Iraq War Veterans

casualties at Occupy Oakland

Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen was critically injured at an Occupy demonstration on October 26. Below is a statement from Steve Morse of Veterans for Peace. A week later, a second Iraq War veteran, Kayvan Sabehgi, was injured by police in Oakland.

Steve Morse, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 69, San Francisco
October 27, 2011

Members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) from Oakland, San Francisco, other East Bay and Bay Area cities stand in a vigil of solidarity with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) tonight [Oct 27] to support Scott Olsen, a member of both of our groups, who is hospitalized due to a skull fracture caused by a police projectile.

Scott, along with many VFP and IVAW members, was active in Occupy - a creative, nonviolent movement employing participatory democracy, which has inspired hope throughout the world that we can build a society not dominated by corporate greed, theft and war.

We are horrified at the police response in trying to destroy the Occupy Oakland encampment.

* Scott Olsen sustained injuries that he may never fully recover from.
* Police threw a flash bang canister at the group who were trying to assist the injured Scott.
* Police used excessive force at many different times.
* Media was excluded from seeing the police assault.
* Occupiers were arrested on up to $10,000 bail.
* Occupiers' belongings were confiscated.
* At least 500 police from 17 cities comprised the assault on Tuesday morning.
* Helicopters were deployed over Downtown Oakland all Tuesday night.

These last two items involve not only fierce repression but also an extravagant waste of money at a time when the Oakland Police Department is considered understaffed and underfunded.

We demand that responsibility be taken for these actions. If Mayor Quan is responsible, she should resign. If she contends that Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan is responsible, he should resign or be fired. Whoever was in charge either planned that the repression would occur as it did, or lacked effective control over the police who were deployed. Some one or ones should face criminal charges for this.

We demand a meeting as soon as possible with Mayor Quan of a group of VFP and IVAW members, to discuss who is responsible, what will be done about it, and future city policy regarding Occupy Oakland and similar protests that will occur in the future.