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November 29, 2011

Occupy Pepper Spray Attacks Beyond Davis and Bologna

So, how often has pepper spray been used to attack Occupy protesters?

The likely answer is: more often than the more widely circulated photos would have us assume. The way images frame events in the public mind, it seems like there were only four instances starting in mid-September. There was the notorious incident in New York involving Officer Bologna on September 24th, then three other dramatic (and dramatically captured) attacks involving Dorli Rainey on November 15th, the young Portland woman getting hit on N17, and the UC Davis attack on November 18th (iconically grouped in this lean TIME Lightbox slideshow.)

In searching through galleries today, however, I came up this not-widely-distrbuted photo — from out-of-the-way OccupySanDiego — captured on October 14th, mid-way between the incidents above. For sheer dominance and vulnerability, it’s a keeper. But then, the question is, how many more pictures are out there that didn’t attract notice, and how many attacks were there that didn’t attract a camera?

(photo: LENNY IGNELZI / AP caption: A San Diego Police officer maces a demonstrator at the Civic Center Plaza Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 in San Diego. Police on Friday began removing about a half-dozen tents after warning demonstrators with Occupy San Diego that their personal belongings couldn’t stay in the camp they had set up in plaza.)

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