Corporal Scott Olsen, 24, was wounded Tuesday night [Oct 25th] after a non-lethal projectile was fired into his face during a raid on Occupy Oakland. Worse then followed, as fellow protesters who gathered to help the seriously injured Olson, were hit by a stun grenade deliberately aimed to disperse them. The whole incident was captured on video:
Suffering from a fractured skull and brain injuries, Olsen, who remains in hospital, is said to be in a stable condition. In response and in support, thousands of demonstrators across America and even abroad have since rallied with the message that “We Are All Scott Olsen!”
Matthis Chiroux, a US veteran and anti-war activist, spoke to Russia Today about how one of his own close friends and another US veteran had also had his skull fractured during an earlier peaceful protest, and how he felt shocked and saddened on hearing the news of Scott Olsen:
“Well, it reminds me that the United States stands ready to do violence against anybody – especially its own citizens, even if they’re veterans. Being a veteran makes absolutely no difference, when it comes to be brutalised by the police, demonstrating and protesting in this country.”
Asked what he thought about the fact that so many veterans, after leaving the military, actually become police officers, Chiroux replies:
“That’s absolutely true, and in fact it’s a very easy transition I would think, generally, from one violent arm of the US state to another violent arm of the US state. Fundamentally, the only difference between the cops and the military, is the military is taught to do violence against people overseas. The police are taught to do violence to the people right here…”
“The police protect and serve the one percent. They themselves may be the ninety-nine percent, but they protect and serve the one percent. They don’t take their orders from us, they take their orders from them.
“And look, it was just like when I was in the military, and I was justifying the crimes I felt complicit in. To me, it was just a job… I don’t wanna maybe go beat this guy, but it’s just a job. And I need to make money. I need to make money to feed my family… You know, it’s a twisted logic.”
The Russia Today report also shows police forcibly removing demonstrators from protests in Nashville and San Diego.
[Interview with Matthis Chiroux is 3 mins from start]