When they are yelling, “Medic!” in American streets, those of us who have lived though wars and witnessed the toll they take, even from a distance, get to gut churning. Whether it was my daddy’s million-dollar smile that faded fast over Burma in WWII, or Scott Olsen’s bright beam that was wiped away by a flash grenade in front of a (for cryin’ out loud!) Walgreen’s in Oakland, California, war is hell! The 24-year-old Iraq war vet from Wisconsin served this country in 2006 and 2007, and his thanks came from the Oakland Police Department, who may have violated a 2003 agreement for handling protesters. Policy prohibits firing at a person’s head. Even when friends tried to help the badly bleeding Olsen, they were fired upon by police as well.
Using rubber bullets, tear gas, firecrackers, flashbang grenades, and Specialty Impact Less Lethal Munitions (SIMS), the urban force clashed with Occupy Oakland protesters Tuesday night. There is video showing stun grenades being thrown into the crowds that appear peaceful. Marine veteran Olsen suffered a head injury in front of City Hall and was listed in critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. On Countdown, Keith Olbermann featured footage of the warfare and called for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (via Twitter, too) to either repent or resign. He pointed out that Quan is a bully who has been bullied herself. This gives credence to recent findings in studies of bullying that indicate the victim’s newfound potential to bully. Mayor Quan serves almost half a million people in her capacity at Oakland’s City Hall.
Furious about this recent escalation in violence, Current TV’s chief news anchor interviewed Scott’s roommate, Keith Shannon, on Wednesday night’s program. Shannon commented that Scott would be glad that even this could be used for good and that it,”put light on what’s going on there.” Both Keith Shannon and Scott Olsen are members of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. The Guardian reported that this young man (who insured our freedom) could be the first casualty of the Occupy Wall Street Movement (or rather the police brutality in response to that peaceful movement), however, Olsen appears to be in critical but stable condition. It was reported that he was able to walk after his wounding, and that he was sedated to control swelling. The movement, though, continues to swell, with police continuously, albeit unwittingly or even unwillingly providing the pyrotechnics and baton twirling that draw the crowds.