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Activist Communique: Solidarity with Iraq vet Scott Olsen, injured at Occupy Oakland action

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Iraq vet and former U.S. Marine Scott Olsen was struck in the head or shot by a police projectile on October 25, 2011, while attending an Occupy Oakland demonstration. Whatever weapon he was struck with, it fractured his skull leading to dangerous swelling of the brain.

In a video shot during the event, after Olsen was struck down, a group of demonstrators braved police tear gas and rubber bullets to assist the fallen veteran, only to be shot at themselves and injured. Not only was the rescue group under a volley of rubber bullets, one police officer threw another tear gas canister into the group. Please watch the video here to see for yourself.

Here is a link to another video taken when the rescue party was carrying the fallen Iraq vet to safety. This video clip shows Olsen (@3:30 min) earlier that evening before he was shot by the police.

Olsen's condition has been upgraded from critical to stable condition according to a nursing supervisor at Highland Hospital in Oakland. His roommate, Keith Shannon, told news sources that on Wednesday night, Olsen was in a medically induced coma and breathing with the help of a respirator.

Scott Olsen was marching with other members of Occupy Oakland on Tuesday October 25, 2011, as they tried to reestablish their Occupy base camp when police attacked the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan told the media Wednesday October 26, 2011, that the police have launched an internal review into the incident to determine whether police used excessive force on demonstrators. The Oakland police department is treating the use of force as if an officer had fired his or her weapon, he said.

The day after Scott Olsen was injured, U.S. marines were present at different Occupy solidarity with Occupy Oakland marches in the U.S., telling the crowd that Olsen was "one of our own."

Veteran's for Peace released the following press release stating: "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 shall not be moved."

In Toronto, there will be a 3:00 p.m. march on the U.S. consulate in Toronto in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and other U.S. Occupy cities that have faced police brutality.

A vigil for Scott Olsen will be held tonight at Occupy Toronto at 7:00 p.m. (St. James Park -- King Street and Jarvis Street).

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