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13 Arrested, Olympia Community Brutalized

author: Olympia Port Militrization Resistance
Nov 10, 2007 17:22

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 Olympia’s participation in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq by stopping the US military’s 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 didn’t know what was happening. I couldn’t see anything and they had to carry me away. I was really angry. They wouldn’t 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 today’s demonstrations:

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/sets/72157603071154791/

copies may be obtained from

Rob Whitlock
360-259-4291
robwhitlock1978 (at) yahoo.com

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Comments
True Americans applaud the protestors.
Posted by: Mentifex at Nov 10, 2007 22:10

Such protestors are what makes America a great nation and what saves the otherwise shredded honor of America.

God will punish the police officers for their crimes.

Please, God stop America from killing for oil
Posted by: Anonymous at Nov 11, 2007 06:54

American soldiers have killed so many children in Iraq.

THE WAR MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY!

INDYMEDIA.US
Posted by: anonymous at Nov 12, 2007 15:55

Will someone please get the info about the Port Olympia on Indymedia.US ??