'Occupy' Protests Heat Up on Both Sides of the Country


We wrote in the new issue on the various Occupy Wall Street-themed protests going on around the country, and how some, such as New York’s and Oakland’s, continued to pick up steam while others were more of a flash in the pan.

In the story, Ed Chapuis, who runs the newsroom at KTVU in Oakland, spoke of the region’s long and colorful history when it comes to protesting, but said this one was different because of the occupation/encampment aspect of it.

Oakland is heating up, and some footage of police pepper spraying protestors from KGO is on the CNN home page.

Writes KTVU.com:

Dozens of police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse in downtown Oakland on Tuesday, with authorities using tear gas to respond to demonstrators’ repeated agitations.

The latest such skirmish came around 11 p.m. as some protesters began throwing bottles among a crowd that had reconvened in front of City Hall, where a haze of chemical smoke still hung in the air following a similar clash at the site about an hour earlier.

It was the fourth time police used tear gas in three hours.

Authorities have denied reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers thrown at police by protesters. Police also report being attacked with rocks.

KNTV’s nbcbayarea.com has a violent video from YouTube shot at the height of the protest madness.

And here, reporter Cheryl Hurd struggles to get through a live shot as the tear gas gets into her eyes. “The tear gas is becoming unbearable,” she says as she tosses it back to the studio.

Throughout the protests, reporters have dealt with pit bull bites, police clubs, and the defacing of their live trucks, though most say the majority of protestors are peaceful.

The Atlanta protest, which our article said had been calming down, is seeing police-protestor clashes as well.

CNN.com gets the story from WSB Atlanta:

In Atlanta, police arrested demonstrators at a downtown park overnight. The arrests came after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he sent ministers to the park “to see if we can find a way to resolve this amicably.”

Reed told CNN affiliate WSB that concerns were increased when a man in the park was seen with an assault rifle. “We could not determine whether the weapon was loaded and could not get additional information on the weapon,” he said.

Authorities ordered people to leave the park at about midnight Tuesday, WSB said, going from tent to tent with flashlights. Arrests began taking place about 12:45 a.m.

Organizers had ordered protesters to be peaceful if police took action, and most were, WSB said. Many gathered in the center of the park, locked arms and sang “We Shall Overcome,” as police led them one by one to waiting buses.

A protester at the park said he was scared. “It’s very intimidating,” said Malcolm McKenzie. “I believe what we’re doing is right, but we’re going to jail. It hurts to see America do this to people who want change.”

[image: KTVU.com]