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Oakland Still Unprepared to Respond to Protest Injuries

Posted on Nov 2, 2011
Shrieking Tree (CC-BY)

OWS protesters in Des Moines, Iowa, hold a candlelight vigil for Scott Olsen.

As Occupy Oakland moves forward with its call for a general strike Wednesday, the city is still unprepared to respond in a swift, coordinated manner if altercations between protesters and police result in injuries, an Alameda County official in charge of medical preparedness said.

During a conflict with police Oct. 25, riot officers and medical personnel stood by as activist Scott Olsen, 24, bled from his head after being hit with a projectile. Olsen received treatment only after fellow protesters took him to a hospital.

In defense of the city workers’ failure to assist Olsen, Oakland Fire Chief Mark Hoffman said he did not expect public servants under his command to go to the aid of the wounded in the middle of a “riot.”


The Bay Citizen:

Jim Morrissey, the county’s terrorism and disaster preparedness coordinator, said Tuesday he was still trying to contact Oakland police officials to help them work with emergency medical personnel. Morrissey said the coordination is particularly urgent because Alameda County switched to a new ambulance provider this week.

“The Oakland Police Department is a great law enforcement agency. But I haven’t seen any plan, and I am the medical health operational coordinator,” said Morrissey, who lectures nationally on the subject of collaboration between police and emergency-services agencies. “I need to see what they’re going to do so we can offer services to them.”

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By larrypsy, November 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Those JERKS in Oakland are going to screw the rest
of us by acting like a mob of JERKS!!!

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By gerard, November 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

San Francisco seems to do better:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO)—In San Francisco supervisors are trying to avoid the kind of violence we saw last week in Oakland. They’ve passed a resolution supporting the occupiers at Justin Herman Plaza.

Tuesday evening the Board of Supervisors passed a non-binding resolution, authored by Supervisor John Avalos, by a vote of 8-3. It supports the occupation and also calls for the city not to use force to disperse the occupiers. However, there was another meeting that took place across City Hall that was just as important.

There was a meeting between Mayor Ed Lee and the protesters, union leaders, and clergy that lasted about an hour and a half. Both sides said they were satisfied with the progress that had been made. The mayor said religious leaders are considering supplying food to prevent occupiers from cooking on open flames, a violation of the fire code. Lee also said the costs of cleaning up the camp by public works crews will also be funded privately.

Related ContentStory: Woman seeks help at Occupy SF encampment after stabbing
Story: Michael Moore visits ‘Occupy SF’ demonstrators
Story: Hospital to Michael Moore: Don’t try to visit Scott Olsen
Story: More ‘Occupy’ events planned around CA
Story: Taking a closer look at ‘Occupy SF’
Story: Michael Moore welcomed by ‘Occupy’ protesters
Story: Injured ‘Occupy’ protester upgraded to fair condition
Story: ‘Occupy’ tents back up in Frank Ogawa Plaza
Story: Iraq war vet critically injured during ‘Occupy Oakland’

“They have to allow us to clean it up. Labor is indicating that they’ll pay for that expense,” said Lee.

“Occupy SF” member Carl Berger hopes the ongoing dialogue will prevent the use of force by police. He said it was important to prevent what happened two weeks ago when police came and removed tents, tarps and personal possessions.

“There is a general good feeling that this will be able to continue and were working with each other to make sure that happens,” said Berger.

There was one significant concession by protesters.

“They were occupying the actual bocce courts that we spent monies on. By this weekend they moved off that,” said Lee.

Protesters have pledged to extend their occupation by taking over the plaza in front of City Hall before the elections. The growing encampment may influence the outcome of the mayoral elections. Veteran political observer Alex Clemens says candidates have to be extremely careful with the position they take.

“There’s always a danger when a local elected official decides they going to manage a national issue. Pandora’s box comes into play and the law of unintended consequences is frequently invoked,” said Clemens.

Berger is also an EMT who treated a woman who came to the camp’s first aid station Monday night with stab wounds. He says the woman told him she received those stab wounds, not in the camp, but in the Tenderloin. The woman sought help at Occupy SF knowing the first aid station was there. More on that story here: Woman seeks help at Occupy SF encampment after stabbing

Another footnote: it looks like from now on these meetings with city agencies will be conducted with smaller groups, committees if you will, formed by the protesters. As long as their talking, the city has promised there will be no force.

(Copyright ©2011 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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