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Protesters appeal to Legislators

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  • Geneb
    *** Protesters appeal to Legislators *** Olympia, Washington -- 03/16/2003 ~Police make one arrest in downtown demonstrations~ About 150 peace activists
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15 5:53 PM
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      *** 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
      arrest.

      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,
      participants said.

      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,
      Partin said.

      Another bike demonstration is scheduled for
      downtown Olympia on Sunday afternoon.

      *PHOTO
      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.
      Tony Overman/The Olympian

      Geneb...Wenatchee,Washington-USA
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