Two unrelated deaths at Occupy encampments last night -- at Occupy Burlington and at Occupy Oakland -- are together making headlines this morning and casting a shadow on the movement nationally. The first death, in Vermont, appears to have been a suicide: "police said preliminary investigations show a 35-year-old military veteran fatally shot himself in the head Thursday," the AP reports. "It had been a good relationship between police and protesters since the encampment began Oct. 28, city officials said," according to the Burlington Free Press, but now those relations are now being strained in the wake of the apparent suicide. After the city decided to shut down the encampment to investigate the shooting, "Some protesters shouted they would fight," prompting the mayor to personally talk the protesters down from rioting.
The situation at Occupy Oakland, though, needed no further straining. About three hours after the Vermont shooting, at 5 p.m., a man was shot outside of Oakland's City Hall, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "The man, whom several Occupy campers said they did not recognize, was shot in the head at about 5 p.m. outside a BART station exit in Frank Ogawa Plaza." Oakland Occupiers don't think their people had any part of the killing, distancing themselves from the incident by chanting "This is not Occupy Oakland" over a police commissioner's address to reports. Oakland's mayor seems to disagree. "The risks are too great for having an encampment out there," mayor Jean Quan said at a press conference, according to the Chronicle. "It's time for the encampment to end." Though Occupy Oaklanders obviously want to keep their camp, today many of them are simply responding by holding vigils for the victim (one pictured above).
Meanwhile, at Occupy Atlanta, everybody (i.e., two protesters) is contracting tuberculosis, WGCL-TV reports. News of that comes as The New York Times reports on growing health concerns of the "Zuccotti lung" at Occupy Wall Street.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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