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Injured OWS vet ‘one of the most peaceful people I met’

Scott Olsen, a member of Veterans for Peace and of Iraq Veterans against the War, who was seriously injured during Occupy Oakland protest, was hit while standing still and showed no signs of aggression, his friend Emily Yates told RT.

­“We haven’t really heard any details about that, we definitely haven’t gotten any real apology from any particular police officer,” said Yates, a friend of the wounded corporal and herself a war veteran.

Yates said that Olsen was taken to the hospital with a fractured skull in critical but stable condition, and that later on Thursday the doctors upgraded his condition to fair. She says that he is alert but still not able to speak.

“The fracture in his scull is impacting a part of his brain, a speech center in his brain,” she explained. “So he is able to recognize people, and write, although he can’t spell as well as he could before. And he can’t speak. But his family is with him.” 

Yates said that after the accident with Olsen, the energy of the protesters and the movement is only going to increase.

“It’s not going to foster good relations,” she said.

“I think that Scott’s situation has taught us all, and at least I hope it will continue teaching us all, that violence, no matter which side it is against, is never a productive way to get your message across,” she said.

Yates believes everyone should take her friend’s example and look at this “as an opportunity to be peaceful protesters.”

“[Scott] is one of the most peaceful people I’ve ever met in my life,” she said. “At the moment when Scott was hit by the teargas, he was standing peacefully. He was not ranting and raving, or even moving in an aggressive way. He was standing still.”

The incident has sent shockwaves across America, with some war veterans saying the police brutality violates basic human rights.

It’s a peaceful protest,” said Iraq war veteran Dottie Guy. “It just blows my mind that his First Amendment rights are just being violated this way. And we can only hope that this tragedy has brought light to the movement. And I think Scott would’ve wanted people to be able to understand what we were like.”

Sergeant Shamar Thomas said it was shocking to see that an American patriot who decided to go out and stand up for the people he chose to protect in Iraq was treated this way by police.