More Video of the Seething Mob that Assaulted Women in Port Townsend, Washington

Celebrating diversity with misogyny

When Dawn Land arrived at the Port Townsend, Washington City Hall on 15 August, an angry, “threatening” crowd was already waiting. It was 4:01 PM.

“Their goal was to claim that space and fill the city council meeting with their people in order to prevent any of us from speaking,” Land explains. “Unfortunately, they succeeded.”

By the time the city council meeting began, “it would have been dangerous for any of us to walk through the crowd there.”

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Land and a small group of less than three dozen people, mostly women in their 70s and 80s, had come to support Julie Jaman, the 80 year-old Port Townsend resident who was recently banned from the city pool for refusing to shower in front of a man.

Whipped into a frenzy by the mayor and the YMCA, which manages the pool, the crowd of hundreds screamed slogans, physically assaulted them, stole and damaged property, all while they “kettled” Dawn and her friends against a brick wall.

After all, their crime was to demand respect for women’s boundaries, so the mob had to punish them by respecting no boundaries at all.

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In video clips shared with The Distance, members of the crowd can be seen riding bicycles close to the press conference participants like sharks in the water. Land caught one man on camera “encroaching on the space of a couple of our group.”

“When the male turns around and admonished the antagonizer, he throws his hands up and feigns innocence,” she explains.

As the women began to speak, the crowd waiting outside of City Hall began to cross the street and became aggressive.

“It’s 5:46,” Dawn Land says, “and suddenly, we are cramped for space.”

“There is a crazy, misogynistic man who has thrown himself on the ground among us,” she says. “He’s right behind Amy.”

Clearly disturbed, the man appears in other videos before the press conference dragging his posterior on the ground like a dog with worms.

Here, he can be seen crawling between women’s legs in a clear effort to break boundaries and alarm them. He was later arrested for stealing a woman’s shoe.

“He’s shouting hateful things, he accuses us of pushing him down, when in fact he is pushing all of us. He tries to claim victim, saying we kicked him,” Dawn says.

“When everyone around him calls him out for lying, he doesn’t seem the least bit bothered.”

Also unbothered was the woman holding his hand and comforting him while he performed this ridiculous trauma.

By 5:50 PM, the small circle of women had been cramped into “a tight huddle of bodies packed together.”

“There is an outer circle, compromised of both men and women, all facing outward, encircling the tight mass of women.”

Linking arms, they tried to maintain a perimeter against the much larger crowd. “I’m in the outer group, facing outward, blocking with my one remaining sign,” she says.

“Those in the outer circle keep shifting to the left or right, quickly trying to prevent any gaps from being breached.”

The situation became too confused and chaotic for Dawn Land to continue filming the entire time.

“There are men, all larger than me, screaming in our faces. We are pushed from above. We are pushed from below. I can feel someone pushing and trying to grab the left side of my sign.”

The sign Dawn carried

“At this point, someone rips April’s suffragette flags off the wall and runs,” she says. “I think it was the threatening-looking guy who was yelling in my face earlier that Abraham Lincoln was racist.”

It took another half-hour for police to escort Dawn Land and her companions from the scene. “We were all pretty shaken up at that moment,” she says.

As she left the scene with a friend, “two males approached me. They kept trying to engage me and the police officers told them to leave us all alone.”

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Ignoring the police, the men re-approached the women with a female friend moments later to ask why she carried “such a disrespectful sign.”

Because they did not want to be followed to their vehicle, and a manned state police cruiser was just a few feet away, Dawn and her friend engaged the three young people.

But they “didn’t really have anything to say. They kept repeating talking points and criticizing me and my sign.”

As they tried to engage the children in conversation, a confederate ran up and snatched the sign. He later returned it destroyed.

“In hindsight, it was clear to me that their intent the entire time was to rob me of my property,” she says.

Dawn Land has pressed charges. “I’m not sure the officer is taking them seriously,” she says, “but I’m not dropping them.”

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