City of Oakland to Pay $4.5 Million Settlement to Scott Olsen, Vet Injured in Occupy Protest

Categories: Occupy

JP Dobrin
A woman holds a sign referencing previous lawsuits against OPD at an Occupy Oakland protest.
In a tentative settlement announced today, the City of Oakland will pay $4.5 million to Iraq war vet Scott Olsen, who was struck in the head by a beanbag round, a less-lethal weapon used by the Oakland Police Department for crowd control, during an Oct. 25, 2012 Occupy protest.

The beanbag round, a cloth bag filled with lead shot, was fired at Olsen from a police line roughly 15 feet from Olsen, who was 24 at the time, fracturing his skull and causing brain damage. The shot was a violation of the OPD's crowd-control policy, says one of Olsen's attorneys, Jim Chanin.

"He was shot because OPD commanders decided to simultaneously use chemical agents to disperse the demonstrators and have officers shoot impact munitions at anyone who might be throwing something, even though this violated their own written policies," Chanin says.

See more:

Occupy Oakland: Police Brutality Tab Reaches Nearly $2.9M

Oakland to Pay $1 Million Settlement to Occupy Protesters

Crossing the Line: The Oakland Police Department Versus the Crowd

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Occupy Oakland: Police Brutality Tab Reaches Nearly $2.9M

Kayvan Sabeghi's beating by Frank Uu was captured on video.

The Oakland City Council has tentatively approved a $693,000 settlement for two of the Occupy protesters who say they were beaten and arrested by Oakland police during two separate Occupy demonstrations.

Roughly $645,000 of the payout will go to Afghanistan and Iraq war vet Kayvan Sabeghi, who claims he was beaten by Oakland police officer Frank Uu, who has since retired, on the evening of Nov. 2, 2011. The attack, which lacerated Sabeghi's spleen, was captured on video.

See also:

Crossing the Line: The Oakland Police Department Versus the Crowd

National Lawyers Guild Obtains $1M for Oscar Grant Protesters, Oakland Police Reforms

More »

Oakland Ready for Protests Marking Anniversary of Occupy Raid

Memories ...
Two years ago today, police raided the Occupy camp in downtown Oakland, sparking massive protests, chaos, and violence. The city made national news, showing the rest of the nation how not to handle things.

So it seems only natural to celebrate this birthday with yet another protest. The city fired off a letter to residents last night, warning them that downtown will be chock-full of angry people, rallying their hearts out.

Here's a snippet from the letter:

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Chess Players Relocated but War Rages On

Flickr/Walter Kalata
We just received word over the transom -- via a blog post in SFist, and an ebullient tweet from Supervisor Jane Kim -- that the recently displaced chess players have been moved from their post on Market Street to an area in Yerba Buena Gardens.

That said, this weekend's Occupy Chess protest will continue as planned. According to activist Mesha Irizarry, who helped organize Occupy Chess with members of the Coalition on Homelessness, the new refuge is rather inauspicious because it's not a public commons. "Supposedly that's the area allocated to them, but they're not going," she argues, despite assurances from Kim's office that the chess players are not only happier, but better protected from loiterers and drug peddlers who caused the crackdown in the first place.

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Occupy SF Camps Outside City Hall, Calls Mayor Ed Lee an "Asshat"

Categories: Occupy

Unscripted public comment period
Occupy SF has resurfaced, this time camping out at City Hall where they're reportedly giving Mayor Ed Lee a really hard time.

The Ex reports this morning that a group of people claiming to represent the Occupy San Francisco movement have chosen City Hall so they can easily send Mayor Lee messages for his alleged dismissiveness of the local homeless.

So yesterday afternoon, they set up shop outside the City Hall's main entrance and using colorful chalk they penned equally colorful messages on the sidewalk. To put it bluntly and accurately, they reportedly referred to the mayor as an "asshat," a "dick," and a "douche."

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Oakland to Pay $1 Million Settlement to Occupy Protesters

Oakland cops vs. Occupy protesters
Last night, the National Lawyers Guild announced a $1.17 million settlement for protesters who were injured and illegally arrested by the Oakland Police Department during Occupy Oakland protests in 2011.

"We brought both lawsuits in order to stop OPD's dangerous and illegal repression of political protest and the city government's tolerance of repeated, pervasive police misconduct," explained lead NLG attorney Rachel Lederman.

Scott Campbell, one of the plaintiffs in the case, was shot in the upper thigh with a lead-filled beanbag, known as a less-lethal round, by Officer Victor Garcia on the evening of November 2, 2011. Campbell was filming a line of riot police at the time and captured the shooting on his own camera. His footage went viral and generated national scrutiny of the Oakland Police Department's handling of Occupy protesters. (Two veterans, Scott Olsen and Kayvan Sabeghi, were also injured at Occupy events; both are currently involved in litigation against the City of Oakland.)

See also:
National Lawyers Guild Obtains $1M for Oscar Grant Protesters, Oakland Police Reforms

More »

Occupy Psychiatry: Amid DSM 5 Controversy, Movement Wants to Return to Freud

Rachel Swan
At first blush, this year's gathering of the American Psychiatric
had the air of a coronation. It kicked off at the George Moscone Center in San Francisco just as the dust was settling on Google's I/O 13, with a keynote by former president Bill Clinton and a grand unveiling of the newly revised Diagnostic Manual, now in its fifth edition. The conference theme -- "Pursuing Wellness Across the Lifespan' -- seemed both pedestrian and, as one commentator put it, boldly aspirational.

But the event wasn't without its detractors. On Sunday, a small crowd of people gathered outside Moscone Center, where conference attendees squeezed between a revolving carousel of tour buses, clutching their laminated name tags. They represented a loose consortium of organizations who'd all coalesced under the banner "Occupy Psychiatry" -- or, in this case, "Occupy the APA."

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Protesters to Occupy Wells Fargo Bank Today

Categories: Housing, Occupy

occupysf 025-550px.jpg
Don't you just love birthdays?
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the group Occupy Our Homes, an arm of the national Occupy Movement. And how else would you expect members to celebrate the group's birthday than a big, festive, tent-pitching occupation?

At 11 a.m. sharp, protesters will march on down to the Wells Fargo bank on Evan Street and Galvez Avenue, demanding the same thing they've been asking for over the last year: bank accountability and a real solution to the housing crisis.

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Occupy Protesters Take Over House in the Castro, 20 Arrested

Categories: Occupy
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for occupysplaza.jpg
Oh those were the days
Twenty seems to be the magic number for the SFPD this week. The cops arrested another 20 protesters last night after the group reportedly put on black masks and broke into a house in the Castro.

According to news reports, the group gathered before 6 p.m. in Dolores Park, where they listened to music for a bit before marching down to 535 Castro and making their way into a vacant house. The whole point was to draw attention to homelessness.

When the cops showed up (in riot gear, from what we hear), the shouting and chanting ensued. You could heard phrases such as "Homes not Jails."

See also: Impromptu Demonstration Gets Out of Hand; Police Blame Protesters, Protesters Blame Police

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Occupy Moves Its Cause Indoors

Thumbnail image for OccupyBayArea_Cristy_Roads_courtesy_of_artist_and_YBCA-thumb-300x272.jpg
Courtesy of Eric Drooker and YBCA
If anything, Occupy made for good art
Occupy isn't gone, it has just moved inside -- where it's much cooler these days.

Far from having their spirits crushed after police raided the last remaining Occupy camp last week (which had become less about occupy and more about the homeless), the Occupy movement has strategically continued to fight for the 99 percent.

During the last year, the massive movement has spawned many branches of itself, including Occupy the Auctions and Evictions Campaign, Occupy the Dream House, and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

And Tuesday was a big day for these groups, as they worked again to halt a slew of pending foreclosures before "occupying" a local museum.

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