Savage Police Attack On Unarmed Protesters In Oakland – One Critically Injured

From the San Jose Mercury Telegraph (MercuryNews.com) <a href=”http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19199894″>Occupy Oakland: Iraq vet critically injured by police projectile</a>

OAKLAND — A 24-year old former Marine Corps corporal and Iraqi war veteran remained in critical condition at Highland Hospital on Wednesday night after friends said he was hit in the head with a police projectile in Tuesday’s Occupy Oakland confrontation.

Scott Thomas Olsen, 24, of Onalaska, Wis., was admitted to Highland after he was hit on the head above his right eye during clashes with police, said hospital spokesman Curt Olsen, who is not related to the veteran.

Scott Olsen appears to be the first person nationwide to suffer a serious injury while participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread to virtually every major American city, and many smaller ones, as millions of people continue to express their anger and disappointment with the country’s banking, regulatory and health care systems.

“It’s absolutely unconscionable that our citizens are going overseas to protect other citizens just to come back and have our own police hurt them,” said Joshua Shepherd, a six-year Navy veteran and friend of Olsen’s, who attended a vigil late Wednesday afternoon for the injured man.

Fellow protesters brought him in after he failed to respond to basic questions. Doctors at the hospital said that Olsen had brain swelling and placed him under immediate supervision. CBS News reports that witnesses state he was hit by a tear gas cannister, which are fired under pressure from a sort of gun.

This happened last night.  There has been no change in his condition.  He is described as having a 2 inch long curved skull fracture and swelling of the brain.

Scott Thomas Olsen. At this point he is unresponsive to questions.

Shortly after this picture was taken, an Oakland Policeman threw a flash-bang grenade into the crowd tending to Olsen. The crowd scattered, leaving the injured Olsen laying on the street by himself. This video clearly shows this happen, near the end. By the way, the Oakland Police Department has denied using flash-bang grenades, even though they can be clearly seen in various videos taken of the confrontation. The videos have shown that every statement made by the police about this confrontation has been a lie.

The demonstrators were unarmed. They were not acting in a hostile manner towards the police or anyone else. The police have claimed that the demonstrators threw plastic water bottles and rocks at them, but no proof of this has been made available. The police also claim that two policemen were injured “when a protester doused them with cans of blue and pink paint.” Since they were helmeted and visored, none of this alleged paint would have gotten into their faces, and again, no proof of any kind has been made public. The protesters have produced many videos showing all aspects of the confrontation. The police are clearly seen acting in a hostile and brutal manner; the demonstrators are just as clearly seen doing nothing but being present. The police have had to repeatedly change their story as these videos come out. They should just start with the truth, but they cannot do that — it would mean admitting a premeditated police riot.

Daily Kos was running a live blog from the scene which you may find interesting. It gives a feel for what was going on last night in Oakland. The link is Liveblog:NYC Marches, Live Video, Jesse La Greca at Denver, Arrests, Nation Marches w/ OccupyOakland.

A voice from an Oakland resident.

“My part of Oakland is full of poor people. There’s at least one murder a week. Old creeps pimp out teenaged girls in broad daylight. You can buy crack or heroin 30 feet from my door, and two of my neighbors have been held up at gun point this summer. And the City of Oakland says they don’t have the police to stop any of that. But a bunch of people protesting the fact that rich people got a bail out and everyone else got nothing? The city shuts them down tight. Bang. Done. Riot act. Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? I do. Every day.”

— el_gallo, found here.

Oakland Police on the night of October 25, 2011

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5 Responses to Savage Police Attack On Unarmed Protesters In Oakland – One Critically Injured

  1. poppi panama says:

    Dreadful! just so sad. I am praying for this situation to not become a casualty. A lot of history with the law enforcement in California of abuse. I just hope this young man does not die. I just woke up and to hear this is very disappointing. We know this protest is not going to go away or be easy to pursue and undertake because the task at hand is deemed necessary for equality. Non violence protests are always kosher. The videos and cameras will not exonerate the undermindedness and abusive tactics of the oppressors and we will survice this tragedy. OWC what a devastating setback and bump to us all. Violence has no place or room within the purpose of this powerful movement. GOD is not blind and trust me no weapon formed against OWC shall prosper. My prayers are with these individuals that are willing to stand up for inequality and oppressions daily.

  2. Joe says:

    A major portion of the Job’s Bill will put more policeman back to work to relieve the strain they now suffer under. Let’s get it passed and get these civil servants back to work to proptect us. Dems & Repubs need to get off the fence and get America back under protection of the law.

    • revenuer says:

      Joe,

      This portion of the jobs bill you mention has already been voted down at the instigation of the Republicans in the house and the Republicans and Blue Dogs in the senate. It is gone. Now they are busy defeating the bill which would create jobs to repair our decaying infrastructure. This is a pattern I expect to continue.

      As for the police being “under strain” to justify shooting a young marine in the head with a teargas canister I find that “stress” is not a sufficient reason for attempted murder or violence against unarmed individuals exercising the right of free speech given to them by the constitution. That simply doesn’t cut it. I have seen a frame by frame analysis of a video which shows a policeman deliberately and with shelter from other policemen firing that shot. Potluck will put up the link when he is working on the blog. The same policeman who shot off the canister is shown throwing the flash grenade into the group of people who went to help his victim. The estimate of the distance from which he fired the canister may have been as close as five feet. We are all lucky he didn’t take the young marine’s head off. It is what it seems like that policeman wanted to do.

      This will not go away, Joe. These protesters stand up and speak for us. They are us. They are the only people who speak for us since our elected officials have been bought and sold already to corporations and rich individuals leaving us with nothing, and in some cases less than nothing. These protesters are non violent. A lot of video was taken and many photographs. Not one video or photograph shows them acting violently toward the police. Not one. Every statement the Oakland Police Department has made has been contradicted by a video. They have lied from the get go and have had to back off every lie when they were disproven by photographic evidence. This is not going to be a happy change the subject issue. It is going to be an issue we will follow until its conclusion. Wherever it happens and whenever it happens.

      What kind of law do you want protecting you, Joe? Good police who are there to protect you, or police who are ready and willing to blow your head off if you say or do anything which contradicts the status quo?

      I

      • poppi panama says:

        Dearest Revenuer; I know what type of protection that is needed. One that’s built around equality and humility with respect and integrity. Protection that will not condone this type of maliciousness because oppressors acting on their personal whims become enraged and violent. Everytime the subject comes up about what is currently wrong with our country and its direction, when people convene and ban together non violently exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of speech since the elected politicians have impeded the equalities, these individuals are acting in good faith and valient courage. Sacrificing and taking a stand at the same time to fight for us because something must apparently and obviously be wrong with the way things are right now and people are going to voice and assert themselves in this country because we have every valid constitutional right to do so. Joe I hope you understand that revenuer is very committed to exploiting oppression. I thank GOD daily that OWS was erected and that it goes down in history as one of the greatest noble deeds in civilization. It is not going away and I appreciate the unveiling of the systematical techniques that the oppressors have been using daily. It is about time that America WAKE UP! The movement is here to stay. The bottom line is that the proof is in the surveilances and videos that are tangible and on file and please how can you forget the accounts of the demonstraters that were actually there going through it all as it unfolded right in front of their faces and eyes. Joe it’s not just jobs for the government that is needed and you have to realize that every American can not be afforded a government position which would be outstanding if it was possible but factually that is literally impossible. Sure we need good law enforcement candidates. We need to correct the current abusiveness that is obvious and that can not be overlooked because GOD is not blind! This attack on the non violent movement was unwarranted and can not be condoned. This is America. RIGHT IS RIGHT and WRONG IS WRONG. What we should do is continue to be advocates for what is constitutionally right and these rights are guaranteed under the constitution of the United States of America. Equality is correct. Inequality is incorrect. Thank you OWS. I am also thankful that this young man is recovering and hanging in there because he definately did not deserve this abusiveness nor does anyone deserves to be unprotected by officials that we trust will protect us and not harm us. Hane a blessed day all.

      • ssapotluck says:

        Poppi,

        Thank you for your comment.

        OWS is performing a priceless service for all of us. They may succeed in doing something wonderful — reversing the 30 year war that the conservatives have been waging, with malice, against the middle class. It has been worse since 2000, when Bush was handed the presidency which he did not win, but it started in 1981, when Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers. OWS has begun to dominate the political discussion in this country, and in many others as well. They are heroes.

        As far as police brutality goes, it has always been a presence both in the US and in most other countries. The rich always want to increase their riches, at everyone else’s expense, and do not want to see or hear any criticism of themselves from the majority of citizens who aren’t rich. The rich use the police to brutalize people who protest against them, at the point the the rich become uncomfortable with the protesting. This is true everywhere.

        OWS is fully aware that the best way neutralize police and other government agency brutality is through non violence. This violence sickens and enrages everyone who is victimized by the rich (the 99%), and encourages them to join in the fight. And a fight is what it is. A fight waged without violence on one side.

        In the 1950s, Rev Martin Luther King, Jr and others worked tirelessly to keep the civil rights movement non violent. For about ten years, civil rights activists were beaten, attacked by police dogs, tear gas, and water cannons, jailed under inhuman conditions, and lynched. They did not fight back with violence. By 1965, the civil rights movement was successful. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. One of the witnesses to his signing was Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Using non violent resistance against enormous brutality against them, Mohandas Gandhi was able to get the British completely out of India. It took him about 50 years, but the British had been occupying India for well over 100 years when Gandhi started.

        OWS has it right. These days, images of police brutality are seen by the public when they happen, live, through internet streaming. The blogs keep the pressure on the traditional media to report the brutality, which they would otherwise resist doing, since the rich control most of the media in the US. And people are already sickened, and enraged, and are coming out in huge numbers to support OWS, which began its protests less than six week ago..

        This is just the beginning. I am full of hope.

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