The port protest made national headlines. This seems to have been due to the facts it was prolonged (ten days) and semi-violent, what with the police brutality and attempted taking down of the fence. The issue brought up, then, is this: was anything accomplished? One could make the argument that the very fact that it got violent obscures the point made by objecting to the war and the use of our port for shipping of weapons. This is, I believe, a valid statement, but one which leaves out quite a lot of what happened and why.
The port was being used for an illegal action by the U.S. government to continue an illegal and unjust war. The U.S. government and military exist only because we the people believe in them and rely on the money generated by our work (taxes) to function. Therefore, the port, ship and Strykers are OUR property. So what we were doing was stating that we were reclaiming our property and not allowing it to leave our port to go to fight a war the majority of this country's shareholders believe should end. To that end, the protest and semi violent protest that followed.
SEATTLE, June 1 — After nearly a week of protests intended to delay a large Navy cargo ship from sailing to the war in Iraq, the vessel sailed out of Olympia on time Wednesday, port officials said. But the protests, which were raucous at times, could portend a summer of escalating tensions in the port. Skip to next paragraph
The protests, which officials had described as peaceful, escalated on Tuesday when demonstrators clashed with the police, who fired pepper spray when some protesters tried to force their way into the port.
The police said 20 protesters, most from Evergreen State College here, were arrested earlier in the week on misdemeanor charges of attempted trespass and were then released. Two others were charged with a separate offense stemming from a clash with the police.
About 70 police officers in riot gear were deployed at the port, where the Pomeroy, a 950-foot cargo ship, was being loaded with material from nearby Army units bound for Iraq.
In the past week, the ship was greeted by 150 to 200 protesters who shouted at crew members and soldiers, and staged a so-called die-in to protest the war.
It is unpretentious, wildly creative, revolutionary, absurd, spiritual madness. Do you have a guess as to where I am going next with this? That's right... Olympia needs a visionary arts museum! We have millions of artists, many untapped. We already have a start with the Procession of the Species. We just need a building, a curator, and about ten more projects to sustain it." See the full post at What This Town Needs.
There will be a community-wide meeting to discuss the recent port protests and a planning session for long-term actions. This meeting will take place on SATURDAY JUNE 3, at 2pm, at the FREE SCHOOL (610 Columbia St.).
Anyone interested in anti-war organizing in the Thurston County region should attend.
Childcare will be provided.
The Port of Olympia Legal Defense Fund
This legal defense fund was set up to support those arrested in protest of the USS Pomeroy May 2006 visit to the Port of Olympia in Olympia Washington. Many local activists risked their freedom in defiance of George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq. Those facing charges are expected to face prosecution and this fund will help ensure their fair and equitable legal defense.
I know better. I know not to read the comments now on The Olympian web page but I did so anyway and I really wish I had not.
On a story of the accidental deaths of a family, there are comments basically celebrating the fact that they are dead. Mean spirited, cruel comments.
So I will email The Olympian again and I'll remind myself to not read the comments, again.
firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address for reporting abuse. Please let them know what you think.
All the members and comments and posts and images and conversations......lovely. I found myself fussing over the fact that I cannot possibly keep up and then decided to instead just wallow in loveliness.
Surrender to OlyBlog.
Learning from other communities is helpful while thinking on how to respond when hate groups come to town. This new article out of Montana, Nazi group adds point person in Billings, has an especially useful rundown of what works:
Neo-Nazi groups tend to follow a pattern as they try to infiltrate an area, McAdam said.
First, they establish a contact person. If that goes unnoticed, they begin distributing literature. If there is again no response, they graduate to public rallies and sometimes violence.
A better option for communities that become aware of neo-Nazi activists in their midst is to respond immediately.
"What experience has shown over time is that communities that are vocal and do come together to condemn these groups, it takes away their secrecy and anonymous techniques," McAdam said. "It takes away their ability to operate under the cover of darkness. We've seen shining the light of public scrutiny on these groups work time and time and time again."