Occupy Maine shaken by bomb blast

An unknown assailant lobbed a small chemical explosive into the group's encampment early yesterday

Published October 24, 2011 8:00PM (EDT)

Around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, a bottle of Gatorade containing an explosive chemical concoction was hurled into Occupy Maine's home base in Portland's Lincoln Park -- causing a small but dangerous explosion. No one was injured, and the Portland police are actively investigating the incident.

According to the Portland Press Herald:

Portland police Sgt. Glen McGary said the bomb was thrown into the camp’s kitchen, a tarped area where food is cooked and served. Protest organizers said the explosion lifted a large table about a foot off the ground.

"There was no fire . . . We had a good 20 feet of thick smoke rolling out from under the table," [protester Stephanie] Wilburn said. They could see the "G" on the 24-ounce bottle and its orange cap, as well as bits of silver metal, she said.

She and a friend who ran over to look at it breathed in fumes that smelled like ammonia, she said.

Other witnesses in the area said they saw a silver car stalking around the campgrounds, its occupants taunting protesters with shouted statements such as "Get a job," and "You Communist," according to the Press Herald. Investigators suspect a juvenile prank, taken too far:

Acting Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said today that detectives don't necessarily believe Occupy Maine was the sole target because another device was set off elsewhere that night. He described the device as the type often associated with teenage pranks. But he said police are taking it seriously because someone could've been hurt.

Despite the lack of injuries or serious damage, protesters remain "fearful of another attack," according to a press statement released by Occupy Maine organizers.

By Peter Finocchiaro

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