Late Tuesday night, Scott Olsen, a former Marine, two-time Iraq war veteran, and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in an Occupy Oakland march. The march began at a downtown library and headed towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim a site—recently cleared by police—that had previously served as an encampment for members of the 99% movement.
Scott joined the Marines in 2006, served two-tours in Iraq, and was discharged in 2010. Scott moved to California from Wisconsin and currently works as a systems network administrator in Daly, California.
Scott is one of an increasing number of war veterans who are participating in America’s growing Occupy movement. Said Keith Shannon, who deployed with Scott to Iraq, “Scott was marching with the 99% because he felt corporations and banks had too much control over our government, and that they weren’t being held accountable for their role in the economic downturn, which caused so many people to lose their jobs and their homes.”
Scott is currently sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon. Iraq Veterans Against the Wars sends their deepest condolences to Scott, his family, and his friends. IVAW also sends their thanks to the brave folks who risked bodily harm to provide care to Scott immediately following the incident.
UPDATE: — New video posted to YouTube suggests that Olsen was hit at close range with a tear-gas canister. After demonstrators rush to Olsen’s aid, an Oakland cop waits a few beats before lobbing a second explosive device at the crowd. They are attending to Olsen when the canister explodes, sending smoke everywhere.
UPDATE: — Scott is awake and was very happy to see his family! He can write but has trouble speaking and understanding speech. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that doctors are optimistic he could make a full recovery.