Anti-war protests at U.S. port



Handmade signs reading "U.S. Out of Iraq," "Stop the Killing" and "No War."
OLYMPIA (1 June 2006) RHC -- ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS gathered May 31 at the Port of Olympia in the U.S. State of Washington to demonstrate against a 950-foot military cargo ship bound for Iraq. According to Associated Press, twenty-two people were arrested May 30 and police tear-gassed a number of protesters with pepper-spray.

Activists began protesting at the port more than a week earlier, after learning that Stryker vehicles and other Army equipment from the 4,000-soldier unit stationed at Fort Lewis were being shipped to Iraq.

Organizers of the protest said that the USNS Pomeroy, the largest ship ever to dock in Olympia, arrived Monday night before loading military equipment that would be taken to occupied Iraq. News reports say that some twenty people were arrested for trespassing after they tore down a gate at the port entrance and laid down; two others were arrested for failing to disperse when ordered to do so.

Councilman Johnson said county sheriff's deputies "chose to escalate the situation."
Olympia City Councilman TJ Johnson told reporters that he was shoved by state troopers trying to clear the area the night of May 30th. He said people were dispersing, but that pepper spray was shot off anyway. Councilman Johnson said county sheriff's deputies "chose to escalate the situation." Police admitted to using pepper spray several times, but claimed that the actions taken were limited in force.

Protesters on the dock at the port of Olympia in Washington held handmade signs reading "U.S. Out of Iraq," "Stop the Killing" and "No War."

News reports say that police in riot gear fired pepper spray as about 150 war protesters tried to enter the port area on the night o May 29. Sixteen people were arrested over a three-day period the previous week, mostly for pedestrian interference, during protests against convoys through the downtown area to the port from the military post between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington.




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