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Olympia protests the Militarization of the Port, and the Iraq Occupation

Two people were arrested as police in riot gear responded to about 100 anti-war protesters at the Port of Olympia on Thursday.
The protesters beat drums and banged stones in rhythm against chain-link fencing separating the Port Plaza from a dock, showing their opposition to an Army shipment of equipment from the port to the Iraqi war zone.
Two people were arrested as police in riot gear responded to about 100 anti-war protesters at the Port of Olympia on Thursday.
The protesters beat drums and banged stones in rhythm against chain-link fencing separating the Port Plaza from a dock, showing their opposition to an Army shipment of equipment from the port to the Iraqi war zone.
The demonstrators flashed peace signs with their fingers and chanted a variety of anti-war slogans. At one point, some of them ripped a section of chain-link fencing from posts and briefly trespassed on off- limits port property.
The protest occurred as the SS Cape Intrepid, a Navy transport ship, loaded helicopters, trucks and containers bound from Fort Lewis to the war zone. The ship had pulled into port early Thursday morning.
The protesters vowed to attend Monday's port commission meeting in hopes of persuading the commission to stop accepting shipments to and from the war zone.
This week's shipment is the fourth war-related shipment this year at the port, the first military shipments to pass through the Olympia port since 1987.
"These shipments are only extending the likelihood that our troops are going to continue dying," said Dennis Mills, president of the Olympia chapter of Veterans For Peace. "I'm naming this a port of shame until I see it has become a port of peace."
The military shipments have occurred under heavy Army guard. The U.S. Coast Guard also dispatched armed boats to the port to protect the Cape Intrepid.
Good for business
The four military shipments also have been important in improving port finances. The first three shipments have brought in about $629,000 of the $2.6 million generated by the marine terminal this year.
This will be the first year in the past nine that the port will generate a financial surplus.
Revenues from the military shipments have bothered the protesters, who began daily anti-war vigils downtown on Monday.
"I don't want my town to be any part of making money off the war," said Alice Zillah, who spoke at the protest, which began at 4 p.m. at the Port Plaza and extended into the evening.
"I think it's important that we get this message to the community of Olympia," said Beth Wolff, a student at The Evergreen State College.
Police had a small number of officers monitoring the protest until several demonstrators tore down a 9-foot-high section of the chain-link fence. At that point, police called in officers from Lacey, Tumwater, the sheriff's office and the State Patrol, which filled the port parking lot with an armada of squad cars.
The first arrest was made shortly after the fence came down. Nickolas Bland, 25, was arrested when he walked through the broken fence, in an act of civil disobedience.
Most of the night, protesters shouted and chanted about 6 feet from a line of over 30 police officers, most in gas masks or holding batons, with only the damaged fence separating the two sides. Police kept several bright spotlights aimed at the crowd, making it challenging to see them.
The second arrest occurred when a man who was holding a picture of dead Iraqis was snatched from the crowd without warning. He was not breaking any laws; however he was illegally arrested. Officers handcuffed him and dragged him away, angering protesters who shouted, "Let him go."
Both of the people arrested were charged with suspicion of criminal trespassing, police said.
At 8 p.m., the ship departed from the dock, leaving questions of whether the protests sparked an early departure or whether the ship left on schedule. When the ship departed, unloaded military supplies remained visible on the Port.
Throughout the protests, people chanted that they had nothing against dockworkers who were helping to load the ship.
"We support the workers, we don't support the war," they chanted. The worker's union, the ILWU had come out in opposition to the war, and had shared sentiments in agreement with protesters. Further coalition building will be necessary to work to demilitarize the Olympia Port, all Ports, and end the Iraq Occupation.

WOW 19.Nov.2004 10:55

grape ape

I'm originally from olympia...this is huge! wow! its everywhere and the news doesnt report it!

more coverage 19.Nov.2004 12:27

emma

any chance this can get posted on the international indymedia page? i think that it is important to say that we can take actions in our own communities to stop the war profiteers, and militarization. Also, to tell the international community that all the people of the US do not Ratify Bush's Declaration of war on the rest of the world.

yee-haw 19.Nov.2004 13:27

!

yee-haw

Pizza! Pizza! Report from Oly 19.Nov.2004 15:00

Rux

What little news coverage we recieved on our protest yesterday failed to talk about some of the humorous elements. A local pizza joint donated a couple pizzas to feed the protesters, then a brave delivery boy went up to the front lines and slid a pizza to the riot cops. After singing, "All we are saying, is give pizza a chance," we decided maybe the pigs would like donuts instead, so someone got a box of krispy kremes and slid them through the gate (which was pretty much torn down by this point). I wish I had brought my camera, because it was truly a spectacle: a bunch of laughing, masked kids facing down a row of riot cops, with a pizza and a box of donuts sitting on the ground between them. Then the fucking pigs rush in and snatch a kid from the crowd who was sitting just inside the ruined gate, holding a picture of a dead Iraqi. To add insult to injury, they drag the him through the pizza we had given them, smearing half of it on the ground. Eventually the pizza and donuts were rescued with a long stick and eaten by the crowd.

No Matter Where 19.Nov.2004 16:50

Den Mark, Vancouver

No matter where they are, pigs is pigs. Instead of arresting the mafia, pigs'll go after peaceful protesters every time. So much easier than going after criminals. I wonder what it's like to have a job that requires no functional brain cells.

video 20.Nov.2004 15:19

jeremiah

i've been trying to post the damn movie, I'll try again here, if anyone has any clues as to how to do it let me know

Amazing presence!!! 23.Nov.2004 21:23

c

An amazing protest to be a part of! Facing the cops and singing the hokey pokey . . . ahhh, so we didn't stop the shipment. . . but we scared the shit out of the cops while my brother got arrested. . . OlyWA was on fire that night with 45 cops there and no where else in Olympia. Thanks to all the masked warriors and others for giving it up for peace and justice.
GIVE PIZZA A CHANCE!

holy shit 01.Jun.2006 20:27

fuck yes

I fucking love this story.