There are several eyewitness reports that three people were arrested for peacefully protesting at the Port of Tacoma at about 12:30 AM Monday morning, March 5. They were protesting the shipment of Stryker Brigade equipment to the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. One person was brutally dragged on his stomach and another was shot by a rubber bullet as they were engaged in non-violent protest. The Tacoma police appeared to have become less violent after the media arrived.
Media who want eyewitness testimony should call Zoltan Grossman at 360-359-8871 or Patrick Edelbacher at 925-518-9060. They were witnesses and can direct you to others.
The war is now being brought home in profound ways. These protests were part of a continuation of protests begun last year against the use of the Port of Olympia to ship offensive weapons to Iraq. The military at Ft. Lewis decided this year to avoid the use of the Port of Olympia, but rather to ship arms at the Port of Tacoma. For background information in 2006 see www.omjp.org (then click Port 2006.)
For a recent article on the current plans for resistance see "Next Time, we'll be ready for them: Port MIlitarization Resistance returns to defend the Port of Olympia" http://www.olywip.org/wip/node/484.
Both last year's protests and this year's are not directed at the troops, but rather to support them by ending the illegal war as soon as possible and getting them home this year.
The military equipment is still at the Port of Tacoma and peaceful protests are expected to continue this week at the port and elsewhere in the city. A vigil is planned for by Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OLYPMR) and Tacoma Port Militarization Resistance (TPMR) in Tacoma at Pacific and I-5, from 4-6PM on Monday, March 5. Bring signs to oppose war being exported from the Port of Tacoma. On Tuesday, March 6, there is a planned rally at Noon at the Federal Courthouse at 1717 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
To protest the brutal treatment of the peaceful protesters please call the following numbers:
Mayor of Tacoma 253-591-5100
Tacoma Police 253-798-4721
Tacoma Police Public Information 253-591-5968
Tacoma Sector Command 253-591-5431
Tacoma Community Liaison 253-591-5583 and 253-591-7892
Please send this information widely to others. Other cities may want to consider having protests in support of the Peaceful protests in Tacoma.