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  • Dozens arrested in brutal police crackdown on PMR at Port of Olympia

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on November 15, 2007

    Forwarded by Maryrose Asher of the Green Party of Washington State:

    Rumors were circulating early Wednesday that CBS is about to run a national story on Olympia PMR. Below are local media reports.

    https://i2.wp.com/media.theolympian.com/smedia/2007/11/14/00/450-A1main-new14-clr-rs.standalone.prod_affiliate.38.jpg

    in the gears of the machine

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,310544,00.html

    —– Original Message —–Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:03 AM

    Subject: [SUS] Fwd: [snow-news] O,AP,KING,ST, OlyPMR: Dozens arrested in brutal police crackdown on PMR at Port of Olympia

    From Mark Jensen

    LOCAL NEWS: Dozens arrested in brutal police crackdown on PMR at Port ofOlympia

    [At the Port of Olympia late Tuesday authorities decided to force a resolution of the stand-off between Olympia Port Militarization Resistance activists and convoys attempting to move war matériel back from Iraq to the nearby U.S. Army base at Fort Lewis. — About 3:00 a.m., the *Olympian* (Olympia, WA) posted a confused account of events on its web site whichsaid that “[a]bout 50 people were arrested” Tuesday night and “held throughout the night so they couldn’t rejoin the protests.”[1] — [According to Kelly Beckham of OlyPMR, however, who said she was at the jail in Olympia early Wednesday morning, “70 people are detained, so far we know no charges, and they are supposed to be released at 4:00 a.m.”]
    — When convoys attempted to exit the port through a different gate and protesters scrambled to respond, “police responded . . . by shooting pepper-spray bullets and pepper spray into the crowd. A witness said
    police also threw two concussion grenades into the crowd.” — An Olympia police lieutenant said: “We’re going to keep moving equipment as long as we can.” — At about 5:00 a.m. an NBC affiliate in the Tri-Cities area posted an AP report that emphasized the violence of protesters (“Police wearing riot gear shot pepper-spray bullets into a crowd of more than 150 protesters who attempted to block military convoys late Tuesday night. . .. There also were reports of unrest in downtown where windows at a bank were shattered. Police Lt. Jim Costa says about 50 people were arrested.He added a police cruiser had its window broken by several rocks and one officer was hit in the knee with a rock.”).[2] — KING 5 and Northwest Cable News posted a brief report shortly before 7:00 a.m.[3] — Shortly after midnight, the *Seattle Times* reported based on police sources that an unsuccessful attempt was made by protesters to block trains leaving the Port by “pour[ing] cement over railroad tracks.”[4] — A report posted by Rob Richards just before midnight on Olyblog said that “Things have gotten pretty ugly downtown. I’ve heard reports of police vehicles
    attacked with rocks, and windows of police cars being broken. This makes me very sad. It didn’t need to get this out of hand. Violence begets violence. The scene was peaceful until the police made it violent. . . .
    Our downtown was turned into a war zone by those tasked to keep the peace.”[5] — As of about 7:00 a.m., there were no reports from KOMO, the *News Tribune* (Tacoma, WA), the *Seattle Post-Intelligencer*, the
    *Kitsap Sun*, the *Daily World* (Grays Harbor, WA), or the *Oregonian*.– Only a few hours before Tuesday night’s confrontations, OlyPMR issued a lengthy press release decrying “dozens of instances of police brutality across Olympia throughout the past week.”[6] — Rumors were circulating
    early Wednesday that CBS is about to run a national story on Olympia PMR.–Mark]

    http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/6834/

    1.CONVOYS SLIP PAST PROTESTERS AT OLYMPIA PORT; DOZENS ARRESTED
    By Jeremy Pawloski

    Olympian (Olympia, WA)
    November 14, 2007

    http://www.theolympian.com/570/story/271003.html

    [PHOTO
    (http://media.theolympian.com/smedia/2007/11/14/00/450-A1main-new14-clr-rs.standalone.prod_affiliate.38.jpg )
    CAPTION: Olympia police use pepper spray in an attempt to clear war protesters from Marine Drive as Army Stryker vehicles from Fort Lewis roll in a convoy out of the Port of Olympia on Tuesday night.]

    [PHOTO
    (http://media.theolympian.com/smedia/2007/11/14/00/601-A1sec14-clr-rs.standalone.prod_affiliate.38.jpg )
    CAPTION: Olympia police in riot gear clear war protesters from the road at the entrance to the Port of OIympia on Tuesday night.]

    OLYMPIA — Demonstrators gathered at the Port of Olympia’s main gate Tuesday night to block military shipments from the port to Fort Lewis, but the Army outflanked them and moved several convoys out another gate.

    Olympia police in riot gear wore gas masks as they prepared to remove protesters from the main entrance about 11 p.m. At the same time, military convoys left for Fort Lewis from the port exit to Marine Drive.

    Protesters ran to the Marine Drive location and attempted to block the convoy, and police responded to protesters blocking Stryker vehicles by shooting pepper-spray bullets and pepper spray into the crowd. A witness said police also threw two concussion grenades into the crowd.

    About 50 people were arrested Tuesday night, police said.

    Convoys continued into this morning, and a convoy moved shortly after 1:30 a.m.

    Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa said Tuesday night, “We’re going to keep moving equipment as long as we can.”

    People arrested were held in an Intercity Transit bus that was guarded by police, Costa said. They were to be held throughout the night so they couldn’t rejoin the protests, he said.

    Janis Duddles, 56, of Olympia, said she was arrested about midnight after yelling at police. She said she isn’t a member of a protest group and was shocked by the proceedings.

    She said she was held in a 9-by-10-foot cell with 17 people for about two hours, then was released because she has a heart condition and told officers at the jail.

    “I think the biggest deal is not necessarily what was happening on the street, but somehow, the Olympia Police Department thinks it’s OK to put 17 people in 90 square feet,” Duddles said. “How dare they.”

    She said that the others in the cell, all women in their 20s, weren’t allowed to leave.
    “That’s breaking my heart, those little girls are stuck in there,” Duddles said at 2:15 a.m.

    Tuesday night, one police car had its windows broken out by a thrown rock, and an officer was hit in the knee, Costa said.

    The buildup to the confrontation started about 9 p.m., as police lined up to face a group of about 30 female protesters sitting across the road. Behind them stood the rest of the estimated 150 protesters at the port
    entrance.

    Police gave five warnings that they would use force and pepper spray on the protesters, then began arresting the women in the road about 10 p.m. After that, police fanned out toward the protesters, waiting in a line for
    about an hour before putting on gas masks in anticipation of making more arrests.

    [INSET]

    BUDGET RESTRICTS POLICE RESPONSE

    Olympia Assistant City Manager Subir Mukerjee said at Tuesday’s Olympia City Council meeting that the port did not notify Olympia police that assistance was needed Tuesday morning.

    But Mayor Foutch said the lack of police response probably was because officers have been working overtime through the weekend, and no one was available.

    “We don’t have enough people to have a mass operation every day for a week,” he said.

    Olympia councilman Joe Hyer added that the lack of response Tuesday and last week illustrates the city’s budget constraints and inability to adequately fund police services.

    “If we’re expecting to have a certain level of services, we’ve got to have the tools in place” to pay for those services, he said.

    2. DOZENS OF ARRESTS MADE IN PROTESTS AGAINST MILITARY SHIPMENTS

    Associated Press
    November 14, 2007

    http://www.kndo.com/Global/story.asp?S=7357370&nav=menu484_2_8

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — Police say they have arrested about 50 people who were protesting shipments of military cargo from the Port of Olympia to Fort Lewis.

    Police wearing riot gear shot pepper-spray bullets into a crowd of more than 150 protesters who attempted to block military convoys late Tuesday night. Several convoys eventually moved out.

    There also were reports of unrest in downtown where windows at a bank were shattered.

    Police Lt. Jim Costa says about 50 people were arrested. He added a police cruiser had its window broken by several rocks and one officer was hit in the knee with a rock.

    Protests at the port began last week, after the USNS Brittin arrived and began unloading equipment that had been used in Iraq by the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis.

    3. DOZENS OF PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT PORT OF OLYMPIA
    By Associated Press and KING Staff Reports

    KING 5 (Seattle) / Northwest Cable News
    November 14, 2007

    http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_111407WABport_olympia_protest_LJ.e22088.html
    or
    http://www.nwcn.com/topstories/stories/NW_111407WABport_olympia_protest_LJ.e22088.html

    [PHOTO
    (http://www.nwcn.com/topstories/stories/M_IMAGE.1163daadc82.93.88.fa.d0.eb8bce.jpg)
    CAPTION: Police say they have arrested about 50 people who were protesting shipments of military cargo from the Port of Olympia to Fort Lewis.]

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — Police say they have arrested about 50 people who were protesting shipments of military cargo from the Port of Olympia to Fort Lewis.

    Police wearing riot gear shot pepper-spray bullets into a crowd of more
    than 150 protesters who attempted to block military convoys late Tuesday
    night. Port employees were able to get several convoys out through
    another gate as protesters tried unsuccessfully to stop them.

    There also were reports of unrest in downtown where windows at a bank were shattered.

    Police Lt. Jim Costa says about 50 people were arrested. He added a police cruiser had its window broken by several rocks and one officer was hit in the knee with a rock.

    Protests at the port began last week, after the USNS Brittin arrived and began unloading equipment that had been used in Iraq by the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis.

    Over the weekend, some protesters complained Olympia police used “unnecessary and extreme” force.

    “I got pulled and I got dragged, and they didn’t give (another protester) any medical attention,” complained one protester.

    But authorities say many instances protesters exceeded their rights to use the public right of ways. The city has promised to look into all complaints of police brutality.

    4. PROTESTERS TRY TO BLOCK TRAINS AT PORT

    Seattle Times
    November 14, 2007

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004012580_webprotest13m.html

    Activists protesting military shipments at the Port of Olympia poured cement over railroad tracks to try to block shipments coming out of the Port today, according to Olympia police.

    Nobody was arrested after protesters unsuccessfully tried to keep trains from leaving the Port, said Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa. The Port cleaned up the cement, Costa said.

    Protesters are a frequent presence at that location, where Iraq-bound Army equipment goes through the Port.

    5. NEWS FLASH FROM THE PORT
    By Rob Richards

    Olyblog
    November 13, 2007

    http://olyblog.net/

    11:50PM UPDATE: Things have gotten pretty ugly downtown. I’ve heard reports of police vehicles attacked with rocks, and windows of police cars being broken. This makes me very sad. It didn’t need to get this out of hand. Violence begets violence. The scene was peaceful until the police made it violent. I can only assume that they got what they wanted. Our downtown was turned into a war zone by those tasked to keep the peace.

    I can’t wait to hear the responses to this.

    This is my last update of the night, I’m going to bed.

    11:29 UPDATE: Primary source confirmed concussion grenades and lots of gas, he then had to get off the phone because the riot police were advancing again. He did report that the crowd was still at about 200.

    11:20 UPDATE: A secondary source just checked in and reported that the police indeed did move in, tonight with gas and rubber bullets. The source witnessed one woman shot in face with a rubber bullet.

    A convoy of trucks came through where the secondary blockade was and the police managed to scatter the people enough to get the trucks out. The people from the primary blockade rushed over to attempt to block the convoy when the police attacked with gas and rubber bullets. Also reported that at least 10 people were severely affected by gas.

    11:15 UPDATE: I haven’t heard back from my contact yet, I’m a little worried. I stepped outside and heard lots of sirens from that area, also a loud bang, maybe concussion grenade. I also heard other loud noises,
    maybe a train.

    6.[From Sandy Mayes]

    For immediate release

    OLYMPIA PORT MILITARIZATION RESISTANCE DENOUNCES POLICE BRUTALITY IN CURRENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST IRAQ WAR

    November 13, 2007

    Contacts:

    Andrew Yankey (360) 349-1089
    Noah Sochet (510) 325-8138
    Anna-Marie Morano (360) 878-1401
    Sandy Mayes (360) 878-3238

    OLYMPIA, WA — Demonstrators at the Port of Olympia, on Wed night, Nov. 7, stood in the road with linked arms to block military shipments in a dramatic show of support for the demilitarization of their port. By the
    end of that night, Olympia police had attacked demonstrators with batons and OC gas (pepper spray), tactics which were further escalated on Sat. On Sun night, City Council member T.J. Johnson opened the doors to city hall for an emergency community forum, where a packed city council chamber
    heard compelling testimony from more than sixty citizens who experienced police brutality over the preceding several days.

    Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR) was founded in May of 2006 when Olympia peace activists attempted to block outgoing Strykers and other military equipment in advance of the deployment of the 3rd Brigade Stryker Team from Ft. Lewis. Activists united under the banner of Olympia Port Militarization Resistance, declaring a common mission to “end our community’s participation in the illegal occupation of Iraq by stopping the military use of the Port of Olympia.” Thirty-seven people were arrested for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience over the course of ten days during that first campaign.

    On Mon, Nov. 5 of this year, the USNS Brittin arrived at the Port of Olympia with equipment from the 3rd Stryker Brigade returning from that same deployment in Iraq. The troops of the Brigade had returned to Fort
    Lewis about two weeks previous, missing 48 of their fellow soldiers who had died from injuries sustained in Iraq.

    On Sat. morning, after detaining any movement of military equipment for 17 hours and successfully forcing a convoy back into the port, a line of demonstrators held hands in front of the port gate in nonviolent
    resistance as police repeatedly attacked them with close range pepper spray. As video and witness accounts clearly show, police wrenched the demonstrators apart, struck them with batons and threw them into a nearby ditch. Shocked onlookers who rushed forward to provide help were subsequently attacked. Medics trying to gain access to wounded demonstrators were also pepper sprayed and forced back with batons.

    At noon, a group of demonstrators moved to a more visible downtown intersection. As military vehicles flanked by police in full riot gear approached, several demonstrators stepped into the road. Police heavily
    pepper sprayed, shoved and kicked demonstrators, as well as medics, legal observers, and bystanders, until they retreated to safety.

    Police hit Patricia Hutchison, an Olympia student, with pepper spray and then immediately handcuffed her. She was detained in a police van where she remained for twenty-five minutes. Her repeated requests for medical attention were ignored. “I thought the skin was literally peeling off my
    face. I was begging for help and no one would help me.” Across the street, Patricia’s identical twin sister, Kathleen, also an Olympia student, saw her sister needed help. “The hardest thing was seeing my
    sister in pain. I was begging them to help her.” Police forced Kathleen away from friends and shoved her to the ground before dragging her to the police van. Both sisters were booked and released without charge. No
    explanation has been given for their detainment. Kathleen and Patricia were among those testifying on Sun night.

    Sun. morning a group of women began to lay flowers in the road in front of the port gate in memory of the 48 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade killed in Iraq. As the women were laying their memorial, the police moved in,
    trampling the flowers and shoving the women back to the curb with batons. Wes Hamilton, a Vietnam veteran, was shot repeatedly in the groin with pepper spray bullets as he spoke out against the brutality. Patricia Imani, a longtime Olympia resident, was shocked by what she experienced.
    “It’s unimaginable that police will come in with full riot gear and respond with such violence to women with flowers and shoot a veteran during a Veteran’s Day memorial.”

    At this time, in apparent response to an increased watchfulness from the media, the Olympia Police Department maintains no visible presence at the port, and demonstrators have been able to prevent movement of military equipment while allowing regular port business to recommence. The hard
    won success of the demonstrations has impressed many Olympia residents. Wes Hamilton says, “I am proud of these young people; they are my heroes. I saw them acting on their values in ways that I wish I had the courage to act. They are doing for us all the things we say we stand for.”

    Witnesses report dozens of instances of police brutality across Olympia throughout the past week. Peter Cooper says, “When I talk to my family who live in Texas, I try to describe what’s been happening, but there’s been so much violence against peaceful demonstrators, so many instances that are so horrible, that I can’t describe it all in one conversation on the phone.” Still, Olympia resident and community activist Anna-Marie Murano says, “Despite the horror of the police response to our peaceful demonstrations, OlyPMR will continue resisting the use of the soldiers and resources of our community to support an unjust, immoral war.”

    In a statement released today, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance calls for people everywhere to find the ways that their own communities participate in the war, and to join together to creatively resist that participation:

    “We are ordinary people who have found a way to organize ourselves in resistance to this unjust war. We call on all people of goodwill to find their own methods of creative noncompliance. In so doing, we will be
    joining together to dissent from unlawful and unjust authority, which should be considered the essence of democracy. In this way we will act in the interests of the Iraqis, the soldiers, our children, and ourselves.”
    ###
    Link to footage of police action against protesters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgi5ESpueX8

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/14573082/detail.html

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