Let's count the crimes, shall we? At first glance, I'm guessing about four separate crimes, but we may have more here. Let's look closely.
LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.
Ok, holding someone hostage is a criminal act - specifically Unlawful Restraint (RCW 9A.40.040) at a minimum and (a Class C felony under Washington law, good for up to 5 years), and depending on technique (Was deadly force used or threatened?) possibly either Kidnapping 1 (RCW 9A.40.20 - up to life imprisonment) or Kidnapping 2 (RCW 9A.40.30 - a Class B Felony under Washington law, good for up to 10 years).
Now, when the nice Longshoremen broke down the gates, they were almost certainly intent upon what a reasonable person would consider "criminal activity" as shown by their subsequent hostage-taking. This would, in turn, lead to a legitimate charge of Burglary in the First Degree (RCW 9A.52.020) for all of the co-conspirators, another Class A felony.
When they smashed the windows in the guard shack and broke down the gates, most likely doing more than $750.00 in damage, they managed to commit Malicious Mischief in the 2nd Degree (RCW 9A.48.080) - another Class C Felony, good for another 5 years.
By cutting brake lines, the union thugs further pursued their felonious adventures in violation of RCW 81.60.070, Malicious Injury to RailRoad Property and and engaging in RCW 9.05.060 (Criminal Sabotage) - by tampering "in such manner as might, if not discovered, endanger the safety of any engine, motor, car or train, or any person therupon" with railroad equipment. And managed to make themselves eligible for another 10 years in prison.
And then there's the matter of that grain...which, not surprisingly, didn't belong to the union goons. Now, the laws of Washington take a dim view of depriving others of the use of their property without the blessing of the courts. We call that theft (RCW 9A.56.20-50) , around here - and when you add the icing of using coercive force or the threat thereof, we consider it upping the ante to robbery (RCW 9A.56.200-210).
And, based on the evidence today, also believes in a most unusual right to commit felonies with reckless abandon without suffering censure or penalty.
Not content with their other criminal activities, threatening a police officer with assault with a deadly weapon (and yes, a baseball bat is certainly such) is considered at absolute best a bit of a faux pas - and likely a criminal one, though I'm not able to find a citation at this late hour.
Police from several agencies in southwest Washington, the Washington State Patrol and Burlington Northern Santa Fe responded to the violence to secure the scene that followed a demonstration Wednesday.One sergeant was threatened with baseball bats and retreated, Duscha said. "One officer with hundreds of Longshoremen? He used the better part of discretion."
Arrests should be made. Soon. A picket line is all well and good. Nasty letters and mean looks are just dandy. But when an organization crosses the line into felony assault, kidnapping, death threats, and random property destruction in a campaign of blatant intimidation... the fun is pretty much over and it's time to bring the hammer down.
The train was the first grain shipment to arrive at Longview. It arrived Wednesday night after police arrested 19 demonstrators who tried to block the tracks. They were led by ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, who said they would return.
Given the apparent prior assaults and death threats, it looks like ILWU is naught but a thuggish criminal organization worthy of the full weight of RICO...an abhorrent law far to often abused, but designed (however badly) as the best way to deal with such criminal organizations.
When will the arrests begin?