2 arrested after construction-crane protest in Tacoma
TACOMA, Wash. -- Two protesters were arrested after spending the day Monday locked in the tower of a construction crane. It was part of a larger demonstration against the liquefied natural gas plant being built on the Tacoma tide flats. They came down peacefully at the end of the construction work day.
Steve Way says he and Carlo Voli climbed the crane to garner publicity for their cause. "People have maybe never heard about it," said Way from his perch 60 feet up. "Don't know what's going on here. Find out what's really going on here because they're building this facility and there's no need for their product."
But Puget Sound Energy said the plant is going to produce LNG for a shipping company to replace highly polluting bunker oil and to have a store of natural gas to serve the region.
As to the protest PSE said, "While we respect everyone's right to express their opinions, safety is our priority. Breaking into a heavy construction site and crawling on heavy equipment is extremely dangerous to both the trespassers and first responders."
Protesters are undeterred believing PSE didn't get all of the necessary permits. Puyallup tribal council member Sylvia Miller said, "We are obligated to protect and preserve our lands and our waters and this plant is not doing that."
"The community is upset," said Puyallup tribal council member James Rideout. "That's why they're locked down to this facility. They understand the magnitude to what this facility can cause."
Protesters say they're even willing to do jail time. Cynthia Linet and Marilyn Kimmerling went on trial Monday arrested at a demonstration last May. "As long as my animals are fed I feel like it's my duty. If it helps to get the word out," Kimmerling said.