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STATEMENT ON OLYMPIA PORT MILITARIZATION RESISTANCE

This week the police in Olympia, the capital of Washington State,flagrantly violated recommended policies for the use of pepper spray and attacked nonviolent protesters. Dozens of young people who believe the Iraq war is illegal under international law and that they have a duty under the Nuremberg Principles to resist it were subjected
to dangerous attack from chemical weapons. They deserve not unnecessary violence and excessive force, but praise for standing up for core American values.
Spraying at the Gate
Spraying at the Gate
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
November 15, 2007

A 1995 study of pepper spray by the ACLU of Southern California
concluded that "OC [oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray] should be
used only against violent or hostile subjects. It is a defensive
weapon for use when attempting to subdue an unarmed attacker or to
overcome resistance likely to result in injury to either the suspect,
officer, or bystander. . . . OC may be used in arrest or custodial
restraint situations where physical presence and/or verbal commands
have been ineffective in overcoming violent physical resistance, but
officers should not automatically escalate from verbal techniques to
OC use without attempting physical control techniques that fall below
OC on the scale of force. OC shall not be used on suspects who
passively resist arrest -- i.e. going limp or offering no physical
resistance."


Instead of protesting this outrage, the *Olympian*, Olympia's
McClatchy-owned daily, lent its columns to police claims that
"protesters at the Port of Olympia became overly aggressive" and
somehow deserved what happened to them. At the same time, the paper
is maintaining a comment page open to vigilantes who encourage
criminal assaults on protesters and absurdly label them "domestic
terrorists." The paper's executive editor went so far as to publish a
curious "news" piece purporting to relate "what happened and what did
not happen" at the Port of Olympia. Her tendentious piece begins:
"Let me make something perfectly clear: The Olympian's newsroom staff
did not get attacked by police when they were at the scene covering
the recent port protests." But this is directly contradicted by her
own reporter, Jeremy Pawloski, in a sentence that she quotes: "One
officer in riot gear took a swing at me Saturday, but he missed."


Concerned that "Olympia Port Militarization Resistance organization
(PMR) needs to talk to and explain our actions to the general public,"
on Thursday Peter Bohmer published the first survey of the November
2007 phase of Port Militarization Resistance in Olympia, WA, where 60
or 61 antiwar protesters have been arrested in the course of the past
week. In his 2,500-word article, Bohmer reveals some of the internal
divisions that the PMR movement has encountered and, for the most
part, overcome, as it grows and becomes better known nationally and
internationally. He acknowledges that "probably the majority [in
Olympia] does not support [PMR]. More outreach needs to be done. . .
. Hopefully, the militancy, courage, tactics, and spirit of these very
strong actions will inspire others throughout the United States to
stand up and not be complicit with the torture and occupation being
carried out in our name."


United for Peace of Pierce County applauds the courage of the Olympia
Port Militarization Resistance protesters. In them, not in the
weapons of war bound for Fort Lewis, lies the hope of the nation.

homepage: homepage: http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/6845/