Protesters, police rest

The OlympianNovember 15, 2007 

  • Police used these nonlethal weapons during Tuesday night's protests at the Port of Olympia:

    "Stinger balls" that explode and disperse rubber pellets were used at Fourth Avenue and Plum Street, Olympia Police Chief Gary Michel said. "They were used to where we needed to clear the intersection of Fourth and Plum rapidly," he said. "All along Marine Drive, people were throwing rocks at the convoys and police."

    Pepper guns were used to shoot pepper balls at protesters who would not leave the area, Olympia Police Sgt. Jim Partin said. The pepper balls contained pepper spray, and the pepper guns used to shoot them are similar to paintball guns, Partin said.

    Pepper spray also was sprayed at protesters. Pepper spray contains a chemical that is a derivative of hot cayenne peppers. It causes temporary blindness and inflames the breathing tubes, cutting off all but life-support breathing, according to www.peppersprayinc.com, which sells pepper spray.

    Beanbag rounds shot from shotguns were fired at protesters Tuesday night, Partin said.

    Batons were used to push people back. Asked about officers swinging batons at protesters, he said, "I'd be interested in looking at that." Michel added that whether baton-swinging is appropriate depends on the circumstances. "I can certainly imagine times when it would be appropriate," he said.
  • Those arrested

    The Olympia Police Department on Wednesday released the names of the 58 people who have been arrested during the recent protests at the Port of Olympia. They are:

    Nov. 8

    •Shyam Khanna,
    19, address unknown

    Evan A. Rohar, 21, Tacoma

    Johnathan Steiner, 20, Olympia

    Saturday

    •Elizabeth W. Amory,
    23, Olympia

    Christopher Grande, 18, Olympia

    Kathleen K. Hutchison, 23, Olympia

    Joji W. Kohjima, 20, Seattle

    Kyle M. Liedowitc, 18, Olympia

    Joseph J. Mills, 24, Olympia

    Davi Y. Rios, 21, Olympia

    Gabrielle K. Sloane, 24, Olympia

    James M. Steele, 18, Olympia

    Peter E. Vachon, 18, Olympia

    Sunday

    •Joshua A. Eliott,
    26, Olympia

    Luke E. Noble, 23, Olympia

    Tuesday

    •Amanda N. Askea,
    22, Olympia

    Amory E. Ballantine, 23, Olympia

    Rachel A. Beckman, 18, Olympia

    Alexa Borken, 18, address unknown

    Erin E. Brigy, 18, Olympia

    Holly A. Carter, 26, Rochester

    Kimberly Y. Chaplin, 35, Olympia

    Emily P. Cox, 23, Olympia

    Jaime M. Crawford, 18, Olympia

    Sierra C. Daley, 20, Olympia

    Jennifer N. Delp, 25, Olympia

    Janis A. Duddles, 56, Olympia

    Rachel L. Erickson, 19, Othello

    Elizabeth Q. Evans, 19, Olympia

    Michelle L. Fleming, 20, Olympia

    Anna C. Gherard, 19, Olympia

    Samuel F. Green, 20, Olympia

    Valery E. Hagel, 21, Olympia

    William W. Hamilton, 60, Olympia

    Gabriel A. Hoffman, 20, Olympia

    Patricia G. Imani, 45, Olympia

    Madison S. Johnson, 20, Olympia

    Cristen Love, 26, Olympia

    Nicole M. Miller, 25, Rochester

    Daisy J. Montague, 24, Olympia

    Jarrett D. Olsen, 18, Olympia

    Michella C. Onnis, 18, Olympia

    Vita T. O'Shea, 25, Olympia

    Julianne E. Panagacose, 19, Olympia

    Emily A. Pieper, 21, Olympia

    Molly R. Porter, 23, Olympia

    Robin Rice, 18, Bellevue

    Jennifer N. Richards, 18, Olympia

    Andrea M. Robbins, 20, Olympia

    Fabiola Romero, 23, Olympia

    Kate C. Schiffman, 20, Olympia

    Gabrielle K. Sloane, 24, Olympia

    Stephanie N. Snyder, 24, Olympia

    Allison Van Nostran, 18, Olympia

    Katherine M. Waldeck, 20, Olympia

    Sarah L. Warren, 20, Olympia

    Robert F. Whitlock, 29, Olympia

    Shizuno M. Wynkoop, 26, Olympia

— After a week of unrest, the scene in and around the Port of Olympia was quiet Wednesday as police and demonstrators criticized the other side's conduct during the previous night's protest, which led to 43 arrests.

• Photos: Port of Olympia Protest Nov. 13, 2007
Reader network: Community weighs in on port protests

No equipment moved out of the port Wednesday, and a handful of people stood outside the port's main gate late Wednesday night.

Dick Machlan, the Olympia Police Department's administrative services manager, told reporters earlier in the day that protesters had been overly aggressive.

A small group of protesters threw rocks and rolled trash bins or threw debris onto roads Tuesday night to stop the convoys of Stryker vehicles, accompanied by patrol cars, after the convoys left the port through a secondary exit.

Windows at U.S. Bank's downtown branch were broken, and rocks thrown by a small group of protesters hit one officer in the knee and broke windows on a patrol car, Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa said Tuesday night.

Earlier Tuesday, port maintenance workers had found concrete on the railroad leading out of the property and removed it. Railcars carrying military equipment and vehicles moved from the port to Fort Lewis on Wednesday morning.

"We're monitoring for any other possible incidents," said Patti Grant, port spokeswoman.

Olympia police are accustomed to dealing with protests, but this group "moved it to a different realm," Machlan said.

"Some people are there to make a point about the war," he added. "But once the point has been made, they need to move on."

No one who was arrested was thought to have damaged property, Machlan said.

Protesters said it was police who escalated the situation, shifting from individually arresting protesters who blocked the port's main access road to using batons and pepper spray and dragging people to disrupt a nonviolent demonstration. Thirty-eight women and five men were arrested.

"Most of the people here are peaceful and would have submitted to being arrested without resisting," said Robert Whitlock, 29, one of the protesters who were arrested. He was at a vigil Wednesday evening at Percival Landing that drew more than 70 people.

Kim Chaplin, 35, was among the women who sat in the road in a show of solidarity when police began the individual arrests. She said the women told police repeatedly that they would not resist arrest. Halfway through, officers began aggressively moving back the supporters standing behind them in an attempt to disperse the crowd to avoid making more arrests, she said.

"It was like they were trying to predict what was going to happen next and contain the situation, in an escalating way," said Chaplin, who said she was in police custody from about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Police Chief Gary Michel suggested the change in tactics was because the department didn't have space to hold dozens of people after their arrests. The Olympia City Jail has room for 28 people. All the protesters police arrested had been booked and were released by Wednesday morning.

"We were totally full," he said.

City attorneys will review the cases and decide whether to prosecute the protesters, most likely for pedestrian interference, a misdemeanor. It is illegal to obstruct traffic on a public roadway.

Demonstrators have claimed police have used excessive force since shortly after their protests began Nov. 6, the day after the USNS Brittin docked at the Port of Olympia to unload equipment and vehicles used by the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division during 15 months in Iraq. The brigade's 3,600 soldiers returned home last month.

Olympia Port Militarization Resistance has coordinated the protests to oppose the military's use of the publicly funded port and to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Its members planned to "contain" the equipment and vehicles at the port to stop them from being used in Iraq again, but the police presence has thwarted those efforts.

The department has received one formal complaint of excessive force, and it is being investigated, Olympia police Lt. Bill Wilson said.

"I had been expecting more based on what I had heard and read," he said.

Most of the equipment and vehicles have returned to Fort Lewis, but some remains at the port, Olympia police Cmdr. Tor Bjornstad said.

Michel wouldn't guess Wednesday how much the overtime and extra resources that the Olympia police used during the protests will cost.

"We're probably a week away from knowing that exactly," he said.

Fifty-eight protesters have been arrested during the recent protests. Thirty-seven were arrested in May 2006 when the brigade's equipment was loaded at the Port of Olympia on its way to Iraq.

Olympian reporter Jeremy Pawloski contributed to this report.

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