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Chaos Erupts Across Nation on May Day, OWS vs Law Enforcement

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posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:24 PM
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Seattle

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 incendiary device.






Los Angeles

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.




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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 was canceled.





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.



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Cleveland

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.



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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.
edit on 1-5-2012 by MysticPearl because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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Here's a little more, for anyone interested. Seems it truly was a mess in a number of cities, both in the US and in Europe.

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In New York, police arrested at least 30 people as thousands of protesters fanned out across the city. The NYPD was also investigating a series of suspicious items mailed to multiple office building and city landmarks that are believed to be linked to the protests, the New York Post reported.

Police also hauled in at least four people involved in a march across the Williamsburg Bridge, with one of those arrested, 22-year-old Lindsey Sweeney of Buffalo, NY, saying, "We were fighting for freedom. We didn't do anything wrong." At least three of the protesters were allegedly wearing masks, which may have prompted their busts. After an active season that saw the Occupy movement stage dozens of protests across the globe, the group had been mostly quiet over the past few months.

In Manhattan -- before a planned demonstration near Wall Street -- small cadres of protesters gathered outside several large corporate landmarks, including the Time-Life building and the McGraw-Hill building, as part of the "OWS" coordinated action.

Major US banks including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs also were targeted by demonstrators.
On the OWS website, the group wrote, "While American corporate media has focused on yet another stale election between Wall Street-financed candidates, 'Occupy' has been organising something extraordinary: the first truly nationwide General Strike in US history."

In Oakland, California, police arrested at least nine Occupy protesters and fired two rounds of tear gas into a crowd after groups failed to disperse despite police orders to do so, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to the Contra Costa Times, officers ordered the crowd to clear an intersection in downtown Oakland but many refused to move, chanting, "We are not afraid. The whole world is watching."

Meanwhile, the Occupy movement in Cleveland canceled its scheduled protests after five people loosely affiliated with the organisation were arrested for allegedly conspiring to use explosives to destroy a bridge near the city.
Occupy Cleveland later issued a statement distancing itself from the men arrested.

The US protests came hours after similar May Day demonstrations -- fueled by anti-austerity anger -- across Europe.
From the eye of the eurozone debt storm in Madrid to the streets of Paris and Athens, where tottering governments face elections within days, marchers denounced job losses, spending cuts and hard times, AFP reported.




posted on May, 1 2012 @ 11:50 PM
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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy

Sounds about right.



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