The Navy’s war fleet arrives in Elliott Bay today and, as usual,

The Navy’s war fleet arrives in Elliott Bay today and, as usual, Seattle’s Peace Fleet will be there to greet them – at a distance. It’s the annual Seafair standoff, in which the Navy displays its weapons to defend democracy while the U.S. Coast Guard enforces a 500-yard no-protest zone around Pier 66 to keep peaceful dissenters at bay.”Why would we demonstrate for peace at a Seattle maritime festival?” says Leonard Eiger, of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. “Because the celebration of warships in our harbor helps bring about the normalcy of modern war.”He calls the the Seafair fleet arrival “a public relations and recruiting event” for the Navy. A violation of the safety zone by demonstrators buzzing the ships in their rubber boats could result in arrest and up to six years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine. Longtime Seattle activist Glen Milner tells us that besides the Navy’s 500-yard rule, demonstrators will likely again be prevented by the Port of Seattle from accessing the high-profile rooftop area of Pier 66, in further attempt to limit exposure of their protest to the public and media.”It seems our ‘defenders of freedom’ do not much care for what freedom looks like when it is standing next to them,” says Milner.The government doesn’t care much for Milner either. A 2010 Justice Department report revealed that the feds secretly investigated the Seattle peacenik and other U.S.activists over a five-year period, wasting what an inspector general said was time and money to determine if the activists were subversives. The FBI also improperly retained information in its files on Milner and others and classified some acts of nonviolent civil disobedience as acts of terrorism.But then Milner, who was SW’s Best of Seattle “Best Citizen” last year after winning an important U.S. Supreme Court records battle with the feds, doesn’t care much for the government either.The Port, for one, has been actively trying to limit his group’s demonstrations, spurring his interest in the Port’s operations. In the past, he learned that a Port police officer, pretending to be a sympathizer, had attended one of his group’s Seafair protest planning sessions. More recently he learned the Port had been giving away services to Seafair and the Navy for the fleet arrival, leading the state auditor to conclude the agency should charge the full amount for berthage rates while the ships are in Seattle.

In light of the Port’s Seafair support, Milner says it seems hypocritical of the agency to oppose the proposed new SoDo sports arena, claiming it will increase traffic congestion and delay local commerce. “Hundreds of hours are spent by Port of Seattle personnel for the Navy’s largest military recruitment display in our region,” he says, leading to increased traffic congestion, not to mention clogging up Elliott Bay and tying up scarce downtown resources. “If the Port really wanted to free up operations for commerce,” Milner says, “they would send the Navy fleet to Tacoma.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

King County weather: Dec. 3-5

Here is your King County area weather forecast for Dec. 3-5, 2021.… Continue reading

Former UW Medicine peer support specialist James Encinas sitting in his home. Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing
Former Harborview social worker was victim of racial discrimination and retaliation

James Encinas worked for behavioral health program that aimed to house the chronically homeless.

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge & Spa. File photo
Snoqualmie Tribe concerned with unregulated air traffic at Snoqualmie Falls

Tribe urges federal regulators to introduce flight restrictions over sacred site.

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center is located at 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
FEMA to send mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit to Western Washington

The mobile site is set to open Dec. 20 in Federal Way; additional locations to come.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington health officials discuss response to new COVID variant

Things will be handled with Omicron variant similar to the Delta variant.

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn
King County Councilmember Dunn will challenge Rep. Kim Schrier for U.S. Congress seat

The current County Councilmember would be following in his late mother’s footsteps

Garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. FILE PHOTO
King County and Port of Seattle to collaborate on waste-to-fuel study

The study is aimed at identifying logistics of developing aviation fuel out of municipal garbage.

Most Read