Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Antiwar 'Olympian' Covers Wild Antiwar Protests Close to Home -- Puts Names of Arrested on Front Page

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Antiwar 'Olympian' Covers Wild Antiwar Protests Close to Home -- Puts Names of Arrested on Front Page

Article excerpt

The Olympian in Olympia, Wash., which has been a strong critic of the Iraq war on its editorial page, took a hard line with anti-war protesters who have resorted to violence in opposing use of a local port to ship military equipment.

In Thursday's editions, the paper printed the names of all 58 arrested protesters on Page One, while the editorial page objected to the protester's approach that led to the arrests.

"There is a curiosity among people of who the protesters are," Managing Editor Jerry Wakefield said about the front-page name list. "This is the most that have been arrested here in protests in recent memory." He said there was little discussion about publicizing the names so prominently: "Not a great deal of debate."

The managing editor said several of his staffers were hit with pepper spray during Tuesday's protests, which led to the majority of arrests, while a videographer was hit with what was described as a "pepper spray bullet." None were seriously hurt.

The paper drew attention months ago for a strong anti-war editorial. Thursday's editorial reiterated the stance against the war, but firmly took protesters to task for "blocking roads, dragging debris into the middle of downtown streets, breaking windows, destroying public property, damaging police cars and hurling rocks at police," saying, "they clearly crossed the line. …

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