November 28, 2011; Source: USA Today | Scott Olsen, the protestor badly injured in the raid on the OWS Oakland encampment, has resurfaced to talk about his reasons for participating in the protest as well as the continuing effects of his injury, which is alleged to have been caused by a police projectile fired at close range. The widely viewed video of the incident shows fellow protestors running to help Olsen and police apparently trying to prevent the rescue. Olsen, a 24-year-old former marine and now a computer systems administrator for an online security company, says the whole scene—the helicopters, explosions, and shouts of “medic”—was reminiscent of his time in Iraq, where he served two tours of duty. But he said that it is ironic that he was not injured in Iraq but rather here, in the United States, where he was exercising the very constitutional liberties he went overseas to protect.
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After the injury, Olsen did not regain his power of speech for more than two weeks, and he still stutters and stammers as he searches for words, a result of bruising and swelling in his brain. Still, Olsen seems to have no regrets: “I liked everything about Occupy—getting the money out of politics, getting people back into their homes.” And getting the United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which is the issue that drew him to OWS in the first place.—Ruth McCambridge