A review of mainstream media accounts of the repetition of police violence against peaceful antiwar protesters at the Port of Tacoma Monday night showed that only KIRO 7 News of Seattle did a creditable job reporting on what happened.  --  As I was there for an hour and a half before the violence, I'll add some rectifications to this summary of the reports below.  --  Associated Press reported the arrest of "[f]ive more anti-war protesters" at the Port of Tacoma "early Tuesday" and said that "[s]o far, 37 people have been arrested since demonstrations began March 3 at the port."[1]  --  AP reports that there was "a peaceful demonstration that included blocking train tracks."  --  ("Peaceful" is right, but "blocking train tracks" is not.  Demonstrators were standing on unused train tracks, but a video (link below) shows a train moving in the background as the tear gas was fired.[2]  --  Demonstrators would have moved to a designated location to allow any train to pass if they had been asked; they were not there to block trains.  --  In fact, shortly before the attacks took place, I witnessed two trains moving unimpeded on tracks parallel to Milwaukee Way past the demonstrators into the port without interference from them.  --  Trains are not involved in the movement of the Stryker equipment and are not an object of protest.  --  It was the police barricade that caused the protesters to stand in that location.  -- In other words, they appear to have been set up.  --  Like the barricades supposedly thrown at police on Friday night that in fact were not thrown, the train tracks appear to be a spurious justification on the part of the police to engage in an attack on protesters that endangered their safety.  -- These misrepresentations and ruses should be investigated further, as they further weaken public confidence in the Tacoma Police Department.  --  A KIRO 7 News team arrived on the scene shortly after police dispersed the peaceful demonstrators and interviewed two of them.[3]  --  A Spokane TV station posted 44 seconds of video showing riot police operations in which a train can be seen moving unimpeded.[4]  --  The Olympian posted an account by events by Stacey Mulick of the New Tribune (Tacoma, WA), but the New Tribune as 4:30 p.m. had not posted it on its web site.[5]  --  As usual, the police version on which the News Tribune relied contained gross factual errors.  --  Corrections to these accounts are interpolated in the news articles....

 


1.

5 MORE ARRESTED PROTESTING IRAQ WAR SHIPMENTS IN TACOMA

Associated Press
March 13, 2007

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003616071_webtacomaprotest13.html

TACOMA, Wash. -- Five more anti-war protesters were arrested at the Port of Tacoma early Tuesday after a peaceful demonstration that included blocking train tracks.

The five were arrested for investigation of criminal obstruction and booked into Pierce County Jail, said police detective Brad Graham.

No injuries or property damage were reported, Graham said.

So far, 37 people have been arrested since demonstrations began March 3 at the port to try to block shipment of Stryker armored fighting vehicles to Iraq. The vehicles will be used by 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which is scheduled to leave nearby Fort Lewis for Iraq next month.

Between 75 and 100 protesters were at the port Monday night. [NOTE: There were actually at least 200 protesters at the Port Monday night who marched more than a mile up to the docks. Shortly before the tear gas attack, at Milwaukee and Lincoln, there were were about 100 protesters at a police barricade obstructing the road. -- For my eyewitness account of what happened Monday night before the tear gas attack, see here. (http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/5916/) --M.J.]

Tacoma police plan to have a round-the-clock presence at the port until the military equipment leaves.

2.

5 ARRESTED PROTESTING IRAQ WAR SHIPMENTS IN TACOMA

Associated Press
March 13, 2007

http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8NRF5BO2.html

Five more anti-war protesters were arrested at the Port of Tacoma early Tuesday after a peaceful demonstration that included blocking train tracks. [NOTE:  This claim is belied by a 44-second videoclip in which a train can be seen moving at a good clip in the background. --Mark]

The five were arrested for investigation of criminal obstruction and booked into Pierce County Jail, said police detective Brad Graham.

No injuries or property damage were reported, Graham said.

So far, 37 people have been arrested since demonstrations began March 3 at the port to try to block shipment of Stryker armored fighting vehicles to Iraq. The vehicles will be used by 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which is scheduled to leave nearby Fort Lewis for Iraq next month.

Between 75 and 100 protesters were at the port Monday night. [NOTE: There were actually at least 200 protesters at the Port Monday night who marched more than a mile up to the docks. Shortly before the tear gas attack, at Milwaukee and Lincoln, there were were about 100 protesters at a police barricade obstructing the road. -- For my eyewitness account of what happened Monday night before the tear gas attack, see here. --M.J.]

Tacoma police plan to have a round-the-clock presence at the port until the military equipment leaves.

3.

POLICE, PROTESTERS CLASH AT PORT PROTEST

KIRO 7 News
March 13, 2007

http://www.kirotv.com/news/11240638/detail.html or
http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8NR9SC01.html

[VIDEO: Port confrontation escalates. [Summary of the 100-second clip broadcast this morning at 7:34 a.m.:  Audra Schroeder stands near Lincoln and Milwaukee at the Port of Tacoma in the early morning hours reports.  KIRO 7 News shows some "home video" of the tear gas unleashed on peaceful protesters "just before 1:00 a.m." Tuesday morning.  --  Two protesters were interviewed, Ray Kavick and Jeff Engelhart.  Kavick says police did not say when protesters had to leave or where they had to go.  "They just started shooting tear gas at us."  Englehart says:  "We weren't posing any threat.  We weren't posing any danger."  --  "A "pepper bullet" is shown.  --  Schroeder reports that police say they "had no choice" but to use tear gas.  --  Audra Schroeder said protesters said that "until that ship leaves they will continue to return and protest," a detail that is being left out of accounts posted on the station's web site.]

TACOMA, Wash. -- Police used a chemical spray against anti-war protesters on Tuesday morning at the Port of Tacoma and arrested five, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported.

A crowd of about 75 demonstrators gathered early Tuesday at the port, where Fort Lewis is loading vehicles for a Stryker brigade deployment to Iraq. [NOTE:  There were actually at least 200 protesters at the Port Monday night who marched more than a mile up to the docks.  Shortly before the tear gas attack, at Milwaukee and Lincoln, there were were about 100 protesters at a police barricade obstructing the road.  --  For my eyewitness account of what happened Monday night before the tear gas attack, see here. --M.J.]

Protesters said officers told them to disperse and started shooting cans of tear gas and pepper spray bullets.

Police said the crowd refused to move and that five people were arrested for obstruction.

Dozens of people have been arrested in a series of protests for more than a week at the port where Stryker vehicles and other equipment are being loaded on a ship.

4.

TACOMA POLICE USE TEAR GAS TO BREAK UP ANTI-WAR PROTEST

Associated Press
March 13, 2007 -- 10:48 a.m.

http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=1§ion_id=559&story_id=9269

[PHOTO CAPTION: A Tacoma police officer fires off a tear gas grenade to break up a group of anti-war protesters at the Port of Tacoma.]

[VIDEO (from KOMO 4 TV): Tacoma police officers use tear gas to break up a gathering of anti-war protesters at the Port of Tacoma where the vehicles for a Ft. Lewis-based Stryker Brigade are being loaded on ships headed for the Persian Gulf.  CNN video.  (In this 44-second clip a train can be seen moving without difficulty in the background.)]

TACOMA -- Police used a chemical spray against anti-war protesters again Tuesday morning at the Port of Tacoma and arrested five.

A crowd of about 75 demonstrators gathered early Tuesday at the port where Fort Lewis is loading vehicles for a Stryker brigade deployment to Iraq. [NOTE: There were actually at least 200 protesters at the Port Monday night who marched more than a mile up to the docks.  Shortly before the tear gas attack, at Milwaukee and Lincoln, there were were about 100 protesters at a police barricade obstructing the road.  --  For my eyewitness account of what happened Monday night before the tear gas attack, see here.  --M.J.]

They say officers told them to disperse and started shooting cans of tear gas and pepper spray bullets.

Police say the crowd refused to move and that five people were arrested for obstruction.

Dozens of people have been arrested in a series of protests for more than a week at the port where Stryker vehicles and other equipment are being loaded on a ship.

5.

News

FIVE ARRESTED FOR REFUSING TO LEAVE DURING OVERNIGHT PROTEST AT PORT OF TACOMA
By Stacey Mulick

News Tribune
March 13, 2007

http://www.theolympian.com/377/story/70200.html

Police arrested five people early Tuesday at the Port of Tacoma after anti-war protesters refused orders to move off the railroad tracks, Tacoma police reported.

The five were arrested on suspicion of criminal obstruction and booked into Pierce County Jail, police detective Brad Graham said Tuesday morning.

No injuries were reported to the protesters or police. No property damage was reported, Graham said.

The arrests early Tuesday bring the total number of protesters arrested at the Port of Tacoma to 37. Protesters have been at the port each night since March 3 in an attempt to block a shipment of Strykers and other military equipment to Iraq. The 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division held its deployment ceremony Monday at Fort Lewis.

Between 75 and 100 protesters were at the port Monday night. About 9 p.m., the group started to march from Lincoln Avenue and Milwaukee Way to East 11th Street and Port of Tacoma Road. They stayed at the Port of Tacoma Road location before heading back to Lincoln Avenue and Milwaukee Way shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, Graham said. [NOTE: In fact, as I noted while I was there, the group started the march at 10:58 p.m., arrived at E. 11th and Thorne at 11:16 p.m, left at midnight, and arrived back at Lincoln & Milwaukee at 12:30 p.m.  --  How is it possible for police accounts to diverge so wildly from the facts? In the past week, almost every report from police sources has contained gross factual errors like these. --M.J.]

“They chanted and held signs,” he said. “It seemed peaceful.”

When the protesters were back in the Lincoln and Milwaukee area, Graham said they were blocking access to some of the railroad tracks. He noted trains move along the tracks throughout the night by the port.

Officers ordered the crowd to disperse. When they refused, a chemical spray was released, Graham said. All but five protesters dispersed. The five who remained again refused to leave and were taken into custody, Graham said.

Tacoma police were assisted at the port late Monday and early Tuesday by officers from the King County Sheriff’s Office, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Washington State Patrol, and a group of South King County law enforcement agencies.

Tacoma police plan to have a round-the-clock presence at the port until the military equipment leaves.