10 Scary Weapons Cops Are Using Against the 'Occupy' Protesters

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

You’ve probably seen the video of police at U.C. Davis using orange pepper spray on peaceful protesters, but did you know authorities are also using rubber bullets, assault rifles and tanks — yes, tanks — against the Occupy movement?

Here’s a quick look at some of the “less lethal” armaments law enforcement is wielding in its struggle to control crowds of unarmed protesters.

It’s worth asking what, exactly, the police hope to achieve with all this overkill. From the beginning, excessive police force has only served to anger the crowds they’re hoping to quell, and to increase the amount of support they get from horrified onlookers. It’s as if they’re the only people in the U.S. who don’t understand public relations, and that what they do will likely be recorded on video and flashed around the world on YouTube and other social media.

Perversely, the Occupy movement ought to thank the cops for keeping them in the headlines.

Yes, that's a tank

Police in Tampa, Fla., keep 'cruising by' the Occupy Tampa encampment, according to protesters, but the cops deny they intend to use the armoured caterpillar-track vehicle against them. It's just a coincidence, police say.

LRAD Sound Cannon

The NYPD says it's only using its painfully loud LRAD only as a loudspeaker than can send a 'uniform message that can be heard for several blocks.' But it also has a military use, as the company's web site makes clear.

Orange mesh fencing

This was the incident that really kicked Occupy Wall Street into high gear: Police enclosed a handful of unarmed, peaceful women inside a mesh fence and then, for no apparent reason, doused them with Mace. Completely counter-productive.

Pepper Spray

Having learned nothing from the NYPD's pepper spray debacle, campus police at UC Davis kicked it up a notch. Note that the protesters are chanting 'the whole world is watching' before the officer begins spraying.

Bats vs. laptops

Assault rifles

Just what were police in Chapel Hill, N.C., expecting when they approached Occupy protesters there with assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons? Protesters were unarmed.

Tear gas

Former U.S. Marine Scott Olsen was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired at close distance, one of a number of poor decisions by police in Oakland, Calif. Warning: This video contains disturbing images.

Bean bag rounds

Police at UC Davis also fired 'bean bag rounds' -- sacks of pellets -- at student protesters. The protesters were armed with stationary tents.

Rubber bullets

Numerous reports of injuries from rubber bullets fired by police have come from Occupy Oakland. (This image shows a generic rubber bullet without the necessary context for scale.)


An oldie but a goodie: Police have made liberal use of their nightsticks (seen here bottom right) in their dealings with protesters.

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