Last weekend, Kristi Nebel of United for Peace of Pierce County published this letter in the News Tribune of Tacoma, criticizing "the behavior of the riot squad police officers" at the Port of Tacoma port militarization resistance protests. -- Even as the letter was being published, the situation was getting worse. -- On Thursday, UFPPC adopted a statement ("A Protest in the Best American Tradition," Mar. 15, 2007) -- It said, in part: "This legitimate protest has occasioned lamentable and disturbing behavior on the part of the Tacoma Police Department. Excessive force has been used against peaceful, nonviolent protesters presenting no threat whatsoever to public safety. -- The police made many unjustified and, we believe, illegal arrests. -- They endangered, rather protected, public safety. -- Officers of the law have been employed in what appears to be a campaign to frighten, discourage, intimidate, and harass protesters who were only exercising their legal and constitutional rights. -- Heretofore peace activists in Pierce County have enjoyed good relations with the Tacoma police, and we must work to understand why our local authorities chose the line of conduct that we were dismayed to witness this week. -- There must be an investigation. -- Those responsible must be held to account. -- What happened is not acceptable. . . . These events constitute a pattern of repression. -- They must be investigated, and they must come to an end." ...
BEHAVIOR TOWARD PROTESTERS HAS BEEN DISILLUSIONING
By Kristi Nebel
News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
March 10, 2007
All of my considerable dealings with the Tacoma Police Department have been so favorable up to now that I’ve repeatedly put my name as an established member of the community of war protesters on the line to defend them. They have been without exception helpful, cooperative and flexible with our many public events and concerns.
This is why I’m so very disillusioned and disappointed by their behavior at the Port of Tacoma.
All of my conversations with protesters present on the evening of the arrests repeat the horror, fear, and pain resulting from the behavior of the riot squad police officers. Any charges of assault on them by protesters are indisputably false and documented on film with numerous witnesses.