Thor, a Marine sergeant, confronted NYPD officers during last weekend’s Occupy Wall Street march on Times Square.
Thor is the nickname of Marine Corp Sergeant Shamar Thomas, who yelled at a crowd of NYPD officers being too aggressive against peaceful protesters.
“There is no honor in this! There is no honor in this!” Shamar Thomas screamed over and over.
“This is not a war zone! These are unarmed people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people!”
Thor is qualified to make that distinction, having served in Marine Corps from 2003 and did two tours in Iraq, in 2004 and 2006, before being honorably discharged in 2007. During his time in Iraq, Thor served as the non-commission officer who ran a small detention facility in Rutbah, which earned him a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
In a video footage emerged on internet, Shamar Thomas is shown being appalled by the police behavior in Times Square, and lashes out at a group of about nine officers.
“How do you do this to people? You’re here to protect them! You’re here to protect us! This is the United States!” Thor screamed.
“If you want to go hurt people, go to Iraq!”
“They don’t have guns- why are you hurting these people?”
Thor later spoke on Keith Olberman’s Current TV show Monday night to clarify his position, saying that there is a major difference between the level of acceptable behavior in a peaceful protest and that of a warzone like he saw in Iraq.
“We had rocks thrown at us, after the rocks were thrown we didn’t go beating up people and arresting people you know what I mean? We kind of treated it with a level of humility,” Shamar Thomas said of his time in Iraq.
“I saw a cop punching a woman up in the face [in Times Square],” Thor continued.
“When the situation arises where the crowd starts getting frantic, that’s when it’s time to say <<You know, the crowd is getting frantic>>. When people are just shouting <<We are the 99 per cent, come join us>>, these are not chants that incite violence,” Thor said.
Last weekend, more than 40 people were arrested in New York’s Times Square as demonstrators jostled with police after thousands of Occupy Wall street protesters marched from the city’s Financial District to midtown Manhattan.
The Occupy movement demonstrators swamped Times Square, stopping traffic as the numbers swelled to 20,0000 in what was thought to be the largest “Occupy” demonstration in the U.S. so far.
Though the footage doesn’t show Thor ever being touched by NYPD officers, he seems to have been upset by their treatment to the other protesters.
Shamar Thomas touts both his own military service and that of his parents. His mother served in Iraq at the same time as he did in 2004, along with his father, step-father, and grandfather who have all worked in the military in various positions.
“My whole family protected this country!” Thor said in Times Square.
Shamar Thomas thinks that it is important for him to wear his military uniform, even though he is no longer an active member of the Marine Corps, in order to encourage others to join the protests.
“I want to inspire the veterans to come out because a lot of veterans have this thing where they don’t want to speak against the government. They’re so trained like <<Oh no, speaking against the government is wrong because we have a chain of command>>. I don’t think it’s about a chain of command, it’s about a way of life,” Thor said Monday.