Veteran injured in police battle as tension rises in US
In Atlanta, police arrested 53 protesters who were camping in the city's park downtown
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 28 October 2011
An Iraq veteran was still in critical condition yesterday after being injured when an anti-Wall Street demonstration in Oakland degenerated into a battle with police using tear gas, the most vivid sign yet that some US city governments are starting to lose patience with the protest movement.
It remains unclear who fired the projectile that struck Scott Olsen, fracturing his skull, though protesters said a teargas canister was responsible. Whatever the truth, the incident could be a turning-point in the thus far peaceful movement which has spread to scores of US cities since the first Occupy Wall Street banners appeared in New York's Zuccotti Park six weeks ago. On Wednesday, 10 people were arrested in lower Manhattan, after hundreds had marched past City Hall in support of Mr Olsen.
In Atlanta, police arrested 53 people camping in the city's downtown Woodruff Park. They too were protesting against the growing wealth disparity between the rich and everyone else, the "99 per cent" as the demonstrators describe themselves. Atlanta's Mayor, Kasim Reed, had been supportive of the protesters, twice issuing executive orders allowing them to remain as he tried to walk a fine line between safeguarding free speech and the right of free assembly and maintaining public order. But the longer the camp-out went on, the greater the risks posed by crime and unsanitary conditions. Mr Reed too began to lose patience. "What I've seen here is not consistent with any civil rights protests I've seen in Atlanta," he told The New York Times.
In Baltimore, where dozens of "Occupy Baltimore" protesters have set up camp in the heart of the city, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she had "absolutely no interest in a violent exchange". But, she insisted, demonstrators should understand they are camping in a city park and that was not its intended use. The Occupy Wall Street movement has no leaders and no specific platform. But polls show its broad goals, of a fairer society and a reduction of the influence of money on politics, are generally supported by Americans.
Many Democratic strategists have urged President Obama to embrace the movement and make its demands his own. But despite his flagging approval ratings, he has gone no further than expressions of sympathy with its broad aims.
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job:TEACHERS REQUIREDWe are...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...
£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Special Needs Teaching Assistant ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is urgently recruiting...