War matériel arriving in Aberdeen on Thursday for transhipment to Iraq included "Stryker combat vehicles from Fort Lewis . . . and about a dozen flatbed trucks carrying large combat storage units," the Daily World (Aberdeen, WA) said Friday.[1]  --  There was "a very visible police presence in downtown Aberdeen and the streets around the Port of Grays Harbor" on Thursday evening, Paula Horton reported.  --  The Daily World is reporting in greater detail and with greater accuracy on port militarization resistance activity than has any mainstream newspaper in Western Washington to date.  --  Horton reported that the Grays Harbor Democrats endorsed at a meeting the "Citizen’s Injunction to Halt the Shipment of Military Material to Iraq" that was used at the Port of Tacoma protests on Mar. 11, 2007, when 15 demonstrators were arrested for crossing a police barrier in an attempt to deliver it to the USNS Soderman.  --  (The text of the "Citizens' Injunction to Halt the Shipment of Military Material to Iraq" is reproduced below.[2])  --  Trey Smith of Aberdeen told the Daily World that he expected several hundred protesters in Aberdeen on Sunday. -- (See here for more on plans for Aberdeen port militarization resistance.) ...


Local news

By Paula Horton

Daily World (Aberdeen, WA)
May 4, 2007


[PHOTO CAPTION: A Stryker combat vehicle from Fort Lewis is trucked into the Port of Grays Harbor on Thursday afternoon. It is part of a large shipment to be loaded onto a vessel sometime this weekend headed to Iraq.]

There was a very visible police presence in downtown Aberdeen and the streets around the Port of Grays Harbor on Thursday night as law enforcement officials readied for out-of-town protesters.

But no one showed up and after about an hour, the officers were sent home.

Anti-war activists had tentatively planned a vigil at the Port last night to protest the military shipment of equipment headed to Iraq. A peace rally is set for 3:30 p.m. today at Zelasko Park.

Stryker combat vehicles from Fort Lewis were the latest cargo trucked into Aberdeen Thursday, and about a dozen flatbed trucks carrying large combat storage units were lined up near one of the Port entrances this morning.

Earlier in the week at least two dozen Kiowa and Blackhawk helicopters, Jeeps, and other vehicles arrived at the Port’s Terminal 4 near The Home Depot.

The items will be loaded on a ship that is anticipated to arrive this weekend. The equipment movement is connected to the 4-6 Air Cavalry Squadron’s deployment to Iraq.

Some information about today’s rally has it being staged in front of Aberdeen City Hall, but Trey Smith of Aberdeen said it will be at Zelasko Park, where it’s held every Friday to protest the Iraq war. Today’s rally, however, is expected to draw a much larger crowd than the handful of people who usually attend.

“This is the kind of issue that really has caused normal everyday citizens to come out of their houses and stand up,” said Smith, treasurer of the Washington state Green Party.

Some organizers with the Olympia Port Militarization Resistance, a group that protested the military’s use of the Port of Tacoma in March and the Port of Olympia last May, were in Aberdeen Thursday afternoon scouting the area and meeting with Aberdeen Police officials.

The group was informed about the public assembly area in the 1800 block of the Port Industrial Road and provided a written copy of conduct expectations, Capt. Dave Johnson said.

The conduct expectations say officials “firmly support” the group’s right to express concerns about military deployment, “however these rights are not absolute and have some restrictions based on the safety and welfare of the citizens of Aberdeen and the Port of Grays Harbor.”

Police expect the protesters to stay in the designated area and not “trespass, block roadways, railways, destroy property (or) engage in aggressive or assaultive behavior,” according to the document.

The organizers “promised us that they are a transparent, non-violent, non-property damaging, peaceful group,” Johnson said. “. . . The (group leaders) went on to say they could not control the actions of other groups that may attend, but did offer to speak with the leadership of the other protest groups.”

Molly Gibbs, one of the Port Militarization Resistance leaders, said this morning that her group provided police officials with their statement of non-violence, their campaign plan, and the “Citizen’s Injunction to Halt the Shipment of Military Material to Iraq,” that was used during the protests in Tacoma. [For the text of the "Citizens' Injunction," see #2 below.]

The meeting went well, Gibbs said, but there was an “incident” at the Port before the meeting. One of the group members were confronted by officers when he was photographing equipment going into the Port, she said.

“It was much ado about nothing,” Gibbs said.


Meanwhile, the Grays Harbor Democrats narrowly passed a resolution at their monthly meeting last night supporting the Citizen’s Injunction. The resolution, which was actively debated for about an hour, passed 17-16, said chairwoman Dolores Cobb.

“I am against the war, yes, and I’m for bringing our men home, but I’m not for this resolution,” Cobb said. “There were 16 (against the resolution). I wish we would have had a few more members there, but majority rules and majority was one.”

Anti-war events are being planned for 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Gibbs said. Right now protesters are planning to gather at the corner of 28th Street and John Stevens Way -- commonly known as the 28th St. Boat Launch in Hoquiam -- and then possibly walk to the “free speech zone” area establish[ed] by police.

Smith said he expects to see several hundred people from as far away as Seattle protesting the Port’s activities on Sunday.



Port Militarization Resistance
March 11, 2007


Whereas, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is contrary to the rule of law inasmuch as it defies agreements that expressly prohibit the belligerent and aggressive invasion of a sovereign nation, and

Whereas, the invasion and occupation of Iraq defies both the letter, and the spirit, of internationally and domestically recognized legal statutes such as the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, the Geneva Conventions and the United States War Crimes Act, and

Whereas, the invasion and occupation of Iraq has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of significant proportions, and

Whereas, the escalation of conflict in Iraq is counterproductive to the goal of establishing a stable sovereign nation, and

Whereas, a majority of United States Citizens oppose both the occupation of Iraq and the escalation of the conflict through the deployment of additional United States military forces, and

Whereas, the cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq now exceeds $500 billion, money which could have been spent to meet domestic and international needs such as health care, education, and the provision of essential public infrastructure, and

Whereas, the best way to support United States soldiers is to prevent them from being placed into the middle of a conflict in which they have a high risk of killing and being killed, and

Whereas I have exhausted every legal means available to me to petition my elected leaders for the cessation of the conflict, and

Whereas, under legal precedent and historical practice, control over the American military rests firmly within the civilian population,

Now, therefore be it resolved that I, the undersigned, as a citizen of the United States of America, do hereby prohibit the shipment of military vehicles to the 4th Brigade through the publicly funded Port of Tacoma.

Signed on this Eleventh day of March in the year 2007.