Port Militarization Resistance

For three years, activists in the state of Washington have been mobilizing to resist the increasing use of their ports to ship military equipment to Iraq. In May of 2006, hundreds of heavily armored Stryker combat vehicles rolled through the streets of Olympia, triggering local resistance. Recently, activists in Tacoma have organized a campaign intended to prevent the military from shipping a brigade of three hundred armored Stryker vehicles bound for Iraq through the streets of their town.

In escalation of tactics, activists trying to stop war shipments are met with extreme force

Port Militarization Resistance is organized to end our community’s complicity in the illegal occupation of Iraq by stopping the U.S. Military’s use of the Port of Olympia.” —PMR statement of purpose, 1/21/07

Two heavily reinforced police barricades, each with an estimated two hundred and fifty riot police, guarded strategic transport points near the Port of Tacoma. It was 3:30 AM on Saturday morning, in the middle of a long night of protests against the shipment of large armored military convoys through the town and port. Breath clinging to the cold night air of the Pacific Northwest, activists moved from one police barricade to the other, intending to undertake a non-violent act of civil disobedience by sitting down in the road and allowing themselves to be arrested. The police, apparently, had other plans.

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