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Police use tear gas and batons against protesters in Oakland

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Oakland police officers fire tear gas to control a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters near City Hall in downtown Oakland, California.

Oakland police used tear gas against protesters marching on the streets of the city on May 1.

­According to witnesses police arrested at least two protesters and used tasers against them. Police ordered protesters out of the street after firing the tear gas and flash-bang grenades.

San Francisco Gate quotes a police spokeswoman Johanna Watson saying, “When our patrol wagon came to make arrests, they were surrounded.” According to her, officers fired the tear gas and flash-bang grenades “to gain the attention of the crowd and stop them, which was effective. The officers were able to take the arrestees and to leave the area.”

However the arrests didn’t stop protesters. They continued marching through the streets of Oakland chanting anti-capitalism slogans. Among them was Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, who gained international attention when he was shot with a beanbag by an Oakland police officer at a protest last year. This time the former Marine, who suffered a brain injury in the Oct. 25 protest, wore a black helmet to protect his head.

“I am not 100 percent and I still have some problems, hopefully that will go away with time,” he said in an interview to San Francisco Gate. “It is a shame that (the police) are reacting this way. I shouldn’t have to wear a helmet to go out to this, but I do.”


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