The event read ‘Block The Gates’. Everyone who has been watching the progress of the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) site was invited. They didn’t mind that the police knew the time or date. In fact, for all intents and purposes, they wanted the publicity. Bringing awareness to this illegal construction was the intent. The event’s invitation asked for 200 or more people to volunteer to halt the construction of the LNG site at Port of Tacoma.
BLOCK: Early Morning Deployment
The Protectors of the Salish Sea, 350.Seattle, The Puyallup Tribe of Indians, ReDefine Tacoma, 350. Tacoma and Backbone Campaign were involved in the front line protection efforts. According to the consensus of the afore-mentioned, blocking construction is most efficient. Also, the most productive campaigns happen in the early hours. The protectors were there early. The protectors were instructed to lock down, using a lockbox that hooks them up to each other. This lockbox can also lock them to the facility’s gate.
Block All Traffic
The Tacoma Police Department deployed to the area in larger units. Some witnesses observed the police using nearby Totem Ocean and Trailer Express’ (TOTE) shipyard to deploy what appeared to be a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit. The SWAT unit filed into the private TOTE corporation in an attempt to surround the Water Protectors on all sides. Traffic was held up throughout the action while there were negotiations being made. Big rig drivers (semi-trucks) shown impatience about the block by shouting insults on occasion. This seemed to escalate the tension. The water protectors wanted all workers that were able to get inside the site, to leave by 12;00 PM (Noon). Apparently, if the workers left, the protectors would disperse and open traffic.
Negotiations Abruptly End
Finally, the Tacoma Police Department sent messages to the crowd via microphone to disperse off the street. They announced to the crowd that they would clear the road by 12 noon. Arrests would be made if the street on Alexander was not cleared. Although there was a skeleton crew that had made it through the gates they seemed to have a made a mockery of the crowd by adding 3 panels to the LNG holding tank, jeering at the crowd between panel placements. The negotiation leaders decided that we have held up the Port of Tacoma and their support of PSE LNG facility long enough and regrouped at Firecracker ally.
2 arrests were made.