© APNew York: Occupy Wall Street protesters marched in support of their fellow campaigners in Oakland after word spread of two-tour Iraq veteran Scott Olsen, who was left critically injured after being hit in the face by a police tear gas canister
Why did police officer fire gas canister into crowd trying to help injured Iraq veteran? Protesters take to the streets of New York and Oakland in solidarity after Marine was left in critical condition
  • Ex-Marine Scott Olsen, 24, of Daly City, California, served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 - and was hit in California protests
  • Anger over Oakland police 'brutality' fans across America as protesters march in solidarity with Olsen on Wednesday
  • Occupy Oakland activists trying to reclaim camp they were in for 15 days - until police evicted them early on Tuesday
  • More trouble on Tuesday at 5pm when 400 people marched towards Frank Ogawa Plaza, which police surrounded
  • Conditions in the Oakland camp were thought to have become unsavoury as tented town became semi-permanent
  • Some protesters threw turquoise and red paint at riot police officers last night and others reportedly threw rocks
  • Meanwhile in Atlanta, Georgia, dozens of protesters were evicted from a park and 53 were arrested by police
Protesters took to the streets of New York and Oakland in force last night as anger boiled over after a two tour Iraq veteran was left seriously injured when he was blasted in the face by a police tear gas canister.

War hero Scott Olsen, 24, was hospitalised in a serious condition after he suffered a fractured skull during a march with other protesters in the Californian city on Tuesday night.

Questions were today being asked of how police handled the situation after videos emerged of an officer throwing a gas canister into the crowd after they had rushed to help Mr Olsen, who was on the floor.
© APCalifornia: Protesters returned to the streets of Oakland for a second night of marching. The police have been accused of unnecessary brutality after officers fired tear gas into the crowds during Tuesday night's protest

© AFP/Getty ImagesWar hero: Two tour Iraq veteran Scott Olsen was left critically injured after being hit in the face by a police tear gas canister during a March through Oakland, California on Tuesday night
In a show of solidarity on Wednesday, Occupy Wall Street protesters left their tents for an impromptu march which caused widespread disruption as it spread across New York, causing police to shut roads and make several arrests.

And campaigners in Oakland redoubled their efforts, returning to the streets for a second night of marching after accusing police of using unnecessary force by firing tear gas on a crowd during Tuesday evening's protests.

In New York, several hundred protesters began marching from Zuccotti Park, the base of the Occupy Wall Street movement, towards City Hall Park which was cordoned off.

The march splintered off into several smaller groups, some of which were confronted by the police.

At some intersections, marchers were met with a line of police motorcycles or mesh barriers blocking access to the road.

The march ended peacefully shortly after 11pm, as the largest group of protesters walked back to Zuccotti Park, followed by a line of NYPD patrol cars.

In California, 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 as tensions grew over demonstration encampments across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bloodied: Violence broke out in running battles between police and protesters as they tried to retake the camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Tuesday

Shocking: Mr Olsen has a scarf pressed to his bleeding wound by fellow protesters as he lies on the ground


Solidarity: A picture of Scott Olsen, 24, the former Marine who was shot in the head by a police projectile during a protest on Tuesday night, is surrounded by candles during a demonstration on Wednesday in Oakland, California

It's not known exactly what type of object struck Mr Olsen or who might have thrown it, though it is believed to have been by officers.

Several small skirmishes had broken out in the night with police clearing the area by firing tear gas and protesters throwing rocks and bottles at them.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a late afternoon news conference that the events leading up to Olsen's injury would be investigated as vigorously as a fatal police shooting.

'It's unfortunate it happened,' he said. 'I wish that it didn't happen. Our goal, obviously, isn't to cause injury to anyone.'

Mr Olsen, a Marine veteran, was in critical condition on Wednesday after he had been struck, said a spokesman for Highland Hospital in Oakland.

His mother, Sandra Olsen, only found out about the incident when her daughter saw it on Facebook. 'It's very, very upsetting,' she told WISN-TV. 'We want our son to be OK. We're just worried about that end of it. Hopefully there won't be long lasting brain damage.'
Taken away: An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator is arrested during a march in solidarity with their sister protest in Oakland, California, on Wednesday, in New York

Flashpoint: Protesters were marching in Oakland after being cleared from their encampment on Frank Ogawa Plaza. Violence erupted with police firing tear gas into the crowd

Solidarity: In New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters take to the streets to show support for their fellow demonstrators in Oakland

Support: In New York Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march outside Ground Zero after news spread of claims of police brutality on the streets of Oakland


He said: 'It's unfortunate it happened. I wish that it didn't happen. Our goal, obviously, isn't to cause injury to anyone

An Oakland hospital spokesman said Mr Olsen, a network administrator in Daly City, was in critical condition on Wednesday.

Mr Olsen is also an Iraq Veterans Against the War member and served in 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. His parents live in Wisconsin and they are expected to fly out to see him, reported The Guardian.

'It's terrible to go over to Iraq twice and come back injured, and then get injured by the police that are supposed to be protecting us,' Mr Olsen's roommate Keith Shannon told The Guardian, adding that he served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 before leaving the military last year.

'Oakland Police Department fired a tear gas canister at his head, fracturing his skull,' said Mr Olsen's friend Joshua Shepherd. A spokesman for Highland General Hospital confirmed that Olsen was being treated for injuries sustained during the protest.

The protesters were trying to make good on a vow to retake an encampment that Occupy Oakland activists had remained in for 15 days, until police evicted them early on Tuesday.

The evening demonstration started around 5pm, when about 400 people began marching from a public library toward the plaza which police had surrounded. Trouble began about an hour into the protest, with officers in riot gear blocking in protesters.

Some threw turquoise and red paint at the riot police officers' faces and helmets while others pleaded for a peaceful protest. Protesters who tried to fight with police and were clubbed and kicked in return.

Authorities were denying reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowd, saying the loud noises came from firecrackers thrown at police by protesters.
Anger: Occupy Oakland protesters gather outside City Hall to protest against the city's action to take down the their encampment

Inquiry: Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, seen here with Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna J. Santana, said Iraq Veteran Scott Olsen's injury would be investigated as vigorously as a fatal police shooting

Accusations: Oakland demonstrators have claimed the police used unnecessary brutality during protests on Tuesday night

The number of protesters diminished with each round of tear gas. Police estimated that there were roughly 1,000 demonstrators at the first clash following the march.

About 200 remained after the final conflict around 11:15pm on Tuesday night - mostly young adults, some riding bicycles, protecting themselves from the noxious fumes with bandanas and scarves wrapped around their faces.

'This movement is more than just the people versus the police,' Mario Fernandez said on Tuesday night. 'It's about the people trying to have their rights to basic services. This crowd isn't going anywhere anytime soon.'

City officials said that two officers were injured. At least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in the evening clashes. But city officials said 97 people were arrested in the Tuesday morning raid on the camp.
Heavy-handed tactics: A woman in a wheelchair covers her mouth after police in Oakland, California, released tear gas to disperse Occupy Wall Street protesters

Getting away: The Occupy Wall Street demonstrator in a wheelchair is pushed away as authorities deploy tear gas in Oakland, California

Warnings: Occupy Wall Street protesters flee after police deploy tear gas to disperse a crowd of around 400 that gathered in Oakland city centre

Not giving up: The Occupy Wall Street campaigners returned to try to retake the camp that had been cleared earlier in the day in Oakland

Scary sight: Occupy Wall Street protesters run from tear gas deployed by police at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, California, on Tuesday

Night lights: Police prepare to enter Occupy Oakland's City Hall encampment on Tuesday night after they cleared the protesters on Tuesday morning

Bring it: A group of police officers stand ready near Oakland City Hall, as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators rally against the early morning police raid

Banners: A group of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators chant in Oakland's financial district during a demonstration in response to the early morning police raid

Dispersing: Police fire tear gas into a crowd of hundreds of Occupy Oakland protesters on Tuesday night as they tried to retake a camp

Accused: Those arrested face charges for camping or assembling without a permit in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland

Mayor Jean Quan said Oakland supports the protesters' goals, but had to act when a small number of them threw rocks, paint and bottles at the police.

'We had, on one hand, demonstrators who tried to rush banks, other demonstrators saying don't do that, and we had police officers, for the most part, 99 per cent, who took a lot of abuse,' the mayor said. 'So yesterday was a sad day for us.'

Jordan said an internal review board and local prosecutors have been asked to determine if officers on the scene used excessive force. He asked witnesses with recordings of violent interactions between civilians and the officers who came from several Bay Area agencies to submit them to investigators.

The clash on Tuesday evening came as officials complained about what they described as deteriorating safety, sanitation and health issues at the dismantled camp.

The same concerns were being raised by San Francisco officials who warned protesters on Wednesday that they could face arrest if they continue camping in a city plaza. In a letter, Police Chief Greg Suhr said the protesters could be arrested for violating a variety of city laws against camping, cooking, urinating and littering in public parks.
Attacked: A policeman is hit in the neck with red paint after the protest turned angry when the encampment was cleared and arrests made


Coming face to face: Conditions in the Oakland camp are thought to have quickly become unsavoury with protesters confronting officers in full riot gear

Debris: The plaza remained cordoned off at midday yesterday for a clean-up after it was cleared for being unsanitary, according to local authorities


The city claimed conditions at the Oakland plaza had begun to deteriorate by the second week of the protests with police, fire and medical care reporting they were denied access to the plaza to respond to service calls. The city also said it had received reports of a sexual assault and a severe beating.

Officials also said the plaza was damaged by graffiti, litter and vandalism. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested in New York since the protests began. There have also been numerous arrests in other cities.

'Existing and ongoing violations make you subject to arrest,' Suhr wrote in the notice, but didn't say if or when arrests would occur.

Police have taken down a previous Occupy San Francisco camp in the Justin Herman Plaza and also cleared another camp outside the Federal Reserve Bank downtown.

Police estimated at least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in the Tuesday evening clashes.

Oakland City Administrator Deana Santana said protestors would be allowed to assemble in the plaza outside City Hall from 6am to 10pm. She pleaded with those who planned to make another stand there to refrain from smashing windows, lighting fires and attempting to stay overnight.

'If we could have these simple, reasonable requests, we think we can assure safety in the streets tonight,' Santana said.

The demonstrators are angry at government bailouts of big banks, high unemployment, and economic inequality in the U.S. Demonstrations have spread across the nation and overseas, although crowds remain relatively small in most cities.