November 27, 2011
November 27, 2011
by Kevin Zeese - Posted on 26 November 2011
We had a truly stupendous Thanksgiving on Freedom Plaza. The kitchen -- the best in the Occupy Movement in our opinion -- did a fantastic job cooking a feast. Even without an oven we had a great turkey -- deep fried. Then three more turkeys were donatied. The day after a fourth was donated. We had all the trimmings plus more.
Occupation Freedom Plaza make plans to occupy thru the winter.
November 21, 2011
November 08, 2011
I had a chance to visit Scott this evening. He is very present, alert, and has a lot of energy. He is still struggling with speech, but is attempting conversations without having the writing instrument out. He also is doing an amazing job of staying patient with himself and didn't seem to get frustrated with himself or need to rush when trying to work out thoughts in speech. Personally, it was a huge relief to see him after last having seen him while he was sedated and in critical condition.
We did talk some business and I wanted to give an update on that.
Housing: His parents are coming tomorrow and they will be looking for a place in the South Bay near where he will be accessing outpatient treatment. He said he doesn't know if they need help looking and I agreed to call his mom tomorrow to check about how their settling here might go. He said that he and Keith will look for a place in Berkeley after his parents leave in November.
Visiting and Support: He said he doesn't want or need any formal plans for visitation, like making a schedule of folks to keep him company when he is out, and that informally scheduling visits has been fine and he will let people know if he needs something else. He doesn't have any big wishes or desires for when he gets out of the hospital. He already got to go out for Thai food, but other than that, he is just focused on getting better.
Legal: Scott is aware that allies have offered legal contacts trained in police accountability and veteran issues. I also told him that several lawyers have expressed urgency around his case and investigation being taken up. He said he is already taking care of this and that if he wants bios or contacts for those lawyers, he will let me know.
Media: Scott would like to shoot to put out a statement for Vet's day, but doesn't want to rush himself because he doesn't know how much energy its going to take when his parents arrive and also with transitioning out of inpatient over this week. If he does write something, he would like someone to look it over. I also assume he'd rely on us to disseminate any statement to press contacts. I really wanted to respect that he not push himself since there will be a lot going on the next few days. If he does write something or want help composing something, he knows that we are more than willing to line up support.
Hope that covers the business end. My overall impression was that he is both trying to take it easy, but is also able to start taking care of his affairs and knows that he can ask for support if he needs it. I'm really happy he's doing so well and seems both accepting and determined. All good news for today.
November 03, 2011
Members of the New York City chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and dozens of other uniformed veterans known as 'Veterans of the 99%' pause in front of the New York Stock Exchange while marching from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Zucotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street movement is centered on November 2, 2011 in New York City. The veterans groups, which feature current and former members of the United States military, marched in support of Occupy Wall Street and to pay homage to Scott Olsen, a former Marine and Iraq War vet who sustained a skull fracture after he was injured by police at an Occupy Oakland protest.
November 02, 2011
My name is Julie Kramer and I have been at Occupy San Diego for almost a month. I would like to first thank you very much for your support of
Thank you for fighting for our rights and freedom. As part of
October 31, 2011
We just got an update from the Public Affairs person at the hospital Scott Olsen was in.
As of Friday evening, Scott was moved to another facility, which will remain anonymous at the family's request.
He is in fair condition but still cannot speak due to the swelling in his brain. He can, however, write and respond "quickly and accurately," according to the hospital spokesperson.
You can continue to send cards and letters, but please, no flowers or perishables, to the same address as before, Highland Hospital, 1411 E. 31st St., Oakland CA 94602
Our members and supporters have so far contributed nearly $10,000 to the Scott Olsen Support Fund that Scott's family can use for medical and other expenses.
A note to those who want to send a large gift to the fund: A member called yesterday saying he received an automated reply email rejecting his gift...it turns out the service we use can process a maximum of a thousand dollars per transaction. Since then, he has sent in two maximum contributions which is great, but keep in mind -- that just like your public radio station's fall campaign -- we do this one contribution at a time and every one counts!
VFP is an important part of the "occupy" encampments in many cities and we will remain on the front lines, doing everything we can to support this blossoming democracy movement!
Veterans For Peace welcomes your tax deductible contribution!
October 27, 2011
October 25, 2011
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.
October 13, 2011
"We were suddenly enlivened again, bolstered by your support, your words, your mere presence.."
I am writing to thank you for your courageous actions at the Occupy Boston encampment on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
You arrived in the middle of our General Assembly. The energy prior to your arrival was frankly a bit low — most of us had been marching, chanting, singing and standing since noon and we were exhausted, yet committed to remaining. When you arrived, however, there was a significant shift in the energy of our group. We were suddenly enlivened again, bolstered by your support, your words, your mere presence. The very act, the theater, of your entrance conjured up an image of knights in shining armor, riding in, proud and brave with your flags held high flapping behind you — and let me tell you, as an ardent feminist I don’t think I’ve ever referred to a group of mainly men as knights in shining armor!
Further, I had the chance to speak with a few of you as we waited for the police to arrive. Your encouraging words, and again your mere presence, emboldened and bolstered me. Having never been in such a fear charged, potentially violent situation, somehow, I felt safer because you were there. Frankly, I was not expecting you to stand with us as we defended our encampment; I figured you would stand to the side, supportive but removed. But when the police arrived to disperse us and I realized you all had no plans to move from your position in front of our chain, again, I felt strengthened. From my position in the chain, I could not see fully what was occurring, but watching your proud, beautiful flags held tall, waiver and fall due to the police actions against you my heart wrenched. I could not believe what I was seeing. You all deserve so much more respect than that. And then I watched one of your members be forcefully pushed to the ground. At that moment, something inside me snapped and I was overwhelmed with the deepest feeling of determination I have ever felt. I was filled with fear, but also with pride, knowing that we were all in this together. There was no question in my mind that what I, what we, were doing was right and just.
So again, I want to thank you for your actions and presence. I don’t think that words can accurately convey my deep appreciation for you all, and what it meant to me to have you with us that night. I will never forget it.
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