----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Strouss
To: 'CAPR'
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
Seattle Times

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.

I stepped onto my porch with a shotgun, and they left. Several months later,
I was charged with two counts of 2nd degree assault, which carried a maximum
possible prison sentence of twenty years. I am delighted to report that,
after several months of legal effort, these charges against me were dropped.

But as a direct result of these charges, and after I had fully complied with
the court's demands, my wife and I had four plainclothes policemen break
into our bedroom without identifying themselves. They pointed their guns at
me and forced me to kneel naked on the floor facing away from them while
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 be dead
today. When they realized their mistake, they quickly apologized and left,
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:

"The number of protests. has risen in recent months as anger comes to a head
over land seizures, corruption. The clashes also have become increasingly
violent. as protesters vent their frustration in the face of indifferent or
bullying authorities. The government did not give us proper compensation for
using our land. ... Now they come and shoot us."

You can bet that this story hit home with me.

--Charles A Strouss III
  4610  244th Ave NE
  Redmond, WA  98053