Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Iraq Vet Scott Olsen Says He's 'Lucky'

War veteran injured in Occupy protest says he's 'lucky'
OAKLAND – 29 November 2011 - Scott Olsen, the ex-Marine Iraq veteran who became the bloodied face of the Occupy movement, returned to where his skull was fractured last month during a standoff between police and protesters.

What he found was a shadow of the vibrant encampment he first visited a few days before he was hit Oct. 25, possibly by a tear gas canister.

"This is not what it was," he said Sunday, "although there are still some people here keeping a presence."

Gone were the camp's library, medical tent, garden and crowd. About 50 people milled about City Hall plaza. Even the once-ubiquitous "We are all Scott Olsen" signs were gone.

Police raided the camp Nov. 14 and dismantled it, arresting some Occupiers, scattering the rest. "A lot has changed since the last time I was here," Olsen told Caitlin Kelly, a friend who welcomed him with a hug.

Earlier, in his first interview since becoming Occupy's most identifiable member and the focus of sympathetic protests around the world, Olsen described his injury as both ironic and unjust.

Ironic, he said, because he survived two combat tours in Iraq from 2006 to 2008 "physically unscathed," only to be hit a few miles from the San Francisco office where he works as a computer systems administrator for an online security company. Unjust, he said, because he was exercising the constitutional freedoms he'd joined the Marines and gone to Iraq to protect. read more>>>

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