A conservative activist from Michigan is demanding that President Obama denounce the growing violence associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement after an elderly lady was shoved down a flight of concrete stairs in Washington, D.C.
Dolores Brodersen, a retired school teacher from Detroit, was brutally assaulted after a crowd of Occupiers tried to storm a dinner hosted by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The 78-year-old grandmother, who lives on a pension, was taken to a hospital where she was treated for a bloody nose, and injuries to her legs, hands and her head.
A videographer for the conservative website, conservARTive.com, captured the incident on film. It happened near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where the conservatives were holding a summit.
“It’s detestable that the president and others are embracing this movement and not denouncing the violence,” said Scott Hagerstrom, director of the Michigan chapter of Americans for Prosperity. “I want him to denounce the activities of Occupy Wall Street whether they are in Washington, DC, Oakland, CA, Lansing, MI or New York. They need to rein it in.”
Brodersen spoke by phone to Fox News from her home in Detroit.
“I’m still a little shaken from it,” she said. “It’s lucky I have a hard head.”
Brodersen was preparing to leave the dinner along with a companion when the protesters surrounded the building. Her group was instructed to stay together – and to hide their name tags.
She said the dinner organizers were afraid they would be targeted. Once they walked outside – all hell broke loose.
“They were ready for us,” Brodersen said of the Occupiers. “They locked arms and wouldn’t let us off the porch. They were chanting and shouting.”
And suddenly – Brodersen was shoved down the concrete steps.
“Somebody gave me a push and down I went,” she said. “It was terrifying. I couldn’t understand why they would want to do that. I think they wanted a confrontation and when they didn’t get it – they escalated the whole thing.”
Hagerstrom said he was stunned that one of their most ‘docile activists” would be attacked.
“It makes me very angry,” he said. I saw her injuries – her ankle was swollen, her knees, and elbows and hands were bruised. The person who was with her was knocked down and injured his shoulder.”
Brodersen was taken to the hospital where she was treated and later released.
“No broken bones, thank God,” she said.
In light of what happened over the weekend, the Washington DC police chief vowed to get tough on the protesters. Elsewhere that night, Occupiers blocked roads and refused to allow drivers in expensive cars to pass.
“This is no longer a peaceful protest,” Chief Cathy Lanier told The Washington Times. “We do not condone nor will we tolerate violence or aggression.”
In Oakland, CA protesters clashed with riot police. The Occupiers hurled firebombs, set fires and shattered windows. They also shut down the nation’s fifth busiest port. At one point, the protesters set up roadblocks and threw concrete at police officers.
Protesters in Eureka, CA defecated and urinated at a bank, according to the Northcoast Journal. Local residents were warned to avoid the downtown area because of the “increased aggressive behavior” by the Occupy Eureka group.
In New York City, at least three women were sexually assaulted in Zucotti Park,home of the original Occupy Wall Street movement. Police told the New York Post that crime has spiked and there have been reports of drug usage, public nudity and sex, and other acts of violence.
In Boston, Occupiers broke into a packed restaurant and terrorized patrons. The Boston Globe reported that the men unveiled white bed sheets with messages reading “Fight for your rights.” Dozens of protesters have been arrested across the city.
In spite of the violence and more than 3,000 arrests,” the White House has yet to issue any condemnations.
“I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests,” President Obama told ABC News on Oct. 18th. “In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them.”
But Conservatives, like 16-year-old Dalton Glasscock bristle at any comparison between the Tea Partiers and the Occupiers.
“They’re not comparable,” said Glasscock, who was caught up in the D.C. melee. “The Tea Party is peaceful, while the Occupy Wall Street movement is basically trying to wreck havoc and destruction.”
Glasscock said he was inside the Reagan Tribute Dinner when protesters tried to storm the building. The 16-year-old told Fox News they were given instructions on evacuation plans.
“It was nerve-wracking,” he said. “It kept bringing me back to this image of the Tea Party and how civil and how effective they were without using violence. And then you look at them (Occupy Wall Street) trying to accomplish whatever they are trying to accomplish using violence and foul language.”
Glasscock said he was especially offended by what happened to Brodersen.
“It was a horror that they could do something like that to an elderly woman who was trying to practice her First Amendment beliefs,” he said.
But President Obama said in the ABC News interview that his allegiance is with the Occupiers. The news outlet used the word “solidarity.”
“The most important thing that we can to right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do is rewarded.”
The president is not the only lawmaker offering support to the Occupiers.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised the protesters in early October.
“God bless them for their spontaneity,” she told reporters. “It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.”
And on Monday, former President Clinton told USA Today that he sympathized with the “resentments” that are fueling the protest movement.
“They have an amorphous set of resentments for which I can sympathize,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t think Americans can continue this level of income inequality.”
But should protesters be allowed to terrorize teenagers and assault elderly women?
“You rely on a civil society mentality and the police to keep things under control and that just didn’t happen,” Hagerstrom told Fox News. “We can’t answer this behavior with similar behavior. We have to rise above it.”
But Hagerstrom said he is still angry.
“A 78-year-old lady, a grandmother – getting knocked down concrete steps,” he said. “We’re pretty lucky it wasn’t much worse than what it was.”