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Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Oakland’

In Honor of Veterans

Friday, November 11th, 2011

A Salute to the Living and the Dead

Today—the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year—we pause to honor the veterans of wars, especially Americans in uniform since the Great War, World War I, whose ending on November 11, 1918—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month—was commemorated one year later with the first Armistice Day (armistice = ‘stopping hostilities’, or, loosely, ‘a farewell to arms’). Armistice Day became a national holiday in 1938, and was renamed as Veterans Day in 1954 to honor those who had served in all U.S. wars.

We also call upon the “job creators”—especially those in the uppermost One Percent—to hire veterans and pay them well. Hire them and give generously to their medical and mental care and rehabilitation.

Although Levees Not War opposes the wars of the War on Terror(ism), that does not mean we don’t respect and honor the men and women who serve in the U.S. military. We know that this less-than-one-percent of the American population is being called upon—even in a nominally “all-volunteer army”—to undergo harsh, grueling, too often deadly conditions that we civilians can only imagine, if we dare.

Today we have joined Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (civilian membership), and made a contribution to IAVA. We also contributed to Iraq Veterans Against the War in the name of Scott Olsen, the U.S. Marines veteran of the Iraq war who on Oct. 25 was struck in the head by a tear gas canister or smoke canister fired by an Oakland police officer during a crackdown on Occupy Oakland protesters. Suffering a fractured skull, Olsen was hospitalized in critical condition.

See our blogroll, bottom right, under “Anti-War,” for links to IAVA, IVAW, and other organizations that work for veterans and their families. If you can, please make a contribution today.


Iraq War Veteran Injured by Police, in Critical Condition, after Crackdown of Occupy Oakland

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


Police Use Tear Gas, Flash Bang Grenades on Occupy Oakland Protesters

Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq who is now involved in Veterans for Peace, was critically wounded by Oakland police during a crackdown of the Occupy Oakland protests on Tuesday night, Oct. 25. Olsen was struck in the head by a “nonlethal” projectile—a tear gas canister or smoke canister—fired by an Oakland police officer. The round fractured Olsen’s skull, leaving him in critical condition. Olsen is currently hospitalized with serious injuries and is reported to be in critical condition. The veteran’s roommate was informed by doctors that Olsen had a “skull fracture and swelling of the brain,” according to The Guardian. When a group of fellow protesters ran up to help the injured Olsen, an Oakland police officer threw a flash grenade into their midst.

Veterans for Peace issued this statement:

Veteran for Peace member Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today. Other people were injured in the assault and many were arrested after Oakland police in riot gear were ordered to evict people encamped in the ongoing “Occupy Oakland” movement. Olsen is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

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Police Tear Gas Occupy Oakland Protesters,” San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 26, 2011

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Occupy Oakland

Images from “Police Tear Gas Occupy Oakland Protesters,” San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 26, 2011.