There have been some troubles with the OlyPMR website, and now the OlyPMR has a new blog, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance
"On January 26th Pierce County District Court Judge, Margaret Vail Ross, ruled in favor of Civil Rights Attorney Larry Hildes to present a Necessity defense in the joined cases of anti-war activists Brianna Emma Herrera, of Seattle, and Patricia Imani, of Olympia. ..."
The following legal advertisement appeared in today's Olympian. It relates to the military's desire to increase authoritarian controls over local transportation systems.
Legal #8219 PUBLIC NOTICE
Date Listed: February 3
Newspaper ID #0001187083_01
Legal #8219 PUBLIC NOTICE The Army is requesting input from all interested members of the public, federally recognized Native American Tribes, Native Hawaiian groups, Guam Chamorro Groups, federal, state, and local agencies in the scoping process for the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the stationing and operation of up to 12 Army Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV). The Army is evaluating the stationing and operations of the JHSV at the following military port locations: Virginia Tidewater area; San Diego, Calif. area; Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. area; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii area; and Guam. In addition, the Army is considering several other overseas locations. The JHSV is a vessel designed to support the rapid transport of Army Soldiers and equipment in the U.S. and abroad. A copy of the Army's Notice of Intent, in-cluding the alternatives the Army is considering, can be found at http://www.aec.army.mil The Army is seeking comments identifying environmental issues, concerns and opportunities to be analyzed in the PEIS. The public comment period will be open until March 5, 2010. Comments should be sent to the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Environmental Command, 5179 Hoadley Rd, Attn: IMAE-PA, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010, (410) 436-2556; fax (410) 436-1693; or e-mail: APGR-USAECNEPA@conus.army.mil Publish: February 3, 2010
The short story is that Judge Ross ruled in favor of the protesters' motion to defend themselves based on the necessity of their actions.
Then, later on, when one of the jurors (a Pierce County Corrections Officer) was seen waving to a witness for the prosecution (Lakewood Police Officer Martin Knott,) a mistrial was declared.
The trial is scheduled to start over (with selection of a new jury) in April. The defendants' claim to necessity has been established and that part of the case is set to remain.
Good news from Pierce County, where protesters will be able to defend themselves based on the necessity of their actions. More news with photos to follow.
Here's an early report from KIRO 7: link (includes video).
Also, the story was picked up by the Tacoma News Tribune (via The Olympian): link.
The following photo is from the Port of Tacoma, March 2007. There was a PMR protest against deployment of weapons via the Port. I think the photo is a good one, and really speaks to a conversation that has been going here on about what it means to, and how to, support military personnel.
Does it make sense to support military personnel by sending them to fight and serve (what many believe are) immoral and illegal wars of aggression? Or does it make the most sense - that the best way to support military personnel is - instead, to challenge a system that says (among other things) that it is 1) okay to take without asking, and 2) that violence can be used, with reason, as a solution against those who don't like what the USA is doing.
In that spirit, I want to ask: in the face of what many people, including myself, believe to be the ongoing immoral and illegal activities of the US (and US military): is silence complicity? Is to be silent to be complicit?
Please, do consider that question.
Oh, and Happy Holidays - Truly.
Please, join me in praying for peace. Against imperialism, against all wars.
I spent a large part of the last couple days at the United States Courthouse in Tacoma. I was there to observe a trial over allegations of the use of excessive force brought by two protesters (Wes Hamilton and Larry Mosqueda) against certain members of the Olympia Police Department, as well as the City of Olympia.
It was an interesting experience, I am going to share a few observations and opinions. Closing arguments were made today. And I was struck by a few aspects of the trial. (Disclaimer: I am a biased observer. I am strongly opposed to the imperialism of the United States, and I also strongly believe that the imperialism of our nation is one of the most grievous and heinous harmful features of life in the world today. I could go on and on waxing eloquently, and perhaps ineloquently, about the multitudinous nefarious and sundry aspects of our modern day socio-political-economic system. This issue means a lot to me. I care a lot. I have a lot of passion, and I bear a lot of resistance to the harmful nature of this dirty rotten system in which we live. So that's my bias. I just want to be clear and upfront with you, dear reader.)
PMR press release:
October 30, 2009 – Olympia, WA
Women celebrate victory, dismissal on all charges pending.
Since the anti-war demonstrations at the port of Olympia in November 2007, a number of women have been defending themselves against misdemeanor charges in Thurston County District Court. The last eight defendants, known as the Patient Eight, celebrated victory today after the Gross Misdemeanor charge of Obstructing an officer was dismissed, and the lesser charge of Attempted Disorderly Conduct was scheduled for dismissal on March 1.
In late October, 2008, a full year after the port protests, 25 women were singled out for prosecution by Thurston County Proscutors. Since then, defendants and their attorneys have appeared in court more than 13 times over eleven months. While scaling back prosecutions of misdemeanors across the board, the cash-strapped prosecutor's office has doggedly continued to persue these charges. At the hearing today presiding Judge Sam Myers commented, “everyone's anxious to get these matters over with.”
Here's the PMR press release from Thursday, August 13, 2009:
Anti-war group successful despite infiltration
Olympia, WA - Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) is a grassroots coalition of individuals who oppose the use of our ports in the service of imperialism and war. PMR works to block the military’s use of local ports through direct action campaigns, community education and outreach.
Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) is having a meeting this Sunday at 3:00PM at Mixx96 (right across from transit station downtown). We meet every Sunday at this time and if you've been looking to get involved or re-involved this would be a great time to do so.
Christopher Pyle reacts to news of government spying on Port Protesters in Olympia, Washington:
Christopher Pyle: "...prosecute the torturers. ...that’s the biggest single message that we could give to the intelligence community, that it is not above the law. ..."