'Occupy' bombing under investigation

Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011 in News

'Occupy' bombing under investigation

From Facebook

by Gina Hamilton

PORTLAND -- At about 4 a.m. last Sunday morning, someone threw a chemical bomb into the tent kitchen of the Occupy Maine encampment in Lincoln Park.  It exploded.

Stephanie Wilburn, who was sitting near where the chemical mixture in a Gatorade bottle was tossed, 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.  No other injuries were reported, but two campers reported ammonia-like fumes after the explosion.

Analysis showed that there were a mixture of kitchen chemicals, including drain cleaner, in the mix.

Witnesses said a silver sedan, possibly a Toyota or Nissan, had been circling before the attack, its occupants shouting phrases such as "Get a job" and "You communist." Witnesses told police they believe someone from that car threw the device. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 874-8575.

Police say that the Occupy Maine campers may not have been the only targets of violence that night.  Officers had responded to a disturbance behind City Hall at about 3 a.m. when they heard an explosion that sounded similar to the one that occurred in the park an hour later.

Since there was no shrapnel in the bottle, or gunpowder, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms does not believe that any federal crimes were broken.  However, they said that local police would have to determine the motive of the suspect, once he or she is identified, to determine whether any hate crime, or violation of civil rights had occurred, which could bring the U.S. Attorney into the case.  There is also the issue of domestic terrorism, which is also a federal crime and appears to meet the definition of the attack at Lincoln Park.

Despite the uneasiness of the event, Occupy Maine campers say they are committed to seeking changes in economic inequality and what they call the 'corporatocracy' - the power that corporate interests have in setting public policy.

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