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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Amy Goodman
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Wednesday 2 November 2011
“A group calling itself Veterans of the 99 Percent has formed, and with the New York City Chapter of IVAW set Nov. 2 as the day to march to Liberty Plaza to formally join and support the movement.”

Call of Duty: Veterans Join the 99 Percent

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11-11-11 is not a variant of Herman Cain’s much-touted 9-9-9 tax plan, but rather the date of this year’s Veterans Day. This is especially relevant, as the U.S. has now entered its second decade of war in Afghanistan, the longest war in the nation’s history. U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are appearing more and more on the front lines—the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street protests, that is.

Video from the Occupy Oakland march on Tuesday, Oct. 25, looks and sounds like a war zone. The sound of gunfire is nearly constant in the video. Tear-gas projectiles were being fired into the crowd when the cry of “Medic!” rang out. Civilians raced toward a fallen protester lying on his back on the pavement, mere steps from a throng of black-clad police in full riot gear, pointing guns as the civilians attempted to administer first aid.

The fallen protester was Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine who had served two tours of duty in Iraq. The publicly available video shows Olsen standing calmly alongside a Navy veteran holding an upraised Veterans for Peace flag. Olsen was wearing a desert camouflage jacket and sun hat, and his Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) T-shirt. He was hit in the head by a police projectile, most likely a tear-gas canister, suffering a fractured skull. As the small group of people gathered around him to help, a police officer lobbed a flashbang grenade directly into the huddle, and it exploded.

Four or five people lifted Olsen and raced with him away from the police line. At the hospital, he was put into an induced coma to relieve brain swelling. He is now conscious but unable to speak. He communicates using a notepad.

I interviewed one of Olsen’s friends, Aaron Hinde, also an Iraq War veteran. He was at Occupy San Francisco when he started getting a series of frenzied tweets about a vet down in Oakland. Hinde raced to the hospital to see his friend. He later told me a little about him: “Scott came to San Francisco about three months ago from Wisconsin, where he actually participated in the holding of the State Capitol over there. Scott’s probably one of the warmest, kindest guys I know. He’s just one of those people who always has a smile on his face and never has anything negative to say. ... And he believed in the Occupy movement, because it’s very obvious what’s happening in this country, especially to us veterans. We’ve had our eyes opened by serving and going to war overseas. So, there’s a small contingency of us out here, and we’re all very motivated and dedicated.”

As I was covering one of the Occupy Wall Street rallies in Times Square Oct. 15, I saw Sgt. Shamar Thomas become deeply upset. Police on horseback had moved in on protesters, only to be stopped by a horse that went down on its knees. Other officers had picked up metal barricades, squeezing the frightened crowd against steam pipes. Sgt. Thomas was wearing his desert camouflage, his chest covered with medals from his combat tour in Iraq. He shouted at the police, denouncing their violent treatment of the protesters. Thomas later wrote of the incident: “There is an obvious problem in the country and PEACEFUL PEOPLE should be allowed to PROTEST without Brutality. I was involved in a RIOT in Rutbah, Iraq 2004 and we did NOT treat the Iraqi citizens like they are treating the unarmed civilians in our OWN Country.”

A group calling itself Veterans of the 99 Percent has formed, and with the New York City Chapter of IVAW set Nov. 2 as the day to march to Liberty Plaza to formally join and support the movement. Their announcement read: “‘Veterans of the 99 Percent’ hope to draw attention to the ways veterans have been impacted by the economic and social issues raised by Occupy Wall Street. They hope to help make veterans’ and service members’ participation in this movement more visible and deliberate.”

When I stopped by Occupy Louisville in Kentucky last weekend, the first two people I met there were veterans. One of them, Gary James Johnson, told me: “I served in Iraq for about a year and a half. I joined the military because I thought it was my obligation to help protect this country. ... And right here, right now, this is another way I can help.”

Pundits predict the cold weather will crush the Occupy movement. Ask any veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq about surviving outdoors in extreme weather. And consider the sign at Liberty Plaza, held by yet another veteran: “2nd time I’ve fought for my country. 1st time I’ve known my enemy.”

© 2011 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate



Author pic
ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of "Breaking the Sound Barrier," recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

It aparpes that contaminants

It aparpes that contaminants that rainwater washes off of shingles may be a significant source of surface water contamination. The contaminants that are washing off of roofs include zinc, lead, chromium, arsenic, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It is similar to what you might collect off of a parking lot.

zrvluug

zrvluug

Yes, I've not seen anything

Yes, I've not seen anything in the Constitution relating to tents, that said, I suggest we read the founding docs IN ORDER, 1st The Declaration of Independence, then the Constitution. The National Holiday is about TDI, on the 4th. Notice how the powers that be never mention the Declaration? We, as Vets, swore an Oath to the Constitution and to defend it against Enemies, Foreign and DOMESTIC!

Yes, I've not seen anything

Yes, I've not seen anything in the Constitution relating to tents, that said, I suggest we read the founding docs IN ORDER, 1st The Declaration of Independence, then the Constitution. The National Holiday is about TDI, on the 4th. Notice how the powers that be never mention the Declaration? We, as Vets, swore an Oath to the Constitution and to defend it against Enemies, Foreign

i'm no expert but would

i'm no expert but would imagine any medical team would be wearing bright red crosses to indicate their identity as medical personnel.

And consider the sign at

And consider the sign at Liberty Plaza, held by yet another veteran: “2nd time I’ve fought for my country. 1st time I’ve known my enemy.”Yes.

Tens of thousand of Vietnam

Tens of thousand of Vietnam Veterans realized the fought for the one percent. they realized back in the 1960's the control the corporations had on our government at every level.It's one hundred times worse now.

Firing at medical help is

Firing at medical help is indeed against the Geneva conventions. But it violates another principle. It is the act of a craven, despicable, low-life COWARD.

I am a veteran and support

I am a veteran and support occupy wall street 100%. Not only that I will fight to defend the right of people to peacefully assemble and redress their government as is their constitutional right and I will fight those who proceed on unconstitutional orders to brutalize peaceful americans.

Everyone should read the

Everyone should read the BELOW COMMENTS ten times and then send it to everyone of your ELECTED POLITICIANS and tell them in the strongest words you can find how you feel about it.

During one of the Occupy Wall Street rallies in Times Square Oct. 15, I saw Sgt. Shamar Thomas become deeply upset. Police on horseback had moved in on protesters, only to be stopped by a horse that went down on its knees. Other officers had picked up metal barricades, squeezing the frightened crowd against steam pipes. Sgt. Thomas was wearing his desert camouflage, his chest covered with medals from his combat tour in Iraq. He shouted at the police, denouncing their violent treatment of the protesters. Thomas later wrote of the incident: “There is an obvious problem in the country and PEACEFUL PEOPLE should be allowed to PROTEST without Brutality. I was involved in a RIOT in Rutbah, Iraq 2004 and we did NOT treat the Iraqi citizens like they are treating the unarmed civilians in our OWN Country.”

Gary James Johnson, told me: “I served in Iraq for about a year and a half. I joined the military because I thought it was my obligation to help protect this country. ... And right here, right now, this is another way I can help.” I find it totally unaceptable that American Citizens cannot Protest in the United States of America with the same Rights that we have gone to other countries to provide for thier Citizens.

THIS IS JUST FKN WRONG-WRONG-WRONG Soon some dumb Politician will ask or ORDER the Military to take action against the very Citizens who are trying to Protest in a Peaceful manner.

I AS A MILITARY MAN WILL EXERCISE MY RIGHTS TO DISOBEY AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL ORDER..........

rclark23 You do NOT file a

rclark23
You do NOT file a complaint with NYPD! You file CRIMINAL CHARGES with a Magistrate!
Official Oppression, Aggravated Assault, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit!

Yeah isn't firing at the

Yeah isn't firing at the medical help a violation according the the Geneva Convention, for wars, so why not on our streets of innocent bystanders. My hope is the police who did this lose their jobs and end up on the streets as the 99%.

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