may 22-31 account

This is my account, written as accurately as possible, of my experience during the events that unfolded concerning the protest of military use of the Port of Olympia May 22 through May 31, 2006. After many revisions, the removal of names, and advice from others, I have decided to post it to the list and to olyblog. I realize that this is quite long, and that it is also not very exciting language, but it was very cathartic for me to write about what I experienced and I encourage others to do the same.

On May 18th via the Tacoma Tribune, I was made aware of the fact that the Port of Olympia would soon be used to transport a military shipment to Iraq . Beginning the following day, I began walking Port Property, utilizing the observation deck, main gate and see-through fence to attempt guessing whether or not the Port was visibly preparing in any way for a shipment. On Monday, May 22, 2006 around 9:45am, I was standing on the observation deck on port property when I witnessed a military convey being escorted by the Olympia Police Department enter the Port of Olympia. I immediately telephoned ______ who arrived shortly thereafter.

A short time later a police officer approached me and asked whether or not I knew about any impending protests and I stated that I was more of an observer than an organizer. He said that he knew people who worked with ____ were generally well connected to the peace community and repeated his question. I stated that I did not know anything and he left. Within 3 minutes a Port Security officer approached. He waited for an older couple who were looking for the falcons that frequent the port cranes to leave the observation deck and then demanded that I leave. I was on the phone with ________ at the time, who was filming at another location. I asked Port Security why I needed to leave and he told me that he was closing the tower. I asked him whether or not the Port was public property. He repeated more aggressively that I needed to leave. I told him I had the right to be there as a citizen and he again stated I must exit the deck. It was 10:55am. I had a very important appointment at 11am and choose to leave rather than resist.

Port Meeting Monday June 5th is in TUMWATER.

The Port of Olympia will have a joint meeting with the City of Tumwater Council at the Tumwater Fire Station Training Room, located at 311 Israel Road SW in Tumwater. That meeting is next Monday, June 5th, at 7PM in the evening. It runs until 9PM and is intended to cover Tumwater's cooperation with the Port on issues related to the Airport, which the Port also owns and operates for the citizens of Thurston County.

The fun part of all of this is that Drew Hendricks can go to the Port Commissioners' meeting, since the Tumwater Fire Station is not on Port Property. Whee!

Drew Hendricks gets his day in Court. Sorta.

Drew Hendricks, a media and justice activist in Olympia Washington, will be arraigned for trespass, second degree on June 19th at 8:30 AM in Thurston County District Court. The order was signed by Thurston County District Court Judge Susan A. Dubuisson.
The case number is C25204TC.
The courtroom has not been assigned yet, but the court is located at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia WA 98502.

The arraignment is a hearing of my plea in the case against me: I have to choose whether to plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre, or "no contest." It won't be very long and it is unlikely I would need more than a couple of friends at such a hearing. It is not a trial, and I would not be put back in jail at that time if I plead innocent.

Meanwhile, the Port of Olympia will have a joint meeting with the City of Tumwater Council at the Tumwater Fire Station Training Room, located at 311 Israel Road SW in Tumwater. That meeting is next Monday, June 5th, at 7PM in the evening. It runs until 9PM and is intended to cover Tumwater's cooperation with the Port on issues related to the Airport, which the Port also owns and operates for the citizens of Thurston County.

Ariel Gore Tonight

Ariel Gore, who started Hip Mama magazine and has authored several books is speaking at Orca tonight at 7pm. I don't remember what the new book is that she's promoting, but she is very entertaining and inspiring.

This week in Oly City Council: Mark your calendars, Town Hall Meeting is coming

September 28 at the Olympia Center. We don't know what we're talking about yet, but the city council will be there to hear what you have to say on... Something.

And, they'll decide for you. So far, here are their ideas:
  • Olympia as the Capital City - Olympia’s proposed 2007 State Legislative Agenda
  • Put Sustainability into Action - Solid Waste Master Plan (How to Achieve a Zero Waste Goal by 2025)
  • Improve the Effectiveness of Government - New City Hall
  • Invest in Downtown Olympia - Staff will provide an update at the meeting of possible topics
Not all that great (the city hall thing is interesting, to me), so I think we can do better.

Why don't we tell them what we want to talk about? Go to Better South Sound and leave a comment.

And, read about the rest of what the city will be up to next week.

After thoughts on Port Protest, by Eoin Higgins

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.


Misinformation in the Media

Following the Olympian's coverage of the recent protests, I have come across numerous articles reporting inaccurate information. Most recently, in an article entitled, "Port Cost for Protest..." it was reported that protestors left "litter everywhere" and that three truckloads of garbage were cleared from the port plaza. This information is completely incorrect. The "garbage", was in fact a memorial constructed for those who have lost their lives in Iraq. This is yet another example of the media trying to discredit direct action against the war. I encourage everyone to attest to what they witnessed, and write editorials and whatever you can to the olympian and other media. Please let the press know that just because the police were violent, doesn't mean the protesters were violent.

NYT picks up port protest story

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.

Visionary Arts Museum

"Its hard to even imagine how cool this place really is...

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.

Community meeting to discuss protests

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.

If you would like to contribute to the agenda, please contact Edie ( or Justin (

Childcare will be provided.

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