A young man was fatally shot Thursday evening just yards from the Occupy Oakland encampment outside City Hall. And before the ambulance had even pulled away, people were debating whether the killing was somehow linked to the month-old gathering. The man, whom several Occupy campers said they did not recognize, was shot in the head about 5 p.m. outside a BART station exit in Frank Ogawa Plaza, at 14th Street and Broadway. He was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead, said interim Police Chief Howard Jordan.
Camp medics were the first on the scene, according to protesters. After the shooting, a number of people from the camp stood in a line and locked their arms, trying to keep onlookers away so Oakland firefighters could tend to the victim. Critics of the encampment soon said the question of whether the dead man or the killers were protesters was irrelevant.
A reporter captured this video before she was attacked by Occupiers, who were apparently thought that roughing up a reporter would be solid damage control:
The city closed half of City Hall Park and put a halt to all camping at the Occupy Burlington site Thursday night while police investigate a shooting in a tent that cost a 35-year-old man his life. Meanwhile, the movement’s participants mourned a member of their community and planned the future of the encampment.
Just a day after the joyful spontaneity of a Gogol Bordello performance Wednesday night at City Hall Park, Thursday’s shooting that police believe may have been self-inflicted spiraled into a tense confrontation between Burlington police and some protesters over access to the park. The evening culminated in this surreal scene nearly five hours after the shooting: Mayor Bob Kiss, standing hatless and coatless in a cold rain, talking a group of close to 100 City Hall Park occupiers down from a near riot.
The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis. The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.
With wintry weather poised to swoop into the cramped outdoor quarters of Occupy Wall Street protesters, it may not be long before more campers catch what's being called "Zuccotti lung." That's what demonstrators have dubbed the sickness that seems to be spreading among them at an unpleasantly high rate these days: "It's a real thing," Willie Carey, 28, told the New York Times.
With little sleep in cold conditions, cigarettes and drinks being passed from mouth to mouth, and few opportunities to wash hands, Zuccotti Park may now just be the best place to catch respiratory viruses, norovirus (also known as the winter vomiting virus) and tuberculosis, according to one doctor. The damp clothing and cardboard signs wet with rain are also breeding grounds for mold. Some protesters are urinating in bottles and leaving food trash discarded throughout the campground, providing further opportunities for nastiness.
Violence: This is how Occupy San Diego participants greeted a visiting tea partier. (Language warning):
Note the irony of these imbeciles accusing this guy of perpetrating "an invasion of privacy" for filming them as they loiter on public property. When the conservative points out what a profoundly stupid argument this is, a delightful young lady offers a persuasive rebuttal at the :45 second mark. All together now, Just Like The Tea Party!
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography