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.

FILED UNDER: Policing, Political Theory, US Politics, , , ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. LJD says:

    What have we done with our schools to produce such passionate young idiots?

    We need to find out why these kooks knew about the movement, and fire whoever let it out. This is a force protection screw up of major proportions .

  2. “I was thinking about the people, my comrades and my friends. I donâ??t want my friends dying in Iraq,â?? said Olive Johnson, 22, of Olympia. Johnson, whoâ??s taking a break from school at South Puget Sound Community College, said she has friends and family members serving in Iraq.”

    Just think about that logic. She thinks her friends and family have less chance of dying in Iraq if they don’t receive supplies. I think we can all understand why she is taking a break from the mental rigors of a community college.

  3. Gollum says:

    This is clearly bogus. If they were really serious about protesting the war they would have gotten naked. I mean, anybody knows that.

  4. Tano says:

    Gee lets see.

    MSM ignores this event. Gardner highlights it. Imagine if it were the other way around. Then you could write the piece about how the mean ol’ MSM is overhyping any opposition they can possibly dredge up to give a false impression about the mood of America.

    Damn, they didnt do that. So into the breach you go!

    Oh, and btw. Your petty snarkiness is quite unappealing. Yes, they probably do think they matter. And yes, they do want to feel good, in the best sense of the word. They have strong moral convictions, and they stand up for them. You may disagree with their views and their tactics, and I might to, to some extent. But I think they deserve some respect for listening to their conscience and acting to make the world a better place, by their reckoning.

  5. LJD says:

    The Tear Gas Manufacturers Association of America thanks them for their support…

  6. Doug says:

    Yo, Tano,
    Every time one of their protest becomes physical, We potentially loose people in Iraq. I’m not there anymore but I was. Let me find out that because they decided to tear down a fence, I or my friends didn’t get bullets or beans and somebody died. I’m generally pretty jocular when it comes to blogging but protesters should protest at the voting booth. Not at military facilities or supply depots. Unless you’re a traitor. Then allow someone to lock you up until this passes. Then ship you to whatever crappy country you want to live in. North Korea and Iran are looking for interpreters. Good pay as long as the Beloved Leader doesn’t get ticked off.
    If you have never been in a third world country watching people suffer for food, don’t complain about someone relieving them of their burden. You gotta love watching people in other countries die at the hands of their government not to believe in this war. It ain’t all ’bout the oil.
    I can find no respect in people with that view point.