Member of the 99%
Mayor Jean Quan, realizing just how badly her city of Oakland, California, looked after the brutal police attacks on the Occupy protesters, is now apologizing and lowering the police presence at the protests.
Former Marine and Iraq War vet, Scott Olsen, who was seriously injured at Occupy Oakland when police fired a projectile that struck him in the head, is reportedly better - though it is still unknown whether he will have to endure brain surgery or not.
And the beat goes on, not just in one American city - but in dozens.
Today I have been reading about a new group that has begun forming in the past few days to move in and support the protesters when the police and political authorities begin overreaching. This group, OccupyMarines, is composed for former members of the Marine Corps (current members can't be involved in civil protests - nor should they be - on either side). And while the ex-marines can't turn out in their military uniforms, they are attempting to show up in quasi-military gear that identifies them as former members of the Corps and makes for quick recognition by others in the crowds as well as by police. It might be important to know that there is a professional cadre on the ground who have been trained to perform in situations of civil unrest.
Interestingly, there is also a movement afoot to bring in off-duty and former police personnel to aid and assist members of the 99%. This effort can be found on the web in various places as OccupyPolice.
The last I heard it was snowing in Zucotti Park. The rabble was supposed to disperse and go back to their soft lives when the weather began to turn cold. That hasn't happened. That insignificant and almost laughable anti-Wall Street protest that began September 17th has survived - and it has thrived. Politicians who felt that they could wait out this storm of public anger may need to rethink that strategy.
Jean Quan was smart to apologize and to pull the police back. Hopefully other political leaders will learn from her flexibility and not be so quick to attack their own citizens.
Be well, Scott Olsen.