Deputies make two more arrests over ILWU grain train protest

2011-09-19T16:41:00Z 2012-06-28T18:36:34Z Deputies make two more arrests over ILWU grain train protestBy Erik Olson / The Daily News Longview Daily News
September 19, 2011 4:41 pm  • 

Two more longshore union members were arrested Sunday for allegedly blocking a train Sept. 7 bound for the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview, union officials said.

Cowlitz County sheriff's deputies Sunday arrested Cary Justin Brister and Lowell Wayne Lovgren, both of Kelso, on suspicion of second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor. Both were released Sunday after posting $500 bail each.

Brister, 32, and Lovgren, 53, were among the 200 plus protesters from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 who stood in front of the Hall of Justice Friday afternoon. Union officials said Longview-based Local 21 members tried to turn themselves in so they wouldn't be arrested in front of their homes or around town.

No law enforcement officers came outside to arrest the dock workers, and Sheriff Mark Nelson said his officers would make arrests of individuals when they gathered enough evidence.

A few hours after the protest, Local 21 Vice President Jake Whiteside was arrested in a church parking lot in Longview while returning home from work. Local 21 President Dan Coffman said the "made-for-TV" arrests are a waste of taxpayer dollars because law enforcement ignored the longshoremen's offer of peaceful surrender.

About 30 people have been arrested and cited for trespassing in connection with the train blocking.

ILWU members have been protesting the EGT terminal for more than two months, arguing that EGT's lease contract with the Port of Longview obligates the company to use ILWU workers. EGT instead hired union contract General Construction Co., which hired union operating engineers who live in the local area and are based in Oregon.

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