Hundred gather at Washington capitol for Lt. Watada

by Jeff Paterson, 26 June 2006

OLYMPIA, WA  - Organized by the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, a hundred supporters of Lt. Ehren Watada gathered near the Washington state capitol building yesterday. Holding signs that read “Refuse Illegal War Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada”, Lt. Watada’s father Robert Watada and step-mother Rosa joined Olympians to span the centrally located Fourth Street Bridge.


Olympians gather to support Lt. Watada; State capitol in background


The bridge overlooks the Port of Olympia where community members made international news last month by staging a ten day blockade of the Army’s 3rd Brigade Stryker combat vehicles in an attempt to stop them from shipping out to Iraq. The community is now focusing its attention on supporting Lt. Watada who was attached to this same Stryker brigade.

On June 22, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the unlawful Iraq War and occupation. Lt. Watada fulfilled his pledge to resist he first made at June 7th press conferences in Tacoma and Honolulu. He is currently restricted to Fort Lewis pending changes and a probably court martial later this summer.

Thirty cities across the United States and Canada are planning local actions as part of the National Day of Action to Stand Up with Lt. Ehren Watada on Tuesday, June 27.