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« Slow Motion Video Of Police Throwing Flash Grenade Into Crowd Attending To Injured Marine Veteran Scott Olsen | Main | UPDATE - Occupy Protester Shot By Oakland Police Is Scott Olsen, A Marine Vet With 2 Tours In Iraq (PHOTOS) »

VETERANS FOR PEACE - Official Statement On U.S. Marine Scott Olsen Shot By Oakland Police

Veterans For Peace

Veteran For Peace member, Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today.  Other people were injured in the assault and many were arrested after Oakland police in riot gear were ordered to evict people encamped in the ongoing "Occupy Oakland" movement.  Olsen is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

VFP members are involved with dozens of these local "occupy movement" encampments and we support them fully.  In Boston, for example, our members, wearing VFP shirts and carrying VFP flags, stood between a line of police and the encampment, urging police to "join the 99%" and not evict the protesters.  In that case, several of our members were banged and bruised when the police decided instead to carry out their eviction orders. 

In Oakland, last night, a similar thing happened, according to VFP Chapter 69 member and Navy veteran, Joshua Sheperd, who said he went to downtown Oakland "to see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the anger...to be between the police and the protesters...it seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing."  Fortunately, he was not injured in the police assault that left Olsen with a fractured skull
As with virtually every example of the occupy movement across the country, those encamped were conducting themselves peacefully beforehand, protesting current economic, social and environmental conditions in the U.S. brought about by decades of corporate control, a criminal financial industry and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are driving the U.S. global empire into bankruptcy.  These "occupy movement" participants are telling us something we need very desperately to hear.  They should be listened to, not arrested and brutalized.

Police in the majority of cities are acting with restraint and humanity towards the encampments, but Veterans For Peace will not be deterred by police who choose to use brutal tactics.  In fact, as happens with repression everywhere, more people join the cause.  We do believe that the rank and file police officers are part of the 99%,  the overwhelming majority of Americans who are suffering at the hands of an intolerable system.  Layoffs and cutbacks in city after city prove that we must join together to demand justice for all. 

We send our very best to Scott Olsen and his family and wish him a speedy recovery to health. 

We shall not be moved.


Address for the hospital where Scott Olsen is recovering, if you wish to send a card.

Highland Hospital
1411 E. 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602


UPDATE - Message from Director, Mike Ferner regarding incident at Occupy Oakland

Brothers and Sisters

I just got off the phone with VFP Chapter 69 member, Josh Sheperd, who was at 14th and Broadway in Oakland early this morning and witnessed much of what happened.

Josh said that after receiving several text messages with news of the Oakland PD taking down tents and arresting people, he decided to go to downtown Oakland and "see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the anger...to be between the police and the protesters...it seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing."

He got to the front of the crowd (see photo link, above) and said he "felt a lot of tension in the air."

Shortly thereafter a barrage of "less than lethal" ordnance, tear gas, bean bags and flash-bangs was fired.  He and the people he was with took off, regrouped, marched through part of downtown and returned to 14th and Broadway.

There, he went to the front of the crowd immediately, waving the VFP flag.  He said the crowd seemed considerably calmer. "It might be just my impression, but there seemed to be a considerable desire for peace and the crowd expressed that."

Next, the Oakland PD issued the "you're going to get arrested if you don't leave" warning.  Shortly after that, Josh said, "People in the rear of the crowd threw eggs at the police and that was the OPD's cue to fire another barrage."

In that barrage, VFP and IVAW member, Scott Olsen was struck in the head with some sort of projectile and was severely injured.  Josh reports that Scott was admitted to hospital and has a fractured skull.  His condition is stable but serious. 

Here are two videos, one showing Scott, wearing a VFP shirt, being carried away.

The other has some slow motion footage that shows flash-bangs being thrown by the police, including one into a group of people standing around someone in the street. It's unclear whether that person is Scott Olsen or not.

IVAW Director, Jose Vasquez, said they are keeping up on the situation, have issued a press release and are contacting national media.  They are asking people to call the Oakland Police Dept.

*What you can do:*

  • Call the Oakland Police Department *510-777-3333; 510-238-3365; 510-238-3131
  • Attend a rally at the OPD headquarters later today*
  • Go to the nearest occupation encampment in your vicinity in solidarity*

For more information in Oakland
Josh Sheperd 415-819-1045
Adelle Carpenter (Civilian-Soldier Alliance) 503-860-5168

Mike Ferner, Interim Director
Veterans For Peace
216 S. Meramec
St. Louis, MO 63105


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Reader Comments (18)

I am amazed that combat veterans don't have a strategy for outfoxing these police. Maybe it's because they think in terms of chess, whereas there is another game to play. It's called GO.
in go, you try to surround your enemy's pieces and convert them.
in a demonstration where you match or outnumber the police, you surround them - don't let them surround you, if you do it right, you can bring a whole city into gridlock. you 'convert' police by debagging them - stripping them of their pants and belts and weapons - and handcuffing them to each other around a tree or a lamppost . this may be extreme but so is ammunition.
Oct 26, 2011 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterfrank freeman
All this says is, THUGGISM RULES OAKLAND, There is no respect for Law among Enforcement Officers, there. This is just one more SERIAL MURDER.
Oct 27, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterEmily E. Windsor-Cragg
I'm confronting the Oakland Police Department with the outrageous nature of this crime, in the morning. I hope some of you will back me up, because I'm taking them over the coals!
Oct 27, 2011 at 1:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterEmily E. Windsor-Cragg
What the COPS don't realize is, the people they are confronting are standing for THEIR OWN POLICE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS. The people they are attacking--teachers, civil servants and police auxiliary--are their own flesh & blood!
Oct 27, 2011 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterEmily E. Windsor-Cragg
The different intelligence agencies know who did 9-11, and they know the beneficiaries of the Wall Street looting are using deregulation to steal by design. and this money goes to off shore accounts. The various military agencies see all the different attacks going on against the U.S.. But because it is congress' duty to address these issues peacefully, they stand down, but ready for the call to help civilians regain order in their government. Our government is an advertised bought and paid for commodity, loyal to their sponsors, including the Rothschild/grand Patron of freemasonry Britannia alliance. The freaks who think that a heavy boot to the face of polite law abiding citizens is going to allow the continued looting of the treasury and the banks and markets has something else comming.

No U.S. Marine or Army Ranger ever kicked my ass, and I have slammed a whole lot of beer with both. Every where I look, from where I live, I see cops dealing hard narcotics. all local law enforcement agencies are dangerously corrupted and I, and many more around me, would relish seeing these guys get the behaviour modification they need to get on the straight and narrow and stop killing their kids.. Five young men in the past two and a half years from the surrounding 12,000 population have died violent,drug-skewed deaths. One who I talked to the night before he was fiound dead in his backyard, sitting up with a rope around his neck. He owed the local ice people about $2,500 and was not very upset about it at all. No police came around to anybody I know asking questions. There's your New World Order. Time for our young warriors to get their souls straightened and come home and help round up some of these stupid bullies.
Oct 27, 2011 at 4:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
Dont forgett #OWS the road from almoust nobody to this day, its been a steady climb upward in scope and education.
And all that is manifetsing it selfs thru more people recognise #OWS as a woice.

And all that acompliched without violence.
All True Warriors knows that it requrires far more selfdisiplin and selfdignity to refuse to resort to violence.
Violence is the covards way and those that seek to gain, against the will of its own People.
Selfdefence, is a different issue, and that dont involve any Moral issues.

β€œIt is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Oct 27, 2011 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered Commentermikael
Looks like the real terrorists are the cops! I know not all cops are like this but the thuggery that went down in Oakland(and other places) should be investigated and those that gave the orders and those that carried out those orders upon peaceful protesters should be brought to justice! They are only protecting the corporate welfare state, not the rights of the people. These cops would like to bring this whole thing down to their very low vibration-violence. Violence will only empower more violent leaders. We can see down through history that the outcome of violence is violence. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. How many times must we repeat this scenario before we learn that this way of violence only perpetuates the attitude of violence as a means to an end. Stay strong! We are going to win this one. The ruthlessness the cops have shown will be their downfall
Oct 27, 2011 at 7:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob
There are so many bad guys in this situation, it makes me want to scream.

These boys are out there doing what they feel is right against a system that is obviously corrupted by the Progressives and Marxists. Even the Neocons see it as a win because they want a reason to impose militarism.

Soldiers, please check out Ron Paul and his plans. If we can get him installed in the presidency just once, we can tear the corrupt bankers, the Federal government, and the NWO a new @$$hole.

Ron Paul will need your support and protection because I can guarantee if elected, they will try to do to him what they did to Kennedy.

May God bless you and keep you all because we today stand at the same place them boys stood in the early 1770s. They want to make us slaves. I appreciate what you are trying to do. Be sure not to be misled by the SEIUs and Soroses of the world, nor the Neocons.

Peace if possible, freedom no matter what.
Oct 27, 2011 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Singleton
how long will people put up with this police brutality, i think the word revolution should be now on people minds
Oct 27, 2011 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
@DB .... the 9:53 entry is another 'john'.

@john, if you post again, could you please use another tag? Thanks. I don't want you get my bad reputation ;)
Oct 27, 2011 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
"Ron Paul will need your support and protection because I can guarantee if elected, they will try to do to him what they did to Kennedy."

You don't have to physically eliminate a political leader in this brain dead nation nowadays. Just tell a vicious slanderous lie and the person being character assassinated will disappear overnight! Any nation that has an uninformed populace(to a large degree) AND a corporate-controlled media is a ripe breeding ground for tyranny(fascism) As far as the cops go, you are always going to have a few "Rambo" who think it is their "duty" to save the world against these "commies"! Ignorance is Americans' greatest enemy!
Oct 27, 2011 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom
It seems to me that ows protests are not motivating the U S government. In such a corrupt government leaders probably don't know where or how to start fixing the corruption. If they don't figure it out soon Greece imo will look like a day in the park.
Oct 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdark days ahead
@DB .... the 9:53 entry is another 'john'.

OK, how about "Our John".....john, go to Johny-B-Good, or something Kool like that so we know its Out john doin the talkin..........? Just a thought from an Ol Hillbilly in the Ozarks..........

Then I know when its our john, he caries a bar of "Irish-Spring"..............!
Oct 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Looks like the real terrorists are the cops! ....................... Has been from the start. And the goverment makes sure the sheeple think its all about wall street so they dont find out it all is about goverment taking down the middle class.......

....& Rockabilly, RobGordon..... I started my first band in 7th grade playing all of the 50-60's rockabilly....but soon drifted into country and then my show did Grand Ol Opry, stage show on the road, till a tick bite stoled my dreams, and layed of 10, and had to park my tour bus......

Now that the cops have struck down a Marine, thinge are going to change. I hope they take it eazy on the cops, there used to fighting "Real Men".........Any Cowared can beat down unarmed Woman and Men..
Oct 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Scott Olsen, MARINE.
Hang in there Fellow Vet, I am so ASHAMED of the Oakland Police Dept and
in particular the one officer that decided to lower his line of fire, and
the other fellow officers that are bringing UNTOLD SHAME AND DISRESPECT
to our men in uniform here and abroad, that includes our Police. They
Damm well know who did this. Remember Vets & police men and women,
there is an armory that issues
weapons. The issuing officer knows who had the particular weapon that
lobbed the projectile and the logistical layout for the type of weapons
for their assault they know who was at their side when the shit hit the fan.
They know who fired the fatal shot! HEY POLICE OFFICERS YOU ARE GETTING
Like a true marine Scott was in there in the shit in a WHEELCHAIR, CAMMIES AND
A RUCK DAMMIT sticking
Oct 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBen Newman VET
The best way to win is to elect Ron Paul; show them the revolution can win.
Oct 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAl

scott Bergstrsser
1579 Sycamore Dr
Oakley, Ca

Oct 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Ron and Ben Newman VET, the biggest and worst obstacle to repairing the government, banking system and markets to honest, on the level institutions is the Council on Foreign Relation's TV network. Since the SCOTUS decided that lies can legally disseminated as news over the public airwaves and on purchased newsprint, the gap between government and the population has been GREATLY widened. The SCOTUS maintained that no contract of money-for-truth is implied by the purchase of a newspaper or magazine. They also maintain that even though the public owns the airwaves, no fraud is implied by licenses granted for public broadcast being used to defraud the public by broadcasting lies. This makes the U.S.'s current situation of being under attack difficult to successfully express, since most folks do not access the internet.

Out here in the Pacific Ocean, The Big Island is provided 'news' service mainly by The Jackson Stephens Media Group. Jackson Stephens replaced David and Nelson Rockefeller's brother Winthrop in the Arkansas Rockefeller empire when Winthrop died back in 1971. Stephens was also GHW Bush's largest single contributor in 1988 and Clinton's in 1992. He was Jimmy Carter's roommate at the Annapolis military academy. These Stephens local papers are crap, not fit to wrap fish. Locals here of all ethnic backgrounds are not exposed to outside business influences not hellbent on stealing their land. After 9-11, the Blackstone investment group completed purchase of the huge Waikoloa Resort complex with profits from the WTCs' insurance. Larry Silverstein coughed up only $16 million of his own money while BlackStone provided $150 million to get the purchase established and the machinery going to bailout the NYC and NJ Port Authorities' underwriters who stood to lose $4.5 to $5.5 BILLION to demolish a disintegrating WTC I and II. The Bush cabal provided the nanothermate retriggering apparatus that cut the cores.
After sufficient steps had been taken, the 'aloha wear' that the staff at the Waikoloa Resort wore to graciously help with the fun, festive mood of folks on vacation has been phased out in favor of head to toe BLACK dresses and shirts and slacks. In the hot tropics where it rains maybe three or four days a year. Pasty young adults from Chicago in the tropical sun at 87 degrees in the shade all day every day. You know how long it takes black clothes to fade? Shades of Germany's 1930's Brownshirts provided through the investment house of Brown Brothers Harriman, directed by Prescott Bush, GHW's daddy and Sly Richard Nixon's boss in the late 1960s. Skull and Bones ventures throughout.
Most of the incomming radiation from Fukushima arrives in the rain on the other side of the island.
These violent antics of the miscreant police forces abusing law enforcing demonstrators is cover for the behind the scenes looting and destruction of the financial centers taking the action away from the Britannia alliance. Japan and the U.S. are being destroyed while congress gets overpaid to mewl, prance, and betray the republic. Do your homework on who REALLY designed, commissioned, and shaved down the hill to put the Fukushima nuclear facility on the beach in the middle of the most active tsunami zone on earth. Make GODDAM sure you note where these same U.S. authorities placed the used fuel and back-up cooling systems. Some Japanese companies did assembly work. This is the stuff that matters more than a pack of lost cops swinging clubs. And yes, I know what a beating feels like and I know how to give one out. Once my brother stuck me a good one in the leg with a pitchfork. Ouch. The offending police of Oakland and NYC are obviously too inbred, stupid and self-satisfied to see the mess they are making for themselves. These demonstrators are enforcing laws protecting civil servant pension funds, amongst others. Including police department investments. Eric Holder just wants to party with the SEC.
Oct 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III

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