Deserving Of a Broken Skull?

The one nice thing about trolls, me being a “glass half full” kind of guy, is that sometimes in their delusional rantings, they do stumble upon a story worthy of reviewing. Sure, they get their facts wrong,and even when presented with the facts usually come up with a bass ackwards conclusion (you would too if you barely had 2 firing synapses to rub together) but the initial event that lights their fuse did occur, so we can start with that.

We can all agree that Scott Olsen got his bell rung:

A clash between Oakland police and Occupy Wall Street protesters left an Iraq War veteran hospitalized Wednesday after a projectile struck him in a conflict that came as tensions grew over demonstration encampments across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull Tuesday in a march with other protesters toward City Hall, said Dottie Guy, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. The demonstrators had been making an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of a disbanded protesters’ camp when they were met by officers in riot gear.

Interesting wording ,”to re-establish”, in other words, the crowd, under legal precedent and police protocol, was verbally warned that they were in violation of the law (several ordinances are in play here, from organized protesting without a permit-yes, you do need one, just ask the Tea Party, trespassing, loitering, vandalism, noise or trash violations, blocking public access, even park ordinances, etc). A sufficient time is given for the crowd to comply, two more warnings are given with the last two coupled with a list of actions that will happen if the crowd does not disperse and go home. This particular crowd did initially comply, but some tried to re-establish, and Scott was part of this crowd.

Something (unk. what object) hit him in the head and broke his melon. Some of those rush to judgment types are sure that it was a police teargas canister. Problem is, the crowd was throwing rocks and bottles themselves, so nobody knows:

The good news is that Scott was rushed to the hospital and his condition is improving.

A full investigation (level one, reserved for when officers are injured or killed) is on going, and hopefully they will find out exactly what struck Olsen.

But here is the curious part, both sides are going through extra ordinary efforts to make Scott the focus of this incident, not the initial act. You got demonstrators like this who are attempting to make him out as a good guy. Ditto with the right wing blogosphere, digging deep to come up with some truly nasty stuff, here, here , and here. It’s like if they can drudge up dirt that paints him as douchebag, drug addled, sissie boy who could not hack the Marine Corp., then somehow the tragedy of the incident will be mitigated, and that broad brush can be used to paint all the protesters as snivelling lazy degenerates, maybe even deserving of what they get.

I don’t think this is the right’s (those lapping up the story and running with it) finest hour. Yes, I think some responsibility lies with those dunderheads that not only did not leave but returned, putting themselves in harm’s way by their reckless actions. But nobody deserves getting their head broken.

Crowd control is not something they leave to chance but train for it. Given the volatility of the situation, large crowds, not all speaking with one voice, and many spurred on to violence thinking their unanimity will protect them, a greater tolerance is usually exhibited.

But when the crowd degenerates into bottle and rock throwing (please tell me again how these folks are just like the Tea Party), then the kidd gloves come off, and folks are going to be arrested.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    I have also said for a long time that having a permit for a public demonstration is absurd and unconstitutional, no matter what SCOTUS says. It’s like the “free speech zones” we see a presidential events that keep embarassing signs away from candidates. This bullshit has been used to silence protesters constantly. We saw this same crap in Pittsburgh a few years ago. A lot of innocent and peaceful bystanders got harassed and beaten up, often — as In Oakland — by cops called in from other cities.

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  2. richtaylor365 *

    This bullshit has been used to silence protesters constantly.

    How are these protestors being silenced, in any way?

    Re: free speech zones, the first time I remember hearing about those was at some political convention where after several complaints of assault by protesters on those trying to get in, and other complaints that the streets adjacent to the hall were so clogged with protestors that the participants could not enter, it got too difficult for the police to control the area so they made the protesters stand behind a certain barricade, makes sense to me. I agree that it is pretty smarmy for the Secret Service to sanitize the crowd before hand when the president is giving a speech, but it’s done on both sides and for a very long time.

    Case law, including several SCOTUS decisions has “found that picketing is afforded less protection than pure speech due to the physical externalities it creates. Regulations on demonstrations may affect the time, place, and manner of those demonstrations, but may not discriminate based on the content of the demonstration.”

    So I take it from your comments that you think it is reasonable for any mass demonstration to be held anywhere, at anytime, no restrictions at all?

    How about they decide to stage a protest on the freeway, or blocking highways or sidewalks?
    How about they stage a demonstration in the Senate when they are in session?
    How about right smack dab in the middle of city hall, or the public library, or a public park? Screw everybody else, tax paying citizens that live there and would like to afford themselves of services that they pay for. All services in those building get shut down, costing other people money and time, all because the time and place can’t be regulated.

    That video footage in your link showed the crowd, at night, blocking city streets, what happens to the 80 year old man that lives in the area who just has a heart attack and the ambulance can’t get through because of these protestors? Too bad for the old man, he died for a good cause. What about those store owners on that street, those folks that are doing everything right and trying to eek out a living, they’re are just shit out a luck, aren’t they? Or some store patron that is now stuck in the store because he fears for his life in the presence of this mob and dares not go outside, you don’t think he is inconvenienced?

    Who do you think pays for these people’s right to protest? The overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, maybe that’s one of the reason they require permits, to lessen the financial impact of these demonstrations. Now I’m not saying that we always factor in the cost when speaking of Constitutional protections (don’t go there), only that (and this has been a constant wrt SCOTUS decisions on free speech) what harm is that free speech doing to other people.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    I can easily see both sides of the permit issue, and I usually agree with the side that says you need one. Organizing a large group of people for an event entails porta-pottys, security, food, press, traffic control, etc. The other option is mob or a riot.

    As long as permits aren’t denied for no reason, I really don’t have an issue with the concept.

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  4. Miguelito

    Here in San Diego, the Tea Party people are petitioning to get the $10k or so they had to pay for permits and all the crap for the larger gathering here since the city hasn’t really been enforcing the same rules for the OWS crap. I hope it creates a shit storm. Sure they finally sorta kicked them out the other night, but the people came right back and have been there again.

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  5. FPrefect89

    I have also said for a long time that having a permit for a public demonstration is absurd and unconstitutional

    One reason for it is liability. For the Occupy Portland, they took over two parks and illegally blocked off a road. Then there is all the damage being caused to the park by the campers.

    The reasoning for the permitting to limit the liability to the taxpayers while allowing the protest. I agree with SO, there should be no reason to deny a permit, unless it is for an illegal activity, but a permit should be required.

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  6. Manwhore

    Once again, I believe that this whole theory he was hit with a bottle is horseshit. His skull is fractured at the crown, the hardest part of the skull. In the video you linked to (and others if you YouTube it) you don’t see any projectiles going in the direction of the cops, only the protesters. I thought I saw something, but after the ‘nades were thrown and Olsen went.

    Besides, the intentional flashbang into the crowd trying to help a person on the ground was an especially douchenozzle touch. Lying about the use of ‘nades is also a little suspect to me. It’s as if they had something to hide from the beginning.

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  7. Manwhore

    I thought I would add in that it seems we should all thank our lucky stars that there is a step forward from a couple of days when there was a post here mocking using grenades on “teh stinkeh hippeez”. That was some serious derpin’.

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  8. AlexInCT

    me being a “glass half full” kind of guy

    As someone with an engineering background I have to point out that nothing is ever half full. The glass is full. Half of it is water, the rest atmosphere or air. Now in a vacuum we might be having a different discusion.

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  9. richtaylor365 *

    While coming back from my workout this morning, on the radio was a piece on the small businesses in the area of the OWS protests in Oakland that are going out of business, that’s right, ordinary folks who tried to do it right, work hard, play by the rules, make a life for themselves and their families, now because of the protesters and their actions, these business owners are at the very least letting help go (more unemployment) and some are packing it in and going out of business. But it’s all about the protesters and their rights to free speech, right?

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  10. CM

    Absolutely. Water shortages (and probably more importantly, issues over access to water) are going to be so huge that it’s paramount we attempt to ignore the issue and paint it as stupid hippies being retarded. After all, someone was once wrong about something.

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