As the nation inches ever closer to election day, attorney Larry Hildes is preparing for an historic case he will argue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle, WA on behalf of myself and several other plaintiffs. The case is against the Military, or more specifically, the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and a long list of federal and law enforcement agencies. My plaintiffs and I are suing the military in the case Panagacos v Towery over violations of civil rights and civil liberties when we discovered a spy in our midst while engaged in antiwar activity around Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) just north of the city I once called home – Olympia, Washington.
Shortly after I moved to Olympia in 2006, the Army started to send Stryker military vehicles through the city’s port for the deployment of a Stryker Brigade to Iraq. Not wanting to wait for ineffective and pro-war politicians and government bureaucrats to intervene, I, along with hundreds of residents, decided to take direct action to delay, if not entirely stop, the military shipments.
The actions made national headlines and the antiwar group Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) took shape. Over the next few years, we took similar actions in Olympia, Tacoma and Aberdeen, Washington as the military sent more brigades, weapons and Stryker vehicles to and from the military base. Quite a few Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans joined us in PMR to help slow down the war machine.
In November of 2007, the actions of PMR were so effective that the Port of Olympia was completely shut down for more than a day. It was one of the largest and most under-reported victories of the antiwar movement. To this day, the military has not used the Port of Olympia for any shipments.