Tacoma News Tribune prints loving puff-piece about cops, no mention of protestors
I'm all for honoring the history of workers of any kind, but this latest piece by the TNT was WAY in favor of the Tacoma Police Department and did very little to explain any instances in which they have gotten out of hand.
I immediately called everyone I knew and encouraged them to follow my lead in contacting the News Tribune. Here's what I said to the author of the article in question, as well as what I said to the Reader Representative and the News Tips Editor:
"Given the wonderfully glowing piece about Tacoma police history, wouldn't it be fair, given all that has gone on this week down at the Port of Tacoma, to do a similar piece on the long history of protest in Tacoma?"
Think about it. You've got the labor movement, you've got the civil rights movement, you've got Vietnam, you've got the Wobblies and the Longshore Workers, you've got so much history that seems to have been forgotten by our formidable local paper. So I decided to rally my friends to call the paper and send emails encouraging them to follow this lead.
And to help them out, I even got a list of people who would be happy to be interviewed for this story:
People like Vance Lelli, local longshoreman and President of the Pierce County Central Labor Council, who was involved in one of the scariest labor actions in Tacoma history during the Kaiser Aluminum debacle. Or there's Walt Waisath, Jr., who remembers protesting Desert Storm on the newly constructed 705 freeway in downtown Tacoma. Or how about our very own labor/protest historian, Tacoma public librarian Brian Kamens, whose knowledge of Tacoma history is practically legendary? If you thought the Police Historian was knowledgeable, wait till you see photos Brian has compiled of protests going all the way back to the early twentieth century. And don't forget Mayor Bill Baarsma, a historian in his own right who, in the Sixties, attended a 10,000 person march in Tacoma against the Vietnam War.
Folks, if you'd like to help us get this story told in our local paper, which seems intent on telling only one side of the police/protest tale, please call one of the numbers below and send an email with your thoughts on the proud tradition of street-focused agitation in this fair city.
Tacoma News Tribune News Tips line
TNT Reader Representative
Police Historian reporter Stacey Mulick
Lastly, if we are unable to get this story printed in the TNT, I will be attempting to write it for us, so if you'd like to be quoted in this piece, please email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org - Thanks, and don't forget, even if the TNT sucks, we're a two-paper town again!