On Wednesday afternoon, the Olympian posted a short piece reporting Olympian police allegations that "protesters at the Port of Olympia became overly aggressive early this morning.[1]  --  As usual, many strange, scurrilous, and sometimes libellous comments soon appeared on the Olympian comment page accompanying the article, with the absurd charge that OlyPMR is a "terrorist" organization figuring as a quite common fantasy.  --  One writer states:  "[The groups protesting at the port] have a history of violence and aggression.  Some are labeled as terrorists in other countries and have international warrants for their arrest. . . . [M]any of my fellow bloggers and associates and new age/Christian groups . . . have decided not to go into or travel through the downtown Olympia and Port area including the government offices for the foreseeable future. . . . I strongly suggest that it would be prudent to keep your children and yourselves away from the protestors and the expanding areas they are in.  If an event occurs then the authorities may not have time to care who is a 'bad protestor' and who is a 'true blood American supporting the troops.'" . . . [The protesters] want to be beaten and shot and gassed and tasared and killed to get attention and win millions in lawsuits and donations."  --  One fanatic, who posted no fewer than ten comments on the story, writes:  "I once again call for a total boycott of all businesses in the city limits of Olympia. . . . Maybe then enough pressure will be placed upon this rogue city hall to allow the police to untie their hands and treat these 'peaceful protestors' appropriately."  --  A little later, the same person writes that "unfortunatey OPD's hands tied because of the inept city councel and mayor they have set forth the catch and release they have set forth an anarchist state.  I wouldn't doubt if TJ didn't use city tax dollars to ship up and house these supposed anarchists from oregon that people say are here.  Afterall he misuses city property and funds for his other personal causes."  --  Later:  "The reason that these PMR criminals get away with so much is that they are the POLITICALLY ACTIVE ones.  Every single citizen that is complaining about the criminal actions of the PRM 'protesters' needs to attend the next Olympia City Council meeting.  The next meeting is at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 20th. . . . Sign up and make your voice heard.  That’s what these Olympia/TESC leftists do. . . . Every time someone tells me how irritated they are with these PMR criminals, my response now is 'WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?'  So, to all of you venting about the PMR criminals:  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT ???????"  --  Later:  "Since the City won't prosecute as a means to defend private property, it falls to the individual.  Don't let the terrorists (protesters)win.  If they don't break the law regarding destruction of private property, they have nothing to fear.  If they do, then the hammer of God should come down on them!"  --  Another writer complains that "my family and our downtown business is suffering due to this blatant Terrorism.  OPD is doing a fine job realing them in and I'm sure could do much more if City Hall would quit letting the fish go!  Good job OPD, time to break out the water cannon for these events!"  --  Another commentator goes to the trouble of citing the definition of "terrorism" in the USC and of copying out the American Heritage Dictionary definition to defend the conclusion:  "[T]hese idiots who break the law and hold up civilian truck drivers and citizens of Olympia by standing in the road and trying to intimidate them to stop . . . are domestic terrorists and it makes me sick to know that our City Council members are participating in such ridiculous behavior."  --  Another alleges that "The Counsil won't move again't TJ because they are afraid he will call in his 'Goons' to terrorize their families.  He is a most foul person.  Far worse than a Bush or a Cheney."  --  Cool-headedness and common sense are hard to find on the Olympian's comment page, but it does exist, as in a message that notes:  "It's interesting that the police speculate that some of the people are from out of town, and then a couple of sentences later the Olympian treats this as if it were an established fact.  As Thomas Merton wrote in his essay 'Auschwitz, A Family Camp,' the only thing necessary to get people to commit the most heinous crimes against other human beings is to have the abuse sanctioned by authority, and to identify the victims as 'other,' somehow not one of 'us.'  Many of the writers here have, in their minds, already made both of those steps."  Another comments:  "Let's see, the police claim there are outsiders in the protest.  Proof?  None.  However, they also say police officers WERE imported from other towns.  Hmmm.  The police were completely out of control as aggressors.  They looked crazed too, some clearly getting off on their use of force.  Rather homoerotic scene with them showing off for each other.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but they were egging each other on to ratchet up the level of brutality.  I don't think they're fit for duty if that's an example of police decision-making."  --  Finally, there is this long, reflective comment:  "So many of the computer chair right-wingers who mainly just engage in blogging and then listening to talk radio have exaggerated the meaning of the word terrorism to encompass the annoyance caused by the protesters.  Their comments speak for themselves and the seriousness for which we should take the republican rhetoric on terrorism.  I have not read nor heard anything catastrophic that happened here in Olympia.  The people who flew airplanes on 9/11 were terrorists; these protestors are not because of the missing element of 'violence,' because what happened here was a tea party in comparison.  Unless you folks don't start talking straight about terrorism you're going to distort your message beyond recognition.  It is a cost for the city and if anyone is injured, that's just wrong.  But as a big property tax payer in this city, I don't object to the cost.  I don't agree that the citizenry, many of whom object to the war in the first place, should be impeded in their travels, nor should anyone.  Seems like they could let the cars through at least.  I don't like the rocks through the window, but if more people joined them in an actual peaceful protest like this, say a few thousand, the government would have a problem.  The root of the problem, and part of the cause of the problem is myself, in not being more active to stop this ignorant war that has gone on for so many years and has cost so many trillions that we have yet to pay for.  People do not understand the significance of that figure or its long term effects on this country.  Most of the people in this country are living a fantasy inside their head of the political meaning of this whole war instead of taking personal accountability and looking at reality. . . . What most of the bloggers don't understand is that there are some of us with deeply held religious convictions that war and violence and murder in any form is a terrible sin.  If everyone had that belief and practiced it there wouldn't be a problem.  I have a religious conviction against my money being used to support the Port of Olympia in my own city in this war effort.  I am opposed to being forced to have anything to do with financing it and I object to it being at the Port." ...



** 'Something last night was a little different' **

Olympian (Olympia, WA)
November 14, 2007


Olympia police said today that protesters at the Port of Olympia became overly aggressive early this morning and late Tuesday night as 43 people were arrested.

"Something last night was a little different," Olympia police spokesman Dick Machlan said.

Fifteen of the people were men and 28 women.

Machlan said he's not sure why the protests against moving military equipment from the port to Fort Lewis escalated, but he guessed some of the people may have been from out of the area.

He said Olympia police are used to dealing with protests in the state's capitol, but this group "moved it to a different realm."

"They are not of the same mindset" as local protesters, he said. "They've clearly chosen to break the law.

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

—For more on the story, see the Olympian Thursday.