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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

November 16th, 2007 (12:39 am)

I've got a few things that are more important than Captain Crunch cereal and folders named after birds to post about now.

The first is about the protests in Olympia, Washington, and the horrifying police brutality that has been occurring there. deliriums_fish's eyewitness accounts can be found here, here, here, and here. The story has been receiving virtually no national media coverage and what it has received has been scattershot and vague on details. Below is the letter that I've written to the Boston Globe asking them to cover the story. If you feel moved to write to your own local newspapers, feel free to use the text I've written, to edit it as much as you'd like, or, of course, to write your own letter.

"To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to call to your attention to an important news story that has not been receiving the national coverage it needs and deserves: the police brutality that has been occurring on a frighteningly widespread basis in response to the ongoing protests against the transport of military materials through the non-military Port of Olympia in Washington. There is video and photographic documentation of this brutality, and some media outlets have in fact picked up the story; I note that the Globe covered it on November 14 in the article linked at http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/11/14/war_protesters_arrested_at_wash_port/. However, this article focused mainly on the fact of the protest and on the relatively few arrests that were made, and made virtually no reference of the horrifying violence that protestors have been subject to at the hands of the police. This police brutality is the real story, eclipsing even the protests themselves in importance.

For the last four days, large numbers of peaceful protestors have gathered to try to prevent the military's use of their city's non-military port. Police in full riot gear have been physically assaulting hundreds of peaceful protestors. They have torn off protestors' protective eye gear and deliberately sprayed them point-blank in the face with tear gas and pepper spray. Some of these people who have been teargassed point-blank have then been shut inside police cars and denied medical attention. Police have prevented medics from gaining access to injured protestors. They have thrown concussion grenades and fired pepper spray bullets indiscriminately into the crowd. They have bludgeoned protestors with nightsticks and have picked up prone, unresisting arrestees in order to throw them violently back to the pavement. There have been over five dozen arrests made; however, this number has deliberately been kept as minimal as possible, so as not to garner unwanted media attention. Apparently the Olympia police prefer instead to engage in mass physical assaults and teargassing of defenseless protestors who pose no threat. The above facts have been confirmed by numerous eyewitness accounts and can be verified by interviewing any of those who have been present at the protests - which, at the time of this email's sending, are still ongoing.

The use of non-military ports to transport military material is disturbing; however, far more disturbing is the illegal force that has been used in subduing the protestors - and the fact that there have been no consequences to the perpetrators, nor even any attention paid to their crimes. If this sort of violence on the part of police forces is allowed to continue unchecked and unquestioned, the consequences to American freedom could be severe. It is therefore imperative that the media bring these abuses of power into the light and demand assurance that it will not be allowed to continue, nor to happen anywhere else in America.

I hope you will report on this important story and give it the attention it deserves. Thank you very much for your time.

Kylie Slammerkinbabe"

Please do spread this story however you can - through blog links, through letters to the editor, through phone calls and e-mails as described in the final link to deliriums_fish's journal. I know a number of readers of this journal have participated in peaceful protests of this sort before. It is truly frightening to think that this sort of thing can happen - and that if it is allowed to happen this time around, it will be more likely to happen next time. So please do what you can.

There was a second story I was going to post, but I can't find independent verification that it's not a hoax on Google News. I'm going to submit it to Snopes and/or try to figure out what's going on by some other means - not that I think it is a scam, but I want to make absolutely sure. So for now, it's just the story about the protests. Link at will.


Posted by: blahblahblah, whatever (kathrynrose)
Posted at: November 16th, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)

I've linked on my LJ, and I'm linking on some off-LJ blogs. Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by: lotus_peace (lotus_peace)
Posted at: November 17th, 2007 11:50 am (UTC)

I will spread this story for you. Things such as this need to be known.

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