The photo above, taken by Jay Finneburgh, shows Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen being carried away after he was struck in the head by a tear gas canister thrown by Oakland police during last night’s raid on Occupy Oakland.
Video shot at the scene shows police throwing a flash grenade into the crowd as other protesters rush to help him:
Olsen did two tours of duty in Iraq and is a current member of Veterans for Peace. He’s now listed in critical but stable condition with swelling of the brain and a skull fracture. He is also on a respirator due to the doctors sedating him in order to evaluate the possible injury to his brain.
From The Guardian:
Keith Shannon, who served with Olsen in Iraq, arrived at the hospital after protesters contacted him through Facebook. He confirmed Olsen had a fractured skull, and said he had been told by a doctor Olsen also had brain swelling. A neurosurgeon was due to assess Olsen to determine if he needed surgery, Shannon said.
“It’s really hard,” Shannon said. “I really wish I had gone out with him instead of staying home last night.”
Shannon, who is also 24, said he had seen the video footage showing Olsen lying on the floor as a police officer throws an explosive device near him. “It’s terrible to go over to Iraq twice and come back injured, and then get injured by the police that are supposed to be protecting us,” he said.
This is utter brutality. Scott Olsen enlisted in the military, fought for the U.S. in combat, and is thanked for it with a severe head injury while defending his fellow citizens from police action at home. Veterans for Peace have stood with numerous camps, including Boston, where elderly members were beaten by police.
In Oakland, despite police using multiple rounds of tear gas, flash grenades, rubber bullets and beanbag projectiles on protesters, they remained peaceful. Police denied the use of tear gas initially, but confirmed it at a press conference today. It was also claimed this started because a protester threw a rock at police, while Oakland Mayor Jean Quan stated the raid was because of “unsanitary conditions” and “ongoing vandalism” happening because of Occupy Oakland.
As for police denying the use of flash grenades and rubber bullets, the video above shows use of the flash grenade, and here’s a rubber bullet picked up by a demonstrator:
How long will this police aggression against unarmed, peaceful protest be allowed to continue? Scott Olsen is merely one of its victims. We, as citizens, must demand an end to the vicious crackdown at occupy protests across the nation. Remember, be peaceful, but stand resolute.
The tides are moving in favor of occupy movements. For example, Occupy Cleveland just won the right in federal court to occupy a city park around the clock. The judge wrote the demonstrators of Occupy Cleveland had their First Amendment rights violated and ordered the city to grant the protesters a permit.
Solidarity forever, my friends. Do not let the police scare you away.
What a great, telling article about the pathologies of the upper class. The hysteria really is in full-swing. A few telling excerpts:
“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager.
“Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it.
“If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”
He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.
Their constituency is the citizenry of the state of New York, fuckwad.
And it gets better:
Mr. Paulson offered a full-throated defense of the Street, even going so far as to defend the tiny sliver of top earners attacked by the Occupy Wall Street protesters… “The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state,” he said in a statement.
That’s great, because they make somewhere in the neighbourhood of 30%-40% of the income. This is what we call a tiny semblance of progressive taxation. The problem is — what is the tax rate your company pays? I’m sure Mr. “I’m a Saintly Job Creator, Look at All The Taxes I Pay Neener-Neener” Paulson wouldn’t be so quick to divulge that little statistic.
“Paulson & Company and its employees have paid hundreds of millions in New York City and New York State taxes in recent years and have created over 100 high-paying jobs in New York City since its formation.”
Wow, what a wonder of free-market capitalism. He was able to create a measly 100 jobs out of billions in income. And he thinks we should be thanking him for his totally sustainable and in no way absurd line of work.
“I don’t think we see ourselves as the target,” said Steve Bartlett, president of the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the nation’s biggest banks and insurers in Washington. “I think they’re protesting about the economy.”
Well golly gee, Mr. Bartlett, they don’t call it “Occupy WALL STREET” for nothing.
Sheesh. Remember — this is what they are saying in private, which means they are supposedly putting their “intentional misrepresentations” aside and saying what they really think. And these people are apparently our “captains of industry,” the best and brightest that think they earned their top 1% status.
Nurses Call for Tax on Wall Street to Heal America
Nurses, who every day care for the casualties of the economic crisis driven by Wall Street greed, plan to hold a rally in Dewey Square at the site of the Occupy Boston Protest, to show their support for the movement and to highlight the MNA/NNU’s “Main Street Contract” campaign for a tax on Wall Street financial speculation to provide revenue for Main Street reforms, including jobs at living wages, quality education, guaranteed health care for all, and freedom from hunger, homelessness, and retirement insecurity.
The action is part of the opening day activities of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United 2011 Convention (Oct. 5 – 7), being held at the Boston Marriott in Newton. Hundreds of nurses from all corners of the Commonwealth will board buses at the event and head to the rally at 3 p.m.
What: Nurses Rally to Support Occupy Boston
When: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 at 3 p.m.
Where: Site of Protest in Dewey Square, Outside South Station
09-29-11 Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first US Senator to voice his support for Occupy Wall Street on Countdown With Keith Olbermann.
1) Spread the word — there’s something going on. People have started a movement — they’re occupying Wall Street. Hundreds of people have been camped out in lower Manhattan for four days!
2) If you’re in New York and can only spare a little time or money: bring American flags, cardboard, markers, water, etc. down to Liberty Park.
3) If you’re in the New York area and have a day, a morning, an afternoon, go down there. The weather appears to be holding. Take the day off and just go. I know it sounds hard to believe but you will be heard. This is an open general assembly effort and you will get your say and be a real participant.
4) If you are a little ways from NYC, organize foursomes to go to NYC for the day. It will cost you the train/bus/car fare. Take nothing but some food and water and your body.
5) Too far to get to NYC? Sign this petition and I will read your name and comments in Liberty Park this week, I promise. Break Up Goldman Sachs Now!
6) Be subversive against the big money interests wherever you are and encourage others to do the same. Don’t give the banksters 4 percent of every purchase you make with a credit or debit card — use cash. See: UseCashMovement
7) Be subversive: max out your credit card on large ticket items and return them the next day. (This one is right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.)
8) Move your money from a big bank to a credit union.
9) Picket a local branch of a bank. When the press asks you what the heck you think you’re doing, tell them it’s in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
10) Send food to the protesters in Liberty Park through a New York friend or go to the live stream chat for information on local eats that will take your order. (Yes, you’ll have to use your credit card, big spender!)
11) Do you know anybody who knows anybody who knows a writer, a celebrity, etc. who will show their face at the protest? Get to them now.
Bonus Support Idea 12) Spread the word again, and repeat!