----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Strouss
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 7:24 AM
Subject: [Capr-discussion] Letter to Times editor re: "China seals
town after police kill protesters"
Letter to the Editor
Your recent article
(Seattle Times, December 10, 2005 "China seals town
after police kill
protesters") regarding violent land-use conflicts rung
true to me, because I
have also been the victim of armed conflict with
government over land-use
issues right here in King County.
I have been politically active in
opposing ever-increasing administrative
takings of land by heavy-handed
government officials. Last fall, supposedly
in response to an anonymous and
non-specific complaint, two King County DDES
agents confronted me on my own
property. They were argumentative and
continued conducted an illegal search
of my property despite my insistence
that they leave immediately.
stepped onto my porch with a shotgun, and they left. Several months later,
was charged with two counts of 2nd degree assault, which carried a
possible prison sentence of twenty years. I am delighted to report
after several months of legal effort, these charges against me were
But as a direct result of these charges, and after I had fully
the court's demands, my wife and I had four plainclothes
into our bedroom without identifying themselves. They pointed
their guns at
me and forced me to kneel naked on the floor facing away from
they re-arrested me. If I had produced a firearm -- which would
have been a
reasonable and legal response -- my wife and I would most likely
today. When they realized their mistake, they quickly apologized and
still without identifying themselves.
So far, the King County
Sheriff's office gave only a perfunctory apology,
but apparently conducted no
genuine investigation of these events.
I realize that our experience
pales in light of the recent events in China.
However, the parallels revealed
by the following quotes from the Times
article are shocking:
number of protests. has risen in recent months as anger comes to a head
land seizures, corruption. The clashes also have become increasingly
as protesters vent their frustration in the face of indifferent or
authorities. The government did not give us proper compensation for
land. ... Now they come and shoot us."
You can bet that this story hit
home with me.
--Charles A Strouss III
4610 244th Ave
Redmond, WA 98053