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Port militarization protesters rally in Tacoma

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 2, 2009 at 8:40 am with No Comments »
May 2, 2009 8:40 am

They called us and sent out this press release after everyone here went home. It’s not clear if there were any arrests but I didn’t notice anything when I checked the jail roster this morning.

Port Militarization Resisters detained by police


LAKEWOOD, WA — As citizens converge on Fort Lewis to resist the deployment of Stryker vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan, police have stepped up their interference with the legal activities of activists and bystanders. As of 11:40 pm, police have stopped numerous vehicles and detained and questioned their drivers and passengers.

A Stryker brigade began deployment to Afghanistan from Fort Lewis tonight, Friday, May 1. Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) and Tacoma PMR are organizing blockades and coordinating direct action in order to delay or completely halt the deployment. 

Strykers, also known as ‘IAV Stryker’ vehicles, are the primary mechanized tools used by ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. PMR seeks to prevent the shipment of Strykers and other military equipment through the use of direct acts, such as blockades.

As the Obama administration continues the war on Iraq and escalates the war in Afghanistan, opposition to US imperialism only becomes more urgent, especially in the face of the failure of politicians to bring the wars to an end. Citizens who oppose US-sponsored violence abroad are left with one option: to physically block the war machine. PMR actions put direct economic strain on the governments that support these wars and place direct social pressure on the politicians that continue them. At a time when rampant foreclosures affect families across the nation and the federal government still chooses to increase the military budget for these wars of occupation, it is up to our communities to resist US imperialism.

Port Militarization Resistance formed in May 2006, after a series of non-violent blockades delayed the shipment of Stryker vehicles leaving the Port of Olympia for Iraq. In 2007, PMR was involved with protests against the use of public ports to transport military vehicles to Iraq from Tacoma and Aberdeen. At the end of 2007, a Stryker brigade returning to Ft. Lewis from Iraq was blockaded at the Port of Olympia, the longest blockade lasting 17 hours. In August of 2008, PMR blockaded military equipment returning from Iraq at three different entrances to Ft. Lewis.

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