AN 84-YEAR-OLD woman who was pepper-sprayed in the face by police during angry confrontations between authorities and Occupy Seattle protesters last night says she is determined to continue demonstrating.
Dorli Rainey had been involved in Seattle politics for decades and once ran for mayor, but dropped out of the race after saying she realised “I am old and should learn to be old, stay home, watch TV and sit still”, the Seattle Times reported in 2009.
She said she checked out last night’s protest in support of the city’s Occupy Wall Street movement while en route to a transport meeting. She told The Stranger:
Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that a pregnant woman and a priest were also pepper-sprayed at the Occupy protest in Seattle last night.
The Occupy Seattle movement posted a message online saying it was “saddened and outraged” at the police’s reaction to the protesters yesterday. They also thanked the city’s fire service “for their assistance with the injured”.
Police said that demonstrators were blocking a street intersection downtown and that six people were arrested. Protesters had marched to the Pine Street and 5th Avenue intersection downtown from their camp at Seattle Central Community College and a number of people refused to move after being ordered to do so by the police.
In a statement today, Seattle Police Department said that pepper-spray was only deployed “against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behaviour towards officers”.
- Additional reporting by the AP