Friday, January 24, 2014

Sumas Border Protest 1972 (Newspaper Excerpt) part 2

This is a newspaper article that was in Burl Brooks Beane research file regarding the border protest.   However I cannot find what newspaper it was or the date.  I suspect it is from the Lynden Tribune.   I also don't know who wrote the article.  Burl simply typed 1972 on the top of the article.
Transcription of the article:
    "All four border crossings from Canada to the United States in Whatcom County were blockaded at various times Friday by Canadians aroused over the planned test nuclear blast on Amchitka Island, Alaska.  
    Other than delayed traveling time, re-routed traffic, some aroused tempers and one protestor being carried backwards by a vehicle, there were no serious incidents stemming from the blockades.
    A considerable force of police officers were on both side of the border in case of any outbreak.
 Begins at Sumas
    News of the planned blockade broke Thursday, and the first actual sign of it began at Sumas about noon Friday with the arrival of four persona.

    They identified themselves to a Tribune reporter simply as concerned citizens and described there intentions to stop all vehicles with American licenses crossing the border.   Their plan were to tell their concern to the drivers and ask them to wait out the hour until 1 p.m. to cross the border if the driver was in sympathy of the protest.  
    "We're not to the point of protesting America - just the war, pollution, and the blast at Amchitka," a self-appointed spokesman said.
    Of the few cars approaching the border during the noon hour, a few did turn back.  After 1 p.m., they, by now sitting across the road in a human blockage, were asking American vehicles to stop for 10 minutes to ponder the Amchitka blast and discuss it with demonstrators.
    By 2:30, reinforcement were there by the busload and they blocked off the border completely.  Canadian Mounted Police would wait until a few vehicles had built up, and then drag the persons out of the way.
Stronger Forces at Blaine
Meanwhile, a much stronger force had arrived at Blaine and traffic both ways were closed from about 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.  Straw, barbed wire, and people were used to stop both north and southbound traffic at that point.  
    The bulk of the force at Blaine was at the Peace Arch Crossing, but about 200 persons crowded over the border at the Blaine truck crossing.  Sheriff Bernie Reynolds ordered them back to the Canadian side, and most complied.  However, a few wouldn't turn back until three deputies were called forward.  
     Most of the demonstrators arrived from Vancouver by bus.  
     The contingent left Sumas about 3:30, but soon returned and stayed until 6 p.m.  although some evidently regrouped at the port north of Lynden.
Traffic Heavy at Lynden
    The human blockade on the Canadian side of the Guide Meridian stopped traffic travelling both north and south from about 4:30 to 5:45.

    Traffic through this port was extremely heavy at that time because it has been re-routed there from the larger Blaine and Sumas ports.  It was again re-routed from the Lynden port when it was closed.  
    A few Canadians were reported to have started over the border at Lynden, but were sent back by law officers.  A few strayed over the Sumas crossing also, and were quickly shooed back by watchful American officers.  
    In the early stages of the blockade at Sumas, one young man was shoved backwards by a vehicle,  but was not seriously injured.   Later a panel pulling a camping trailer, burst through the group seated on the road without slowing up.  Again there were no injures as the demonstrators narrowly road out of the path."



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