OAKLAND, Calif. - A former US soldier wounded in a protest on the streets of Oakland after surviving two tours in Iraq has put a new face on the 'Occupy' movement by galvanizing veteran backing for the push against economic inequality in the United States.
Former US Marine Scott Olsen, 24, was sent to the hospital in critical condition after a clash on Tuesday night with police, which authorities blamed on provocation by protesters. Demonstrators have rejected blame. A video of the bloodied young man being carried to safety by other protesters has eclipsed images of dirty tent camps and people dressed in costume that have dominated national coverage of the occupy demonstrations.
"A lot of people are now doing this for Scott," said Claire Chadwick, who works in nearby Berkeley. She was at the Tuesday demonstration and said she was the first to aid Olsen after a projectile hit him.
"I moved here a month and a half ago from Dayton, Ohio. I'm only 20 years old! And I've never been so disappointed in my government," she said on Thursday outside the Oakland hospital where Olsen is receiving treatment. He was upgraded to fair condition by Thursday morning.