Update: 7:45 EST/3:45 PST
What we know now:
Scott Olsen, a US Marine who served our country in Iraq twice and came home wounded, was shot in the head by a police projectile last night, and was admitted to Highlands Hospital in critical condition. At 3:00PM PST/7:00PM EST, his condition was updated to Critical, but Stable.
When Occupiers attempted to aid him as he lay wounded on the ground, the police threw a flash-bang stun grenade into the group attempting medical aid.
A police commission will investigate, though they have not received a formal complaint.
More action is planned for 6PM PST, 9PM EST, though what action, specifically, is unclear at this hour. Stay with us for live updates.
On Twitter, Follow @TheOther99 and @Iwilloccupy, our reporters on the ground at the New York City march in support of Oakland.
Live Video from our reporters at the NYC March:
Live video by Ustream
Occupy Oakland Livestream: Recorded?
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A press release said that the Oakland Police Department DID NOT use rubber bullets. They said the "bangs" heard at the protesters were M80s thrown at police officers by the protesters.
Unfortunately for the OPD, it the press release seems to be wrong. I'll let the images speak for themselves:
Here's an empty shell and the cap of a fin stabilized rubber slug from a 12 gauge shotgun:
Here's someone whose been shot in the face by a rubber bullet:
And here's an advertising photo of a fin stabilized rubber bullet. It's similar, but its not the same brand. We're looking for the exact brand now, but it might be a bulk round, considering that the letters aren't straight. (Update, See Below)
Oh, and to literally add insult to injury, according to the Oakland PD's Press Release:
Q: Were there any injuries?
A: At this time, there are no reported injuries.
Excuse me officer, I'd like to make a report:
We'll update you with a link to the police report soon.
Oakland PD Did say that they used four "beanbag" rounds. (UPDATE, See below.)
Oh, officer, we have another injury report for you. This one is a uniformed veteran.
Max Blumenthal identified this man as an Iraq Vet.
9:30 AM PT: LA Times:
Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said police were forced to use tear gas against protesters after officers were pelted by bottles, rocks and paint.
Jordan said the crowd reached about 1,000 people, though on Twitter, OccupyOakland said the crowd reached 1,500 people. Protesters said police used rubber bullets to disperse what was a peaceful event. Jordan denied the use of rubber bullets.
9:39 AM PT: We've identified the casing.
It comes from a "Drag Stabilized Marking Round"
What this means is that some of the rounds fired were indeed beanbag rounds. They're also described as having "Pinpoint" accuracy. Which means, knowing that "less lethal" rounds are deadly if they hit people in the eye, we have two photos where protesters have been shot in the face.
We also have one piece of what looks like a rubber bullet.
10:08 AM PT: Here's a man who clearly loves his job. Notice the white shotgun shells.
10:18 AM PT: Scott Olsen, Iraq Vet. He's in ICU right now with a fractured Skull.
10:19 AM PT: Scott Olsen served our nation in Iraq with the US marines.
10:50 AM PT: We've had confirmation from an expert in non-lethal weapons that the pellet in our first image looks like a piece of a rubber round.
10:52 AM PT: We can confirm that the rubber pellet in our first image DOES NOT match the shotgun casing being held next to it in our first image.
10:55 AM PT: WE CAN NOW CONFIRM RUBBER BUCKSHOT.
This is from a rubber buckshot round. See this advertisement for similar rounds.
11:28 AM PT: Another Video of the attack on Olsen:
11:30 AM PT: Full Quote from the Guardian's liveblog:
2.24pm: I've just spoken to Keith Shannon, roommate of Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran who is in hospital after apparently having been hit in the head by a police projectile.
Shannon said doctors told him Olsen has a "skull fracture and swelling of the brain". A neurosurgeon will assess Olsen later today to determine whether he needs surgery, Shannon said.
Olsen, 24, was in 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, before leaving the military last year. He had been opposed to the Iraq war even before his first tour to the country, Shannon said. Shannon and Olsen met in November or December 2005, and share an apartment in Daly City, south of San Francisco.
"It's really hard," Shannon said. "I really wish I had gone out with him instead of staying home last night."
Shannon, who is also 24, said he had seen the video footage showing Olsen lying on the floor as a police officer throws an explosive device near him.
"It's terrible to go over to Iraq twice and come back injured, and then get injured by the police that are supposed to be protecting us," he said.
Shannon said Olsen was hit in the head by a tear gas canister or smoke canister shot by a police officer. He said Olsen had a curved scar on his forehead consistent with a canister
Protesters who had accompanied Olsen to Highland hospital got in touch with Shannon through Facebook, after Olsen said he lived with someone called "Keith". Shannon said he was told Olsen was unable to say his surname.
Olsen's parents, who live in Wisnconsin, have been told he is in hospital and were "probably going to fly out", Shannon said.
Both Olsen and Shannon are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, Shannon said. He added that Olsen had been opposed to the war in Iraq before his tours of duty. Olsen served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
1.30pm: Scott Olsen, the protester shown with head injuries, apparently after being hit in the head by a police projectile, has a skull fracture and is in a "serious, but stable condition", according to a fellow protester with him in hospital.
Adele Carpenter, who has known Olsen since July, said she was told by a doctor at Highland hospital, in Oakland, that Olsen "has a skull fracture".
Carpenter arrived at Highland hospital in Oakland at 11pm last night, and has been allowed to visit Olsen – a former US marine, who did two tours of Iraq – this morning, she said.
"I'm just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force," Carpenter said.
She said Olsen moved to the Bay area in July. The former marine, 24, left the military in 2010. Olsen is originally from Wisconsin, Carpenter said, adding that his family have been informed about his condition. A "military buddy" is also on his way to visit Olsen in hospital.
Video footage shows Olsen lying prone on the ground in front of police lines. A crowd gathers in an apparent bid to help him, but then scatters when a police officer throws an explosive device into their midst.
11:35 AM PT: Once again, the video being described by the guardian. Slow motion starts at 40 Seconds.
The Oakland PD intentionally Flash-banged a group of people trying to help an injured Iraq veteran.
11:49 AM PT: WE HAVE TWO VIOLATIONS OF POLICE POLICY FOR BEANBAG AND LESS LETHAL ROUNDS:
Members shall not discharge a Direct Fired SIM at a person’s head, neck, throat, face, left armpit, spine, kidneys, or groin unless deadly force would be justified.
So that's two violations considering both people hit in the face.
11:55 AM PT: Can you imagine the media response if this Iraq veteran with the teaparty?
12:00 PM PT: I hope that Scott Olsen will be fine. The cause of liberty already has too many martyrs.
12:15 PM PT: Guardian Just Confirmed: Scott Olsen is in critical condition.
12:27 PM PT: These stun grenades can kill, and have. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/...
12:42 PM PT: Palo Alto Police just told our reporter that they received a request from the Oakland PD for "Mutual Aid." They refused to comment about whether their reporters were in Oakland last night, and whether they used "less lethal" weapons.
1:23 PM PT: Our Media inquiries are running into an interesting tactic:
The San Jose police department just confirmed that they sent police officers to Oakland under "mutual aid" last night.
They cannot speak to the specifics of the operation or what occurred, because they were not the lead department.
Meanwhile, the Oakland PD claims that they cannot speak to the specifics of the operation or what occurred if it involves officers from other agencies.
They're giving everyone the runaround right now.
1:34 PM PT: There's now a major action network in California demanding an investigation.
You can sign their petition here: www.couragecampaign.org/OccupyOakland
1:41 PM PT: If you're in the bay area, go here:
10/26/11--3pm--Oakland City Hall--Vigil for Scott Olsen, US Marine Veteran
Today, 10/26/11 at 3pm at Oakland City Hall, a vigil will be held in support of Scott Olsen, a Marine veteran who was hit by a police projectile in downtown Oakland at the Occupy Oakland demonstration on the evening of October 25, 2011.
Olsen completed two tours in Iraq and is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. At this time, Olsen is in stable yet serious condition at an Oakland Hospital.
At the hospital, he is accompanied by friends and other Iraq Veterans Against the War. Olsen is a valued community member of Occupy San Francisco.
Please join this vigil in support of Olsen and others that were affected by the events at Occupy Oakland last night.
This is a PEACEFUL vigil.
1:57 PM PT: Veterans for Peace just released this:
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.
VFP members are involved with dozens of these local "occupy movement" encampments and we support them fully. In Boston, for example, our members, wearing VFP shirts and carrying VFP flags, stood between a line of police and the encampment, urging police to "join the 99%" and not evict the protesters. In that case, several of our members were banged and bruised when the police decided instead to carry out their eviction orders.
In Oakland, last night, a similar thing happened, according to VFP Chapter 69 member and Navy veteran, Joshua Sheperd, who said he went to downtown Oakland "to see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the anger...to be between the police and the protesters...it seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing." Fortunately, he was not injured in the police assault that left Olsen with a fractured skull
As with virtually every example of the occupy movement across the country, those encamped were conducting themselves peacefully beforehand, protesting current economic, social and environmental conditions in the U.S. brought about by decades of corporate control, a criminal financial industry and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are driving the U.S. global empire into bankruptcy. These "occupy movement" participants are telling us something we need very desperately to hear. They should be listened to, not arrested and brutalized.
Police in the majority of cities are acting with restraint and humanity towards the encampments, but Veterans For Peace will not be deterred by police who choose to use brutal tactics. In fact, as happens with repression everywhere, more people join the cause. We do believe that the rank and file police officers are part of the 99%, the overwhelming majority of Americans who are suffering at the hands of an intolerable system. Layoffs and cutbacks in city after city prove that we must join together to demand justice for all.
We send our very best to Scott Olsen and his family and wish him a speedy recovery to health.
We shall not be moved.
3:38 PM PT: If you're not following #OccupyMARINES on twitter, you should.
Marines Need To Be There For Our Injured Brother OAKLAND HIGHLAND HOSPITAL
This man fought in a war our country chose to enter and was injured in the line of duty.
Now, the police shoot him in the face while he's exercising the constitutional right to peaceable assembly.
We're getting rumors that he may of entered surgery, but I can't confirm that with any official sources.
I'm still monitoring the situation, and will update if his situation changes.
3:42 PM PT: I just spoke with Highland Hospital's media contact.
Scott Olsen is still in critical conditon.
4:02 PM PT: Good News. Scott Olson's official condition updated from Critical to Critical but Stable.
4:33 PM PT: An independent police commission will investigate the Scott Olson case without receiving an official complaint.
Oakland's independent police review body will examine the clashes between riot officers and protesters that left an Iraq war veteran in a critical condition as Occupy protestors prepare to rally at the same spot for a third night of protests.
Police battled protesters following an Occupy Oakland march to demonstrate against the closing of two occupations in the city in the early hours of Tuesday morning. More than 100 people have been arrested in Oakland since police cleared a camp in Frank Ogawa plaza.
Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling after he was allegedly hit in the head by a police projectile during the clashes on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Highland hospital in east Oakland confirmed he was critically ill after being admitted on Tuesday night.
A source at the Oakland citizen's police review board said it had not yet received a formal complaint, but would be "looking into" the circumstances surrounding Olsen's injuries. The board will decide whether to launch an official investigation over the next couple of days.
4:48 PM PT: Solidarity Marches are planned across the country in one hour to support Scott Olsen and Occupy Oakland.
4:52 PM PT: Video of Oakland Police press conference where Oakland Police deny using the weapons you've seen photos of.
We can confirm that the photos in this diary were taken on site.
4:59 PM PT: There will be no "official" word about whether Scott Olsen went into surgery unless his family authorizes the hospital to release the information.
I'm sure the family is busy, and shouldn't be bothered by the media right now.
Any rumors about surgery, which are flying around on twitter right now, are just that: Rumors.
What we know is this: Scott Olsen is in Critical, but Stable, Condition.
This means that he is severely injured, but his prognosis is good, which means that he should pull through.
5:41 PM PT: Marches are gathering across the country in support of #OccupyOakland.
5:43 PM PT: One of Olsen's friends, who served in Iraq with him:
"I'm just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force."
5:46 PM PT: Iraq Veterans Against the War has set up a medical fund for Olsen. You can donate here: http://ivaw.org/...
5:53 PM PT: We have two reporters on the scene in New York City following a solidarity march in support of Olsen and OccupyOakland
5:57 PM PT: Jesse La Greca is reporting arrests at Occupy Denver.
They're being arrested for having tents. It's 28 degrees in Denver.
6:01 PM PT: Denver Police arrest a veteran for setting up a tent. Massive police presence at OccupyDenver. I can hear the crowd. "We're here for your pensions!"
Police tell Jesse/MoT: "Go back to New York!"
6:16 PM PT: Scotland the Brave cries out as pipers join the New York march in support of #OccupyOakland. It has never sounded as sweet.
6:20 PM PT: Numerous motorcycles spotted at the New York March.
6:24 PM PT: New York Marines lead the way as they march on city hall. Sean Thomas, the Marine who accused the NYPD of behaving dishonorably at times square, is leading them.
6:25 PM PT: After a brief blackout, our video is back up.
6:28 PM PT: Police in riot gear are inside city hall park, the gates are chained shut.
6:31 PM PT: Dozens of protesters are in the street photographing an arrests.
Chanting "Oakland! Oakland!"
6:34 PM PT: Protesters being kettled NOW in New York City. Protesters ran away from the net, refusing to be kettled.
6:37 PM PT: Bagpipes blast amazing grace in New York City, as protesters march on city hall.
6:39 PM PT: Protesters march in the street, chanting "Whose Streets? Our streets!" PRotesters evading kettling net, bagpipes still blasting "Amazing Grace."
6:40 PM PT: Police in riot gear have batons out. Protesters chant "We March for Oakland!"
6:41 PM PT: Police are attempting to cut through city hall park and stop the march.
Protesters chanting "Police get off the streets!"
6:42 PM PT: Mounted officers incoming.
6:44 PM PT: Protesters in the street: the people united will never be defeated.
6:47 PM PT: NYPD is blocking the Brooklyn Bridge to prevent protesters from taking it.
6:48 PM PT: Protesters are now running into the streets, flooding them, and fleeing from police.
6:49 PM PT: Protesters chant "Take the Streets!" and blocking traffic. Our reporter is with them.
6:50 PM PT: The street has been taken by 2,000 protesters.
6:51 PM PT: The police are calling in backup now.
6:53 PM PT: Police set up a blockade to stop the march, several groups marching in several directions, occupiers still in the streets on broadway.
6:54 PM PT: Protester: "We're here in solidarity with out people in Atlanta and Oakland, and we're not going anywhere."
6:56 PM PT: KETTLING NET STOLEN BY PROTESTERS.
TONIGHT BELONGS TO OCCUPY WALL ST!
6:57 PM PT: Whose net? OUR NET!
6:58 PM PT: Looks like our reporter needs a new equipment backpack.
6:59 PM PT: Bagpipes play "amazing grace" and american flags fly.
7:00 PM PT: Our reporter just lost a significant amount of equipment as his bag broke.
7:02 PM PT: Uniformed Marines cheering for Scott Olsen lead the way.
7:06 PM PT: Protesters take broadway!
7:07 PM PT: Police van attempts blockade! Protesters run around police!
7:08 PM PT: OWS has taken broadway. Bystanders joining march.
7:18 PM PT: March continues. Our reporter is restarting his phone. Stay with us.
7:23 PM PT: We're live with Hank now. Technical difficulties.
7:25 PM PT: Protesters chant "Let's Go Oakland!"
7:31 PM PT: We can confirm at least three marches in Manhattan.
7:33 PM PT: Protesters at Oakland TAKE fence and stack it:http://lockerz.com/...
Arrests at OWS.
7:37 PM PT: Protesters march hand in hand in street chanting "Union Square!"
7:54 PM PT: The NYPD Police Scanner is in chaos right now. I can confirm at least three marches.
7:56 PM PT: Protesters are still marching down Broadway.
7:59 PM PT: Union Square Park, City Hall Park, both have huge groups of protesters at this time.
300+ at union square park.
8:03 PM PT: The NYPD is scrambling. They're critically undermanned at several locations.
8:06 PM PT: OWS Marchers cheer police.
8:24 PM PT: Overwhelming police force has arrived at union square while riot police surround Zuccotti.
8:41 PM PT: Waiting on updates from Zuccotti. Union square crowd dispersing peacefully.
Our team lost a lot of equipment when a backpack broke tonight. Hence, livestream troubles at Zuccotti.
9:02 PM PT: Things have calmed down for now in New York City.
So I'm bringing my blog to a close.
Thanks for staying with us everyone.