3:24 PM: Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran injured during “Occupy Oakland” protests Tuesday night, has been upgraded to fair condition and is now breathing on his own, his roommate said today.

Keith Shannon, 24, who met Olsen while they were serving together in the U.S. Marine Corps six years ago, said Olsen’s parents are on their way to be with him today as he awaits surgery.

According to a statement by Iraq Veterans Against War, a group Olsen was active in, the 24-year-old suffered a fractured skull when he was hit by a police projectile during Tuesday night’s protests, which came in response to police dismantling an encampment in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza early that morning.

Police used tear gas, smoke grenades, and rubber bullets attempting to disperse the crowd of hundreds, who continued to reconvene at 14th Street and Broadway throughout the night.

Shannon said Olsen was still sedated this morning and that a neurosurgeon needs to operate on him in the next day or two.

Despite sharing a room together, Shannon said Olsen has spent little time in the house during the last three weeks as he has been active in the “Occupy SF” protest and has camped there nearly every night.

The two have shared a house together in Daly City since July, when Shannon helped Olsen move to the Bay Area by getting him a job with his company in San Francisco.

Shannon said he will be heading to Highland Hospital in Oakland after getting out of work this afternoon to meet Olsen’s parents, who are arriving today from Wisconsin.

At 7 p.m. tonight, Shannon said he would speak at a vigil for Olsen at the site of Occupy Oakland at Frank Ogawa Plaza, and was hoping to convince Olsen’s parents to attend, as well.

Iraq Veterans for Peace and Occupy Oakland organizers have called for similar movements across the country and around the world to hold solidarity vigils for Olsen tonight.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

11:29 AM: “Occupy Oakland” protest organizers are planning a vigil tonight for a Marine veteran who was critically injured during protests Tuesday.

Scott Olsen, who has served two tours in the Iraq War, remains at Highland Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained when law enforcement officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades in an attempt to disperse an assembly that formed near 14th Street and Broadway. (You can watch video — warning, there is profanity — from KTVU of the march and crowd dispersal here, which a friend of the Appeal describes as “essential.” — EB)

The protests Tuesday night were in response to the police removal of the protesters’ encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Olsen, 24, of Daly City, was hit in the head with a police projectile, according to the group Iraq Veterans Against the War.

That group and “Occupy Oakland” organizers have called for similar movements across the country and around the world to hold solidarity vigils for Olsen, who has been active in the “Occupy SF” and “Occupy Oakland” protests during the past several weeks.

He was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010 and works in Daly City as a systems administrator, according to a news release issued by Iraq Veterans Against the War.

According to the veterans group, Olsen is sedated today at Highland Hospital in Oakland with a skull fracture.

Tonight’s vigil is scheduled to be held during the “Occupy Oakland” general assembly at 7 p.m. at 14th Street and Broadway.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who said she supports the movement, issued a statement this morning commenting on the violent tactics police used against the peaceful protest Tuesday night.

“I shared my outrage and grave concern about the police brutality in Oakland directly with the mayor,” Lee said. “My thoughts go out to the injured and especially Scott Olsen.”

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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