This comment from Norm is in the thread More action at the port today, I'm posting it here on front page because it represents what I believe ideally we should all do: check things out for ourselves, be willing to admit when we don't know, and try to maintain an attitude of curiousity and questioning.
Intrigue?Submitted by Norm on Wed, 05/31/2006 - 1:54pm.
Had you asked me a month ago if I would be down at the port observing a protest I would have called you crazy. Now that I have read through some of your ( people on this site ) thoughts, ideas, hopes, I find myself sympathetic. I'm not saying I'm going to jump in anywhere with a sign and start kicking down a fence, but 4 days over the past week I have gone down to the port in the evenings to try and see for myself just what it is everyone is all about....police forces included. Although I can't agree with the actions of SOME of the protesters, I can say that I've learned a great deal of respect for most. I can also say there are some down at the port who aren't very friendly, but judging by the people on this site I'm hoping I am just unluckily running into the few and not the many. Yesterday I even brought my girlfriend down with me, we both found it very energizing. I've spent the last few days doing laundry every night because I manage to be in just the right wind direction to catch a nice dose of pepper spray. What does it mean? Where do I go from here? I have no clue, but I do know that I feel a lot less anxiety when I drive by people protesting on a street corner. I don't feel the need to claim that ALL of the people who protest in Oly are from Evergreen. I question how well some of our local police commanders respond to things. I question the motives of some people who claim to be peaceful protesters, but seem to just be looking for a fight. I guess that I'm really just looking to learn everyone's point of view.
It seems that I become involved with the local Urban Layers group here in Olympia (thank you Jade). I get in trouble when I start thinking, but thinking is what I've been doing. The urban layers concept is an easy one to describe, from their own website they say "What We Have In Mind: A collectively run mall in downtown Olympia housing local businesses and services that will fill social and economic gaps and bring more vitality to the downtown area." What a concept, right up my alley.
And I've been thinking about the Port of Olympia and what an absolute waste of space, time and money it is. So I'm thinking, like a lot of people have been thinking, that the port stop being a port and become a part of downtown, albeit the northern reach. What a location for the Urban Layer. What a location for a new Olympia library. What a location for the artesian well. What a location for a trailer park.
Huh? Trailer Park
I know that trailer parks have been given a bum rap in the past. I have often been known to make trailer parks and their residents the butts of my jokes. But then I started thinking. I don't watch much TV but I remembered the old Rockford files and the trailer on the beach where James Garner lived in the show. Turns out is a real place and a way cool place. A recent article on Paradise Cove can be found here.
Give the article a read and see how such a place could fit in what I hope is the reclaimed Port of Olympia. Imagine a snug little community of Olympians and their spin on such a place. Single wide trailers are going for a song these days as most trailer parks no longer accept them. You can own your onwn living space for the cost of hauling it away in some instances. Provide the park with the necessary public spaces and amenities and we have a way cool place with housing for the less affluent members of our community in a terrific setting. We should alway reserve some of our best places for those that occupy the lowest rungs of our society.
Monday's port action was widely reported by mainstream media in 25 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in the UK etc, as below. NBC News has been strangely silent throughout the week.
Seattle Post Intelligencer, Bellingham Herald, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, Anchorage Daily News, News & Observer (NC), FOX News, Wired News, Guardian Unlimited (UK), Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Forbes, San Jose Mercury News, Modesto Bee, Christian Broadcasting Network (VA), KFMB, San Diego Union Tribune, Wyoming News, Town Hall, The Columbian, Enid News & Eagle (OK), Santa Maria Times, Myrtle Beach Sun News (SC), Cushing Daily Citizen (OK), Kansas City Star (MO), Grand Forks Herald (ND), Kentucky.com (KY), Charlotte Observer (NC), Penn Live (PA), OregonLive.com, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA), Times Picayune (LA), Mankato Free Press (MN), San Luis Obispo Tribune, Fort Worth Star Telegram (TX), phillyBurbs.com (PA), Duluth News Tribune (MN), Kansas.com, Macon Telegraph (GA), Monterey County Herald, WJLA (DC), Biloxi Sun Herald, Newsday (NY), WRAL.com (NC), Bradenton Herald (FL), Pioneer Press (MN), The State (SC), Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (IN), The Ledger (FL), KSL-TV (UT), Contra Costa Times, News & Observer (NC), SierraTimes.com, Centre Daily Times (PA), Fort Wayne News Sentinel (IN), The Grand Rapids Press (MI), Wilmington Morning Star (NC), Belleville News-Democrat (IL), In-Forum (ND), TheNewsTribune.com (WA), Seattle Times, Free Market News Network (FL).
Who owns the Port of Olympia?
Who does the Olympia Police Department work for?
In whose name are we at war?
Who does the President of the United States of America work for?
What comes first: people or property?
Check the Flickr Photo Gallery here on this page, some good photos of the Port protest are coming through.
So it was day two. Could yesterdays fun times of pepper spray be repeated?! Oh yes, and more.
I arrived at the port at 12:30 or so, there were maybe ten people there. I hung out with two friends for a while, then they left via bike to alert others to our cause. Then another friend showed up and we played soccer with a kickball for an hour. I had to leave then as I had a work meeting to go to. I wont bore you with details. Or details about showing my house to a guy cause my roomate and I are moving out. You dont want to hear that crap anyway. More than you just did. Anyway.
I returned to the port at around 8 or so after a wonderful meal at le voyeur (oly restaurant) and got there just in time to see all our friends the police decked out in their riot gear. Apparently I had missed repeated peppering but thankfully they were able to display a new toy I hadnt encountered yet- tear gas. Yes, they shot it at us after we refused to back up from the already twenty feet we were away from the gate. They also displayed remarkable compassion as three of them beat one man writhing on the ground from the effects of the gas with batons.