Update: Olsen “sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in an Occupy Oakland march,” said Jose Vasquez, executive director of the Iraq Veterans Against the War organization, in a statement posted on the group’s website today. “Scott is currently sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon,” added Vasquez.
Scott Olsen survived two tours in Iraq, but is in a hospital with critical injuries because of a confrontation between Occupy Oakland protesters and police. A member of the Veterans for Peace Organization, Olsen, 24, is in critical condition, according to The Guardian. "This poor guy was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile. He went down hard and did not get up," wrote Jay Finneburgh, a photographer of the protests. "I'm just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force," said Adele Carpenter, a friend of Olsen's who spoke with The Guardian, which adds, "Olsen had only moved to Oakland in July, Carpenter said. He is a member of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, and met Carpenter through her work with the civilian soldier alliance." The Bay Citizen news team confirmed that the Oakland police department is investigating the use of force, but is also investigating that it may not be OPD who inflicted Olsen's injuries. Those on the scene, like Finneburgh, are pretty sure it was a police projectile. The Bay Citizen also linked to the (warning: graphic) video below:
Today city Oakland officials are erecting a chain-link fence in Oakland's central city plaza today to deter illegal camping, and hoping to avoid having to send a large police force equipped with shot guns, tear gas and riot gear into the non-violent Occupy Oakland protest again. "Demonstrators plan to reconvene in the plaza at 6 p.m. Wednesday and say protests will continue nightly," writes the Times. "The message, protesters said, was clear: The nature of the crackdown and police response seemed to stir greater support for the right to demonstrate."