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At least 12 arrested in protest at Olympia port (pepper spray liberally applied) [View All]

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-11-07 12:17 PM
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At least 12 arrested in protest at Olympia port (pepper spray liberally applied)
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Edited on Sun Nov-11-07 12:31 PM by Barrett808
Source: Seattle Times

Peaceful protesters were subjected to chemical weapons (assault). No one was arrested during this incident. Police did not attempt any arrests during the 9:45 AM Blockade Dispersal.

Olympia - At least a dozen people were arrested Saturday as demonstrators rallied to protest military-cargo shipments at Olympia's port.

Saturday's actions by police came one day after protesters halted two trucks from removing military equipment that had been unloaded from a ship coming from Iraq. The equipment was bound for Fort Lewis.

Protesters blocked traffic downtown about noon by jumping in front of large trucks with cargo containers.

Olympia police in riot gear moved in quickly, spraying pepper spray in the faces of the protesters, pushing them with their batons and dragging them away.

Police Use Excessive Force To Open OLY Port
author: Mollie
Nov 10, 2007 17:16

This morning, the Olympia police force showed up in riot gear, clearly ready to use force to disperse the anti-war protestors who had blockaded the 2 entrances to the Port. As the sun began to rise after a rainy night, the truckers, Port workers and soldiers began to arrive. The truckers parked in the nearby parking lot. Several protestors directed the Port workers and soldiers to a side entrance so they could get to work. The anti-war protestors stated they it was not their intention to stop people from going to work at the Port.

The truckers continued to arrive but not the police. At just before 8 a.m. all the truckers left the parking. The Olympia Police soon arrived in cars with their tear gas and riflesbut no van. They clearly had no intention of arresting the peaceful protestors.

The anti-war protestors were engaged in civil disobedience and fully expected to be arrested. And that could have been handled peacefully without the use of excessive force.

However, the police had pepper spray and they used itspraying people directly in the face. It is important to note that the protestors were sitting in front of the barricade. They were not engaging in any action against the police nor were they resisting.

One police officer in particular who did not have a badge number on his helmet began pepper spraying. The demonstrators were roughly picked up, some were dragged, some may have been pummeledand a few of the police took special delight in throwing them to the side of the road, into the gravel parking lot. They got extra points if they threw someone in a mud puddle.


13 Arrested, Olympia Community Brutalized

Today the Olympia anti-war community attempts to contain Stryker units returning from Iraq were met with Police batons and pepper spray. Thirteen activists were arrested while containing military convoys traveling through Olympia.

November 10th, 2007 - Thirteen anti-war demonstrators were arrested while attempting to contain Stryker vehicles from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from moving through the streets of Olympia, Washington. Three of the arrests took place at the intersection of 4th and Plum St. in downtown Olympia. Ten arrests took place at Union Street and Plum Street near the on ramp to I-5 North where anti-war demonstrators were in lock-down with PVC pipes locking their arms together.

With a commitment to non-violent actions, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance aims to end Olympias participation in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq by stopping the US militarys use of the Port of Olympia. As of 3:10pm all thirteen are being held at City of Olympia Police Department Municipal Jail.

Before arrests were made dozens of protesters and bystanders report being brutalized by the Olympia Police Department (OPD). At 8:30am OPD appeared at the port in full riot gear, just over an hour later police were using batons and pepper spray on demonstrators blocking the shipment and bystanders as well.

Jeremy Pawloski who is reporting for the Olympian Newspaper for demonstrations since Monday, November 5th was witnessed being assaulted by police officers. Caitlin Esworthy reported seeing Pawloski struck in the upper body and shoved him back six feet. Tony Overman, photographer for The Olympian newspaper, was pepper sprayed according to eyewitness accounts. He was previously embedded with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry division while they were deployed in Mosul, Iraq.

When asked for badge numbers police officers refused to comply with the law that requires individual officers to identify themselves. Some officers also covered up their badge numbers. Alex Dunn reported being reported being struck by a police baton in the face and his right side repeatedly. The officer who was assaulting him said to the effect Do you want some more son? Do you want some more? Another officer knocked the wind out of him when he struck him in the gut at which point Alex attempted to escape the abuse. Police then grabbed him from behind and pepper sprayed him at point blank range.

Kelly Beckham, one of numerous anti-war demonstrators directly sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray, said, I was in agony because I didnt know what was happening. I couldnt see anything and they had to carry me away. I was really angry. They wouldnt let the medics approach anyone who had been hurt. This is nothing compared to the suffering of the Iraqi people. Alex Patia, 18 year old said, I have been through lots of painful medical procedures and I was in the most pain I have ever felt in my life, but I want to see an end to this war and my actions today are my patriotic duty.

Many protesters wore goggle to protect themselves from chemical attack. Andrew Yankey reported the officer in charge giving the orders, Take off their goggles. Spray under their goggles. He also witnessed police stealing water from demonstrators, drinking it and laughing at demonstrators as they were in agony. Pepper spray causes immediate swelling of the eyes, severe pain, upper body spasms, difficulty breathing, coughing and may cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Repeated exposure can cause long lasting changes in vision.

Olympia Port Militarization Resistance is caring for community members affected by the brutality inflicted upon them and will not be deterred in their non-violent struggle to de-militarize the Port of Olympia.

Photographs of todays demonstrations:

copies may be obtained from

Rob Whitlock
robwhitlock1978 (at)

Read more:
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