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Police choke non-violent protester at Occupy San Diego (video)

[Video Link]

From the description for this video by photographer and military veteran Adam Plantz:

Bob O'Grady being arrested in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza for laying inside of his sleeping bag to stay warm while a group of non-violent occupiers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Encinitas, and other transplants from various locations across the US pow-wow under an erected U.S. flag in the heart of the plaza; in celebration of Veteran's Day. SDPD uses excessive force to apprehend Bob, a SDPD officer uses a choking technique I never knew was legal in the continuum of force ladder. That must come after using a closed fist to assault the suspect in the face.

The San Diego Reader reports that O'Grady is 28 years old, and that he was choked and arrested at around 2:35 AM Saturday morning in San Diego's Civic Center Plaza after police ordered him to "exit his sleeping bag and sit up." The video above shows that he appeared to pose no threat to the armed officers surrounding him. Read eyewitness reports here.

Why is Portland Police Dept. posting mugshots of Occupy Portland arrestees to Facebook?

UPDATE: I spoke with a sergeant from the Portland Police department today. I will post a longer update on the story soon, with notes from our conversation. The short version: yes, they do have a long history of posting mugshots in cases of high public and media interest, online. They're not only doing this with Occupy arrests. And Occupy arrests are of high media and public interest. The PD's news releases (some of which are lists of arrests, with photos) are all auto-posted to Twitter and Facebook now and not just to the PD's website. Apart from that, I do think it's fair to say that the prevailing character of their response to the local Occupy has been respectful and mellow compared to other cities (Oakland, yes, I'm looking at you). I told the sergeant that some BB readers had written in from Portland to say they are proud of the lack of tear gas or rubber bullets. "So are we," he replied.
—XJ


As inadvisable police tactics around Occupy Wall Street go, this feels like it's right up there with tear gassing people in wheelchairs: The Portland, Oregon police department is posting mugshots to Facebook of people arrested at Occupy Portland.

@newyorkist has been dogging them about it on Twitter, and the Portland Police replied publicly via Twitter and Facebook that they do this with any "arrests in cases of a significant public or media interest," as part of the department's "efforts to be continually transparent."

Is that a violation of the arrestees' civil rights? Some of the demonstrators arrested were minors (and I am not sure if their photos were among the ones published). How does the fact that they are not adults change this story? Remember, these people aren't convicted pedophiles, they're just participants in a peaceful protest who were arrested, and haven't yet seen their day in court.

There is some precedent to police departments posting mugshots on a police department website, but the fact that it's Facebook just feels weird. As BB reader Bryan Coffelt tweeted, "I feel like the next step would be for the PDX PD to start 'poking' the arrestees or inviting them to play FarmVille."

Below, a response to the practice by Joey B'Shalom of Portland, identified as a US Air Force veteran "Airman of the Year" whose son Benji and daughter Hannah were arrested there.

Read the rest

Occupy Oakland: photos before and after violent police raid

About the photos above and below, Mike Godwin says,

The "Before" photo, with Occupy Oakland tents in place, was taken October 21. Photographer Donna Enright, an Oakland resident, says she took the photo because she heard from her employer that Occupy Oakland had been served with a notice that the demonstrators were to be evicted.

"I thought this was the last chance I might have to take a picture of [the tents], she says.

The "After" photo was taken later in the day after the pre-sunrise October 25 police intervention at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Photographs reproduced by BoingBoing with permission. Copyright 2011, Donna Enright. All rights reserved.

Occupy Oakland protesters claim presence of police infiltrators and provocateurs

Video Link: "Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs."

Occupy Wellington: whiteboard, camera, outrage, action!

Penelope Lattey of Wellington, New Zealand headed down to her local Occupy with a whiteboard, a marker, her camera, and asked people to explain why they were there. The result: Occupy Wellington: a project.

(thanks, Susannah Breslin!)

Egyptians march from Tahrir Square to support Occupy Oakland protestors

As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.

Read the rest

Occupy Liberty (new Lalo Alcaraz Occupy Wall Street poster)

Lalo Alcaraz, the artist and Uppity Mexican-American commentator who created the totally dope new "Occupy"/"Anonymous" poster above, is at laloalcaraz.com and pocho.com. I asked Lalo for info on how those interested can obtain prints, and he tells Boing Boing:

They should check in at laloalcaraz.com to see which signed prints are currently available, and especially should look for my 2012 Lalo Alcaraz Cartoon Calendar coming very soon (after all the Muerto Madness) and follow my silly ass at @laloalcaraz.

Scott Olsen, Iraq veteran injured in police raid of Occupy Oakland: how you can help

Update, Oct. 27, 5pm Pacific: Olsen will undergo brain surgery "within the next one or two days."


In the photo above, Veterans For Peace member Scott Olsen, who is identified as a former U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran, lies on the street after being struck in the head by a police projectile in Oakland, California, during eviction of the Occupy Oakland encampment.

The police attack occurred Tuesday night, and was captured in video blogged in previous Boing Boing posts.

How to help: Iraq Veterans Against The War has a link here and Veterans for Peace has a link here where you can donate to help cover Olsen's medical expenses.

At the time of this blog post, Olsen remains in a hospital in Oakland, CA, in "fair" condition, upgraded from "critical." He received skull fractures. Yesterday he was in a medically-induced coma, and he has undergone surgery. His roommate Keith Shannon reported to Current TV's Keith Olbermann today that Olsen can now breathe on his own, but will likely need more surgery.

UPDATE: The Guardian reports:

Scott Olsen requires surgery to relive the pressure on his brain, according to his roommate Keith Shannon. "Neurosurgeons have decided he needs surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain and it will happen in a day or two," Shannon said. He added that Olsen's parents should be arriving at the hospital to be with their son shortly.

Read the rest

Police raid on Occupy Oakland: the morning after

Photo: Oakland North. Navy veteran Joshua Sheperd holding Veterans for Peace flag, Occupy Oakland, Tue. night.

Last night, hundreds of police in riot gear from divisions throughout Northern California descended on the Occupy Oakland encampment, armed with tear gas, an LRAD sonic weapon (the "sound cannon"), and various projectiles -- by some sources, rubber bullets and bean bags.

According to various reports, more than a hundred arrests were made. Two police officers were injured, and an untold number of protesters.

My post from last night is here, with links to video.

And as I noted last night, President Obama's recent remarks on a series of demonstrations elsewhere may prove instructive.

Oakland North was one of a number of small, independent publications on the scene last night live-tweeting photos and a blow-by-blow of the crackdown. One of their photos is above.

One YouTube video is here, capturing the moment when the police launched the first round of multiple rounds of tear-gas "bombs." From photos tweeted last night, and this Reuters photo from last night (by photographer Stephen Lam), this appears to be one of the brands of CS gas used on the protesters.

Photo: Reuters.

Our own Dean Putney took the train over from San Francisco a little later on in the wee hours. He has posted photos here, mostly after things had quieted down somewhat. One of those is below.

Photo: Dean Putney.

This video shows "Veterans for Peace member Scott Olsen wounded by a less-lethal round fired by either San Francisco Sheriffs deputies or Palo Alto Police on October 25, 2011 at 14th Street and Broadway in Downtown Oakland." He appears to have been shot in the face.

Read the rest

Rome Burns

Photo: La Repubblica, Italy

That is the graffiti in one of the destroyed streets in this Saturday’s “indignati” demonstration. It ended in violence against the police, city security, and last but not least the pacifist organizers of the manifestation, in tune with the world wide movements OCCUPY.

Read the rest

Interactive map of Occupy Wall Street protests

Mother Jones is maintaining an interactive map of "Occupy" protests around the US, and beyond. That little lonely red dot in the Pacific is a demonstration in Hilo, Hawaii! If you know of others, tell them: "Send a link to a news article or blog posts to traja [at] motherjones [dot] com or @tasneemraja."

You can find more information about demonstration gatherings at the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together websites, the "official" sites for this movement. The latter shows more than 300 Occupy meetups in cities around the world.

(thanks, Michael Mechanic)

Occupy Wall Street spreads to more US cities

The "Occupy Wall Street" protests in New York City are inspiring similar demonstrations in other US cities. Above, in San Francisco on Thursday, protesters scuffle with a Charles Schwab employee at the door during a rally against corruption and fraud by American banking institutions.

Are there demonstrations in your area, Boing Boing readers? We're hearing of similar rumblings in Detroit, and other areas. Let us know what's happening where you are, in the comments.

(REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

PBS reporter jailed while covering "Occupy Wall Street" protests in NYC

While working on a story about citizen journalism at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York for PBS affiliate WNET Thirteen, John Farley was arrested, along with the demonstrators whose stories he was covering.

My arrest gave me a unique vantage point on the risks and rewards of citizen journalists, those non-professionals who capture stories (usually without pay) using videos and images via portable technology like a cell phone camera. Anyone, even a passerby or a police officer can be a citizen journalist. That’s its power.

More: Observations of a Jailed Journalist.

Above: John Farley, kneeling, arrested while reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protest. MetroFocus/Sam Lewis.

Danish police abuse climate-change demonstrators


Zoran sez, "Earlier this week (12th Dec), a massive, peaceful protest of 100,000 people -- the largest demonstration for climate justice in world history -- was met with a heavy-handed response by the Danish police. Thousands of riot police swarmed the march route, blocked off streets surrounding large groups of protestors, and arrested almost 1,000 people. Arrestees were cuffed and forced to sit in rows for hours, as the temperatures dipped below freezing; numerous people urinated on themselves after being denied use of toilets."
Of course, these protests are being motivated by frustration at the incredibly weak results of the COP-15 negotiations. Last week, a closed-room group of delegates from Global North countries shocked Global South delegates and climate justice activists by pushing for a secretly-negotiated "deal" that would allow global temperatures to be allowed to rise by another 2 degrees Celsius - over the vehement protests of delegates from Africa and small island countries, argue that any increase larger than 1 degree will devastate and - in some instances - literally flood them. Then, in the past two days, the negotiations on a deal on REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) - which are being touted as the "success" of Copenhagen - have degenerated into an incredibly weak potential deal, in which immediate targets for deforestation limits would be dropped and no financial commitments from Global North countries would be made. These failings on the part of negotiators from the Global North have been met with protests - both planned and spontaneous - by youth activists as well as delegates from the Global South.
Crackdown in Copenhagen (Thanks, Zoran!)