May 2006: Olympia Resists Militarization of Our Port

"The weapons shipments, and the use of our public property to prolong and supply the war in Iraq have made us complicit in crimes against humanity. We refuse to be complicit any longer. We will continue to utilize every available instrument of democracy, including direct action and disruption when necessary. We are working to stop the war machine by standing in front of the machines of war as they attempt to enter our port."--OMJP Press Release, 25 May 2006.

Steve Bloom, The Olympian
Steve Bloom, The Olympian

13 June 06

"Port hears sides debate war shipping," by Jim Szymanski, The Olympian, 13 June 06. Despite community testimony, "None of the three commissioners made a motion to re-think a port policy of accepting military shipments."
    "Last year, the port collected nearly $1.8 million in revenue from military shipments, 72 percent of its overall marine cargo revenue of about $2.5 million, the port reported."
06 June 06

"Olympia council crowd applauds anti-war acts," by Christian Hill, The Olympian, 07 June 06, A1.

[As of June 18, minutes of this meeting are not yet online at the City Council's web site. However, the video is.]

city council meeting
Toni L. Bailey/The Olympian

More than 200 Olympians showed up at tonight's city council meeting—so many that fire marshalls turned away the over-capacity crowd—to express support for councilmembers TJ Johnson and Laura Ware and the city's nuclear-free ordinance, and their opposition to the war in Iraq and militarization of the Port of Olympia. Upon arrival, TJ Johnson was greeted with loud cheers and applause, and later received a standing ovation after delivering an account of his experiences during the 11-day port protests.

Remarks to City Council by Carrie Lybecker and Sandy.

05 June 06

Poster, Stopping the War Machines: Beijing 1989, Olympia 2006

"Civil Disobedience: Tilting at war," Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board, 05 June 06.

"Protest costs must be paid by someone" [Editorial], The Olympian, 05 June 06.

04 June 06

"Protesters weave passions into Olympia's history," by Brad Shannon, The Olympian, 04 June 06, A1.

03 June 06

"Councilman defends port protest appearance," by Christian Hill, followed by email received by City Council attacking TJ Johnson and protests, The Olympian, 03 June 06, A1.

02 June 06

Anti-war activist Maria's riveting account of her personal experience, May 22-31.

Poetry written in sidewalk chalk at Port Plaza on Tuesday night (May 30).

"Port cost for protest may pass $7,500," by Christian Hill, The Olympian, 02 June 06, A1.

US Naval Ship Leaves Olympia Following Week-Long Protests, Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, broadcast 02 June 06.

"War Protest Intensifies, But Navy Ship Sails on Time," by Timothy Egan, New York Times, 02 June 06, A18.

01 June 06

"Ship leaves Olympia amid protesters' finale; 'Die-in' marks vessel's departure from port," by Scott Gutierrez, The Olympian, A1, 01 June 06.

"Port commissioners get glimpse of future home; Project estimated at $10 million would consolidate staff in two buildings," by Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 01 June 06:

"None of us expected this to get to this point," [Commissioner Steve Pottle] said of the protests. "I think when it gets to serious confrontation, and when it gets into serious destruction of our property, I think that's a surprise to us."

31 May 06

"Military ship leaves Port of Olympia, protests end peacefully," Seattle Times (AP), 31 May o6.

"Anti-war protesters return to Wash. port," USA Today, 31 May 06.

"Anti-War Protests Continue at Port of Olympia," Associated Press, Wednesday 31 May 2006.

"Cargo Ship Leaves for Iraq Amid Anti-War Cries; Protesters stage brief 'die-in' at Port of Olympia," by Rachel La Corte, Associated Press, 01 June 06, published online at Common Dreams.

AP Photo/John Froschauer May 31.
"Anti-war protesters stage a die-in at the Port of Olympia Wednesday, May 31, 2006, in Olympia, Wash., where about 100 people were demonstrating against a 950-foot military cargo ship bound for Iraq, seen in the background. The USNS Pomeroy left the port in the evening."--AP 01 June 06.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren May 31

30 May 06

More than 100 community activists continued direct opposition to militarization of our port. This exercise of our Constitutional rights and our obligation as responsible citizens was met with a disproportionately violent response (pepper spray, unnecessary and excessive force, witholding of medical care, and mass arrests) by the Olympia Police Department, Thurston County Sheriffs, Washington State Patrol, US Coast Guard security, Tumwater PD, and others who may have been Homeland Security and FBI officers. City of Olympia Councilman TJ Johnson was shoved by law enforcement officers. A well-known local business owner (Otto's, San Francisco Street Bakery), who was not a participant and had merely stopped by to observe with his wife from the sidelines, was forcefully shoved aside with batons. Citizens were pepper-sprayed and 22 were arrested. See photos and commentary.

Police at teach-in
Police attend teach-in on US foreign policy re: Iraq led by Middle East expert and Professor of International Politics and Middle East Studies, Steve Niva

"Port protests escalate; 22 arrests made in demonstrations against military cargo ship," by Scott Gutierrez, The Olympian, 31 May 06.

"22 anti-war protesters arrested at port," CNN International, 31 May 06.

Anti-War Protests Continue At Port Of Olympia, KOMO TV, 31 May 06.

"Names of activists arrested at port released," The Olympian, 31 May 06.

Tuesday's port actions were reported by CNN, USA Today, media in 28 US states and the District of Columbia as well as in the UK, Canada and Australia.

29 May 06

150 community activists confronted police as the United States Naval Ship Pomeroy snuck into port on the evening of Memorial Day. Dozens were injured by pepper spray deployed by police without adequate, if any, warning, according to numerous eyewitnesses, including Olympia City Councilman TJ Johnson.

Monday's port action was widely reported by mainstream media in 25 states and the District of Columbia, in the UK, and via CBS, ABC and Fox. NBC News has been strangely silent throughout the week. The New York Times is MIA.

"Anti-war protesters hit with pepper spray," Associated Press, 30 May 06.

"Deputies guard port from anti-war crowd; Protesters, police face off after ship arrives for Iraq cargo," by Katherine Tam, The Olympian, 30 May 06.

"Protesters at port to meet military ship," by Katherine Tam, The Olympian, 29 May 06.

27 May 06

"Blocking Military Ports; One, Two, Three Many Olympians," by Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch, 27 May 06.

26 May 06

Update re: continued presence at Port and news reports. Daily: gather at the corner of the Shell Station at State Street and Plum everyday this week from 4PM to 6PM. Bring signs, banners, and anything else that promotes peace and not the use of our port for war; gather on the corner of Marine Drive and Market Street (in front of the coffee shop) to ensure a constant presence at the Port throughout the day.

South Sound briefs: "Stryker protest continues with no new arrests," The Olympian, 26 May 06.

"Stryker vehicles headed to Iraq make it to port; peace activists tried to hold up Army convoys," by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 26 May 06.

Shell & War
State & Plum protest, 26 May 06

25 May 06

OMJP Press Release 25 May 2006

"Why Protest at the Port of Olympia?" by Larry Mosqueda, 25 May 2006.

"Police break up Stryker protest; Nine arrested on third day of anti-war action at port" by Christian Hill, The Olympian, 25 May 06.

Support from Calgary, Canada.

"Anti-War Roadblock," San Diego Union, 25 May 06.

24 May 06

Nine arrested: Douglas Brinkerhoff, Patricia Imani, Joseph Keesler, Tanya Kinigstein, Sandy Mayes, Melissa Roberts, Gabrielle Sloane, Chris Stegman, and a 16-year-old male, who was also arrested Tuesday. "Officials locked the doors into Olympia City Hall and the municipal jail for about 90 minutes so protesters who had arrived to support those who were arrested couldn’t disrupt city business," according to The Olympian.

To support those arrested, go to the jail at 900 Plum Street [map].

Nikki Miller's account of her arrest 23 May.

"More convoy-blocking protesters arrested at port; week of shipments planned," by Christian Hill, The Olympian," 24 May 2006.

Photos by Kid Citizen 23-25 May 06

"Port protesters yell at police, get arrested (video),"The Olympian, 24 May 06.

"Seven war protesters arrested [May 23] as Strykers roll toward port; Several detained for trying to block convoys in crosswalk," by Jim Szymanski, The Olympian, 24 May 06.

23 May 06

Six arrested: Andrew C. (Drew) Hendricks, Nikki Miller, Holly Carter, Josh Elliott, Brendan Dunn, Dave Lynn.

"Strykers file into port for shipment to Iraq; Convoys will travel downtown today," by Jim Szymanski, The Olympian, 23 May 2006

"Five more port protesters arrested," by Jim Szymanski, The Olympian, 23 May 2006.

"Olympia activist arrested at port," The Olympian, 23 May 2006.

22 May 06

The Army begins transporting as many as 300 Stryker vehicles and other war equipment through the City of Olympia to our port, awaiting shipment to Iraq. As reported by The Olympian, local residents "repeatedly have asked the port's three-member commission to stop accepting military shipments since they resumed in Olympia in 2004 after a 17-year absence." For two years, we've also petitioned the City Council; written articles, Op-Eds and letters to the editor; and held educational forums, vigils and marches. Our elected officials are not listening.

One arrested: Brendan M. Dunn. His account.

Online Gallery (photos and caption text) by The Olympian 22 May 2006,

Click on photos for larger picture.

Shouting, "don't do that again" a truck driver hauling a military cargo container cautions one of approximatley 40 Iraq war protesters after the protester slammed his sign down on the driver's semi fender. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

A line of Iraq war protesters block a Stryker Armored Vehicle convoy as it makes its way down Marine Dr to the Port of Olympia Wednesday afternoon. Refusing to move, a number of the group were arrested for blocking as the convoy. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

Thurston County Sheriff's deputies holds protesters to the ground after clearing the entry to the Port of Olympia on Wednesday afternoon. Tony Overman/The Olympian

U.S. Army Stryker vehicles roll into the Port of Olympia Wednesday afternoon as Thurston County Sheriff's deputies pull a trio of linked protesters to the side of the road to clear entry into the port. Tony Overman/The Olympian

Stryker Armored Vehicle personnel glance down at a group of Iraq war protesters standing on Marine Dr. as the convoy makes its way to the Port of Olympia Wednesday. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

A protester yells at police as other protesters line up to block the entry to the Port of Olympia. Tony Overman/The Olympian

A protester who took part in blocking a convoy of Stryker Armored Vehicles is dragged past after being taken into custody Wednesday afternoon on Marine Dr. as part of a protest regarding the shipboard loading of the military cargo at the Port of Olympia. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

A protester argues with Thurston County Sheriff's deputies after being pulled to the side of the road to clear entry to the Port of Olympia. Tony Overman/The Olympian

A protesters flashes a peace sign to soldiers in military vehicles ride past on their way into the Port of Olympia. Tony Overman/The Olympian

A protester is pulled to the ground by a Thurston County Sheriff's deputy after a group tried to block the entry to the Port of Olympia on Wednesday afternoon. Tony Overman/The Olympian

A Stryker armored vehicle rolls past one of several protesters who linked themselves together at the Port of Olympia main gate Wednesday afternoon. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

Olympia arrest one of several protesters who blocked a convoy of Stryker Armored Vehicles Wednesday afternoon on Marine Dr. while they were en route to the Port of Olympia. Steve Bloom/The Olympian

Upset after being shoved by a police officer as he crossed the street, Lee Gillentine, 20, of Olympia (right) confronts the officer during a protest at the Port Wednesday. "I think it was successful," Gillentine said of the protest. "The word on the street is the convoys were stopped for the rest of the day." Toni L. Bailey/The Olympian

A protester checks on the welfare of a friend after an intense scuffle with the police Wednesday at the Port of Olympia. Protesters joined arms through tubes and formed a human chain across the road to keep military shipments from reaching the port. Toni L. Bailey/The Olympian

Protestors celebrate and head home after word spreads that the Port of Olympia had ceased military shipments for the day. Toni L. Bailey/The Olympian

19 March 06

"Military shipments help to boost port's business," by Jim Szymanski, The Olympian, 19 March 2006:

"...of the $6.9 million in port revenue collected since the start of the war, $2.6 million of it, or 38 percent, has come from war-related shipments, port spokeswoman Patti Grant said."

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