Olympia Port Militarization Resistance -- March and Rally on Saturday
Nov 16, 2007 00:12
The excessive use of force by police in Olympia, WA has turned a local antiwar protest into a major national news story. Show support for this powerful campaign of resistance by coming to Olympia for a march and rally on Saturday.
November 15, 2007
OLYMPIA, WA - On Saturday, Nov. 17, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR) will hold a large scale march and demonstration to protest the use of local community resources to support the war in Iraq, and to bring attention to the police brutality experienced by antiwar demonstrators in Olympia over the past two weeks. Saturday will mark day thirteen of a campaign by OlyPMR to stop the war in Iraq by preventing the movement of military equipment. Demonstrators have been engaging in nonviolent direct action, using their bodies to block convoys of Stryker combat vehicles from leaving the port.
This march comes on the heels of two weeks of peaceful demonstrations that have been met with excessive force by the police. In one instance, after stopping any movement of military equipment for 17 hours and successfully forcing a convoy back into the port, a line of demonstrators held hands in front of the port gate in nonviolent resistance. Police responded with batons, pepper bullets, and pepper spray, often applied after removing demonstrators' protective goggles.
On Nov. 13, more than two hundred people rallied at the port. Thirty-nine women were arrested while sitting, arms linked, in front of the main gate. At the same time, a group of demonstrators attempted to blockade a second gate and were bombarded by police with tear gas, pepper spray, less-lethal shotgun rounds and concussion grenades. Dozens of people were injured.
On Sunday night, demonstrators met at city hall to demand an end to the brutal tactics of the Olympia Police Department. City Councilmember TJ Johnson heard compelling testimony from more than sixty citizens who experienced police brutality over the preceding several days.
The march on Saturday will begin at Percival Landing (4th Ave and Water St.) at 1:00 pm, stop briefly at City Hall, then proceed to the Port Plaza for the rally.
Community members are available to speak to the press.
Noah Sochet (510) 325-8138
Andrew Yankey (360) 349-1089
Annamarie Murano (360) 878-1401
Sandy Mayes (360) 878-3238
Link to footage of police action against protesters: