99 Percenters Shut Down Port of Oakland
Posted on Nov 2, 2011
Update: The port reopened Thursday morning as protesters met to address concerns that isolated acts of vandalism and violence carried out by “some kids looking to blow off some steam,” in the words of one 99 percenter, might damage the movement’s image.
It’s one of the nation’s busiest ports, but Wednesday night the giant cranes that inspired the imperial war machines of “The Empire Strikes Back” sat idle after thousands of marchers forced a halt to commerce. A day earlier we learned that Iraq veteran Scott Olsen lay injured only two blocks from ambulances and rescue personnel that, possibly due to poor planning, did not go to his aid—nor did the police officers stationed nearby who may have fired the projectile that cracked open his skull.
Olsen, 24, was participating in protests on Oct. 25 when he was struck in the head by a projectile. Riot police stood within 20 yards of where he lay and ambulance crews waited on standby two blocks away. Yet Olsen received medical treatment only after protesters dragged him more than two blocks, put him into a car and drove him to Highland Hospital.
“I turned around and was yelling directly at the police: ‘I need help. This guy is hurt,’” said Claire Chadwick, a Berkeley canvasser who was the first to assist the motionless Olsen. “But none of them moved.”
AP / Noah Berger
Occupy Oakland demonstrators stand atop a railroad scaffold at the Port of Oakland on Wednesday. Thousands of protesters took to Oakland’s streets as part of a citywide strike.