by Rachel Swan
Scott Olsen, the Iraq War vet who suffered a severe head injury during last month's raid on Occupy Oakland, spoke with a reporter from IndyBay shortly after his release from the hospital. Olsen said his thinking is clear, but he still speaks haltingly. He suffered a brain injury that rendered him mute in the days after the October 25 raid. Protesters say it happened when Olsen was hit with a tear gas canister, though others suggest he may have cracked his head after falling on the pavement, as police shot tear gas at demonstrators outside Frank Ogawa Plaza. In the interview, Olsen remembers falling and being carried away, but doesn't specify the source of his injury. The incident is currently under investigation.
Olsen originally joined the Occupy San Francisco encampment as part of a pacifist group called Veterans Against the War. He shifted to Oakland after hearing about the teach-ins that were happening over here — Olsen readily embraced the more active and pedagogical protest methodology. He still expresses fervent support for the camp, which is being resurrected this week, not as a tent city, but as a 24 hour vigil. He currently wears a neck brace, but expects a full recovery.