posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:24 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn authorized a seizure of potential weapons after crowds of vandals dressed in black known as the "Black Bloc" smashed up banks and
other businesses with sticks, batons, and rocks, reports the Seattle Times. Niketown and American Apparel downtown were hit. A half dozen Starbucks
closed early after stores reported broken windows. At least two were arrested during the vandalism spree. Police said the vandals dressed in black
were hard to track because they discarded their clothing to blend in with onlookers. Tear gas was used to stop some of the vandals. The protesters
also took out their anger at the U.S. Court of Appeals building, shooting paint balls at it, shattering glass doors, and attempting to ignite an
Not officially part of Occupy, employees at Los Angeles International Airport joined May Day demonstrations to protest the hiring of non-union
workers. Ten were arrested for blocking an intersection near LAX, reports CBS LA. In another gathering in downtown, a group of protesters appeared to
surround LAPD officers, reports the L.A. Times. A female officer was struck in the head with a skateboard, denting her helmet. She was taken to the
hospital, but the injury was not life-threatening. The incident marred a "festive" atmosphere during protests earlier in the day.
San Francisco Bay Area
In Oakland, police using tear gas confronted a protest of about 400 downtown. Nine were arrested and at least one demonstrator was reportedly tasered.
Protesters blocked streets throughout the day and vandalized two banks in the area. A news van and police vehicle were also vandalized. Earlier plans
to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge were abandoned. Golden Gate Ferry workers, however, went on strike over health care coverage and morning service
New York City
Hundreds from Occupy Wall Street marched over the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, but did not shut down any bridges or tunnels as
organizers earlier had planned. About 30 protesters were arrested over the course of the day for mostly minor charges, ranging from resisting arrest
to blocking street traffic, reports the New York Daily News. Confrontations were scattered around the city. There was a skirmish on the Lower East
Side with masked protesters who may not be part of the main Occupy group. Letters containing a white powder that turned out to be cornstarch were sent
to various New York banks and media outlets, and one was sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reports the Associated Press.
Five people, claiming to be anarchists, have been arrested in Cleveland for trying to blow up a four-lane bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley National
Park. The local Occupy crowd said they were a part of their operation, but have now distanced themselves. The suspects had bought fake explosives and
placed them near the bridge Monday. The suspects were arrested after 9 p.m. Monday, according to WEWS. The public was never in danger from the
devices, according to Fox News. The explosive devices were inoperable and controlled by an undercover FBI agent. Charges against the suspects were
filed Tuesday morning.
Seems this is escalating from both sides, OWS and law enforcement, and both sides need to take responsibility for this. There needs to be a better way
to handle all this, and it better be figured out quickly, as protests will only grow in numbers as the weather warms.
A friend called me from SF earlier today and said it was complete chaos. Apparently SF was not the only city this occurred today. From what I've heard
and read, OWS is planning some large demonstrations and protests this spring/summer, and I'd expect the number to be larger than last fall. However,
larger numbers usually equates to more people with alternate agendas. Everyone need to remain respectful.
Likewise, from what I've heard and read, law enforcement is preparing to stomp out and control OWS. They really need to figure out a way to do this
without escalating the situation. Living in the Bay Area what happened in Oakland last year was completely unacceptable. While a few protesters went
over the line, many innocent protesters were threatened, beaten or jailed.
Let's hope both parties can figure out a way to at least keep it civil, although I don't know how hopeful I am of that happening.
Edit: Sorry about the pictures. Tried posting them, and even though they are accessible by clicking the link, it doesn't look neat.
1-5-2012 by MysticPearl because: (no reason given)