Demonstrators plead for end of shipments

The OlympianNovember 13, 2007 

— Three Iraq War protesters appealed to the Olympia port commission during its meeting Tuesday to end shipments of military equipment from the port.

Two of the three commissioners countered that demonstrators had gone beyond peaceful protest to civil disobedience that has resulted in arrests.

Commissioner Bill McGregor said the demonstrations have "caused great upheaval" as protesters have blocked Army equipment from being transported to Fort Lewis.

"What purpose was served?" he asked.

Protester Caitlin Esworthy said the port should not make money from shipments related to the war.

"The carnage continues," she said of the Iraq War. "You have a part to play in creating a positive foreign policy, and I want to see you take that role."

Sandy Mayes said some of the equipment being shipped through the port was used to kill people in Iraq.

"We do not want these war machines to ever be used for that purpose again," she said.

Commissioner Paul Telford advised protesters not to break the law and faulted them for doing so.

Military shipments moved through the port in 2004 for the first time in 17 years. Since then, the port commission has repeatedly told protesters it will not change its position on accepting the shipments.

Jim Szymanski is business editor for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-357-0748 or jszymanski@theolympian.com.

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