There are several eyewitness reports that three people were arrested for peacefully protesting at the Port of Tacoma at about 12:30 AM Monday morning, March 5. They were protesting the shipment of Stryker Brigade equipment to the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. One person was brutally dragged on his stomach and another was shot by a rubber bullet as they were engaged in non-violent protest. The Tacoma police appeared to have become less violent after the media arrived...
The war is now being brought home in profound ways. These protests were part of a continuation of protests begun last year against the use of the Port of Olympia to ship offensive weapons to Iraq. The military at Ft. Lewis decided this year to avoid the use of the Port of Olympia, but rather to ship arms at the Port of Tacoma...
The military equipment is still at the Port of Tacoma and peaceful protests are expected to continue this week at the port and elsewhere in the city. A vigil is planned for by Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OLYPMR) and Tacoma Port Militarization Resistance (TPMR) in Tacoma at Pacific and I-5, from 4-6PM on Monday, March 5. Bring signs to oppose war being exported from the Port of Tacoma. On Tuesday, March 6, there is a planned rally at Noon at the Federal Courthouse at 1717 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
Press Release, Port Militarization Resistance
Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), a local grassroots organization, is claiming victory in its campaign to close the Port of Olympia to military shipment bound for Iraq as part of President Bush's escalation of the conflict.
The decision by the US army to not use the Port of Olympia to ship the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division Stryker unit's equipment to Iraq is a clear recognition that choosing to do so would have been a logistical and public relations disaster for the Port of Olympia and the Ft. Lewis based Stryker group.
"This is a tremendous victory in the campaign to end our community's participation in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq," said TJ Johnson, an Olympia City Councilman who has helped spearhead the campaign. He added that "our success in Olympia can serve as powerful model and beacon of hope for other communities seeking to take direct action to end their community's participation."
The Army's decision to not risk the consequences of shipping the Stryker unit through Olympia forced it to move equipment through the Port of Tacoma. Military equipment began arriving at the Port of Tacoma around 10:30 pm on March 2, and additional equipment arrived late in the evening on March 3 and 4.