Friday, August 21, 2009

Laurelwood and Anti-War Protesters

One of our supporters brings up an interesting hypothetical for the Navy: how will NWS Earle react if civilian anti-war, or other types of protesters, take up residence at the base's Laurelwood housing? We pose this question, knowing that some of our blog's most-avid visitors are from the Navy (40% since we launched the blog on July 1; we have the data to back this up - it's not a contrived figure).

Navy officials need look no further than Olympia, Washington, home to protest groups United for Peace and Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OPMR, which objects to use of civilian ports for shipments to Iraq). AP reports allegations the Army illegally infiltrated OPMR, whose members "sometimes engaged in civil disobedience by trying to block the shipments," and about 200 protestors were arrested amid protests in November 2007, as two videos from YouTube (video 1, video 2) showing police pepperspraying seemingly peaceful protests would attest.

We have not seen these sorts of protests in our area, but should the war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq drag on, the likelihood of more protests in more places increases. It would be pretty awkward for the Navy having protesters residing on the base and engaging in action on a road that dissects the base, rather than just demonstrating in the streets like in Olympia, WA.

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