Montreal police will investigate after a 22-year-old man said his eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during Wednesday’s student protest over tuition fee hikes.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, told CBC News from his hospital bed that he doesn’t know if he’ll regain vision in his right eye.
Student movement leaders are calling him a victim of police brutality and are accusing riot squad officers of overreacting after snowballs were launched during the afternoon protest on Sherbrooke Street.
Grenier said he was in front of the Loto-Québec headquarters Wednesday afternoon playing the harmonica when an officer told him to leave.
TVA also reports that apparently after Grenier ran from the scene badly injured to find help from a police officer, the officer refused to help him or to call him an ambulance. He was eventually helped to the hospital by fellow students.
Concordia votes to join Quebec provincial student strike; as much as 150,000 students across the province on strike starting March 15th
The vote of whether or not to call for a general strike, passing with 1152 votes in favour and 557 against, was a first in the University’s history. The vote will be renewed every week to decide how long the strike should go. Many departments are already on strike; this vote gives a mandate to the entire undergraduate organization to do the same.
The tensest moments so far have come when dozens of protesters clustered in front of bank branches, which quickly shut their doors and let in only a few customers at a time. Demonstrators pounded on the doors, chanted slogans including, “Don’t feed the greed,” and drew graffiti with the same sentiments on windows and walls…
At another Wells Fargo branch, at Franklin Street near 20th Street, managers locked the doors at 12:30 p.m. as a crowd converged. Protesters drew “jail bankers” on the walls and covered the ATM with yellow caution tape. Later, other protesters came and washed off the graffiti.
“There’s been every effort to keep people peaceful while making our point that banks need to be held accountable,” Joshua Deutch, a 30-year-old Oakland gardener, said as he slammed his fists on the windows.
As Micky Randhawa, Wells Fargo regional president for the East Bay, lamented to a reporter that customers were having a hard time getting into his business, teacher Christine Martin, 30, handed him her ATM card. “I would like to close my account,” she said, adding that this was her way of joining the day’s demonstration.
Randhawa told her the branch was closed.
|—||Coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle on the Occupy Oakland General Strike’s march on banks earlier this afternoon. (via carton-rouge)|
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Thousands of workers and students have taken to Oakland’s downtown streets today as part of a daylong general strike called by Occupy Oakland organizers to protest economic inequity and corporate greed.
The crowd, which has forced the closure of some downtown streets, has been peaceful and almost celebratory - a band played and walked with the group and a “flash mob” broke out in dance at one point. Traffic, including AC Transit buses, is being diverted from the area around Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Protesters plastered signs and blocked customers from using ATMs at downtown banks. Many downtown businesses closed for the day.
By noon, the crowd had swelled to 3,500 for a lunchtime rally at 14th and Broadway. Police reported no damage and no arrests but were girding for the possibility of unrest later in the day.
Here’s more of the day’s developments:
- The Port of Oakland was severely delayed after many longshoremen walked off the job in support of the General Strike.
- More than 360 Oakland Unified School District teachers did not show up for work today, along with 5% of city workers.
- Banks were closed across the city, as Oakland officials recommended that the ones who were still open ‘only let customers in one at a time.’
- Large marches were held around several bank branches including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
- Many (if not most) businesses downtown were closed.
- There were a few reports of broken windows at the Lakeside Drive branch of Bank of America, and at a Chase branch. Others reported “anarchists” attempting to cause damage to a Whole Foods, but dozens of marchers surrounded them and forced them to stand down. The Whole Foods was targeted over rumours that their employees were not allowed to participate in today’s work stoppage.
We will have more as things continue into the evening.
Oakland police are to be the subject of a formal investigation after Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull at an Occupy Oakland protest last week.
Oakland’s Citizens’ Police Review Board is launching the investigation after it received a complaint on Friday. Police in Oakland are bracing themselves for a general strike on Wednesday, which has been announced by the city’s Occupy movement and is expected to cause disruption across the city.
Olsen, 24, was seriously injured after being hit on the head by a police projectile. He is still in hospital and unable to talk, communicating only through short written messages.
A source at the review board said the investigation will begin in the next few days, and is expected to last “several months”…
Thousands of Occupy protesters are expected to gather in Oakland for the general strike and mass day of action on Wednesday. The strike aims to “shut down” the city, culminating with a march to the Port of Oakland to prevent the transit of cargo.
"Oakland was the site of the last general strike in the US," said protester Tim Simons, at a press conference on Monday.
"On Wednesday, we’re going to make history once again. We’re going to make Oakland proud."