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May Day Wildness in Seattle
05/02/2012, 3:35 PM
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Longshoremen clash shuts Northwest ports

According to the Seattle Times:

“500 Longshoremen take guards hostage, threaten police with baseball bats — Seattle, WA

Work is at a standstill at the ports in Seattle and Everett as a labor dispute that started Thursday morning turned violent.

At least 500 longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview about 4:30 a.m., broke out windows in the guard shack and — as longshoremen wielding baseball bats and crowbars held six guards hostage — others cut brakelines on box cars and dumped grain, according to Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.

No one was injured and there were no arrests, Duscha said. Fifty police officers from Kelso, Longview, Cowlitz County, the Washington State Patrol and Burlington Northern Railroad responded to the scene.

Duscha said tensions between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and EGT Terminal have run hot for the past few months after contract negotiations broke down.

The ILWU believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of other union laborers.

Thursday’s violence was first reported by Kelso radio station KLOG.

“We’re not surprised,” Duscha said. “A lot of the protesters were telling us this in only the start.”

One police sergeant was threatened with baseball bats and retreated, Duscha said. “One officer with hundreds of Longshoremen? He used the better part of discretion.”

The train was the first grain shipment to arrive at Longview. It arrived Wednesday night after police arrested 19 demonstrators who tried to block the tracks. They were led by ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, who said they would return.

The blockade appeared to defy a federal restraining order issued last week against the union after it was accused of assaults and death threats.

In Seattle, port spokesman Peter McGraw said he had no additional information on the walkout.”

Seattle: Three police cars and RV set on fire
10/27/2009, 11:10 AM
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According to the Seattle Times:

“Three Seattle police cars and an RV that’s used as a mobile precinct were torched early Thursday in a city maintenance yard, according to police.

Just before 5 a.m., city workers spotted a suspicious-looking man walking through a parking lot at 714 S. Charles St., where police, fire and other city vehicles awaiting maintenance work are stored, said police spokesman Detective Jeff Kappel.

The workers tried to talk to the man, and “just about that time, police cars started going up in flames and he took off running,” Kappel said. The workers called 911 at 4:53 a.m. and firefighters quickly doused the flames, he said.

“There were police vehicles deliberately set on fire,” said Kappel, who couldn’t say if reports of an explosion were accurate. “Only police vehicles were burned,” even though vehicles from a variety of city departments are stored there.

Kappel also couldn’t say whether the vehicles were a total loss. No damage estimate has been released.

Kappel said the Seattle Police Department hadn’t received any threats before the fires, which also slightly damaged a nearby building.

The fire was so intense that it set off sprinklers inside the maintenance garage, which sustained smoke and water damage, said Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick. She said the damaged police vehicles were outside the garage but behind a security fence.

Police have only a vague description of the suspect: The man is 6 feet tall with a slim build, was wearing dark clothing and possibly carrying a backpack, Kappel said.”