Former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer talks about his experience with the protestors outside the House chamber, including getting pepper sprayed himself.
According to Schauer:
"I think this rally speaks for itself. People are here to scream and holler and speak and make noise, trying to get the attention of Governor Snyder and the Republican legislature. Nothing else has worked. This is a peaceful demonstration where people are exercising their first amendment rights. No one was contacting the building, touching the building, endangering the building in any way. It's unfortunate that some of us were pepper sprayed. It was not necessary."
With no warning, or even a hint of an idea about why...about 20 seconds into this video you can see the riot police begin to spray pepper spray into the crowd of protesters:
Protests against the police continued through the weekend in Anaheim, California, with one protest on Saturday that was by all accounts nearly silent and completely peaceful, and Sunday's protest being the total opposite
The Youtube video above, courtesy of @timcast, (Caution viewing the video as it may not be suitable for work due to some language, and graphic images.) shows a few of the arrests as they happened in Anaheim on Sunday. Police on foot and on horseback have guns pointed everywhere, at protesters, and at journalists. Even Tim Pool was stopped by an armed officer in riot gear and forced to produce several different forms of identification.
The OC Registerreports on some of the arrests Sunday:
Two protestors – Mark Dameron of San Diego and Corbin Sobrita of Escondido – were arrested in front of the Anaheim Police Department's headquarters on Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said, where a crowd of more than 200 was demonstrating Sunday afternoon.
A third protestor, Nathaniel Sierdsma of San Bernardino, was arrested a few blocks away, at Broadway and Clementine Street, Dunn said. All three were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, failing to obey an order and being a pedestrian in a roadway.
Five others whose identities weren't immediately released were arrested later Sunday, Dunn said. The reasons for their arrests weren't immediately available.
On Twitter, these photos of arrests during the protest were making rounds, each is labeled, and please note that not all are from the protests.
Police again blame "outsiders" for arrests on Sunday, and the OC Register reports on some of the various groups that turned out for the protest. Iris Thomas, whose nephew Martin Angel Hernandez was killed earlier this year, participated in Sunday's march and had this to say, "I'm glad to see so many people can get together. It just grieves me it took so many lives being lost for people to pay attention." Then, looking around at the groups of unfamiliar people, she added: "There are a lot of agendas here. A few of us will still be here when everybody else is gone."
By all accounts, even on Sunday it seems that protesters were peaceful, however the police seemed to be conducting all-out urban warfare on the unarmed population, if the videos and photos I've seen thus far are any indication.
So what happened on Saturday? It seems that the protesters held their march, and went all the way to Disney, but the police in riot gear stayed home.
To prepare for Saturday's anti-police protests, Anaheim police filled water barricades and surrounded headquarters with them to keep protesters away. Photo credit: Occupy Ventura.
More videos surfaced online on Sunday of the LAPD violence at Thursday’s Downtown LA Art Walk.
Many helicopters hover above the streets. Full riot gear was worn by some officers during the ordeal. Rubber bullets and other projectiles were in use. The police were very aggressive. All this over chalk painting on the sidewalk?
In the video above at 4:49, you can see a man in a white t-shirt shot at very close range with a projectile weapon. He falls to the ground and is clearly incapacitated. After the man stumbles to the ground, two Occupiers come to his aid but police move in, chase the occupiers off, 14 officers surround the man, while one officers kicks the man in the face, then other officers smash his face into the pavement, and violently arrested him.
This next video shows the incident from ground level:
[Caution: Most if not all of the videos in this post contain strong adult language that may not be suitable for work.]
Occupy Seattle attacked and pepper sprayed by the Police
May 1st: Occupy Seattle protestors were at the city's Terminal 18 port when, according to many witnesses, the cops formed a line with horses and bikes and started hitting the crowd to push us them off of the road. One of the cops took out his canister of pepper spray and started spraying people.
May Day Mayhem in Seattle
Anarchists damaged the old federal courthouse in Seattle near Sixth Avenue and Madison Street.
Occupy San Francisco, May 1st 2012
Filmed outside 1 Montgomery Street at Market Street.
San Francisco PD push protesters into street, later drive motorcycles through group without warning.
Filmed on May 1st, 2012 at Occupy San Francisco's General Strike.
No doubt you all remember the shocking pepper spray attack on peaceful student protesters at UC Davis last November. Today the report into that incident has been released and the results are damning, accusing the Chancellor of poor leadership and concluding that the use of pepper spray was unjustified and should have been prevented. The laissez-faire attitude of the UC Davis police chief is especially appalling.
The report spreads blame for the events that led to the confrontation across several members of the UC-Davis leadership but said Pike was primarily responsible for the "objectively unreasonable decision" to pepper-spray the demonstrators.
"On balance, the evidence does not provide an objective, factual basis for Lt. Pike's purported belief that he was trapped, that any of his officers were trapped, or that the safety of their arrestees was at issue," the report states. "Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police."
But while criticizing Pike, the report also cites "systemic and repeated failures" among campus administrators it said "put officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves."
The type of pepper-spray canister he carried was "not an authorized weapon" under campus police guidelines, and the officers "were not trained in how to use it correctly," according to the report.
Chancellor Linda Katehi told investigators that she envisioned "a limited operation in which police would demand that the tents be taken down but would use no other force," the report found.
However other top-level officials did not receive that message because the chancellor "did not effectively communicate this" during deliberations.
According to the report Chief Spicuzza initially tried to convince officers not to wear riot gear or use batons or pepper spray, but she was unsuccessful.
It also found "There is also evidence that she wanted her officers to withdraw if they encountered resistance," but as investigators weren't allowed to interview her they had no further details.
No one in the campus leadership took responsibility for ensuring they understood the way the police operation was to be handled, the report stated.
"The command and leadership structure of the (campus police) is very dysfunctional," the report adds. "Lieutenants refused to follow directives of the chief."
This conclusion stemmed in part from "heated exchanges" between Spicuzza and those in her charge had regarding how to proceed with the operation and her eventual "concession that her officers will do things their own way and there is nothing she can do about it."[Emphasis mine.] What was this, "mob rule" of the campus police? Spicuzza may as well have given the investigative team their interview and replied with a "Meh" to every question.
The report also takes on the claims by campus police that the video footage of the pepper-spraying incident shows that they were under threat and facing a "hostile crowd." It blasts those claims out of the water with video images of Pike and another officer who "were able to move through the crowd freely" and stepped over seated protesters three times "just minutes before Lt. Pike sprayed those same protesters."
The report contains recommendations to about how to improve communication and the police force, and how to better respect freedom of speech issues as well as various aspects of life on a university campus.
There were no recommendations regarding disciplinary actions.
Occupy SF activists were back in the spotlight Sunday, taking over an unoccupied building owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco with plans to establish a "permanent occupation" that would serve as shelter and a center for services for homeless people.
The activists entered the building at 888 Turk St. Sunday evening, after a peaceful rally and march from Union Square earlier in the day.
About 100 activists and supporters took up residence in the two-story commercial structure, believed to be a former music building of nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral High School.
By Monday evening, police in riot gear conducted a raid and evicted and arrested approximately 80 Occupy activists who had taken over the building the night before and had stockpiled food and supplies with the apparent intention of staying long-term.
As the arrests got underway, two buses were there to take occupiers away. "Police with assault rifle on roof" noted @JoshuaHolland of Alternet as he live tweeted his observations from on the ground. He also noted that there was at least once occupier injured among the arrestees, a young man with a broken wrist whose pleas for medical assistance as he anguished in plastic cuffs.
This next video is a jail support march from Civic Center Plaza to the SF jail: the escapees, survivors and onlookers of the SFPD raid as well as some of the very recently released occupiers and supporters of the "San Francisco Commune" action at 888 Turk Street. The jail support team then holds an impromptu jail solidarity dance party. Where were you?
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, suffered a serious eye injury when shrapnel became lodged in his eye from flash-bang grenades fired by police at students during a protest over tuition fee hikes.
As many as 1,000 marched to the Loto-Quebec building on Wednesday, March 7th to protest college tuition hikes in Montreal. After students blocked the entrance to the building, that's when the police broke out the "non-lethal" weapons.
The video above seems to be a compilation of the events of that day, including later in the evening when students who were angry about the events earlier in the day returned and reportedly began smashing windows, spraying graffiti and overturning trash cans which was responded to with even more violent force from the police.
Montreal police will investigate after a 22-year-old man said his eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during Wednesday’s student protest over tuition fee hikes.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, told CBC News from his hospital bed that he doesn't know if he'll regain vision in his right eye.
He underwent surgery overnight for a detached retina.
This is Bob McDonnell's Virginia: The Virginia state capitol was the scene of an enormous women's rights protest. A peaceful protest, with young, old, and everything in between, men and women alike. The overreaction by the police was appalling and shows the extent to which the Republican party is willing to use police power to suppress peaceful dissent.
Thirty-one women's-rights demonstrators were arrested this afternoon in a protest at the state Capitol that drew hundreds of protesters and Virginia State Police in riot gear.
Capt. Raymond Goodloe of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police
said 17 women and 14 men were arrested. He did not have a breakdown on charges but said those arrested were likely accused of either trespassing or unalawful assembly.
The arrests took place after some protesters, who had marched on downtown streets before entering Capitol Square, refused to leave the south steps of the Capitol. They were hauled off by officers and taken away in a bus parked nearby while other armed officers held protesters at bay with riot shields.
The demonstration came after the General Assembly approved hotly disputed legislation that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
The group had a permit to rally at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square earlier in the day, but Goodloe (The Virginia Capitol Police Captain) said rallies are not allowed on the Capitol steps. The group had planned to march to the Executive Mansion where Gov. Bob McDonnell lives after the rally.
Another report from the Washington Post, or rather a Washington Post fail. This is the headline:
"More than 30 arrested at abortion rally in Richmond"
Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, tonight spoke out against the arrests of 31 women's rights demonstrators in a protest at the state Capitol earlier today that drew Virginia State Police in riot gear.
She said the arrests "are just the latest example of government overreach that we’ve seen in recent weeks."
"The men and women who marched on Capitol Square have a right to peacefully protest without the threat that they will be arrested for exercising that right," McQuinn said in a news release. "At several recent women’s rights events, there has been an overabundance of police presence. In fact, the Capitol Police tactical team has been at all of the events," she said.
McQuinn said she had "never seen a similar police presence when guns rights advocates assemble on Capitol Square on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday."
McQuinn called the arrests "a sad reminder that our progress towards equality for all Virginians has not been achieved.”
Much, much more at Daily Kos - including more videos, photos and details from a Virginia blogger. Interesting note, that Washington Post headline fail that I mentioned? It seems that was an attempt to correct the original headline! Info on that at Kos as well.