Could it be that some things are missing from the discussion about the protests at the Port of Olympia marine terminal?
I do not support the war. I do not support the use of the Port for military operations. I also do not support rock-throwing or violence of any kind by any one.
However, if one steps back, one might come to the conclusion that ultimately, this is a situation created by the Port, not the City of Olympia, and by people who promote "non-violence" by instigating violent exchanges through their own actions. For example, breaking out windows downtown is not "non-violence", nor is throwing rocks at police cars. Behavior has consequences.
I have been wondering over the past few days about how many of the protestors are registered to vote in Thurston County, and if registered, how many voted in the Port Commission race last week. I wonder if the majority of them know anything of the outcome of the election or that there even was a recent election. I also wonder how many of them have attempted to express outrage at the action by the Port in a constructive way. I also would like to know how much recruiting of additional protesters was done with out-of-state organizations, who, while they may have a stake in ending this war, have no stake in our community.
I don't know how the decision was made to allow the military off-loading to occur here. If the Port did it without public discussion, then the Port needs to be held accountable for that. The City of Olympia did not have a hand in approving this, and given the incredibly bad relations between the City and the Port, I would be surprised if the possibility of the military shipments was even discussed before the decision was made by the Port. I also wonder why the Port did not anticipate this reaction. That seems short-sighted. Perhaps, had some outreach been done, these protests could have taken place in a respectful manner, rather than erupting into the destructiveness we have seen over the past few days.
The other question that must be asked, again of the Port, is what, exactly, is it willing to accept here in order to accommodate a money-losing operation? I would be interested to know how much the Port is being paid to accept these shipments, how much it spent on its "private security firm".
How much has the City been forced to spend on police overtime, pepper spray, staff time now and in the months to come as the so called Angry Peace-Mob unleashes its misdirected wrath on the City of Olympia while the Olympia Port Commission, the real culprit in these shipments, seems to smirk and get away with its secretive dereliction of duty?
I truly love our little town of Olympia. I love the energy and generosity of this community. I do not like to see us embroiled in the kind of stuff that detracts from truly important and huge local issues such as homelessness, and affordable housing and health care and child care for all who live here.
Commissioner, District 1
Phone: (360) 357-4121
Commissioner, District 2
Phone: (360) 491-6350
Commissioner, District 3
Phone: (360) 866-8619
Phone: (360) 528-8001
"The Port Commission welcomes your comments concerning current meeting agenda items. We would appreciate your comments two business days prior to the scheduled meeting."