After Downing Street.org – 2007-11-11 00:40:05
• Youth Stand Up to Tanks. Tianamin in the Streets of America. Video of protest available at this link.
OLYMPIA — Members of Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR) blocked several convoys of military combat vehicles called Strykers beginning late last night and continuing into the morning. Dozens of protesters blocked the road with their bodies as one convoy after another exited the Port of Olympia. In each case, the convoys eventually passed after police shoved and struck protesters with batons and dragged them from the road in order to clear the way.
The demonstration began at 9:00PM when about 100 people gathered outside the port entrance chanting anti-war slogans. After the first convoy of Strykers passed, they attempted to block all subsequent vehicles. Large numbers of police in full riot gear marched onto the scene around 11:15PM.
At 2:30AM police doused a cluster of about 20 people with pepper spray in order to grab one man in their midst; Shyam Khanna was arrested and charged with pedestrian interference and resisting arrest. John Stiner was arrested earlier and charged with pedestrian interference. No other arrests were made.
Protesters said that police force was consistently excessive. Several people reported minor injuries, including Emiliano Guevara whose lip was split open and received other facial injuries when he was hit with a baton.
On Monday, the USNS Brittin arrived at the Port of Olympia, with a return shipment of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Combat Team. In May of 2006, OlyPMR attempted to block the outgoing shipment of this very same brigade; 37 people were arrested over a period of 10 days.
The soldiers of the 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Lewis about 2 weeks ago, minus the 48 who died from injuries sustained in Iraq.
When members of OlyPMR learned late last week of the incoming shipment, they released the following statement:
“We oppose Olympia’s complicity in a war whose disastrous effects have been felt worldwide and we will actively resist the use of Olympia’s port to further that war.
… Through nonviolent actions we intend to stop the Port of Olympia from becoming a revolving door of military machinery furthering illegal war. This war has taken the lives of 3,845 U.S. soldiers, over one million Iraqis, and has displaced millions more. These weapons are returning to be repaired and refitted for further combat. We see this as a continuation of the war despite our nation’s and the Iraqi people’s overwhelming opposition to the war.”
OlyPMR has declared an intent to “contain” the equipment at the Port of Olympia so that it may no longer be used for illegal and immoral U.S. imperial pursuits.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.