As soon as the Occupy Wall Street movement began, right-wing operatives have been begging for a violent episode to occur and they certainly have been predicting it will happen because only Marxist, Lenin-loving communist supporters go to those events. Well, it looks like the first violent outburst we've seen outside of police crackdowns has been in Occupy Maine and against the protesters.
Occupy Maine protesters say Sunday morning's attack with a chemical explosive has left them with a mixture of anxiety and resolve.
"We are more motivated to keep doing what we're doing," said Stephanie Wilburn, of Portland, who was sitting near where the chemical mixture in a Gatorade bottle was tossed at 4 a.m. Sunday. "They have heard us and we're making a difference."
Wilburn said she was startled and briefly lost hearing in her left ear when the device exploded beneath a table about 10 feet away. Wilburn's hearing returned and police said no injuries were reported.
Portland police Sgt. Glen McGary said the bomb was thrown into the camp’s kitchen, a tarped area where food is cooked and served. Protest organizers said the explosion lifted a large table about a foot off the ground.
"There was no fire . . . We had a good 20 feet of thick smoke rolling out from under the table," Wilburn said. They could see the "G" on the 24-ounce bottle and its orange cap, as well as bits of silver metal, she said.
She and a friend who ran over to look at it breathed in fumes that smelled like ammonia, she said.
Witnesses said a silver car had been circling before the attack, its occupants shouting things like "Get a job" and "You communist." They believe someone from that car threw the device, according to a statement from Occupy Maine.
The demonstrators are protesting what they describe as unfairly favorable treatment given banks and other corporate interests at the expense of working people and those trying to find a job.
Shane Blodgett of Augusta was sleeping in his tent in the middle of the park when the explosion woke him up.
"I heard a sound which I thought was a gunshot," he said, gesturing at the collection of three dozen tents that cover the south side of the park at Congress and Pearl streets.
"I was in fear for my life. I thought someone was walking around with a gun. I didn't dare poke my head out," Blodgett said. He eventually went back to sleep.
Outside of the sheer violence of a chemical bomb being thrown into a group of protesters, these words sound like they were uttered by Fox News or CNBC analysts:
"Get a job" and "You communist." They believe someone from that car threw the device, according to a statement from Occupy Maine.
This bomb could have done serious injury, but they were lucky. We'll reserve judgment until more news comes out and you can bet Fox will forget to mention this episode.
We just sent a bunch of pizzas to #OccupyPortland last week. The other Portland, the one in Oregon. Not the one that was bombed. They sent us this great video back
In Peaceful Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.