Monday, April 07, 2003

Police open fire on non-violent Direct Action to Stop the War protestors

Last week, a San Francisco-based peace group, Direct Action to Stop the War, had announced that it would stage a series of protests Monday involving new acts of civil disobedience. The Port of Oakland was one of the stages for protest, due to at least one shipping company there handling war supplies. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Not long into the picket of the docks, the Oakland Police Deparment opened fire on an anti-War protest at the Port of Oakland docks, California, USA, seriously injuring both protestors and dockworkers (longshoremen) who were caught in the line of police fire. AP reported that six dockworkers were treated by paramedics and at least one was expected to be taken to a hospital". One of the dockworkers, Kevin Wilson, told AP that "It was very scary. All of that force wasn't necessary." The protestor on the right, who asks that she isn't named, was among those hurt badly during the police attack on anti-war protestors. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)On the left, Clay Hinson was shot once in the chest and twice in the back.

Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be their first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began.

Trent Willis, a business agent for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, said angrily that dockworkers were leaving the docks after the incident. "They shot my guys. We're not going to work today," Willis said. "The cops had no reason to open up on them." Police used non-lethal bullets, sandbags and concussion grenades to try to break up about 500 protesters, who split into groups in front of different terminals. Oakland Police officer James Carroll said police set up a "skirmish line" and ordered the protesters to disperse. "It escalated pretty quick," he said. "Usually you go to these protests and you wait around for three to four hours. Today, all of a sudden, people were being taken into custody." He could not confirm that anyone was hit by the bullets. Protests also took place at the federal building in San Francisco and at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Seven people were arrested when they temporarily blocked an exit ramp off Interstate 280.

Update: "As of 2006 DASW is no longer functioning, and the website is off-line, although some of the information from the site still persists in the internet archive."

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