Scott Olsen, Marine Vet Injured During #OccupyOakland, Finds Support Online

By: Josh Wolford - October 28, 2011

Unless your head has been buried deeply in the sand, you are aware of the #Occupy movements going on all over the world. The movement, responsible for the “we are the 99%” mantra, began in New York with #OccupyWallStreet and has moved to cities everywhere.

One of those cities is Oakland, California. During an exchange between Oakland PD and the protestors, a United States Marine and veteran of the Iraq War was injured when a projectile hit him in the head, causing injury to his skull.

The police used rubber bullets, teargas, and flash canisters on the crowd of protestors. Nothing can explain the scene better than a video can, so here are a couple:

The guy being carried off is 24-year-old Scott Olsen. He was in critical, but stable condition for hours following the incident, but has now been upgraded to fair condition.

When the details began to emerge shortly after the videos began to go viral, it didn’t take long for the incident to strike a chord with Olsen’s fellow marines. This photo became huge on Reddit, and garnered hundreds of comments.

Other Marines, as well as members of the other branches of service took to the site to express their solidarity –

As a fellow (Active Duty) vet as well, though never a Marine. I can’t stand this hypocritical stance that the elected officials are taking this horrible event. Though I was never a Marine, he is a brother in arms. As a family, we must stand together. I do recall that when I took my oath of enlistment that no where did it say that I will protect corporate greed. I know for one, if shit gets out of hand, I stand with the people and not the corporate lackeys.

Former Marine Corpsman here (Desert Storm, Somalia, 1st Med Btn, BSSG 7, 7th Engineers)-
Absolutely disgusting. Is it enough yet? Have we had enough? What’s left? I loathe anything that harms a Marine, especially one exercising his rights, unarmed and peaceful. Get well my brother, we’re thinking of you.

Semper Fi From a Brother Marine, this country of mine is really starting to piss me off. I didn’t serve my country to come home and see the Banks and Greedy Corporations bailed out with my tax money. All the while CEO’s are banking million dollar bonus’s for laying off hundreds of thousands of workers, and banks who were bailed out with my tax dollars are foreclosing on the same people who’s money bailed them out. now the police are acting as jack booted thugs who seem to work for the corrupt elites. and beat the shit out of my brother.

A group called #OccupyMARINES, has also flooded the web with support for Olsen.

HM1 “Doc J” says WHEN YOU SHOOT ONE MARINE, YOU SHOOT AT ALL OF US. OORAH. Do It Peacefully Occupy We Stand In Solidarity 2 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

They have listed a series of demands on their site,

In Response To The Oakland Shooting Of Scott Olsen OccupyOMC Request The Following:

Identify the 3 SFSD ESU riot officers by name, photo, and badge number with boots on the ground engaging in illegal excessive force acts against peaceful American for prosecution

Identify the officer responsible for harming Scott Olsen by name and photo for prosecution

The honorable resignation of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and CCSF Sheffir Michael Hennessey

A public apology from California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. for the unlawful injury of our brother Scott Olsen

The whole OccupyMARINES movement of service members backing the #OccupyWallStreet protestors seems to have spawned from his viral video that has over 2.2 million hits. It shows a Marine, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, unleashing on NYC police for their handling of the protestors.

It’s clear that many on the interwebs feel strongly about what happened to Scott Olsen. What are your thought? Let us know in the comments.

Josh Wolford

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • christian

    Well ya got what ya’all wanted which was media attention for your anarchist anti gorvenment tin foil hat brigade. At the cost of some dumbass with an other than honrable. When the cops announce “leave the area or we will dispearese chemical agents” maybe you SHOULD LISTEN!!!! The differance between mrons like these Occupiers and movemts like the civil rights movement and tea party movement and the other peaceful movemtns is…. THEY’RE NOT THROWING ROCKS, BOTTLES and CS CANISTERS at the cops!!!! Maybe you should listen to police commands next time.

    • Chris Richardson

      Wow, try actually reading about what they are protesting against before you offer comments next time.

      • james

        when the people in government no longer care about the people who put them there it is time for the people to do something about it. by all indications every confrontation of the protests has been initiated by the police.

    • Guest

      Dear Lord Jesus Christ this supposed person “christian” is a determent to your name, his posted name and sensible values. Please serve your Justice on him and all like him .

      In our Lords name Jesus Christ Amen

  • Dave

    There is nothing there to indicate that he was shot in the face or his injuries were a result of reckless behavior by the police. Your videos show him either being carried away or falling down. Nothing more. I guess he should have tied his shoelaces or maybe should have obeyed the lawful order given to him by the police. He was a Marine, he should know that there are consequences to f*cking with the bull. Sometimes you get the horns.

    • Chris Richardson

      Are you for real? What bull was he “f*cking with?” Or have you forgot about the right to assemble peacefully? Or do you just talk tough about things you don’t agree with?

      As for the proof, yeah, I’m sure this just happened by accident:

      Are you kidding me with this BS? You realize you are supporting the makings of a police state, one, that under the current Constitution, is even more illegal than the actions of the trigger-happy Oakland police?

      Or are you the type who can’t see anything but hippies when you turn on the #Occupy stories?

      • Jud

        No one wants to quell the voice of the public, however, camping out for weeks and leaving vomit, feces, urine, trash all over is not a First Amendment right. I am a Marine too and this just does not fit in with our image. This guy is a detrement to other Marines whom in fact do believe in First Amendment rights of free speech and press. This is nothing but a great unwashed filthy mob scene. The police should have fireshosed them all down, tents and all the mobsters as that is what they actually are. Can’t wait for the rains to come and see who stays in their filthy campsites. Don’t these people realize that all they are doing is wasting taxpayer money on overtime and cleaning up the dump they created. The media should not cover this anymore and see how long they stay there then. The cops gave fair warning and these people should have complied. Pull out the hoses and I bet they will be gone in 5 minutes. Then no rubber bullets or tear gas would be needed. I for one do not believe he was injured by the cops. Someone pushed him and he fell to the ground or one of his buddies hit him with something. The Mayor needs to get serious and if need be call in the national guard and get rid of this vermen.

    • Jud

      I agree with you 100 percent. I do not believe that a teargas canister can fracture his skull. I do believe that he could have fallen on his own to the ground and had his injury in that manner. If he was indeed a Marine, he was taught to follow orders. I wonder if anyone checked on his military status.

      • Chris Richardson

        Naive much?

      • BigGingerYeti

        You are a coward and a fool. I would go on to explain why but you wouldn’t understant.

  • freedom4usa Scott Olsen hated the marines and this country;the OWS movement is anti-American and a bunch of anarchists backed by Soros, the Unions and supported by countries like Iran,North Korea and Egypt where they hate the USA

  • cat94925

    Dirty? Unwashed? The protestors were not allowed to set up porta potties. They wanted to. Also, when you see the remains of their camps, it is after the police have moved in an trashed the campsites. These people had their campsites as organized as possible, given the circumstances. The sailor in uniform standing next to Olsen was holding a copy of the US constitution. The right to peaceful assembly, anyone?Do you remember your history? Do you remember learning about the “Hoovervilles” that were set up during the depression? Poor people protesting? Were they dirty smelly hippies, too?

    The paint and plastic water bottles were thrown about 5 hours earlier by a few bad apple protesters in another location. Did you watch the videos? The protesters were peaceful. Scott Olsen was standing still, about15 feet away, when an officer shot a tear gas cannister STRAIGHT to his head. These are supposed to be shot arced up into the air. Then, same officer or one next to him, waited for people to gather around him to assist him and then threw a flash grenade into the middle of the group, which exploded about three feet from Olsen’s fractured skull. This veteran, who was awarded 7 medals,one being the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal , cannot speak. His brain swelling has affected the area of his brain that regulates speech. Dirty smelly hippie? What a bunch of mean spirited selfish trolls.

  • james

    most of our major city governments support the present regimes plans to turn our country into a police state. and the rich people are trying to create a fuedal society. i’m thinking its time we tried a soft revolution to replace the present upper class wage slave society with a free and equal nation ruled by we the people.

    • Andrew

      The time for action is now…Check us out at MiddleClassAmerica.ORG Join THE organization and lets fight for a better future for us !


  • RTH

    I would hope all ACTIVE military personnel would stand with Scott. What the hell are they putting their lives in jeopardy for anyway? To protect the assholes in the US who want to turn our country into one that we profess to hate? An Iran, an Iraq, an Afghanistan, a Nazi Germany? The corporations and their political whores are trying to destroy our individual rights and ability to protest with “legal” means. They’re even passing bills which give them the power to control dissent and objections to their illegal, unethical and immoral practices.
    Don’t let them win. ALL military should demand that what they are fighting for be what PROTECTS AND DEFENDS the common citizens of this country.

  • Mike Kugler

    First of all, let’s stop with the poster boy for the Marines crap, ok? If you want to hold him up as an injured victim that is one thing. But to make out that he was a devout Marine is quite another. Better yet, read it for yourself.

    Did the police go too far? I have no idea. I am reasonably certain that if people would have followed the orders to leave, none of this would have been an issue. OTOH, I am not comfortable with police beating the hell out of my fellow citizens.

    But, please – STOP with the Scott was a paragon of Marine virtue nonsense.

  • Daniel

    You know what? I’m a veteran and I keep myself out of areas where troublemakers will be getting in trouble. I’m sorry the guy got hurt, but the police are doing their jobs! The crowds are being enflammed by the extreme left; especially in oakland! I hate to say it, but they are asking for the cops to come down on them to ignite serious ‘watt’s-type’ riots.

  • Corey Bryant

    They shot someone in the face with that thing? You’ve got to be kidding me.. WTF is wrong with these cops?

  • Nurul islam

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  • Ted

    These protesters need to realize that just because they are sitting around wanting the whole system to change over night isnt going to happen. It will have to be done one step at at time. They need to get up off their asses and get to work just like the other 99% of us and be productive in their indever instead of counter productive. If you get jacked up puting your self in dangerous positions that you do not have to be in, well “you asked for it”. We live in the greatist country in the world with opportunities others only dream about.

  • Ted

    I just heard the marine in question was throwing things at the people passing by. What a dumb ass.

  • Beth

    Violence always brings more violence. Police are called “peace officers” but these police were simply breaking the peace by trying to used the power invested in them though their positions to create violence. The constitution clearly makes provisions for people to gather in a peaceful way and these officers were trampling on the rights of the people peacefully assembled here. I am not a big follower of this whole occupy thing but I have to stand for the right of assembly in the constitution and I am appalled at the deliberate violence of the police in Oakland.