Protestors Tear Gassed – In the USA
I guess the anti-war activists have had their day in the spotlight and nobody cares anymore, as I find few blog posts on the anti-war activists in Olympia, WA this past week. While the rest of America was commemorating Memorial Day, they were protesting the loading of the USNS Pomeroy, a cargo ship, with equipment destined for Iraq. After attempting to tear down the port security fence, they were tear-gassed. After the Dubai Ports deal brew-ha-ha, they must have thought American ports were easy pickings.
Anti-war protesters gathered Wednesday at the Port of Olympia to demonstrate against a 950-foot military cargo ship bound for Iraq.
Crowds were small early in the day, but were expected to grow amid rumors that the ship was leaving Wednesday evening. Twenty-two people were arrested Tuesday and police pepper-sprayed a handful of protesters who pulled down a port fence. [ed: violence, going through port security]
Activists began protesting at the port more than a week ago after learning that Stryker vehicles and other Army gear from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, a 4,000-soldier unit stationed at Fort Lewis, were being shipped to Iraq.
The highest estimate of participants, from all over the Pacific Northwest that I’ve found is several hundred. So out of 6 million folks in Washington State (not including the similarly minded Portland area, under 2 hours away), you get a couple hundred protesters. Sounds like a mass movement to me (not). Many more folks go to the local farmers’ market on a rainy day.
“The majority of Americans know the war is wrong,” said protester Drew Hendricks. “They’re waiting for someone to act, and we’re acting.”
How nice of you to act in my behalf, though I totally disagree with you and your actions to remove tools from the hand of US soldiers and instead favor anarchists.
“I’m against militarization in general,” he said. “When I see these military vehicles coming through a town that I care about a lot, it offends me. It disgusts me.” Ben Farr, 19
There we have it, loathing.
Then we have the total idealists
I was thinking about the people, my comrades and my friends. I don’t want my friends dying in Iraq,” said Olive Johnson, 22, of Olympia. Johnson, who’s taking a break from school at South Puget Sound Community College, said she has friends and family members serving in Iraq.
Comrades? I’m 22 and still a community college student, but I’m taking a break from that? I don’t want to be harsh, but…?
And the finale
A final night of anti-war protests ended Wednesday with scores of bodies strewn along the shore and fenceline at the Port Plaza.
Many had their eyes closed, but none were hurt. The “die-in” was staged by activists to represent casualties of the Iraq war. They aimed their message at the crew aboard the U.S. Naval Ship Pomeroy, which docked Monday, and the police officers and U.S. Coast Guard personnel guarding it.
Bottom line, nothing accomplished, but they will FEEL good about it in the morning.
The protest culminated with activists flopping onto the plaza’s cold, wet concrete and the adjoining beach’s large rocks and lying still in silence for about 15 minutes. They were resurrected by the sound of the ship’s loud horn, signaling its departure. They stood, cheered and applauded, yelling: “Stop that ship.”
I do recommend looking at the full coverage and videos. They think they matter.