Dorli Rainey is not the first person to be pepper-sprayed at an Occupy protest—but she may turn out to be the most memorable. A photographer caught an image of a pained Rainey—age 84—being led from yesterday's Occupy Seattle gathering. The Post-Intelligencer reports that police turned the pepper spray on the crowd, which was marching from its camp to Westlake Park in the afternoon, hitting Rainey, along with about a dozen others—including a priest and a pregnant 19-year-old.
The AP reports that the 4-foot 10-inch Rainey is a longtime activist and supporter of liberal causes in Seattle. She sent The Stranger an email explaining that she decided to investigate the scene on her way to a transportation meeting, after hearing helicopters above. She writes, "Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me." The AP has this very considerate reaction from a rep for the Seattle PD: Pepper spray "is not age specific. No more dangerous to someone who is 10 or someone who is 80."