Matt Batcheldor has an article in today's paper about Port officials desire to see renewed military shipments. Rhenda Strub and Steve Hall were also quoted in the article. I appreciated City Manager Hall's opinion that the real cost of the fall 2007 shipment went beyond financial, and includes damaged relationships, and all sorts of hurt feelings of people, on all sides of this issue.
I heard from Patty Imani that her Port Militarization Resistance trial is set to resume this week. Daniel Ellsberg is scheduled to appear as a witness. Meanwhile, Iraq Veterans Against the War join the mobilization to protect Pvt. FC Bradley Manning. More at the Oly PMR blog: http://olypmr.blogspot.com/2010/08/wikileaks-and-necessity-defense.html
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.
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.”
Thanks to Anthony Gargiulo for sharing these great photos from the November 2007 Port Protests.
Olympia Port Militarization now has a website. It's still a work-in-progress, but please check it out to get the latest news on upcoming port actions and information on how to get involved, as well as current fundraising efforts for the legal defense of port activists. There's also a mailing list, and there will be a collaborative community site online soon, as well as an image and video gallery.