OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of protesters greeted lawmakers beginning a 30-day special session to address the state’s budget woes, with a rowdy group disrupting a hearing Monday and police later using Tasers in a skirmish as a large crowd refused to leave the Capitol building at the end of the day.

By 7 p.m., a crowd of several hundred that had gathered in the state Capitol building had thinned to about 100 people. State troopers let people leave voluntarily but began physically removing those who refused to go after the building was closed to the public at 5:30 p.m. Troopers picked up several people by their limbs and removed them from the building. The remainder of the protesters left the building on their own accord shortly after 8 p.m., slowly backing out of the building while singing “whose side are you on?”

A total of about 3,000 people protested at the Capitol throughout the day, though the number of protesters on campus at any one time varied, said Washington State Patrol Sgt. J.J. Gundermann. The protesters came from various groups, including Occupy Olympia, unions and social service groups.

Gundermann said that 30 people removed from the Capitol Monday evening received a trespassing citation and will not be allowed back on the Capitol campus for 30 days. Four people were arrested Monday, three at the Capitol Monday evening, and one earlier in the day at a committee hearing, Gundermann said.

The Washington State Patrol had locked the doors to the building Monday evening, preventing more people from entering. Earlier, hundreds of protesters, most associated with the national Occupy movement, had vowed to stay, and many brought sleeping bags to the building’s rotunda. Dozens of troopers were also in the building, standing at entrances.

Dan Coon, a State Patrol spokesman, said troopers used Tasers on three people when demonstrators trying to enter the Capitol building advanced on the officers. He said the troopers were trying to protect themselves from being trampled.

“They weren’t trying to disperse people,” he said.

Gundermann said a fourth person, one of three arrested during the evening protest, was tasered outside on the other side of the building. In that incident, the three were arrested when they tried to enter the Capitol from a different entrance. Coon said a scuffle broke out between troopers and protesters, and one trooper was bitten. Two people were arrested for assault, obstruction and resisting arrest, and one was arrested for obstruction and resisting arrest, Coon said.

The protests defined the opening day of a session that is to focus on budget cuts. Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed reducing funding to areas like education, public safety and health care to deal with a $1.4 billion deficit.

Earlier Monday, more than a dozen people burst into a crowded committee room and began chanting in opposition of deep cuts. They shouted in favor of taxing the wealthy.

Security escorted one of the protesters out while some continued yelling and others banged on doors outside of the room. Lawmakers eventually suspended the hearing, but it resumed about 30 minutes later.

The panel was scheduled to begin considering Gregoire’s proposal for close to $2 billion in cuts, reductions to local governments and fund transfers, leaving $600 million in the bank.

Gregoire wants the Legislature to send a temporary, half-cent sales tax increase to the statewide ballot as early as March, with the levy pinned to “buying back” cuts that could be made to areas like education and public safety.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will produce their own plan in the coming weeks. A packed House hearing began that process Monday afternoon, though the meeting was disrupted several times with people inside the hearing chanting several phrases, including, “We will not be silenced.”

Other groups crowded inside the Capitol rotunda, and a small group of protesters in the House gallery unfurled a banner over the chamber and shouted for lawmakers to tax the rich and fund schools. They chanted that the plan to further cut education will hurt families, children and teachers.

“It is immoral. It is illegal,” they shouted. A few lawmakers watched the protesters while others ignored them. Troopers managed to quiet the crowd and escort them out of the chamber.

About 200 protesters, chanting “We are the 99 percent” and carrying signs like “They Cut, We Bleed,” later filled the Senate public galleries after the Senate adjourned for the day.

Mark Arras, acting captain for the Capitol campus for the State Patrol, told protesters Monday evening that the building was closed and asked them to leave.

“We respect your right to free speech and protest. We ask you to do so within the building hours,” Arras said.

The crowded responded: “This is not a protest. It’s an occupation.”

Outside of the building earlier in the day, Albert Postema, of Snohomish, was wearing a rope noose tie to signify what he said was a “collective economic noose around us.”

Postema, a produce and nursery stock farmer, said that he went to his first Occupy protest in New York in September. He said he considers himself a conservative but is concerned about “economic and political corruption.”

“The poor and underprivileged have been taking the brunt,” he said. “How do you make cuts when others have been so greedy?”

Karen Washington, a Spokane home care worker, said she’s worried about how cuts could affect her clients’ ability to pay for medication, as well as their impact on her as a worker. Washington said that while the state needs to raise revenue, the sales tax increase proposed by the governor would hurt low-income workers like herself.

Washington said she hopes lawmakers consider other taxes, including removing tax exemptions for some businesses.

“It’s not an either or situation,” she said. “It’s not sales tax or cuts. It’s not education or health care. They have other options.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (78)
  1. glitchus says:

    I see that the #Occupy rabble are still making a violent nuisance of themselves. These idiots are the “barbarians at the gate” who will destroy Western civilization if given a chance, and sadly, the democrats, media and unions are staunch supporters of this freeloading mob of losers.

    1. John Steele says:

      Spot on Dude. Fortunately , they are a small group that makes a lot of noise trying to sound like they are a majority. The Democrats are going to pay a price for supporting this rabble and it’s going to be fun to watch

      1. defecating_heroes says:

        Liberal, Neo-conservative useful idiots and critics of Assembly, and frankly haters of truth and freedom, exist by feeding on the entrepreneurial, middle class.
        Which explains why the nation’s respect and admiration are with the dissidents being victimized by such Zionist apparachiks of the Fed, IMF and World Bank. And with the Anonymous and Wikileaks brigades.
        For they know, proletariat’s bad children and parasites will never admonish the Crony Capitalism feeding the latter’s addictions and narcissism. A special interest needful and earnest of all the hearty, steamy excrement patriots can provide. Sh!t and p!ss on, noble flea-baggers, lest the streets flow with blood.

      2. defecating_heroes says:

        #Liberal, Neo-conservative useful idiots and critics of Assembly, and frankly haters of truth and freedom, exist by feeding on the entrepreneurial, middle class.
        Which explains why the nation’s respect and admiration are with the dissidents being victimized by such Zionist apparachiks of the Fed, IMF and World Bank. And with the Anonymous and Wikileaks brigades.
        For they know, proletariat’s bad children and parasites will never admonish the Crony Capitalism feeding the latter’s addictions and narcissism. A special interest needful and earnest of all the hearty, steamy excrement patriots can provide. Sh!t and p!ss on, noble flea-baggers, lest the streets flow with blood.

    2. replyranger says:

      Garbage comments such as yours merit so mental space in any thinking person’s mind. “will destroy civiilization” and “media are staunch supporters”. Simply quit lying.

      1. BD says:

        You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. What would anarchy do to our country but destroy it? That’s what many of these idiots are demanding. And you may not understand the strange sounds people make from their mouths on the moving picture box but you’re have to be immensely obtuse not to recognize the bias. Or perhaps you’re bias yourself.

      2. Brian says:

        Wow, bunch of really right wing types up in that part of washington. No wonder the troopers felt uninhibited when they tasered multiple people(three) at once. So much for free speech. I am amazed at how often police use serious force, which a taser is, under the guise they were afraid for their own safety after they put themselves into a provocative position challenging whomever is in their way.

      3. JustAGuy says:

        Uhh, they were disrupting the peace, disobeying police orders and causing a general nusance, all are against the law.

        That has NOTHING to do with violating free speech. I just wish there was video of them getting tasered.

      4. BD says:

        They are cops, brosif, what the hell do you think they were doing? Putting themselves in danger for the sport of it? They were doing their jobs by removing LAW BREAKERS. You know, laws, those things liberals hate so much.

      5. Jimmy Barrett says:

        Nothing garbage about his comments. They WILL destroy civilization if given the opportunity. They’re in the process of attempting to tear down the very foundations of country. As for the media being supporters, that varies, but much of the media does it’s best to paint these bums in a favorable light.

    3. Lorenzo says:

      glitchus….the Democrats, media and unions aren’t just “supporters” of the occupy movement…the ARE the occupy movement. Well, throw in a bunch of stupid college kids and their professors and most government workers (redundant…union?) and you have the perfect witch’s brew of self entitlment and liberal hypocrisy.

      1. alex says:

        Are you serious? You seem to not understand the fact that democrats=republicans. DIFFERENT COLORS, same thing. College kids and professors (especially with their high IQ) are more likely to understand this fact, than a left/right leaning idiot. The best is to be in the MIDDLE.

    4. sxweiss says:


      You’re right; they’ve gone far beyond their ”right to protest”. “Occupy” is a hostile action and hostile response to such is called for in this case. There never was any right given by God, the Crown or the Constitution to violently present their case.

    5. Joe says:

      Actually you are the idiot for not understanding what is happening to america. Change can only happen with massive protests and occupation. If you deny peaceful protest, next will come armed revolution. And no one wants that.

  2. Spysea says:

    Obama’s thugs really don’t like these hippies…. or whatever you call them

    1. Bill in Houston says:

      Actually, Obama’s thugs LOVE these dirty hippies. Why? Because they distract from real issues of the day. The media would rather cover these tools than the master himself.

    2. PJ3 says:

      nonsense obama’s cronies support and started and sponsor these idiots. Ayers has been guideing them and other groups like Acorn too

  3. M167A1 says:

    Mob violence to extort public funds.

    In a just world we would be using napalm on these traitors.

    1. David Sweet says:

      Have patients my friend

      1. Jim Spaulding says:

        Why, is he a Physician?

    2. Snake says:

      Yes, NAPE is the only answer. Not only does it rid one of these maggots, but it cleans up their mess at the same time. I cannot see them out running a jet dropping it’s eggs between 450 to 650 NMPH. I would LOVE to be the FAC for that.

  4. Chris Edens says:

    Please enough with the stupid %99. I am not part of the %1 and I am in NO WAY connected to these hippie nut jobs so you are more like %98.99.

    I agree Christine Gregoire is a horrible horrible governor and her proposal is a slap in the face to WA residents when she freely turns the state into an illegal immigration haven. The message is completely lost with these fools and even more so considering WA is a left wing liberal hole and the democratic policies (that these folks share) have led the state to the current situation. Your liberal policies created this mess now enjoy it!

    1. forrest says:

      99% idiot, 1% work ethic…well, that’s probably giving them too much credit.

  5. ontie1 says:

    Now what kind of entitlement is that to offer your newly formed union trained supporters?

  6. 99 says:

    I guess the people commenting don’t care about education, health, the environment, etc etc. Let the corporations, bankers and politicians steal from us and further bankrupt the country, right? Let’s attack those that are standing up to tyranny and call them names, right? You have no logical, constructive way of defending those in power because it isn’t logical!

    1. Dan says:

      People do care about education and the environment. Health care is not a right, you have no more right to receive a service from the doctor than you do a free meal from a restaurant. Exactly what is the “fair” share for services that an individual should pay when almost half don’t pay taxes? Companies (and banks are companies) provide a service, if no one wants that service or the product they provide they go out of business, period. If you want to change the politicians, I’m all for it, everyone should vote, but trying to force politicians to take more from one individual to give to another is not liberty or freedom that this country was founded upon. Want to change it, change the constitution, you’ll probably find some resistance.

      1. TG says:

        Thanks Dan, good sane reply. Whether some of these folks can actually understand the concept is another thing entirely.

      2. forrest says:

        Absolutely correct!

    2. Charlie Anthem says:

      You Sir are a “useful idiot”

      1. TG says:

        See what I mean Dan?

      2. Esteban Cafe says:

        Apparently TG doesn’t know you’re replying to Agent 99. What a sad comentary on your American Left. Yes, there is greed on Wall Street, but there is much MUCH more in Washington DC and in all the public sector unions, teacher unions, etc.

        And your idiot children who bite the hand that feeds them will be legend one day. When I finally get a business off the ground one of my interview questions will be, “Did you participate in any of the Occupy activities?” I would not hire such “something for nothing” people.

  7. Linda says:

    The occupy crowd are only 1/4 of 1%. That means 99.75% of us don’t agree.
    They need to stop whining and act like responsible adults

    1. The Sage Waitress says:

      It’s tough to grow up. Most of the OWS bunch went straight from mommy and daddy to the sheltered world of academia, where they majored in weed and spent many late nights in kaffeeklatsch debate over “isms”.

      Now, for the first time in their lives, they have to face responsibility, and they don’t like it. So they rant and chant.

  8. Rita Ippolito says:

    The urine soaked, lice infested OWS nit-wits hang-on with Union money and quiet support from the WH….. operation “Big Distraction”…

    setting the stage for the 2012 campaign where Obama will continue his class warfare strategy…

    Rich = evil
    Poor = good

    continue to grow the ranks of government dependents = more Democrat votes

  9. e pluribus unum says:

    Hooray for the troopers enforcing the rule of law against the mob. These children are just the useful idiots being led by the nose-Big Union and Big Progressive are pulling their strings.
    In about 10 years when they grow up(if we are lucky) they will be busy trying to expunge any internet images of themselves or words they they may have uttered to reporters. If I was hiring workers one of the first things I’d check would be to see if they had any connection to this mob.

    1. Brian says:

      Have you ever considered a Captain’s position in the newly forming brown shirt militia? You would likely qualify.

      1. Rann Xeroxx says:

        Why would you say that? Nothing in this guys comment denotes anything to do with Naz1s, nothing.

        Another liberal name calling others they disagree with. Nothing surprising here.

  10. fecal_heroes says:

    Liberal, Neo-conservative useful idiots and critics of Assembly, and frankly haters of truth and freedom, exist by feeding on the entrepreneurial, middle class.
    Which explains why the nation’s respect and admiration are with the dissidents being victimized by such Zionist apparachiks of the Fed, IMF and World Bank. And with the Anonymous and Wikileaks brigades.
    For they know, proletariat’s bad children and parasites will never admonish the Crony Capitalism feeding the latter’s addictions and narcissism. A special interest needful and earnest of all the hearty, steamy excrement patriots can provide. Sh!t and p!ss on, noble flea-baggers, lest the streets flow with blood.

    1. America detests morons says:


  11. Ghostsouls says:

    Don’t tase me bro!!!

  12. Greg says:

    I hope the bitten officer had his shots for rabies.

    and ‘.99’ we are concerned about those. Its the Gov (A Democrat BTW) who chooses, of her own free will, to cut education and public safety *first* – before their special projects.

  13. lynch mob says:

    I am astonished at the rabid hatred that, unbelievably, MOST of the comments above show toward the Occupy movement! Such seething hatred belies some deep seated fears projected outward at the very people that are striving to correct the terrible injustices that have slowly crept in since the 1980’s and corrupted the financial system of our country. This reminds me of the backlash – with lynch mobs – against the Civil rights struggle for racial equality in the 1960’s!

    1. VladTheImpaler says:

      Hatred? You mean like hatred Mayor Jones expressed against the Tea Party in Richmond and his favorable treatment of the Occupiers in his city?

      To equate thugs with Civil Rights marchers is a disgrace.

      You should be ashamed of yourself! Were you ejected by the Troopers in WA?

      1. lynch mob says:

        Until we are able to discuss differences in a civil manner we are in a hopeless situation. Thugs are people who use violence to achieve their goals, like police swinging batons wildly and pepper spraying people sitting peacefully on the ground, so please get your facts straight if you wish to make a point about thugs. The fact is there has been a slow and sneaky “redistribution of wealth” in this country that has taken roughly 30 years to accomplish – by LEGAL means! Like the proverbial frog who didn’t notice that the water was about to boil and didn’t jump out in time, so it appears that a lot of humans are asleep to the fact that they have been FLEECED!

    2. Chalie Emblem says:

      I think what I fear most about these “Useful Idiots” is that they’ll deficate on my lawn…

    3. PJ3 says:

      man you are high or drank the koolaid. Get some sense. The violent smelly feces riddled ows are raping each other and masturbating in front of children, slicking cops, etc….. and you worry about some rough words on a page online. geesh

    4. Brian says:

      wait till the anti OWS brown shirt militia forms as they are sure floating around here. All they need is a charismatic leader, and some nice pressed uniforms, and oh, boots! What they don’t know is the government, in the future, will use them as cheap labor to push unproductive and aged and infirmed people into the Soylant Green fema camps being readied. What else could they be for?

      1. Doug says:

        Folks that are against OWS are Brownshirts…uh, right. Not a fan of history are you?

      2. JustAGuy says:

        Hey Doug, I have some brown shirts in my closet. Brown looks good on me.

        BTW, I’ve been an amature military historian most of my life. BTW, I don’t have anything in common with the SA. Invote Bing to learn who they are.

  14. rip300rog says:

    Why is it in every city when these anarhist/union gumba/marxist activist get arrested they only get wrist slapped? Give them a month on the work farm.

    1. rip300rog says:


    2. heatherfeather says:

      Hear! Hear! Getting blisters on your soft hands builds character. And a month off the booze and weed will clear your mind!

  15. dontrenigin12 says:

    tasers!!! dont they have guns !!!!!!!

  16. Charles says:

    NAME THAT PARTY!!! Gov. Chris Gregoire. The article notes the dems in house and senate will produce their own budget, but fails to mention Gov. Chris Gregoire is a D, unless my eyes aren’tworking.

    1. Alex says:

      Republicans and Democrats are the same thing. Brainwashing at it’s finest. I love watching you people brawl each other out, as us well informed people see the real problems to deal with.

  17. WallyG says:

    The latest tactic of the unions, democrat party and Soros funded sociopathic causes! Time to rid the nation oif these parasites., The democrat party has been building a dependent society since the 1930’s. It has taken nearly 100 years, but like the communists and Marxists, their patience has been rewarded!

  18. K O Atkins says:

    Enough! Bring out the rubber bullets and water cannons.

  19. Gibbs Bentely says:

    As all the government worshiping degenerates are in here attacking these people, their bank accounts are being devalued through inflation, their job may be the next to go, they’re drinking the government’s fluoridated water and their kids are being trained in mind controlled camps.

    But hey, they’re so brainwashed, dumbed down and full of chemicals that all they can do is respond to the fake old media like some attack dog. Hysterical and pathetic.

    When they take everything you have, steal your pensions and send your kids off to die for other countries, you’ll still be the degenerates that think they are on the winning team. Team Mental Deficient.


    1. Chamblois reay says:

      Gibbs: Have you had your Rabbies shot yet? Do me a favor go take a bath……….

      1. Gibbs Bentely says:

        What a clever come back from a mentally deficient moron as aforementioned. Put down your Aspartame diet Coke, turn off the TV that you watch 8 hours a day and return to the psychiatric ward as your day pass has expired.

        Just another brainwashed government worshiping dolt that lives in his mother’s mold infested basement eating his pizza puffs.

      2. Joe says:

        There IQ’s are too small for them to understand what you posted. There is only 5% of the population that even has a clue of what is going to happen to them.

    2. William Boothman says:

      Oh, look…. a Twoofer! Everybody drink!

  20. Mike24 says:

    Don’t tase me bro. LOL

  21. jnsesq says:

    Tasered? I’m hoping shot is next. Protest is one thing — sedition quite another.

  22. PJ3 says:

    ok how many in here wish they were there with some water pistols to give those kids a good cold splash of some reality. as well as washingthem up lol

  23. DutchUncle says:

    Tasered, huh? In washington you say? That’s what happens when they get to close to the ones that organized them in the first place. You don’t bit the hand that feeds you,,,

    Liberals: I couldn’t live like that….

  24. Tina Rocha says:

    No money for education until we’re satisfied that money goes for our kids and their teachers, not the unions. Choose two of these then we’ll choose election-day. Fair nuff?

  25. Mike24 says:

    I think its funny when ppl call this mess a “peaceful protest” compared to other protests around the world it technically is. But on the flip these ppl and there awful attitude towards capitalism is being taught to them in their schools, that they don’t pay for. This ME generation needs a swift kick of reality when it comes to getting anything accomplished or in this case a good taser to the face.

  26. John c says:

    “Gregoire wants the Legislature to send a temporary, half-cent sales tax increase to the statewide ballot as early as March”

    The State of Washington has approved time and again that whenever they increase taxes, they don’t pay down the debt, they always spend more.

  27. Vince says:

    Does anyone have the tazing on video. id love to see it!

  28. Ronin says:

    Kick them out and don’t let them in the building! The state, like most others, is broke. Cuts need to me made. What makes these people think they can threaten and intimidate the legislators into spending money we don’t don’t have? They don’t represent the tax-paying citizens of Washington. They are just trying to continue living high off the tax-payers dime. It’s over! Go home!

  29. RCMariano says:

    I hope the biter got his teeth knocked out.

  30. Lawrence E says:

    The United States consists of various tribes all having good reasons to hate each other. Such a country can only survive with the help of a great leader.
    Donald Trump-where are you?

  31. Scott says:

    There is an unholy alliance between organized labor, the democratic party, and the Occupy movement. The president with his redistribution of wealth calls fueled this. How many times have you heard the president make statements like “at some point you have made enough money” or “I am concerned with giving

  32. brett says:

    i think it’d be cool if we keep ignoring all the homeless people joining the occupy movement, until there’s an army and we can bottle them up somewhere and nuke them, then impoverish another couple of million, and so on, unitl only a few of us are left. then we can hack at each other with chainsaws until the ownership society has only one person, unchallengable, and ruler of america. then he can nuke the rest of the world, and be like god, until he dies! that would be SO COOL!

    if you are against this idea, you are a COMMUNIST and HATE JESUS and are just five pounds of poop in a straw hat! so, DIE!

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