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Iraq War Veteran Critically Injured by Police Projectile During "Occupy Oakland" Protests

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 12:45:00 PM

An Iraq War veteran was critically injured during "Occupy Oakland" protests Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a police projectile, according to the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. 

Scott Olsen, 24, of Daly City, has been active in the "Occupy SF" and "Occupy Oakland" protests over the past several weeks, and attended large protests Tuesday night in response to the police removal of the protesters' encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. 

Olsen served two tours of duty in Iraq, and has since been involved in Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, said Dottie Guy, Bay Area chapter president for Iraq Veterans Against the War. 

"Every time I saw him at the Occupy SF movement he's always been extremely pleasant," said Guy, who said she first met Olsen several weeks ago through her organization. 

He was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010 and works in Daly City as a systems administrator, according to a news release issued by Iraq Veterans Against the War. 

The release stated that Olsen is currently sedated at Highland Hospital in Oakland with a skull fracture awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon. 

He was injured overnight as law enforcement personnel used tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades attempting to break up an assembly outside Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway. 

The protests began with a rally outside the Oakland Public Library at 14th and Madison streets at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Protesters rallied there after police removed their encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza in an early-morning raid Tuesday. 

The group had been occupying the plaza to protest the gap between rich and poor, corporate greed, deadlocked politics, and a number of other issues. 

Protesters have vowed to return to Frank Ogawa Plaza tonight to continue the protest, and have said they intend to protest there every day until they retake the plaza.