Scott Olsen, an Iraq war veteran and Occupy protester who was badly injured during a scuffle with police in Oakland, has become a national symbol for the movement. His case has sparked candlelight vigils, attacks on the liberal Oakland mayor, and maudlin op-eds from leftist activists who suddenly become overcome with reverence for soldiers when it serves as propaganda.
Here’s a taste of some of the coverage, from the socialist outlet Liberation News, which is calling for a citywide strike in Oakland:
The capitalist government’s response to the protests? Typical violence and repression. At the heart of the capitalist system is a police force whose job it is to abuse labor, people of color, the poor, the homeless, and leftists. It is their job as professional thugs to protect Wall Street from the 99 percent. The hierarchies of police forces have purposely protected and promoted the most brutal police with the least connection to humanity in order to have a police force that is always loyal to the capitalist government and capitalist class at times like this. They work for the wealthy 1 percent, not us.
So far, there’s no reason to believe Olsen’s injury (he was reportedly hit in the head with a tear gas canister) was anything more than an unfortunate accident. But there will be an independent investigation of the police anyway. If there was any foul play on their part, they’ll be brought to justice.
Unfortunately, there may be no justice for the other victims of Occupy Wall Street – the women who have reportedly been sexually assaulted and raped at the protests. In some cases, the crimes haven’t been reported to police, and the alleged assailants remain on the loose. But even when police have been alerted, the cases haven’t inspired similar candlelight vigils, newspaper columns, and nationwide calls for justice.
Instead, these alleged crimes are swept under the rug, and the perpetrators sometimes even shooed back onto the streets where they can offend again, as reported in the New York Post:
A sex fiend barged into a woman’s tent and sexually assaulted her at around 6 a.m., said protesters, who chased him from the park.
“Pervert! Pervert! Get the f–k out!” said vigilante Occupiers, who never bothered to call the cops.
“They were shining flashlights in his face and yelling at him to leave,” said a woman who called herself Leslie, but refused to give her real name.
She said that weeks earlier another woman was raped.
“We don’t tell anyone,” she said. “We handle it internally. I said too much already.”
Why isn’t the sexual violence being discussed like Scott Olsen’s case? Likely because it shines an unflattering light on the Occupy Wall Street movement. It’s “safe” for activists to accuse police of brutality, feeding into the notion that the cops are bad and the protesters are good. But accusing some OWS participants of sexually assaulting other participants undercuts the moral standing of the movement. And so organizers prefer to hide the crimes, shield the criminals, and silence the victims. It’s an unbelievable scandal, and it’s a testament to the left’s hypocrisy on women’s rights that this has been allowed to continue unprotested.