Protesters appeal to Legislators
- *** Protesters appeal to Legislators ***
Olympia, Washington -- 03/16/2003
~Police make one arrest in downtown demonstrations~
About 150 peace activists gathered on the
state Capitol Campus on Friday, calling on
state legislators and Gov. Gary Locke to
take a stand against a U.S. attack on Iraq.
Later in the day, a bike demonstration led
by Critical Mass sent dozens of riders
through downtown. One person was
arrested, and six people were given tickets
for minor violations.
Three of the demonstrators at the Capitol
chained themselves to a door at the John A.
Cherberg Building but unshackled
themselves shortly after 2 p.m., avoiding
Two legislators -- Reps. Mary Lou
Dickerson, D-Seattle, and Maralyn Chase,
D-Edmonds -- spoke briefly to protesters in
support of their peace proclamation.
A third legislator, Sen. Adam Kline,
D-Seattle, was in session on the Senate
floor but sent an aide out to read a
prepared statement against the war.
"We want to support the troops by bringing
them home," Kline said. "Peace is patriotic."
As Washington State Patrol troopers
clustered in small groups around the
demonstration on the steps of the Cherberg
building, the crowd listened to several fiery
speeches denouncing the Bush
administration's steady march to war.
One was by Olympia resident Corey Snow,
a member of the 82nd Airborne Division
artillery and veteran of the first Persian Gulf War.
"War is a fundamental evil unleashed only as
an absolute last resort by a civilized nation," Snow said.
"Pre-emptive attacks against vague threats
will only serve to increase world hostility,
and place even more Americans -- both
soldiers and civilians -- at risk."
Wes Hamilton, 55, a Vietnam War veteran
from Olympia, was one of the three chained
to the door, representing the Pledge of
Resistance, a national group opposed to the war.
"I believe the best troop support we can
give is to do everything possible to keep
them out of harm's way," he said.
Hamilton was joined in the civil disobedience
action by Kevin Anderson, 23, a Tacoma
public school teacher from Olympia, and
Brynne Warriner, 24, a student at The
Evergreen State College.
"Our representatives have a responsibility to step forward and
resist this war," Warriner said, holding a sign that read: "Legislators
Who Does Your Silence Represent."
The protest began with a noon rally at the Tivoli Fountain,
followed by the march to the Cherberg building.
The rally and march were organized by the
United for Peace Thurston County coalition.
'Solidarity for women'
At the rally, Pat Holm, 66, passed out 29 puppets
on sticks depicting Middle East women in tears.
"It's to show our solidarity for the women who will be suffering,"
Holm said. "Our tears are for everyone."
One of the speakers was Therese Saliba, an Arab American
and Fulbright scholar who teaches Middle East studies at Evergreen.
"Let the United Nations make the decision
-- let the United Nations work," she said.
"We're saying 'no' to United States domination of the world."
After the rally broke up, about 40 protesters marched a few
blocks along Capitol Way to the office of U.S. Rep. Brian Baird,
D-Wash. There they were met by Baird aides who passed out his
five-page position paper on Iraq.
Baird, who is in Washington, D.C., has questioned Bush's decision
to push for war but has said he will support the president if he
chooses to invade Iraq.
The protesters urged him to take a stronger stance against the war.
The two-hour bike demonstration in downtown Olympia late Friday
afternoon was in support of healthy living and healthy communities,
One woman was arrested for disobeying police officers,
and six people were cited for minor violations,
Olympia police Sgt. James Partin said.
A bicycle patrol officer sustained some scrapes and bruises when
he crashed his bike while patrolling the demonstration, Partin said.
The group declined police escorts,
so officers followed closely to ensure no laws were broken,
Another bike demonstration is scheduled for
downtown Olympia on Sunday afternoon.
One of the Critical Mass bicyclists waits to receive a ticket
for crossing against a traffic signal during the protest ride
Friday evening. About 40 cyclists took part in the ride,
which was closely supervised by Olympia police.
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