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Seditious anti-war protesters use kids as human shields

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 12, 2007 09:40 AM

Update: I found another photo of the kiddie human shields, whose parent/guardian endangered them by dragging them right up to one of the trucks…

3kids.jpg

The Olympian has more on the aftermath:

Olympia Mayor Mark Foutch released a written statement Sunday that said any reports of excessive police force that are filed with the city will be “thoroughly and impartially” investigated. But he said police reported that some demonstrators have acted in ways that exceeded their rights to use public roads for political expression. And he said demonstrators need to “express their opinions in ways that do not block the public rights-of-way for unreasonable periods and to respond promptly to lawful requests and orders of police officers on the scene.”

Between 30 and 40 officers worked Sunday as a result of the protests, said Dick Machlan, Olympia police administrative services manager.

Olympia police got additional support from Lacey, Tumwater and Thurston County law enforcement agencies. The additional staffing needed for such protests can cost the city of Olympia between $2,000 and $15,000, Machlan said. “It’s so dependent on the individual event,” he said.

The latest port protest could end up being on the more expensive end if additional police are needed to work today because it’s the observed Veterans Day holiday, Machlan said. That means working staff members earn one-and-a-half times their typical wage.

Sunday’s events

The confrontations Sunday began after about 8:45 a.m., when protesters began marching back and forth across Franklin Street at the Market Street intersection. As 18-wheelers towing cargo began rolling down Market Street about five minutes later, two protesters lay down in the road, creating a human blockade. Police officers sprayed both with pepper spray. Another caravan of vehicles began leaving the port about 9:45 a.m., prompting protesters to run out ahead of the vehicles. Police arrested at least one man who witnesses said was in the road and later arrested two others. Those arrested on suspicion of violating the city’s pedestrian interference ordinance were Joshua Elliott, Montgomery Gondolfi and Luke Noble, according to Olympia City Jail.

***

Sondra K has been blogging from the moonbat protests in Olympia, Washington, where the far Left is showing its support for the troops by…blocking military shipments from the troops. Seditiously interfering with military shipments is nothing new, of course. They’ve been doing it since the invasion of Iraq. What does seem to be new is this–using children as human shields in their quest to prevent vital equipment from getting to and from the battlefield (click for full pic at Sondra K’s):

1kids.jpg

Port and military officials are justifiably angry at the police for the lack of support they have received during the obstructionist demonstrations. The presence of the kiddie human shields complicated the response:

Protesters declared victory after port activity ended Friday night with the unsuccessful attempt to drive out two trucks, one carrying a Stryker vehicle and the other carrying two cargo containers.

“We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get some police support, but we understand that with the resources they expended the other night, they had problems pulling all the necessary officers together,” Port of Olympia Commission President Paul Telford said. “But they did a great job the other night.”

He also noted that by the time the protesters stopped the two trucks from leaving about 4 p.m., the day’s operations at the port were almost complete anyway.

Two nights earlier, on Wednesday, police clashed with protesters, moving groups and arresting two people who were attempting to block convoys from the port. The protests were organized by Olympia Port Militarization Resistance in opposition to the use of the port for what members say is an illegal, immoral war in Iraq. There were no convoys Thursday.

The problems the protesters are causing at the port “aren’t winning them any friends,” Telford said Friday. Added port spokeswoman Patti Grant, relaying a comment by port Executive Director Ed Galligan, “it’s unfortunate that the protests can’t be peaceful and nonobstructionist.”

For most of the day Friday, trucks were able to leave unimpeded. Friday’s standoff started after 3 p.m.

Olympia Police Commander Tor Bjornstad acknowledged the department’s difficulty in pulling together the resources needed to remove protesters who stood or sat in the path of the trucks.

“We understand that the port and the military are disappointed about this evening,” he said.

Bjornstad added that police didn’t anticipate protesters blocking trucks Friday afternoon. Police also didn’t anticipate that small children would be among them, he said.

Two grade-school-age boys and a toddler were among the people in the path of the trucks Friday, a development that Bjornstad said was “quite disturbing” and “quite appalling, in my opinion.” Police want to ensure the safety of the protesters, should they have to be removed, and police were not prepared for safely removing children Friday, he said.

“We’re going to have to figure out how to address that issue,” Bjornstad said.

In addition to protest arrests, the anti-war thugs have also targeted local churches for vandalism:

Over the weekend vandals smashed windows at the New Apostolic Church in west Olympia and at the Flood the Sound Church just a few miles away and spray-painted anarchist graffiti along the path between the two churches.

“That kind of made us suspicious,” Lt. Chris Mealy with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said.

Graffiti left on a nearby store said “No Port Militarization—Oly unite.”

According to detectives, they are wondering if the attacks on the church are somehow a twisted effort to protest war.

“We’re most definitely going to be looking into it,” Mealy said.

The vandalism took place just before the arrival of the U.S. Naval ship Brittin, which is carrying Fort Lewis military hardware back from the war in Iraq.

Patriotic, huh?

***

What normal, sane people are doing for Veterans Day:

-Take a vet to dinner.

-Donate to Project Valour IT. The fund-raiser has been extended one more day. Our Marines team is in the lead! Keep chipping in.

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