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
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.