Celebs Decry Police Brutality in Oakland

By Lora Neng
October 28, 2011

Oakland police along with other law enforcement agencies are still contending with their controversial tactics earlier this week when attempts to control the gathering turnout at Oakland’s Occupy Wall Street became violent. Protesters gathered in downtown Tuesday consisted of a number of anti-war demonstrators claiming their rights to camp out overnight as a gesture of freedom of speech. As both parties refused to back down and aggression escalated, the police threw tear gas into the crowd. Iraqi veteran Scott Olsen was filmed being carried out of the smoke on a stretcher with his face bloodied and unable to respond to verbal cues.

As images of police brutality are becoming more prevalent, such conduct is inciting rage across the spectrum of social-economic divisions. Celebrities are decrying the OPD’s abuse of force, including MC Hammer, who tweeted, “The unabated abuse of the PEOPLE can never be tolerated !!! They were expressing systemic frustration and pain, peacefully.” And, “You knew this would happen. You cannot eliminate the middle class and expect quiet resolution.” Lupe Fiasco offered material support for the protestors in the form of supplies.

The City Council in Orange County has started the process of acknowledging the occupation camps as a form of speech.

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