Scott Olsen was an Iraqi War veteran at Occupy Oakland to protest with thousands of people around the country, and many parts of the world, the control of one percent of the most wealthiest and most powerful people against the rest of us. Unfortunately, last Wednesday morning Scott was hit in the head by a police teargas projectile, sustaining a skull fracture and other injuries, forcing him into a coma and the hospital. [caption id="attachment_825" align="alignleft" width="454" caption="Scott Olsen, a former U.S. Marine and veteran of two tours in the Iraq war, is carred away by fellow Occupy Oakland protesters after being shot in the head by a police projectile on the night of October 25, 2011. (Credit: REUTERS/Jay Finneburgh/www.indybay.org) "][/caption] Beginning the night before, some 500 police officers attacked a peaceful crowd of 170, leading to the most violent attack against Occupy participants in the country. Soon after at the original Occupy Wall Street protest in Liberty Plaza in New York City, people chanted: “New York is Oakland, Oakland is New York.” The last news I saw was that Scott had awakened in the hospital’s intensive ward. Yet this brazen police act against those opposed to the rule of corporate and financial interests must not go unanswered. These attacks are indicative of what officials are now planning to stop the growing momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement as it enters its third month. To honor Scott Olsen and other veterans of war who’ve decided to join the nonviolent movement for peace, equity, jobs, homes, and real democracy, I’m presenting here this statement by Bruce Parry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who served in the infantry from 1969 to 1971. He’s been active in the veterans’ movement and the movements for peace and justice since the 1970s. He is a leading member of a recently formed network of revolutionary leaders. For more information, see our website at: www.conferenceofrevolutionaries.tumblr.com
"We are the 99 percent: I believe that this slogan of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Chicago and all the other 'Occupies' represents the fundamental demand of the movement: for democracy. The needs and concerns of the vast majority should outweigh the interests of the tiny minority. I learned in Vietnam that if you are fighting the entire population and believe in democracy, you are on the wrong side. I have devoted the rest of my life to fighting for real democracy, of the kind expressed at Occupy Chicago. I believe that the reason that demands of the movement have not been jelled down to the normal list of progressive demands is that the real demand is to be heard. Then, we will be able to work out how to get health care for all, the homeless off the streets, jobs for everyone, housing, clothing and food for the poor. The concept of democracy runs very deep in the American psyche. Everything the US does is couched in terms of taking democracy to the people. They even refer to capitalism as democracy, rather than what it is. That is because they know that we are a deeply democratic people, in everything but fact. Polls show that the majority of the American people want health care for all, want to feed, clothe and house the homeless, want jobs, want secure lives for them and their families. The reason we do not have those things is that the interests of the 1% are outweighing the interests of the 99% in this country. That is the demand of the 'Occupies.' That is a demand that shows clearly why they have the broad and growing support and the sustainability that characterizes this unique movement. I am fighting for democracy! We are the 99%!"c/s
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