Instantly Iconic Photo of the Day: 84-year-old former school teacher Dorli Rainey is helped away from the scene of an Occupy Seattle protest at Westlake Park after being doused with pepper spray.

Rainey was among dozens of protesters hit with the “less-than-lethal agent” after refusing to move from the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street following a march of solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

Rainey, a longtime presence in local politics, wrote The Stranger an email afterward, saying she stopped by the protest on her way to a public meeting on a transportation issue.

“Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out,” she wrote, “especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech.”

Her email continues:

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.

She credits an Iraq vet with saving her from being trampled. “In the women’s movement,” she concludes, “there were signs which said: ‘Screw us and we multiply.”

Video of the incident below:

[seattlepi / slog.]

(via hexkaba)