Sunday March 11, a committed group of citizens from Olympia, Seattle, Port Townsend and Portland engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to prevent equipment from the 4th Stryker Brigade from being loaded at the Port of Tacoma on a ship bound for Iraq. This is an effective way to show support for the troops - prevent them from being placed in a position where they may kill or be killed. Other efforts to stop the war have not worked--the President and Congress continue the war despite letters and demonstrations, said one of those arrested.
In the spirit of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others throughout history, twenty three people were arrested as part of a peaceful direct action. The military ship continued to be be loaded inside the port's gate but this action was an action to make a statement--to end their complicity in this immoral atrocity. They prepared a Citizen's Injunction against shippping equipment to the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. As the crossed the police barricade, they were arrested. Almost 100 people gathered to support this action and cheered their courage.
A stubstantial contingent of police were present, most were in riot gear. However, the demonstration was peaceful and the police appeared relaxed once they understood this was a peaceful non-violent action.
Several other people were arrested at the start of the action because they entered the free speech zone with backpacks--which the police had prohibited. Stating their Constitutional rights, they refused to relinquish their backpacks and were arrested.