day of action.
Many of these actions were met with marked violence by law enforcement. At UC Davis, a police officer flippantly pepper-sprayed seated college students at point-blank range while a wall of onlookers documented the heartless act.
UC Davis professor Nathan Brown later gave a chilling account of what happened to the students: “When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats,” Brown said. “Several of these students were hospitalized.”
Update: The cop who used the pepper spray, reported to be Lt. John Pike, earns $110,000 a year–almost twice that of an experienced assistant professor at UC Davis. Pike’s cell phone number is (530) 752-3989 (confirmed). His email is email@example.com. Tell him what you think of his violence against these kids and the interests that he serves.
A similar scene played out at Occupy Portland, which was completely destroyed by the Portland Police Department last week. On November 17th, 21 Occupy Portland protesters were arrested occupying Chase Bank and Wells Fargo. These actions followed the arrest of twenty-five union members on the Steel Bridge protesting the lack of infrastructure spending and job creation, which was led by We Are Oregon and organized labor.
Over twelve instances of pepper spray at point blank range targeting people on the sidewalk, reported Occupy Portland in a statement. Two people were stepped on and pushed down by police horses. At least six people were beaten with batons by the police. Seven people were injured from impacts with police bicycles. One individual suffered an injured back after being forcefully grabbed by a mounted office. One elderly person was taken to the hospital with leg or hip injuries.
“On multiple occasions the police pointlessly endangered demonstrators and ensarled traffic, including a mounted charge of peaceful protesters on a sidewalk, forcing them onto the MAX tracks on SW Yamhill,” said David Osborn.
In New York City, the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, over 30,000 people took to the streets (see above) to protest political and economic injustice, and to show support for the recently evicted Zuccotti Park occupation. Over 100 were arrested at the action, including journalists.
A man who identified himself as Brendan Watts was beaten to the ground by police officers in Zuccotti Park. According to reports he was injured and suffered a fractured skull after being hit with a baton to the head as police clashed with protesters.
At 3pm, thousands of students, workers, and other supporters gathered in Union Square chanting “Shut the city down!” and using the People’s Mic to share stories of how banks and corporate greed have impacted the 99%. Simultaneously, Occupiers took to multiple subway stations in all five boroughs. The day of action culminated when the student strike, labor unions, and various OWS groups took over a number of streets in Lower Manhattan on their way to Foley Square before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Image Credit: david_shankbone