More and more people are focusing their efforts locally. These smaller groups are doing great things but can be more difficult to locate and contact. This list is a start to make getting involved in the local neighborhood movement easier.
This is just a start to get the ball rolling. Please Leave a Contact Name, Email or other contact information and any background information you want to share in a comment, we will add it to the list.
Occupy West Seattle
Occupy NE Seattle
Occupy Capital HIll
Phinney Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Peoples Assembly Central District
Today, Katherine Long at the Seattle Times published an excellent article about the limitations that the Seattle Community Colleges Board of Trustees approved last Thursday. These limitations will soon become Washington state law. Please read this article, forward it to everyone you know, and post a comment online. (You will have to take a second to register on the site). Here's the link:
As a member of Faculty for Free Speech, I can assure you that we are represented by an attorney who specializes in First Amendment law and that we will continue to fight for all of our first amendment rights on campus, including the right to be on campus after the Board of Trustees arbitrarily chosen curfew hour and to use camping as a form of protected speech.
A great big thank you to all members of Occupy Seattle who have attended the 4 public meetings leading up to this vote and to those of you who have so passionately spoken out against the Seattle Community College District's curtailment of our First Amendment rights. By Laurel Holliday
STAND UP and SING OUT for ECONOMIC JUSTICE UCUCC
Economic Justice Team is hosting a rally on Sunday, June 10th at 11:30 AM.
The Raging Grannies will kick off the event in the University Congregational parking lot C on the corner of NE 45th St & 15th Ave NE.
We hope you can come and sing out with us as we surround the corner with signs to raise awareness about Economic Justice issues. Our economic justice goals speak to the root of the problem our nation is facing in promoting the welfare of all. They include: Fair and just tax rates for all. Elimination of undisclosed Super-PAC money from political campaigns. Adequately funded programs for our most vulnerable citizens and our fragile planet. We invite you to come and join the fun! Stand up and be counted and SING out with us for Economic Justice for All. For questions or information about future events
contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 206-524-2322
Note: the following statement is being released on behalf of a group of organizers of Occupy Seattle’s May Day event who have chosen to speak as a group regarding the events of May 1st and the controversies in the media narrative since.
The Fight for a Life Worth Living:
A Statement on Seattle’s 2012 May Day Events
We are organizers and participants involved in this year’s May Day events. Many of us also participate in Occupy/Decolonize Seattle. We conceived the events of the May Day General Strike as a celebration of life in solidarity with the global uprising against economic oppression and the 1%. May Day is a day of pride for migrants and workers everywhere. It is a day of remembrance for the anarchists executed in show trials after the world’s first May Day in 1886, fighting for the 8-hour work day. Most powerfully, it is a day of struggle—of celebrating freedom and striking out against what hurts us.
Reports that May 1st was “hijacked by anarchists” are inaccurate and insulting. May Day was an inspiration to us all. The crowd was multiracial and multigenerational, and included many working class students who walked out from multiple high schools and colleges. Over 40 local artists took the stage during the day of music and community Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize planned at Westlake Park. Organizers also scheduled three marches over a month in advance: a No Borders March, to join the May 1st Coalition march to the Wells Fargo Building; an Honor the Dead, Fight for the Living March, in honor of Trayvon Martin and all those killed by police and by white supremacist culture; and an Anti-Capitalist March. Thousands took the streets during these actions and disrupted commerce in downtown Seattle.
During the Anti-Capitalist March, participants in a black bloc smashed windows and damaged businesses and cars. Among the businesses targeted were a Wells Fargo branch, a Niketown, an American Apparel, and a Bank of America. There is tremendous anger worldwide directed at these institutions. Each of the corporations and banks that own the damaged stores inflict real economic and social violence on the planet and on poor people everywhere. Wells Fargo, for one, is complicit in enormous direct and structural violence through its 3.5 million shares in GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest operator of private prisons. The same corporation lobbied aggressively for SB1070, Arizona’s racist anti-immigrant legislation, to profit from the “enhanced opportunities” the law provides for immigrants’ incarceration. The rage expressed during the Anti-Capitalist March extends beyond the black bloc. No one should be surprised that people are angry enough to destroy the property of the 1%. Regardless of differences in practice, we share that anger.
Economic refugees and people of color everywhere are treated as exploitable labor. Media depictions support this exploitation. The media selects representatives from immigrant rights organizations to speak for all migrants and economic refugees, and silences the migrant workers marching in the Anti-Capitalist March and those of us organizers who are people of color, economic refugees, and indigenous people. Similarly, accusations that undocumented workers were put at risk on May Day conceal the truth: the only danger to participants in May Day activities came from the police themselves.
Mayor McGinn, the SPD, and the Seattle media have tried to split May Day participants between “good protesters” and “violent anarchists.” As organizers and participants, however, we reject all attempts to divide us, and stand together in defining our own message. We value people above property. The corporations attacked, and these institutions that protect them, are not on the side of the working class or the 99%. The lives these businesses destroy are more important than their windows. We remain in solidarity with those everywhere who fight for a life worth living.
ONE MONTH FROM TODAY
The Occupy Caravan departs from Seattle and two other West Coast cities — S.F. and L.A. — on a 20-day route east.
We're looking for organizers, entertainers — and drivers – to help, educating communities and connecting with cities across the country before arriving for the June30 – July4 Occupy National Gathering on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Pictures from the trip
Trip of a lifetime
On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie let's declare: This Land is Our Land! From the Redwood Forest to the New York Island, everyone, together — let's ride. There will be a lead RV with livestream/multimedia setup to document the trip, and we're looking for as many occupiers, speakers, students and entertainers/performers as possible to fill the roads and Main Streets of America! Occupy Caravan is organizing caravans starting at three cities on the West Coast (Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) and travleing across the country, all converging in Washington, DC, then traveling to Philadelphia in time for the National Gathering.
We're looking for point people in the Seattle area to step up and commit to helping organize a launch event for the Caravan's departure on June 11 — in tandem with friends from Portland — as its makes its way that afternoon over to Spokane — where it needs a welcoming party! — for the first leg of the trip. This will be an urban (and sometimes rural) camping journey, so bring tent! With last night's endorsement of the national gathering proposal by Occupy DC and Occupy Birmingham, the total number of occupations that have endorsed the proposal now stands at 30.
The 30 endorsing occupations are listed on the National Gathering website. Please go to www.occupycaravan.com and see the schedule/cities page for a detailed itinerary, or go to Our Occupy Cavavan FaceBook Page.
Write us today and tell us if you're on board and can commit to helping! Please write to email@example.com with a sentence or two saying simply "Yes I am coming" or "No I am not coming"; and if yes, any details we should know about how many are in your party, whether you have your own vehicle, etc, and of course any questions, issues or concerns you'd like to discuss about the trip, which we'll try to answer promptly.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Occupy Seattle Media 206.552.0377
Occupy Seattle Announces Formation of GLITUR
5/19/2012– The queers of Occupy Seattle are pleased to announce the formation of a new group for queer and trans activists and their allies in future organizing efforts within our communities. After the Pink Bloc’s resounding success on May Day in utilizing our fabulous queerness and fierce feminism as an effective tactic, we have decided to form a new, radical organization known as the Grand Legion of Incendiary and Tenacious Unicorn Revolutionaries, or GLITUR.
GLITUR was formed with several goals in mind. We are here to announce the visibility of revolutionary unicorns here in Seattle, giving fellow radical queers a safe space for political organizing and creative expression. We aim to provide opportunities for sharing, learning and bringing light to the issues that affect our lives as LGBTQI peoples and to join in solidarity with other communities in their struggles with the systems and institutions that oppress us all.
GLITUR would like to invite all queers and their allies to participate in our future events and actions. We are an open group, and we are asking for people ready to have fun and help change the world for our queer and trans sisters and brothers.
Mainstream Media Continues to Disappoint
By Aliana Bazara
Overall, May Day was a success! Our numbers were strong throughout the day, we fed tons of people with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, (200 served at breakfast), we had music and dancing, community conversations, and 3 marches.
Reflecting on the vandalism: Arguably, what hurt us the most was not the property destruction itself, but the mainstream media sensationalizing it. Our entire event (breakfast, lunch, speakout, music, and marches included) lasted 9 hours. The property destruction lasted 20 minutes. Yet the focus of the 10:00 news and the cover of The Seattle Times was the destruction.
It comes as no surprise that there was vandalism on May Day. It happened all across the country. Historically, that precedent has already been set. What is surprising is that there was so little of it. It was done and over within 20 minutes, and failed to resurface again for the rest of the day.
What is equally surprising is the lack of police intervention while the vandalism was taking place. No immediate actions were taken, nor were any immediate arrests made by SPD, despite the acts being committed in broad daylight with hundreds of people around. I realize SPD’s desire to be cautious due to recent misconduct allegations against them but they still have a duty to protect. Instead, what I noticed was a curious lack of police intervention during the minutes when vandalism erupted.
I have come to accept that this movement attracts all types of people- including those that throw rocks and break windows. The fringe element was there on Tuesday, but that’s all it was- a fringe element. A small fraction of people creating havoc for a small fraction of the day.
I wish there was some way we could get the general public to see past the mainstream news, whose only purpose these days seems to be to instill fear in people and sell commercials. I wish they could see the level of commitment, passion, and love for the world and one another, that is present within Occupy.
Note: This editorial and eyewitness account was written by Ian Finkenbinder, an on-scene protester and one of the organizers for the May Day events.
May Day has, after weeks of planning, concluded. The controversy and media storm surrounding that day’s events and subsequent arrests still churning, as two individuals present are now being officially charged with federal felony charges.
Instead of having the opportunity to reflect on the victories of the day, the Mayor’s office and Seattle Police Department have been engaging in a media tug-of-war with Occupy Seattle, attempting to brand individuals participating in the marches and rallies of the day as violent and dangerous individuals. Considering the rhetoric used by authorities previously, perhaps it is no surprise the current forms of intimidation and smear tactics used by the City.
One individual was written about today in the Seattle Times. He is being held on $75,000 bail:
I was actually present and on-scene for the fracas that occurred, ironically, during a march against police brutality. As we returned to Westlake Park from the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole, one individual was having his flag pole taken (because PVC is CLEARLY a deadly weapon), and while I don’t specifically recall why he was being arrested , a crowd gathered to witness and document the arrest. Many were very angry, and the police allege that at this time a bottle was thrown at an officer’s head.
I did not see that, and do not in fact refute it. After all, I cannot speak to something I cannot witness. I did, however, witness that man’s arrest.
After he was tackled, the individual in question curled up in the fetal position, in what appeared to be an attempt to protect his body from assault. The police then attempted to straighten him out. This not working, two officers lifted him and then slammed him to the ground. Then approximately two or three other officers dog-piled on top of him, striking him. He finally acquiesced.
As this fray was continuing, and as protesters shouted angrily at the cops for their savagery, one woman was attempting to comply with police orders to move away from the scene of the arrest. As she passed along the sidewalk in order to escape the terrible scene, one female police officer grabbed her by the hair and forcibly pulled her over police bicycles and threw her on top of one. I witnessed as they handcuffed her and took her away.
She is now accused of punching a police officer in the chest. Luckily for her, and perhaps unluckily for the arresting officer, the brutal assault on the protester was captured on camera:
Admittedly, you cannot see the chest, nor the alleged striking fist in question. I’m operating on the assumption that the supposed blow was imagined to have been dealt to the female officer as the woman and her friend attempted to get away. After examining the video, I am left with one question: why don’t you at least see the female officer, or any of the surrounding ones, recoil as if struck? None do. All you see is the cop reaching over and yanking her by her hair.
Once those arrests were concluded and the angry and dismayed march began to trickle back to Westlake, I heard that another of my friends, an avid photographer who centers his work around documenting social movements, had been arrested for assault on a police officer. I was shocked. This man had attended many such protests, and always conducted himself safely and without any violent action, to include during an attack on peaceful protesters at the Port of Seattle. Why would he act violently now?
I attended his court date the next day, and as the bail hearings continued, repeated requests from lawyers to remove the media cameras which had been allowed to set up in the first row of the gallery were ignored. Even though regular attendees were not allowed to have photographic devices in the court room, four or five cameras from reporters were peering through the glass. The judge shrugged off stated concerns that the defendents could possibly be at risk due to their faces being shown in the press.
All of the persons present in that hearing were released except for one who is charged with breaking windows at the US courthouse, yet the media campaign continues. Now, on the Mayor’s website, a PDF has been produced which announces the names and dates of birth of the individuals arrested. I will not produce the link here. It’s outrageous that it’s being done.
It’s unfortunately not the only case where they are smearing someone’s name or identity in the press. They recently released an image of an individual they believe was smashing windows at the US federal court. It has now been splashed all over the news. I’m puzzled… the last time I saw such wide dissemination of a person’s face on the news was, frankly, someone accused of murder. So who did the gentleman pictured (again, I will not produce the link to that) murder? A window, allegedly, a crime which now, under Mike McGinn, will end up getting you exposed to the public to possible retribution. Keep on keeping those precious windows safe, Mike!
Is this standard procedure for the Mayor’s office? Why are the arrestees being exposed to this level of scrutiny? The media insanity continues to pour from City Hall and the SPD, as they now are touting instances of grafitti previous to May 1st as evidence that violence would take place:
While Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, PR spokesperson for one of the most violent police departments in US history, would have you believe that graffiti now equals violence, I doubt that citizenry in the Emerald City will be fooled.
This is not the only foolish assertion this man has made. After I attended the May 2nd bail hearings, I was asked by reporters about the charges leveled against my friend and others asserting their “crime” of “assault”. I responded that they were spurious and trumped-up. Whitcomb then responded with an off-base and weak statement:
“Trumped-up charges? What about the smashing of windows, the hurling of paint, the setting off of incendiary devices? … These were deliberate acts, and people need to be held responsible.”
I am only too happy to point out that false charges of police assault have nothing to do with smashed windows, and only betrays Whitcomb’s complicitness in a grander scheme: punishing these individuals for the “violence” that took place on May 1st. The people in power are attempting to make examples of peaceful protesters and leveling severe charges for small offenses in order to intimidate and scare people from exercising their First Amendment rights to protest. As much as Whitcomb would like everyone to believe that confiscated smoke-producing devices are acts of domestic terrorism, the targeting of the arrestees after May Day is insane.
This is not the first time the City of Seattle and the Mayor have leaned on Whitcomb to provide a media narrative targeting Occupy Seattle and its participants. I reported, back in December, that Sgt. Whitcomb had vetted– and successfully changed– the official apology given to Dorli Rainey for the despicable treatment she received at the hands of the police. Sgt. Whitcomb requested the apology be amended to, of course, make the Department look less, well, brutal.
Perhaps Whitcomb and the Mayor are desperate. They seem very ready to make any and every connection possible to throw the book at the individuals who were arrested on that day. They should do better. I’m not fooled, and neither are my comrades. I hope you, dear reader, are not as well.
Welcome to the festivities!
Stay tuned for updates:
12:30 pm Live stream estimates about 1000 people in attendance.
Check out Public Transit updates here:
Here are some usefull links for real time social media:
9AM: Breakfast & Worker Speakout at Westlake Park4th and Pine in downtown Seattle
11AM – 4PM: Hip Hop OccupiesEntertainment/Speakers at Westlake Park
12PM: Anti-Capitalist March from Westlake Park
3PM: Honor the Dead, Fight for the Living March from Westlake Park
5:30PM: Anti-Border Rally at Westlake Park
7:30PM: May Day Assembly
9:00 – 10:45: Breakfast, Meet & Greet, Set-up
10:45 – 11:00: Opening Remarks
11:00 – 12:00: Performance Block – Primary DJ: Sean Malik
11:00 – 11:05: Speakers – Maru Villalpando (2.5m) & Aaron Dixon (2.5m)
11:05 – 11:25: Black Magic Noize (20m)
11:25 – 11:30: Prince Capone (5m)
11:30 – 11:35: Jamil Suleman (5m)
11:35 – 11:45: Ms. Kash (10m)
11:45 – 12:00: DJ Sean Malik Spins/ B-Boys
12:00 – 12:55: Performance Block – Primary DJ: Cues
12:00 – 12:05: Speakers –Occupy Chaplains (2.5m) & Duff B/Red Spark (2.5m)
12:05 – 12:10: Zulu Kids (5m)
12:10 – 12:15: Beloved (5m)
12:15 – 12:20: Tre’Shawn (5m)
12:20 – 12:30: Youth Speaking Truth (10m)
12:30 – 12:40: Kama of Kalamashaka (10m)
12:40 – 12:55: DJ Cues Spins/B-Boys
12:55 – 2:05: Performance Block – Primary DJ: Seabefore
12:55 – 1:00: Speakers – Jace Ecaj (2.5m) & Gregory Lewis (2.5m)
1:00 – 1:30: Wapifasa Block w/ Notorious Potential, Too Chill, Massiah & Mic Flont (30m)
1:30 – 1:50: Maria Guillen, Stephany Koch Hazelrigg & Members of Sea Fandango Community (20m)
1:50 – 2:05: DJs Seabefore Spins/B-Boys
2:05 – 2:55: Performance Block – Primary DJ: Too Quick
2:05 – 2:10: Jadis Sue Floe (5m)
2:10 – 2:15: Dan Manno (5m)
2:15 – 2:25: Dee.Ale (10min)
2:25 – 2:35: Spyc-E (10m)
2:35 – 2:40: Speakers – Black Orchid Collective (2.5m) & Didi (2.5m)
2:40 – 2:55: DJ Too Quick Spins/B-Boys
2:55 – 4:00: Performance Block – Primary DJ: Seabefore
2:55 – 3:00: J.Infinite (5m)
3:00 – 3:05: Ethos (5m)
3:10 – 3:25: Sista Hailstorm (15m)
3:25 – 3:30: Speakers – Chris Rodriguez (2.5m) & Tabitha Milan (2.5m)
3:30 – 3:45: Suntonio Bandanaz (15m)
3:45 – 4:00: Walidah (15m)
4:00 – 4:15: Closing Remarks/ Opening Up Cypher Spaces (DJs Breakdown now, band sets up)
4:15 – 6:00: Baron DeKalb holds down Cypher Space, hosted by J Revels
6:00 – 7:00: Break Down & Clean Up
more info here:
Occupy Seattle May Day General Strike fund
Occupy Seattle May Day General Strike Legal Fund
Occupy Seattle May Day General Strike Callout
Public Event · By Occupy Seattle
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
No school. No work. No shopping. Let’s Shut it Down
Occupy Seattle May Day Working Group
10 Ways to #BuildPower for #M1GS
Note: This piece was authored by Samuel Levine, editor and writer at levinetech.net.
Demand Full Employment
“What now do we do? With some luck, the economy will
“recover” through a return of investment activity to sustainable
levels once some capital stocks, like houses, have been worked
down. But it will not recover to a strong level of business activity
unless something happens to boost innovation. The great question
is how best to get innovators humming again through the breadth
of the land. Hayek himself said little on innovation. But at least he
had an applicable theory of how a healthy economy works.
The Keynesians, sad to say, show no understanding of how
the economy works. They think they can lever employment up or
down by pushing buttons – as if the economy were hydraulic. They
show no grasp of the concepts that would be necessary to restore us
to prosperity and flourishing. In an old image that applies well to
the posturing of today’s self-styled Keynesians, “the Emperor has
Phelps (a nobel prize winner) is arguing that full employment won’t happen without innovation because proponents of fiscal stimulus don’t understand the economy enough to stimulate it. This is, unfortunately, wrong. We have a huge excess of industrial capacity:
and millions of unemployed and underemployed, 14.5% of the labor force. There are more productive things they could be doing than sitting at home wondering how they’re going to pay their underwater mortgages and student loans.
The 1930s were an amazing time for innovation, but we didn’t get to full employment US until we entered WWII. We had the government pull large levers on the economy and we put ourselves back to work on a great project: saving the world from fascism. Today the greatest threat to our freedom isn’t panzers, it’s a lifestyle built on cheap hydrocarbons.
Today, we have tons of unused economic capacity, some growth and lots of innovation happening, just not enough aggregate demand to use it. Government spending as a percentage of GDP is close to what it was shortly after the US entered WWII, but unlike Keynes we don’t need to make the assumption that what you spend money on doesn’t matter that much.
The science of climate change is clear: either we limit our carbon emissions or we face catastrophic results. Here are a few suggestions that help deal with both aggregate demand and climate change:
- Building and deploying renewable energy generators such as solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal plants and sea turbines.
- Developing and constructing scalable energy storage facilities (i.e. ones that don’t require more lithium than exist on the planet) so we can store and distribute power 24/7.
- Constructing a smart power grid that will allow us to efficiently deliver power from places that have energy to places that need it.
- Manufacturing and constructing electric high speed rail and light rail systems to replace air travel and single occupant automobiles as standard means of transportation.
- Building energy efficient, high density and affordable housing for people within our very productive cities.
- Deploying gigabit Internet connections to homes and businesses that are nearly 200 times faster than commonly used broadband.
Much of what what we need to do involves work on the scale of the Manhattan project to take what we know and turn it into what we can build, but a great deal can be done with technology we have today (PV panels, elevators, trains, etc.). Our community colleges would jump at the opportunity to retrain millions of Americans with skills we’ll need over the next few decades. All told, the cost of getting a lot of this done would be a lot. Think 4-6 trillion dollars of infrastructure, just for the US.
You don’t get out of poverty by sitting around waiting for work, which is what we’ve told 14.5% of the country to do while we figure out what we need them for. We need them. Our children and their children need them. We’re facing the deaths of millions if we continue our current path. I think fixing our energy, transportation and housing systems so that we don’t cause a world wide holocaust would be a good use of our incredibly massive economic capacity. We just have to demand it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie C (425)223-7787
Hip Hop Occupies Announces “Rise & Decolonize 2: May Day General Strike”
Organizers create family-friendly, arts & culturally rooted space for May 1st protests
SEATTLE, April 26th, 2012 – In solidarity with International Worker’s Day and the Global General Strike, Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize presents Rise & Decolonize 2, showcase and rally at Westlake Park. On Tuesday, May 1st from 9am to 4pm, artists, youth, families, and the broader Seattle community will take a day off and come out for music, live art, dance, cypher sessions, and more in the spirit of resistance & Hip Hop. “Rise & Decolonize 2” will feature a diverse, multi-generational showcase with over forty performers and speakers ages four and up, including special guest, internationally renowned poet and historian Walidah. A full list of performers and detailed schedule is available on the Hip Hop Occupies website.
Maria Guillen, organizer with Hip Hop Occupies says, “In times of decolonization, hip hop manifests as a collective voice and the spirit of self-determination. Just like Hip Hop and art transcends borders as a result of young people reclaiming streets and spaces, we celebrate building community outside oppressive systems. No longer will our creativity be crushed out of us. We are what we’ve been waiting for. May Day 2012… expect us.”
As Seattle gathers in creative resistance, we will remember the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago and acknowledge the legacies of the tens of thousands of people across the country who carried a three day general strike in support of the 8 hour work day on May 1, 1886. We will remember the Great American Boycott of 2006 where millions of im/migrant workers and economic refugees took to the streets to stand up against H.R. 4437, racist attacks against Im/migrants and all victims of economic violence across the globe. We will also remember and honor Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, John T. Williams, and all those whose lives were lost to systemic and internalized white supremacy. Join us in remembrance of the past and creation of the future. Another world is possible.
Event Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Event Location: Westlake Park, 4th & Pine in Downtown Seattle
Event Schedule: 9:00am – 11:00am: Morning Meet & Greet, Set Up
11:00am – 4:00pm: Rise & Decolonize Rally & Performances
4:00pm – 7:00pm: Clean up & Meet up w/ May 1st Coalition
For full list of performers, detailed schedule, & more information visit www.hiphopoccupies.com
Cyclists of Seattle Rise Up!
This May Day join the global general strike on wheels. Help shut the down the city to fight for a life worth living.
If you want to ride this May Day, here’s a proposed schedule:
All Day | Swarm – grab some friends and take to the streets.
11:15am | Bike Bloc convergence at Seattle Central Community College to support the student walk out. We’ll then ride down to Westlake Park.
12:00pm | All cyclists meet up for the bike bloc and take the streets in mass. We can ride at the front of the several marches, scout ahead and more.
From critical mass to the Copenhagen climate protests of 2009, bike blocs have been used successfully to disrupt traffic as usual and support convergences. More recently in November, a bike bloc helped interfere with the eviction of Occupy Portland’s encampment. It could be a perfect addition to May Day’s General Strike!
So help us flood the streets with people, life, and freedom. Dress in your most flashy clothes and get ready to get sweaty.
Note: This opinion piece was written by Greg Lewis of the All Power to the Positive Podcast:
May Day is What YOU Make of It!
My [edited, amended] Reply To Someone Who Asked
“Why Rise and Decolonize?” and “Why Strike?”
by Sensei Gregory C. Lewis. allpowertothepositive.info
The following was inspired by an original fb reply I wrote to a fan of Hip Hop Occupies.
It has been edited for length, grammar, and [ideally] greater clarity.
May Day is what YOU make of it! This is what really makes it a “worker’s holiday”.
May Day consists of 24 hours. A lot can be done in that short period of time. Part of the day is for those who do not or cannot go ‘hands on’ at the system or its supporters. Many more will be hearing the collective ‘decolonize’ message for the very first time on May 1st.
You worry about the cops doing something violent at a permitted event. I got two words for you: “Trayvon Martin”. Also,”Sean Bell”. Want to avoid potentially deadly conflict? Stay away from other people. Keep in mind that living like a [scared] hermit is NOT living.
Here’s another dirty little secret: people in america are 15 percent of the world’s wealthiest. This economic relationship to the global social product has real world consequences.
It is why in Egypt the bus drivers, along with other industries, are STILL on strike. Yet, in america, organized/unionized labor is still less than 10 percent of all u.$. industries. And all are o.k. with this exploitative global economic relationship, as long as their members can still afford to live ‘the American dream’. Few are striking in the u.$., and those that are get little mainstream press coverage or support from the assorted Democratic party funded and controlled national labor bureaucracies.
Meanwhile, large sections of the oppressed/captive nations (so called ‘minorities’) in america are shut out of those good paying union jobs (or shut out of the job market entirely). Yet, most of them/us still believe very deeply in this system and the current administration; despite what their/our actual life situation(s) tell them/us, or what any of us in Occupy have to say about it.
I absolutely bear witness that most amerikkkans find it easier to be ignorant, violent, self medicating, fascistic, sheep and cattle. I also bear witness that this is due to the aforementioned exploitative global economic relationship and the social relations it perpetuates. They didn’t start off that way. None of us did.
Americans are made ‘amerikkkan’ by [mis]education of all types, harsh penalties for non conformity and grand rewards for obedience and allegiance, including financial compensation for participation in a shared material interest with the 1 percent: the exploitation of the resources and labor of the ‘developing’ nations for the benefit of the upper classes, and the bribery of the lower classes, in america (and other ‘industrialized’ nations).
The poor of the industrialized nations spend most of their waking hours catching crumbs. For most, it is a situation of “the dog initiates the master, but only eats the leftovers” (Tobacman) and most seem o.k. with being that dog that imitates his or her master, as long as there is material comfort and social privilege that comes out of being just as ignorant, violent, self medicating, and fascistic as ones master.
The people of Egypt want a hell of a lot more than just to ‘get money out of politics’: they want to get america out of their politics! In places like Greece and rural India, you have large groups of workers taking that phrase to a whole new level, by actively struggling to bring down capitalism, its oppressions, and the oppressors who promote and protect it. This is very different than getting a piece of legislation passed or getting a local bureaucrat to listen to a marginalized community; or getting that same bureaucrat to work exclusively in favor of that marginalized community against the monied interests currently in power.
To ‘decolonize’ begins with getting one’s own mind off the plantation first. Sadly, for far too many, the decision to finally go down this path is shaped by the intensity, frequency, and severity of the abuse put on them by this system, its governments, and its supporters.
To ‘decolonize’ means to not just simply ‘go through the motions’. It means being crystal clear about who you are, what you want, and why you do what you do in this moment in this movement, let alone in life. It means being upfront about your politics, especially around ‘dividing line’ issues; in particular all things considered ‘life and death’.
For me, a ‘dividing line’ issue is regime change.
I have lost count of how many times I have heard the words “Tahrir Square” drop from the lips of my fellow Occupiers since October, 2011. Yet, as I participate, I often see that few even understand what they are truly advocating, since their avowed inspiration(s) and aspirations often do not match the ‘real politic’ of how they approach their obligations to the global movement, let alone the local one (and how these are related); indeed few bear witness openly that obligations exist for them (and all of us) in this movement.
Obligations? Yep. And here’s a major one: if our goals are genuinely more ’forward thinking’ than simply being ‘seen and heard’ by an indifferent (and increasingly, more openly hostile) 1percent, more than simply voting for their political leadersh*t every 4 years in the name of ‘pragmatism’, if Occupy in america is to truly echo the world’s collective cry for real freedom, democracy, equality, and power in the hands of real people, let alone do our part to create the space for any of that to happen, then we must be more and must do more.
Cyclists of Seattle Rise Up!
This May Day join the global general strike on wheels. Help shut the down the city to fight for a life worth living.
If you want to ride this May Day, here’s a proposed schedule:
All Day | Swarm – grab some friends and take to the streets.
11:15am | Bike Bloc convergence at Seattle Central Community College to support the student walk out. We’ll then ride down to Westlake Park.
12:00pm | All cyclists meet up for the bike bloc and take the streets in mass. We can ride at the front of the several marches, scout ahead and more.
Help us flood the streets with people, life, and freedom. Dress in your most flashy clothes and get ready to get sweaty.
“QUEER LIBERATION IS CLASS STRUGGLE! GENERAL STRIKE MAY 1ST
Queers have always had to fight for our rights, our dignity, our survival. It’s time to step up; it’s time to push the 1% out of the way and make Seattle ours.
Occupy Seattle has called for a mass strike, boycott, walkout and day of action on May 1st. This is our time to shine. In that spirit, the queers of Occupy Seattle will be forming a pink bloc for May Day!
Queers are the the 99% and the 99% is queer! Despite what the leadership of the HRC looks like or what the characters on Bravo look like, most queers are not white and middle class. Class society was built on top of the divisions and oppression of gender and normative sexuality. Queers and gender rebels have felt the brunt of the attacks from the 1%, being pushed to the bottom of the economic pile since the very beginning. This makes it impossible to separate our struggle as queers from our struggle as the working class. And while wealthy, white gays and lesbians—the queer 1%—may have made advances into American capitalist consumerism, most of us remain on the outside, still dealing with the struggles that confront us as queer members of the 99%: the struggles to end discrimination against transfolk in the workplace, for better wages and more desirable jobs, for an end to the homelessness of queer youth, for affordable medical support for AIDS patients, for sex worker rights and organization, for immigration rights for our same-sex partners, to stop youth suicides… our list of demands is as long as our history of struggle.
The way we win our demands as the queer 99% is by recognizing thecommon political thread that unites every one of our individual fights: the struggle of the 99% to regain control of our lives from the 1%. Every one of us in the 99% is struggling to take the 1% out of the equation and start living our lives for ourselves and for our neighbors, not for our bosses and all the others who steal all of our waking hours from us. And getting rid of the division between the 99% and the 1% means getting rid of the divisions of gender and sexuality, and of race, class, and all the other things that make the 1% the 1%.
This is why we are participating in the May 1st general strike. The general strike brings together the struggles of all the members of the 99%—queers, workers, immigrants, students, prisoners, disabled, unemployed, parents…—while leaving us the space to organize autonomously. We pull ourselves together into one punch that builds power for all of us and brings all of us closer to meetings our needs, and closer to a future of queer liberation.
To participate, wear pink and bring signs pertaining to the issues facing working queers. Most importantly, bring laughter, determination, and the spirit of queerness that makes us unique in the 99%. See you on May Day!
Note: This blog post was authored by Manny Frishberg.
Between staking out the mayor’s house in Greenwood Friday night and preparing the next newspaper for people to purchase from their cadre of street vendors, the people at Real Change made time to begin a dialogue with a few members of the community Saturday, April 21. I was one of them.
The half-dozen people in my Listening Circle had some things in common and some not. All of us were White (though that wasn’t necessarily true for all the groups). In all likelihood no one there in my group was under 40 – only one person shared her age and she was in her ninth decade. No names have been changed because none are being given. Nor will I delve into the details of anyone’s personal history. One of the rules for the listening session was that what was said in that room, stayed in that room.
All of us had been poor at one time or another. Half had been in the military and half had not, or if they had, it didn’t come up. Most of us had been to college; some had advanced degrees, others hadn’t finished even one. All of us had attended the School of Hard Knocks, where the only diplomas are etched into your face. But no one there felt sorry for themselves, and that may have been the most important feature we shared.
A couple of us came from privilege. One of the questions we answered in turn was “When was the first time you met someone of a lower class than you? When did you first meet someone of a higher class?” A couple of people in the room answered to the first part of that question by talking about the servants or housekeeper their families had employed when they were growing up. One answered the second part by talking about the time one of his schoolmates was given a ride home by the family’s butler – so even the well-to-do had encountered people far above their stature. Then there was the person whose family had lost their fortune in the Depression and grew up as the poor relation in a family used to wealth.
Myself, I said I’d grown up as one of the have-nots (or have-lesses) in a decidedly middle class suburb of New York. But I only became conscious of class divisions when I moved into New York’s Lower East Side in junior high, where 90 percent of my schoolmates were people of color, and even though my mother could barely make ends meet on her salary, the gulf was undeniable. A few years later, after I’d quit high school and joined my first Occupy movement at Columbia University I hung out with people who, I later learned, were not just among the 1 percent but the .001 percent – and I had more in common with them than the high school classmates I’d left behind.
We talked, for the hour-and-a-half allotted, about whether we had ever not had enough to get by. And, while some had lived on the streets or with no permanent address for at least a while, no one seemed to feel that they hadn’t had what they needed – after all we’re all still here. And we shared our thoughts about what class means in this society. While most of us spoke about it in socio-economic terms, one person took the discussion in a different direction – talking about what it means to have real class: to be kind, to share what you have, to treat others like you wish they would treat you.
And we talked for a time about fashion, about the Junkie-Chic portrayed in the pages of Style sections — $300 distressed jeans and the like, and the people who cannot afford to dress down because dressing for success is the mask that ensures them a modicum of respect.
So what did it have to do with ending homelessness or rebalancing the scales of economic justice? Maybe just a reminder that nobody – not the 99 percent and not the 1 (not even the .001) percent – gets out of this world alive, or unscathed. And that, in the end, 100 percent of us have only each other to count on. Not a bad lesson for a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Mayor McGinn and Deputy Mayor Address Operation Jungle Defense Protesters
By Aliana Bazara
Approximately 60 people gathered Friday evening in front of the Mayor’s house in Greenwood to protest the impending eviction of a homeless community in West Beacon Hill, known as The Jungle. The protest was organized by several Occupy activists and included residents (both homeless and non-homeless) of Beacon Hill, Wallingford, and Seattle. After 2 hours of talking, playing chess, eating, and sharing stories of why they were there, the crowd was greeted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. A circle quickly formed around the officials, and deep conversations and questions began.
“When you break apart a community such as this one, forcing individuals to leave their support mechanisms and fend for themselves, you are creating even greater safety concerns,” said Ben Holden, resident of Beacon Hill.
The issue that no social services had been offered to these individuals prior to the eviction notice, was raises, and the Mayor responded saying that Fire Station 39 has been opened as a shelter and there is space at The Fry Hotel and City Hall Shelter.
Enoch Madison, a US Army veteran, homeless resident of, and spokesman for The Jungle, advised that 60-70% of the residents of The Jungle are Veterans who are already on long wait-lists for housing. “The shelters are not safe or clean. People there have lice and scabies. We’re not hurting anyone where we are (in The Jungle). Please, please, please, I am begging you, don’t kick us out.”
The Mayor defended the eviction, explaining that he had an obligation to keep the community safe and cited that a gun linked to a previous crime was found at the encampment recently. The crowd barked back, with shouts of “What community are you keeping safe?” Karen Studders, a lawyer and Occupy Wall Street activist asked the Mayor, “Would you evict the residents of Greenwood if a gun was found in this community?”
Studders poses an interesting question, a double standard that deserves investigation. Why should those that are homeless be considered more of a threat than those that have homes? As more and more Americans face unimagined poverty, the mindset of “us” versus “them” seems to be disappearing. The “middle class” is losing its status and seems to be realizing that they too, could face similar treatment.
The question and answer period continued for an hour and a half on the sidewalk of Dayton Ave. N. & N. 87th St., and went remarkably smooth as it was done in typical Occupy fashion. A stack was taken, points of process were called, and clarifying questions were asked.
The biggest question of the night remains unanswered. Will residents of the Jungle be forcibly removed? Receiving 3 different answers from the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, and the SPD standing by, the future is unclear. So activists exchanged information last night and agreed to be ready for an immediate response should an actual eviction take place.
Imminent Eviction of Residents of Beacon Hill’s “Jungle” Pulls at Heartstrings of Occupiers
By Aliana Bazara
Reminiscent of Occupy Seattle’s eviction from Seattle Central Community College back in October, residents of Beacon Hill’s “The Jungle” are scheduled to be evicted this week in much the same fashion. According to a KING 5 news report last week, the Seattle Police Department will soon post an eviction notice at the encampment, giving the homeless 72 hours to pack up and disappear. Sympathizing with residents of “The Jungle,” around 10 Occupy activists took a trip to visit the endangered community in West Beacon Hill to see if there was anything they could do to help.
“I asked them what they needed most right now. Aside from support, they said they could use a place to shower. So Josh and I built them a shower,” says Delgado, a 35 year old social worker and member of the Camp Safety work group of Occupy Seattle.
Delgado and other Occupy activists plan to do more than build a shower. They are planning a good ol’ fashioned protest. After speaking with several residents of “The Jungle,” Delgado was dismayed to hear that no social workers had been to the site yet, despite reports from KING 5 suggesting otherwise. “No one from the City sent me here. I came on my own because I feel bad for these people. The shelters are full.” Enoch Madison, a 45 year old veteran of the US Army and resident of “The Jungle”, told Occupiers that the majority of the people residing in “the jungle” are either already on long wait lists for housing or weren’t “lucky” enough to be selected for the shelter lottery systems. Enoch says that his community is safe, drug-free, and sanitary. When asked about the recent reports of gunshots in the area, he says “They didn’t come from here.” Upon investigation of the shots fired, no weapons or evidence of gunfire was found at the scene.
Hip Hop Occupies para Descolonizar presenta Subir & Descolonizar II, en solidaridad con el Día Internacional del Trabajador y la huelga general mundial. Estamos invitando a artistas, jóvenes, familias y la comunidad de Seattle para que guarden la fecha y se unan con el pueblo este Primero de Mayo desde las 9am-4pm en el parque de Westlake. Vamos a tener un día de música y arte en vivo, baile, sesiones de cypher, y mucho más con en el espíritu de Hip Hop y la resistencia creativa. ¡También en memoria recordamos a todos los que están en centros de detenciones y a Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, Rhamarley Graham, Kenneth Camberlin Sr., Wendell Allen, John T. Williams, and y todos aquellos que han perdido sus por el odio, racismo, y supremacía blanca sistemática e internalizada! ¡Ningún ser humano es ilegal!
9 a.m.-11 a.m. Desayuno y Asamblea General
11am-4pm actuaciones, altavoces y mitin incluyendo a:
206 Zulu Kids, Black Magic Noize, Jamil Suleman, Prince Kapone, King Khazm, Youth Speakin’ Truth, Kama, J.Infinite, Milu, Notorious Potential, Too Chill, Massiah, Mic Flont, Man Danno, Ethos, Maria Gullien, Stephany Koch Hazelrigg, Members of the Seattle Fandango Community, Jadis Sue Floe, Dee.Ale, Sista Hailstorm, Baby J, Suntonio Bandanaz, Jace Ecaj, Spyc-E, Ms. Kash, Baron Dekalb more! DJs Gumbeaux, Cues, SeaBefore, & Too Quick on the decks. Sonido por: Spoken Visuals
4:30-7 p.m. La marcha de la coalición del 01 de Mayo comienza en el centro donde marcharan hacia la Iglesia Santa María. Pueden marchar o esperar en el centro de Seattle donde se van a reunir a las 5pm para el Mitin de la Coalición del Primero de Mayo en 3rd y Univeristy st en Wells Fargo.
Antecedentes del Primero de Mayo: En conmemoración de la masacre de 1886 de Haymarket en Chicago, El Día Internacional del Trabajador (May Day) históricamente ha celebrado y honorado la resistencia de todos los trabajadores del mundo. A medida de resistir y descolonizar, reconocemos a las miles de personas en todo el país que llevaron acabo una huelga general de tres días en apoyo de la jornada laboral de 8 horas el 1 de Mayo de 1886.También recordamos la Gran Boicot Estadounidense de 2006 (El Dia sin el Migrante), donde millones de trabajadores migrantes y refugiados económicos salieron a las calles para hacerle frente a la ley anti-inmigrante y racista HR 4437, enfrentar los ataques racistas contra los migrantes y todas las víctimas de la violencia económica en el mundo. Este Primero de Mayo, La “Primavera de América,” similar a un día sin los migrantes en el 2006, estamos en contra la explotación de todas las personas en el mundo. ¡Si el capital, bancos y las empresas pueden cruzar las fronteras, también todas las personas tienen el derecho de migrar! Similar a como Hip Hop trasciende las fronteras en movimiento y espíritu, nosotros como personas empezamos el proceso de construir un mundo mejor, descolonizar nuestros cuerpos, mentes, corazones y nuestras comunidades.
¡El mundo entero está mirando, otro mundo es posible!
Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize is proud to announce we have solidified the performance line up for Rise & Decolonize II, in solidarity with International Worker’s Day and the Global General Strike! Please join the facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/192910980825148/ and share with friends! We are inviting artists, youth, families, and the broader Seattle community to save the date and join us at Westlake Park from 9am-4pm for a day of music, live art, dance, cypher sessions, and more in the spirit of Hip Hop and creative resistance, as well as in remembrance of Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, Rhamarley Graham, Kenneth Camberlin Sr., Wendell Allen, John T. Williams, and all those whose lives were lost to systemic and internalized white supremecy.
Our tremendous inter-generational, mixed-medium, multicultural, line-up honors voices from our communities and includes performers ages two and up featuring:
206 Zulu Kids, Black Magic Noize, Beloved 1, Jamil Suleman, Prince Kapone, King Khazm, Youth Speakin’ Truth, Kama, J.Infinite, Milu, Notorious Potential, Too Chill, Massiah, Mic Flont, Man Danno, Ethos, Maria Gullien, Stephany Koch Hazelrigg, Members of the Seattle Fandango Community, Jadis Sue Floe, Dee.Ale, Sista Hailstorm, Baby J, Suntonio Bandanaz, Jace Ecaj, Spyc-E, Ms. Kash, Baron Dekalb more! DJs Gumbeaux, Cues, SeaBefore, & Too Quick on the decks. With sound by: Spoken Visuals!
We are also VERY excited to announce our special guest WALIDAH, (http://www.walidah.com/), who is a world-renowned historian, reporter, revolutionary and spoken word artist. (Thanks to Sam Chesneau w/ Seattle Central Community College for hooking this up.) Stay tuned for more announcements on speakers and live-art coming soon!
May Day Background: In commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, International Worker’s Day (May Day) has historically celebrated and honored the resistance of all workers of the world. As we rise and decolonize, we acknowledge the legacies of the tens of thousands of people across the country who carried a three day general strike in support of the 8 hour work day on May 1, 1886. We also remember the Great American Boycott of 2006 where millions of im/migrant workers and economic refugees took to the streets to stand up against H.R. 4437, racist attacks against Im/migrants and all victims of economic violence across the globe. In the” American Spring”, similar to a Day Without Im/migrants, we stand up against the exploitation of all people worldwide. If capital and corporations can cross borders, so can all humans! Just like Hip Hop transcends borders in movement and motion, we as people decolonize our bodies, minds, hearts, and communities.
The whole world is watching, another world is possible!
Pledge to support the #e4e festival. Help make the Everything for Everyone Festival a reality!
The Everything for Everyone Festival, www.everythingforeveryone.org, is a free, two-day music, art, and politics festival scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington on August 11th and 12th.
Send your Proposal Soon, Help Shape #e4e
There are two months left until the Everything for Everyone Festival makes it’s appearance on August 11-12. In coordinating the festival, we have seen a great deal of interest and enthusiasm for bringing together radical music, art, theory culture and politics. Now is the time to concretely flesh out the presentations, workshops, discussions, activities and art.
We need proposals from participants and endorsers for what you would like to see at this festival–and the sooner the better!
Day One will take place outdoors in Jefferson Park. In addition to the music stage, will be an auxiliary stage and lots of park space for panels, workshops, trainings and debates.
Day Two will branch off into various Seattle venues for plenary discussions, actions, and continued workshops.
Are you or your organization interested in organizing a workshop, debate, training or performance? Perhaps focusing on theory, politics, art, history or practical skills that people can use?
Send us your proposal! Please include your:
· Name/Organization/Contact Information
· Format (including panel participants, presenters, facilitators)
· Time needs
· Logistical Needs (Audio/Visual, Space, Materials)
Email your proposal into the #e4e Coordinating Committee (e4e.fest [@] gmail.com). The deadline for priority proposal is June 24.
We help coordinate times and locations for proposals and help group together similar proposals.
In 2011, the rule of the 1% began to be challenged in brand new ways. A wave of discontent with the old older of things began in Egypt and Tunisia in the Spring. This wave gained strength and momentum into the Fall with the Occupy movement. Now in 2012, there is a desire coming from everywhere on the planet to continue that spirit of resistance of 2011, and to develop it in new and meaningful ways. This desire for change is not manifesting itself in the traditional forms of opposition to the current system, nor is that desire seeking just to “fix” the old oppressive order to make it seem “fairer” to the relative few on the planet.
The desire is for a new form of popular struggle, and a new content of the way we relate to each other as people and to our planet – our common home. This desire is not for merely balancing the budgets or repairing the social safety nets in just a few countries, but rather making everything for everyone all over the planet. We would like to invite those all over the world with this desire to come together in a celebration of the world we seek to bring into being, and to exchange our ideas about how make that happen.
The Everything For Everyone Festival is meant to give a face for this new movement. The festival intends to facilitate debate and cross-fertilization between different ideas, for a mutual flourishing of those engaged in different aspects of a common struggle and those who have yet to participate. A movement for changing everything is much more than actions and protest, as vital as those are. It is a new politics, culture, and forms of organization; a new way of living.
The Occupy movement has opened eyes and created new possibilities. This festival aims to include those who have participated and those who have yet to participate but are attracted to fundamentally changing society, and to provide a space for the new culture, the new philosophy, and new politics in its diversity and complexity to intermingle and grow stronger. It aims to bring together art, music, workshops, philosophy, and encompassing participation from attendants.
To make this happen, we need your help. $11,000 is needed just to cover some of our initial costs, including permits, PA equipment, and travel costs for speakers and performers. As you consider whether or not to back this project, remember that your pledge is not merely to fund a festival; it will directly contribute to creating a new culture, forging new relationships among people, and building a new world in which everything truly is for everyone.
Your Companions on the Road to Freedom,
The Everything for Everyone Coordinating Committee
Initial endorsers: Occupy Seattle, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Portland, Sanhati, Kali Akuno-Malcom X Grassroots Movement, Black Orchid Collecitve, Student Anarchist Study Group, Red Spark (Kasama Project), Rising Tide
Ride Free Area Advocacy Update
by Elaine Simons
As most readers know, King County Metro will eliminate the Ride Free Area (RFA) in the heart of downtown Seattle as of September, 2012. This will make life even more difficult for everyone who relies on this transit option, whether they live in downtown or come here from around thee city and the county to access services.
We need you to COMMENT on this change before the Friday, April 13 deadline. Below are key talking points to help you make a strong case to King County and Seattle City Council members, and to both executives, that we need a mitigation plan that will really work for everyone who relies on this service.
We also need you to ATTEND and SPEAK UP at two upcoming King County Council meeting:
Monday, April 16 @ 6.00 p.m.
Friday, April 25 @ 9.00 a.m.
The King County Council will vote on this plan in May. The Time to Advocate is NOW.
SKCCH’s Single Adults Advocacy Committee is RFA Advocacy Central! Next SAAC meeting is on Thursday, April 12, from noon – 1.30 p.m. at Plymouth’s Simons Senior Apartments, 2119 Third Ave. in Seattle.
BACKGROUND and KEY TALKING POINTS:
SKCCH has been working with other stakeholders to develop a ROBUST and JUST mitigation plan in response to the loss of the RFA that will offset the negative effects of losing this community resource on people who live, work, visit, shop, and access services in downtown Seattle. A successful solution will be comprehensive, and will include a free, public option for navigating downtown. Secondary elements should include making it easier for people who are elderly or have disabilities to obtain reduced fare permits, and securing more bus tickets for human service providers.
Our public transit system can and must be accessible to and inclusive of people who are homeless, low income, disabled, elderly, and that the whole community benefits when the system works for all people. We believe that the King County Council and Executive and the Seattle Ciy Council and Mayor working together can preserve the most valuable elements of this vital public good, and improve on the public transit access for vulnerable community members.
We are advocating strongly for the following elements:
A free, public loop service that operates daily and is available to everyone and can accommodate the passengers who need it
A predictable schedule with service frequency at least every 20 minutes
Hours should ensure that people who rely on overnight-only shelters can get to and from those locations without excessive waits or walks very late at night or very early in the morning.
A route or routes that maintain access within the broad downtown area, and helps people get to key locations (including Harborview Medical Center and other hospitals, the International District, and key resources not currently in the RFA).
SPEAK YOUR PIECE! Please submit comments during this extended comment period, and invite others to do the same.
* How does the Ride Free Area currently help you or the people you work with?
* What will the loss of this service mean?
* How do people from OUTSIDE of the downtown area and from AROUND King County use the RFA to help them access needed services and programs?
* What mitigation services will help people continue to be able to get around?
The comment period has been EXTENDED to this Friday, April 13.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Monday, April 16 at 7.00 p.m. the King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will hold a special meeting to receive public input on the proposed service changes. There is an opportunity to offer Public Testimony about the proposed system-wide changes to Metro Service, including the loss of the Ride Free Area. JOIN us and help build the case for a strong response that will benefit the general public.
Monday, April 16
Sound Transit’s Board Room at Union Station
401 South Jackson Street, Seattle
6:00 p.m. open house
6:30 p.m. presentation
7:00 p.m. public testimony
The Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will also hear public comments at its regular meeting:
WHEN: Friday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Council Chambers on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle.
Board Decision Overturned. We Have Been Heard…Maybe
April 10, 2012 – by Sebastian Garrett-Singh
On April 5th, a second public hearing was held at Broadway Performance Hall at SCCC to hear concerns about revisions to WAC code 132F-136 and the implementation of code 132F-142. These changes would directly limit First Amendment rights on Seattle Community College campuses. Nearly 200 people were in attendance, and many rallied against the proposal, ranging from teachers to Student Council representatives.
“We heard you…” a point made and reiterated in a letter from Chancellor Jill Wakefield. The letter outlines Wakefield’s removal of WAC 132F-142 due to the public outcry but will move forward with revising WAC 132F-136 (last revised 1984) to include: “hours of operation (section 14), camping (section 15), and incorporating Due Process to Trespassing (section 050).”
On the surface this appears to be a great victory for First Amendment advocates and the Seattle community. However, there are some inconsistencies and foreboding wording in WAC 132F-136. We have been heard…maybe.
Section Two states: “In general, the facilities of the college shall not be rented to, or used by, private or commercial organizations or associations, nor shall the facilities be rented to persons or organizations conducting programs for private gain.”
This section has already been compromised by the college as Balagan (a private nonprofit theatre company) operates The Erickson Theatre. Erickson was originally funded by private donors for the purpose of Seattle Central students. I am not sure what defines the “In general” but this section needs to be completely overhauled. If the SCCD cannot hold themselves accountable to their already implemented WAC, then how can they proclaim to follow their proposed amendments?
Section Seven states: “Handbills, leaflets, and similar materials except those which are commercial, obscene, or unlawful in character may be distributed only in designated areas on the campus where, and at times when, such distribution shall not interfere with the orderly administration of the college affairs or the free flow of traffic.”
This seems perfectly acceptable, but who is define to “obscene”?
Merriam-Webster defines obscene as “disgusting to the sense.” Now who is to decide what is disgusting to the senses? What is acceptable to some is “obscene” to others. Who decides here? According to the WAC, “The decision of the manager of campus security or designee will be the final decision of the college.”
Section 15 of the WAC, which addresses camping on school grounds, states: “Camping is defined to include sleeping, carrying on cooking activities, or storing personal belongings, for personal habitation, or the erection of tents or other shelters or structures used for purposes of personal habitation.” I don’t know if whoever wrote this has been to Seattle Central during finals week, but countless students pull all-nighters then take an hour between classes to rest on one of the 4th floor chairs. I once saw 5 students taking sanctuary during finals madness on campus. A New York judge ruled that “the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not allow the city to prevent an orderly political protest from using public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression.”
So I guess if a student takes a nap on campus he will have to hold up a sign saying, “My nap is a political protest, leave me alone!”
Amendment One states that those who commit unlawful acts in regards to the WAC will be “requested by the campus president, or his or her designee, to leave the college property.”
Now I hardly see President Killpatrick coming out of his administrative castle to tell someone to leave, and I assume that his designees would be campus security. So my question is: “If campus security kicks you off the property, and you have to appeal to campus security, then how can this be unbiased?” Campus security cannot be delegated this responsibility.
The appeals process should run through an unbiased committee made up of faculty, students, and administrators; this is the only way to avoid a conflict of interest.
Section Three of the Amendment states: “When the college revokes the license or privilege of any person to be on college property, temporarily or for a stated period of time, that person may file a request for review of the decision with the manager of campus security within ten days of receipt of the trespass notice. The request must contain the reasons why the individual disagrees with the trespass notice.”
The proposed WAC amendments do not elaborate beyond this as to how this process would work. This is a glaring omission from the amendments, and must be addressed.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for campus security; they have always conducted themselves in a professional manner and have been courteous to students. They should however, not deal with administrative responsibilities, as they’re not administrators.
Wakefield in her letter speaks highly of supporting the First Amendment and of all the people that came out to voice their concern. I commend her for the acknowledgment, but it seems hollow and overdue. She notes that some WAC supporters voiced concerns that, “At times, members of outside groups have harassed our students and followed them across campus and to their classes.” Obviously, this is reprehensible, but is already covered by RCW 9a.46.110.
This is not the issue at hand: it is a red herring slipped in to defend the proposals. What we’re talking about is preserving our First Amendment rights, which has nothing to do with clearly criminal activities, such as stalking, or menacing students.
We have been heard…maybe.
Originally Published by New City Collegian:
One Occupier has released this statement in support of Occupy Seattle’s General Strike:
May 1st, 2012, is a global general strike. Every year millions of people around the world celebrate May 1st as a dignified day of revolt against this system.May Day is an international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police defending, as always, the interests of the ruling class attacked and murdered workers participating in a general strike and demanding an 8-hour workday. Five anarchists, known as the Haymarket Martyrs, were framed and sentenced to death as a result.
Occupy Seattle has chosen to stand in solidarity with the international call. We urge everyone to skip out on school and work to take to the streets. This general strike will not be comparable to the 1919 Seattle General Strike because the general strike is not what it used to be. In this current era of extreme social cuts, anti-immigration racism, and massive predatory financial speculation the number of unionized workers in the US stands at only 11.8% of the population.
Therefore, we are calling out to a population of largely unorganized workers as well as the growing millions of people who are unemployed or underemployed. We are calling on those who are never mentioned in the statistics; the undocumented and manual workers drawn largely from immigrant communities as well as those whose work at home through unwaged gendered labor. We are calling on the youth, college students, and the retired to meet in the streets with the employed, the undocumented, and the homeless. The general strike in this century is a day of generalized rebellion for the exploited.
As students and youth we walk out against the ongoing attacks reflected in education cuts, juvenile detention center expansions, police harassment, and racist murders.
As workers we walk out against selling our time and energy to a boss or owner that profits from our labor. We walk out because we would rather be with our friends, family, and comrades creating and working with each other and not for a system we never agreed to be a part of.
As the exploited, excluded, and working classes we walk off the job, out of the school, and into the streets because we see standing up together in the streets as the first step toward dismantling this system that oppresses all of us.
On May Day 2012, Occupy Seattle will act in solidarity with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world in a Global General Strike to shut down the global circulation of capital that every day serves to enrich the ruling classes and impoverish the rest of us. There will be no victory but that which we make for ourselves.
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING!
STRIKE / BLOCKADE / OCCUPY
MAY 1ST 2012
Rallies, Marches, Speakers, Music, Food, Assemblies
WESTLAKE PARK (4TH & PINE)
A major battle over free speech is being waged on local college campuses in Seattle. The Seattle Community College District Board of Trustees wants to revise the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) for Seattle colleges. The district is proposing new rules
[http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2012/03/23/board-seeks-to-limit-protest-at-seattle-central-in-wake-of-occupy-seattle-camp ] that would regulate protests on all three of the city’s state funded community college campuses.
Organizations opposed to the board’s proposals include the ACLU, the Seattle chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, student councils at all three of the district’s colleges, and Occupy Seattle.
About a hundred Occupy Seattle participants set up camp at Seattle Central Community College last fall after being pushed out of Westlake Park by police. SCCC president Paul Kilpatrick and the school administration went to court to evict the demonstrators from the campus, and on December 10, 2011, the occupiers were forced to leave [http://capitolhill.komonews.com/news/politics/695733-judge-sccc-can-evict-occupy-protesters ]. A Thurston County Superior Court judge has allowed the college to impose new rules which prohibit camping on the campus, on an “emergency” basis
Prior to this ruling, there had been no rules regulating encampments on state college campuses in the state of Washington.
Among other proposals, the new set of rules would:
-restrict the size of protest signs to a maximum of 3 feet by 5 feet
-impose a limit of one sign per person.
-place restrictions on where protests can take place and how long they can last. Student groups would be forced to end their demonstrations after eight hours, whereas off-campus organizations like Occupy Seattle would only be allowed to rally for five hours at a time.
-prohibit protests outside of designated “free speech zones” on campus
-require non-student groups to notify the college 24 hours in advance of demonstrations.
Protesters who violate the rules could be arrested by Seattle police and charged with trespassing.
At the first board hearing on Tuesday March 27, Karen Strickland, president of the Seattle chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said that if the changes are adopted, her organization’s march banner will not be allowed on campus.
“Some people’s views have not been appreciated,” she told them. “Free speech, just like access to public higher education, is a core part of democracy. And that’s what we need to fight for! Right now in our country there are all kinds of threats to democracy.”
Although the school district claims that the process of adopting new rules actually began in 2010, Occupy Seattle activists have interpreted the proposed rule changes as a direct response to their occupation of the college. They claim that the district is placing a prior restraint on any future protest activity at the school.
Washington State law requires an open public comment period before any new state college rules can be established. In compliance with this requirement, the SCCD Board of Trustees held a public hearing on March 27. Due to the overwhelming community response to these proposed rule changes, the school district scheduled another hearing a week later.
On April 5, about 200 people participated in the second hearing held at the Broadway Performance Hall on the campus of Seattle Central Community College. Seattle Community College District Vice Chancellor Carin Weiss was “the presiding official over the proceedings.” SCCC president Paul Kilpatrick was in attendance, along with a representative from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Derek Edwards.
Weiss opened the hearing by stating that the purpose for the new rules is “to establish reasonable controls on demonstrations at the college campuses.”
She asserted the Board of Trustees is attempting to propose rules which will maintain a balance between the rights of people to protest and the needs of the administration to limit disruptions to the educational process.
LaRond Baker from the Washington ACLU spoke against the proposed rules, citing limitations on the rights to freedom of speech and assembly that are protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
“We are opposed to the rules on several grounds and we believe they will not be upheld by the courts,” she said.
The ACLU maintains that any rule which requires non-student groups to notify the college 24 hours in advance of protests is illegal and would be considered ‘prior restraint’ under the Washington State Constitution.
Baker also criticized a proposed prohibition on the distribution of potentially “libelous” material on campus. She described the language of the proposed school district rule as “vague” and warned that under the board’s proposal, “persons passing out handbills on campus could be charged with a criminal offense.”
She concluded her public testimony with the following statement: “The Washington ACLU is opposed to these new rule changes and we ask the Board of Trustees to withdraw their proposal.”
Seattle Central Community College staff member Kelly McHenry told SCCC President Paul Kilpatrick, “As a college librarian, I love the free exchange of ideas. Because of this, I have to stand up against anything that infringes on the First Amendment.”
McHenry opposes the regulation of demonstrations because she believes colleges and universities should encourage rather than limit public discussion.
“Allowing for free expression is part of the educational process,” she argued. “Are you also going to limit what films students should see and what books they can read?”
Zack Robertson, head of the SCCC student government, read a statement to the board of trustees:
“We oppose the new rules because we find them unnecessary. Regulations already exist that prohibit disruptions of classrooms, vandalism, etcetera. Why do we need new rules when these issues have already been addressed?”
Robertson also opposed the idea of ‘free speech zones’.
“We have measured the area on campus that is being designated for this purpose ,” he said, “and found it to be less than 400 square feet. It’s about the size of a small one bedroom apartment. That is clearly unacceptable.”
One eloquent statement came from Sange, a 20 year old immigrant from Gambia who is enrolled at Seattle Central Community College.
“You may have forgotten why people from around the world come to this country,” he said. “Where I lived we had no protections on our freedom, so let me say something to you.”
Sange then proceeded to read the Declaration of Independence .”We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he recited.
When he was finished reading he received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Broadway Performance Hall.
Although hundreds of people have participated in the public hearings, no one has spoken in favor of the new college district rules.
A board of trustees meeting is scheduled for April 12 to access the results of the public comment period. Despite the community outcry, school district officials could vote to approve the proposals on that date. There is nothing in the state law that requires the board to follow all public recommendations. Student groups say they will picket the meeting if they are not allowed to participate in the next step of the decision making process.
According to the state law governing changes to the WAC rules, if the community college district board decides to make significant changes to their original proposal, another series of public hearings will be required to provide for more public comment.
After the college school district hearing on April 5, one anonymous Occupy Seattle activist wearing a Guy Fawkes mask addressed a large crowd of students and teachers outside the building.
“If they approve these new restrictions on our freedom of speech and assembly,” he said, “We will have to be ready to immediately challenge the rules by breaking them. We need hundreds of people on campus holding two signs or standing outside of the designated protest areas. We can’t let them take away our First Amendment rights! I’m willing to go to jail to defend my freedom of speech! Are you?”
Local Author Mark Taylor Canfield, published in Huffington Post:
On May Day, some Occupiers are choosing to decry capitalism by having a march against the current economic system:
NOON MAY 1ST 2012 – WESTLAKE PLAZA
Don’t Go to Work
TAKE THE STREETS!
The same processes are at work everywhere. In our homes, at school, and at work, our lives are taken from us. The banks and landlords profit from our homes while bosses and owners profit from our work and schools control the youth.
Today capitalism is on the offensive. For workers, it’s the attack on workplace organizing and the scarcity of even the lowest paid jobs. For students, it’s rising tuition and loss of ethnic studies and arts programs. For immigrants, it’s the militarization of the borders, the harassment and racism on the job, and raids by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement).
But we are not just against the current excesses of capitalism, we are against the system itself. Because:
Capitalists exploit us at work – We don’t work because we want to. We work because we have no other way to make money. We sell our time and energy to a boss in order to buy the things we need to survive. During our time at work we make things or provide services that our bosses sell. Our everyday working lives are sold hour after hour, week after week, generation after generation.
Capitalists profit from and control what we need to survive – Banks and landlords profit from our need for housing. Actually, all the things we need to survive—the water we drink, the food we eat, even the roofs over our heads—are turned into commodities that someone makes a profit from. This excludes many of us from the necessities of life.
Capitalists terrorize immigrants – Hundreds of immigrants and refugees are forcibly deported every day for doing what humans have done for thousands of years—moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, disasters, persecution, or war. Those on the wrong side of borders, whose homelands are often torn apart by the same economic practices that define the so-called First World, are illegalized and criminalized and are forced to work for less than those with papers.
Capitalists create schools that produce obedient workers and unquestioning citizens – The primary task of education in a capitalistic society is to teach students to ‘respect authority.’ Authority is imposed through a system that punishes those who do not do what they are told and rewards conformity. Strict adherence to trivial rules teaches us to obey no matter how stupid the order is. This prepares us for the world of bosses, cops, politicians, and military officers ordering us around and treating us as inferior.
Capitalism affects everyone differently, but regardless of who we are, as working class people we are exploited by the system in one way or another. That pervasiveness can be threatening, but it is also a common link that we can use to struggle against it together. Simply standing up for our own interests in this struggle is the starting point for undermining capitalism. – For a pdf of a double sided flyer with the above text go to http://www.mediafire.com/?d26yspdd6t0qece
We Zombies are UNDEAD and UNCOMPROMISING! That’s why we are taking action to shut down Seattle Steam’s incinerator next to Pike Place Market that is now filling the air with lethal pollution.
Seattle Steam is burning dirty waste wood in its incinerator on Western Avenue. This dirty fuel emits pollution so lethal the American Lung Association states it can kill “on the very day of exposure”.
JOIN US AS ZOMBIES! WE NEED TO MASS AND STOP THIS KILLER INCINERATOR! We will gather at the park just north of Pike Place Market. We will party at the park then “zombie-shamble” to the incinerator and to the market. People need to know how lethal this incinerator is. We zombies will tell them. We zombies will have fun scaring Seattle Steam into shutting down.
Residents of the Pike Place Market neighborhood are already falling sick from this toxic pollution. Many of these folks are low income, elderly and disabled. They must be protected. All of us must be protected. Seattle Steam’s incinerator must be shut down!
WARNING! ZOMBIE ATTACK COMING!!
(all folks welcome)
Seattle Steam’s lawyer is threatening to sue one of our Environmental Justice folks for “defamation and commercial disparagement” since our campaign has been telling the lethal truth about Seattle Steam’s toxic incinerator near Pike Place Market and its much larger incinerator planned near Pioneer Square. The lawyer’s threatening letter came only days after our February11 Die-In at the market.
This an outrage, so… Let’s show this legal Hit Man that Occupy Seattle has changed the rules. Let’s show Seattle Steam that its killer incinerator will no longer be allowed to threaten the lives and health of the people of Seattle. Overwhelming medical evidence caused the American Lung Association to state in its 2008 State of the Air Report (pg. 42/204) about particulate matter pollution like the Seattle Steam incinerator emits right now by Pike Place Market: “First and foremost, short-term exposure to particle pollution can kill. Deaths can occur on the very day that particle levels are high.” (http://www.lungusa.org/assets/documents/publications/state-of-the-air/state-of-the-air-report-2008.)
One Seattle Steam incinerator is already making Pike Place Market neighbors ill, say residents. The huge 50MW, $80M incinerator planned near Pioneer Square would emit hundreds of tons of killer particle pollution. AND, Seattle City Council’s “District Energy” scheme would drastically ramp up this lethal pollution by removing city buildings from low emission hydro-power and powering them by burning the dirtiest fuel of all, wood…while Seattle Steam rakes in more than $500M over the next 20 years profiting from ‘sweetheart’, no-bid city contracts.
Here is the exhaustive list of medical and scientific citations Occupy Seattle Environmental Justice always includes in campaign literature to educate folks about the lethal threat of Seattle Steam’s incinerators:
1. Pike Place Market incinerator (1319 Western Ave.): Burning wood emits more particulate matter (PM) than coal combustion, per unit of energy produced. Source: industry fillings and analyses accepted by EPA, per Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA
2. Pioneer Square incinerator (633 Post Ave.): Would emit 166 tons per year of PM. Source: DOE EA, 6/10
3. Both incinerators: “Short term exposure to particle pollution can kill”. Source: American Lung Association
4. Both incinerators: PM can kill on “the very day of exposure”, when PM levels are high. Source: ALA
5. Both incinerators: PM is a health hazard with no safe level of exposure. Sources: American Heart Association & EPA
6. Both incinerators: Health effects of PM: premature death, heart attacks, cancer, strokes, lung function changes in children, heart arrhythmias, chronic lung disease, higher ER admissions. Source: EPA
7. Both incinerators: The smallest PM, nano-PM, is the most dangerous PM. Source: AHA
8. Both incinerators: No pollution control device can effectively reduce nano-PM. Sources: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA, and Air & Waste Management Association.
9. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is completely unregulated. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD and WA air pollution agencies
10. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is so small it enters our blood directly through our lungs—and attacks our bodies systemically. Source: American Lung Association State of the Air Report-2008
11. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is now being associated with congenital conditions, lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Sources: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA and Block & Calderon-Garciduenas
12. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is not stopped by any human body barriers, including the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA and Block & Calderon-Garciduenas, 2009
13. Pike Place Market incinerator: Burning wood emits more CO2 than burning coal, per unit of energy produced. CO2 is the leading greenhouse gas causing climate change. Source: Manomet study, Boston, MA, 6/10.
14. Pioneer Square incinerator: 207,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide would be emitted. Source: DOE EA.
15. Both incinerators: No pollution control devices are available to reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions.
16. Pike Place Market incinerator: Burning wood emits more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than burning coal, per unit of energy produced, according to industry filings and analyses accepted by the EPA.
17. Pioneer Square incinerator: Would emit 31 tons/yr. of NOx and Volatile Organic Compounds. DOE EA
18. Both incinerators: NOx and VOCs attack human respiratory systems and cause ground level ozone that causes asthma in children. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA
19. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood construction debris (“urban wood”) can be contaminated with toxic substances including paint, asbestos, resins, and glues that defy industry attempts at removal.
20. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood combustion emits dioxin. Dioxin produces cancer at far lower concentrations than any of more than 600 chemicals studied by the EPA. Source: EPA
21. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood combustion emits 6.5 times more of 4 toxic pollutants that attack human respiratory systems than burning natural gas does. Two of these pollutants are lethal. Sources: (1) “Biomass Environmental Impacts” study, Dr. Jeffry Morris, Sound Resource Management, November, 2010; (2) EPA; ,and (3) PSCAA.
22. Both incinerators: Seattle Steam has been awarded more than $55M in federal subsidies to build and retrofit its two downtown incinerators. More state & city subsidies would come under the District Energy scheme. Press /web accounts
23. Both incinerators: It is obscene to subsidize a highly polluting corporation in a time of budget free-fall—or ever.
An estimated three thousand people gathered in Seattle Sunday to show support for the family of Trayvon Martin and to protest the killing of the Florida teenager.
In attendance was Trayvon Martin’s cousin, Cedric President-Turner. He spoke to the capacity crowd at Greater Mount Baker Baptist Church, saying, “We need to march! We need to make sure things like that never happen again.”
Protesters wore hoodies and carried boxes of Skittles candy and cans of ice tea. Shaniqua, a 20 year old woman from the Ranier Valley neighborhood explained the symbolism.
“That’s what Trayvon was wearing and that’s what he had in his hands the night he was killed,”
she said. “We are all Trayvon Martin. It could have been my brother or anyone else here who might ‘look suspicious’ because of the way they dress or the color of their skin.”
Accusations of violence by law enforcement towards racial minorities in Seattle is not uncommon. The killing of local Native American woodcarver John T. Williams by Seattle police officer Ian Birk in 2010 sparked a series of demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
Currently, civil rights activists are demanding the resignation of police chief John Diaz. The Seattle Police Department has been investigated by the US Department of Justice due to allegations of racial profiling and excessive use of force. As a result, many residents of the city take the death of an unarmed black man very seriously.
Greater Mount Baker Baptist Church Pastor Kenneth Ransfer told those assembled for the march, “The death of Trayvon Martin is going to ignite the civil rights movement – that’s what it’s going to do! Today I see gathered here black folks, white folks, brown folks, people of all colors joining together – diversity! It’s time to paint the rainbow for justice.”
Hundreds of demonstrators were forced to wait outside the church because the building was filled to capacity. At 4:30 p.m. the marchers began to move towards Martin Luther King Jr. Park. March organizers led the protesters with the chant, “Justice For Trayvon – Arrest Zimmerman!”
At MLK Park Reverend Harriet Walden, president of Mothers for Police Accountability addressed the spectators with a story about her personal experiences while living in Sanford, Florida – the town where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on February 26 by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. Walden says that her own sons Tunde and Omari were roughed up by police.
“It takes a village to bring up and care for a child,” she said. “Our village is alive and awake and agitating for justice. We are ready to fight the long battle for freedom!”
Seattle NAACP president James Bible was nearly speechless. “Words do not do justice to the heartbreak we all feel today about what has been taken away from us during Black History Month,” he said. “Racism raised its ugly head and took away a young black soul. Every mother has been shaken to the core because somebody could shoot their son only because they are brown.”
Bible invoked the name of another African American man who was killed by Seattle police in 2001 – Aaron Roberts.
Seattle school district teacher Jesse Hagopian spoke about what he calls the new “Jim Crow,” referring to discriminatory laws passed after the civil war in the southern US which denied African Americans their right to vote and barred them from using the same facilities as whites. His statement about Trayvon Martin’s death was angry and defiant.
“He was killed because he was a young black man in America. The new Jim Crow laws profile us! Today there are more black men in prison in the US than the number of slaves that were living in this country in 1860.”
A student from Garfield High School proposed that people in Seattle should wear hoodies every Wednesday as a silent protest against the killing of an unarmed man.
Cedric President-Turner relayed a message from Trayvon Martin’s mother Sabrina Fulton to the marchers in Seattle:
“She just wanted everybody to know that she thanks you all for coming out and supporting this cause. Because it’s not just for the death of my cousin. It’s about what’s going to happen in the future.”
Local Writer Mark Taylor Canfield’s article; published by Huffington Post can be viewed here:
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: This post is the first in a series about technology by Samuel Levine, who works with the Occupy Seattle Livestream team and runs his own blog at levinetech.net.
If you want to change the world you need ideas, information, and networks of people receptive to your ideas. Technology can give you reach (of everyone else on the Internet), but as of today it cannot help with interpersonal or ideological conflicts, make a poorly worded argument strong or make people cooperate. Social systems can help if you’re working with people that are cooperative and share similar goals, technology can at best help determine and implement them.
Please also keep in mind that everything we’re talking about here are at best pseudo-anonymous, even with encryption. Pretty much any company will give your data to law enforcement when served a warrant. Your laptop that is never connected to a network can be searched. Think before you type or speak into a device with memory, especially when it’s being transmitted over the Internet. Dealing with a government willing to shoot peaceful protesters (Iran, Syria, etc.) is outside the scope of this post.
This being said, some common things activists will want to use technology for include:
- Organizing direct actions, meetings and other events.
- Streaming video, pictures and messages from your events.
- Compiling lists of people in your network and reaching out to them.
This post is mostly about organization. Identifying problems, talking about how to deal with them, dividing up the work, etc. However you do it, organizing events and direct action takes a lot of work. Firstly, don’t use e-mail to organize them. Email sucks. Your parents, boss and/or coworkers may use it, and they may be radicals, but we have lots of more specialized tools at our disposal and most of them are pretty cheap.
Some synchronous (where everybody is communicating in real time) solutions include:
- Google+ Hangouts
- Lots of stuff people can’t afford and aren’t much better than what you can get for free.
You have a ton of options here, so if you’re already comfortable with something, use it and teach the people you’re working with how to use it. Because people don’t read instructions.
I recommend using Google+ Hangouts if you want group chats, or possibly Tinychat if you don’t want to sign up for yet another social network. Everything else available for minimal cost is mostly for one-on-one stuff. Skype is everywhere, FaceTime is only for Apple devices, they’re both pretty cool. None of this works for large groups of people. Streaming video to the masses is outside the scope of this post, but check out Livestream and Ustream if you’re interested in that.
Having everybody talk or be in front of a screen at the same time is very time consuming. Most people don’t need to see everything needed to put on an event. Some asynchronous solutions for organizing are:
- Facebook Groups/Events
- Google Groups/Docs
- Google Calendar
- Text messages/Group Messaging
There are several things you want out of a system you use, but at a minimum you want the ability to tell people about when and where something will happen and if there are any changes. You’ll also want some kind of system (not necessarily technology) to communicate with people organizing the event, divide up tasks, compare promotional material, etc. Use as much technology as you’re comfortable teaching to the other activists that you’ll be working with. If the people you know that you want to show up to an event use a system (Facebook, Twitter, text messages) use the system(s) *they already use* to communicate with them.
Facebook groups give you the ability to create shared text documents, talk back and forth with and poll group members and can be made invisible to Facebook users not yet members of the group. Don’t use this (or any free web service) if you need the element of surprise. Facebook events are a pretty common way of inviting people to events and they’re a good way of reminding people going to an action that it’s coming up in a few hours, or that the date changed, etc.
Using a combination of Google Docs (you can share documents, spreadsheets and small files), Google Groups (Email lists) and Google Calendar events can be good too. If people really want to use email this helps move some of the most painful parts of email to web apps better designed to handle them. Just be prepared for flame wars and long, drawn out off-topic emails.
37signals makes a number of for-pay web apps, including Basecamp (project and document management) and Campfire (group chat). I like them, but if you require a free solution they don’t have it.
Text messages are great because a well-timed SMS blast to people has a very high chance of being read, several times more likely than email. If you have an emergency meeting/event that you need people at, this is a good way to get the message out. You can also use them to communicate things to organizers
Group messaging services like GroupMe can help coordinate things on the ground. Text messages are great, but if you want to share what is happening on the perimeter of a mile long march with a half dozen (or more) people this is really hard to beat. You can share photos, your location, etc. with everyone in the group. This duplicates functionality built into iPhones (the Find My Friends app and the Messaging app) and Facebook/Twitter (both allow you to send and receive updates via SMS), but it’s still handy in that it’s all in one app, groups can be muted when you’re done for the day, etc.
Websites are pretty easy to come by nowadays. A Blogger or WordPress blog can be had for free and you can register a domain fairly cheaply (Namecheap and 1&1 are inexpensive choices). Going into all the ins and out of this aren’t in the scope of this post, but consider two common uses you’ll have for it: introducing new people to the cause, and telling people when and where events, meetings and whatnot will be happening. You don’t need to be a web designer or a programmer to accomplish this.
Hopefully this whet your appetite for more. We’ll go into detail on particular products in future posts so you’ll have a better idea of how to use them.
SCCC will be having a “secret” meeting on Tuesday, March 27th to discuss limiting civil liberties on the SCCC campus. I say “secret” because the meeting was not publicized anywhere save this little article. No students or teachers were made aware. Let’s do what we do best and rally the troops!!
A little bit about why you should attend.
The Board of Trustees is seeking to do the following:
• To define first amendment rights to “includes, but is not necessarily limited to, informational picketing, petition circulation, the distribution of informational leaflets or pamphlets, speech-making, demonstrations, rallies, appearances of speakers in outdoor areas, protests, meetings to display group feelings or sentiments, and/or other types of constitutionally protected assemblies to share information, perspective or viewpoints.”
• Limitation of expression of these rights to the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
• Limitation of expression of these rights to a span of 8 hours for college groups and 5 hours for non-college groups.
• Limitation of people to carrying only one sign and limiting signs to no larger that 3’ x 5’ (this would preclude us using our banner!).
• Prescription of locations at which expressions of first amendment rights may occur.
• Creation of obstacles that may dissuade groups from expressing first amendment rights at Seattle Community College campuses.
Occupy 1500 Harvard Ave.- SCCC Public Hearing Facebook event page:
Shanti Wyatt who was arrested October 17th at Westake with around twelve other OS members while sitting around a Succhot, a tent put up in celebration of the Jewish holiday, chose unlike the others to have a jury trial. We learned today that there was a hung jury.
Occupy Seattle’s General Assembly met on 3/21/2012 and agreed through consensus on this statement and committed to further action on behalf of port truck workers:
Occupy Seattle, in solidarity with the port truck drivers of Seattle, demands that the Washington state bills HB 2527 and 2395 be passed into law by the anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s birth, March 31st, 2012, or we shall take further direct action in consultation and solidarity with the port drivers.
If necessary we shall call on other Occupys, especially those located in major transportation corridors, to take solidarity actions that they deem appropriate.
Additional history and information on these issues:
Since the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which gave collective bargaining rights to some workers and legalized part of the labor movement in the United States, large populations of workers, such as farmworkers, domestic laborers, and port truck drivers (currently classified as “independent contractors”) have been left in the cold.
Roosevelt, in working for the passage of New Deal legislation, had to capitulate to the white supremacist Southern Senators and Congressmen who were the right wing of the Depression-era Democratic Party coalition. So the labor legislation found a way to exclude Southern Black workers, not by name, but by occupation, so that Southern white landowners could continue to superexploit cheap Black labor at will.
This was at the same time that life under Jim Crow in the South was all but unbearable for Black people, and lynching was endemic and treated as a sporting event by Southern elites. This legacy of white supremacy and inequality of human rights for workers is what we are still fighting to undo in 2012. The US imperialist state put these obstacles to equality of labor rights in place, and we are demanding that it remove them immediately. We also demand that law enforcement officers cease and desist from selectively harassing and ticketing these drivers in retaliation for their support of the independent truckers association.
These workers are bereft of the rights given to “employees” as defined by law. This separation, exploited by the 1% and targeting migrant workers and economic refugees, must end.
This legislative session has the potential to become a landmark session for port truck drivers in the State of Washington. Two bills addressing these problems have been proposed: HB 2527, which would place the responsibility for legal fines levied by law enforcement against unsafe intermodal chassis on the companies which own those chassis rather than on the drivers who are directed to haul them and must work as directed, and HB 2395, which would re-classify port drayage drivers in Tacoma and Seattle from the legal category of independent contractors” to that of “employees”, finally recognizing their rights.
Occupy Seattle expects Washington State to act on these bills before the end of this legislative session. These bills not only set the stage to redress the inequalities affecting port truck drivers, but could set a precedent for sweeping change in how government views the right to union organizing. Occupy Seattle stands in solidarity with port truck drivers, as it has stood in solidarity with organized laborers in past months.
We also call upon the other Occupy movements, especially those located in port cities and major transportation corridors, to inform the state governments under which they live that they fully expect passage of the same legislation enabling port truckers to unionize in all coastal states by the end of 2012.
Occupy Seattle eagerly awaits the passage of these bills . If they are not passed, signed, and enacted by March 31st, 2012 (the birthday of Cesar Chavez), Occupy Seattle will have no choice but to engage in direct action in solidarity with the workers of Washington State, and and to call upon Occupy nationwide to join with us in this action. Direct action has notably won victories for the working class and will again, should state legislators fail to address these issues appropriately. Occupy is ready.
Come and help build for the May 1st 2012 Global Day of Solidarity, Wonderment, and Merrymaking, tomorrow March 20th at 7pm at the Washington State Convention Center.
Visit may1stseattle.org for more info on May Day.
We are a group of people of many genders, races, abilities and
political viewpoints that came together though Decolonize/Occupy
Seattle (DOS) and are interested in organizing around a whole-systems
approach to worker liberation. Many of us initially met at Westlake,
worked together at Seattle Central Community College and united to
organize the D12 Port Shutdown. As we work together to create
community, we consistently engage in movement building through
critical dialogues and acts of resistance. We understand that the
struggle of farm workers is one aspect of a larger pattern of
resistance, which is a response to the dispossession that capitalism
and globalization inflicts on our global community. We were approached
by the United Farm Workers (UFW) to work in solidarity with them in
their current campaign against the outrageous labor practices of Ruby
Ridge Dairy. Workers at Ruby Ridge are forced to work long hours
without breaks or lunch, have had their wages stolen, and are denied
clean drinking water as they are told to drink from the same place
where the cows drink. Their efforts to unionize have been met with
threats of violence and most of the workers who led the unionizing
effort were fired. Darigold, the company who purchases milk from Ruby
Ridge, has neglected to hold Ruby Ridge accountable for its
exploitative actions, and in their failure to respond to the needs of
the workers, have condoned such unjust working conditions.
In honor of the ongoing struggle of these workers, we began our
organizing with the commitment to work in solidarity with farm
workers, as opposed to taking action for them. We understand that our
accountability to the workers themselves is a necessary piece of our
intentions for solidarity; it is vital that those on the front lines
of their workplace struggles remain central to the decision- making
process. This accountability is a major principle we utilized to
organize as a collective. In order to make sure this principle was
followed, we met directly with workers twice- once in Seattle and once
again in Pasco. In these meetings we shared our backgrounds, reasons
for organizing and talked about the current struggles we are engaging
in. The meetings were multilingual; we spoke in Espanol, English, and
Spanglish. Traveling together to Pasco, and hearing stories of the
worker’s struggles from the workers themselves, had a strong impact
that we carried with us through the organizing process. We were
mobilized and energized by our meeting with the workers; forming these
relationships was a tangible way to actualize our goals of solidarity,
community-building and provided vision and inspiration for our work
within the movement. We also planned the day of action and talked
about logical next steps during the meeting. Meeting with workers and
leaders from the UFW was an important step in keeping us accountable
to the principle outlined above and was also a way to connect our
Elemental to this action was arte — the ways in which we created
together and how our co-creativity influenced the march. There were
two banner making parties leading up to January 27th, 2011. During
these parties, food and music were abundant as we expressed our rage,
hope and solidarity with paint, projecting nuestra voz onto the void
spaces and transforming them into meaning. For many of us, this arte
was as much a healing process as it was a symbol used to convey a
message. Again, this demonstrates how an action is not just the event
itself but also the way that we make it happen. Arte is the heart.
In line with our efforts to build community, we began the day of
action with a breakfast that we cooked together to welcome the workers
to Seattle and to further integrate the wider DOS community into the
day of action. We put thought into aligning our food choices with the
intentions of the campaign, keeping in mind that we are all connected
to waste, worker and animal exploitation and ecological collapse via
our food sourcing choices. We continuously work hard to maintain a
full systems perspective within our organizing work. The community
breakfast was held in the basement of a local church decorated with
colorful, creative banners, and picket signs. As we shared food we
continued to build community.
After sitting for breakfast with the some of the workers and their
families, we headed to Westlake Plaza to rally. The rally began as
two-high school students from Seattle, who are the children of farm
workers, spoke about their families’ experiences and their own
feelings around their struggles. We also heard from workers at Ruby
Ridge and one of the organizers from the UFW. We then took to the
streets in a high-energy march filled with arte and enthusiasm. One of
the main goals of the day was to deliver a petition with 20,000
signatures to the Darigold Headquarters. Previous attempts to reach
the administration had been unsuccessful; when workers and their
allies showed up the doors were closed and guarded. When we arrived at
the headquarters, a security guard who stated that only one person
would be allowed inside and only one door would be open greeted us.
However, the crowd did not find this to be acceptable and the other
door was opened by the protesters to allow the voices of the farm
workers’ to travel into the offices.
As a group we requested that the President and CEO of Darigold, Jim
Wegner, come out of his office to answer to the demands of the workers
and their allies. However, he declined to show his face. Despite his
failure to listen to his workers and customers the petitions were
delivered by one of the farm worker’s sons, whose path to the office
was cleared by protesters. We proceeded with a second rally outside
the Darigold headquarters. Speakers included farm workers revealing
the truth about their unjust working conditions, two longshoremen
speaking out in solidarity, a member of the UW custodian’s union and
voices from Decolonize/Occupy Seattle. We ended the day of action with
a march around the building and a promise that we would continue to
organize until the farm workers’ demands are heard and working
conditions at Ruby Ridge improve and meet basic standards of dignity
For many of us, what defined this action as “successful” was the
building of relationships with each other, with workers, and with UFW
representatives. From this base we aspire to move forward together as
we continue to create, organize and overcome. While we consider the
action on January 27th to be a success, however, we also recognize
that it is only one step in the struggle towards worker’s liberation.
We completed the goal of delivering petitions to Darigold and through
this process we were strengthened and inspired by the feelings of
community, solidarity and accountability that had been our intentions.
Our commitment to these principles has given us insight into the next
stages of this struggle. We acknowledge that this petition is one
step in the battle to hold Darigold accountable for its abuses, and is
therefore one aspect in the struggle against the oppressive and
exploitative practices of the dairy industry. We also acknowledge
that these fights are embedded within the greater, global struggle to
reclaim sovereignty over our food and labor.
The abuse of farm workers in Darigold feeder farms is not an isolated
issue; it is one instance of the way our capitalist food system, which
puts power in the hands of wealthy corporations (profiteering off of
thousands of wage laborers), continues to perpetuate injustice. The
exploitation of farm workers runs parallel to the abuse of other
laborers throughout the food system. From the fields to the fine
dining room, the exploitation of these workers is tied to their
powerlessness within capitalist and racist institutions. In a similar
way, consumers of this food are bound to the system. We are forced to
make unjust choices as the oppressed roots of our food are veiled from
us by a false abundance at the store. Friday’s action was part of the
inspiration for a research project to explore these connections
between labor abuses, the way our food is produced, and the structure
of power in the food system. This project will continue as this
struggle builds, both informing and learning from it.
Additionally, as we push our organizing efforts forward we recognize
that the complexities of all struggles toward liberation require
multiple approaches. This applies to the workers’ struggle at Ruby
Ridge; thus, our organizing includes a variety of tactics from a
diverse group of workers, allies, consumers and union members. Most
importantly, we must always acknowledge that workers will continue to
organize themselves and lead the course of solidarity. As consumers,
we want to reach out to other consumers and continue to educate each
other and our communities about the crimes of Ruby Ridge and Darigold.
This could look like students addressing the milk purchased by their
schools or creating human billboards stationed outside of supermarkets
to inform shoppers about the suffering they contribute to when they
drink milk. We encourage affinity groups and individuals to think of
their own methods of supporting the effort to change the ways of Ruby
Ridge Dairy and Darigold. The UFW is not officially calling for any of
these actions; these are suggested ideas coming from people
independent of any official affiliation to the UFW.
A vital next step is to continue traveling to Pasco and Eastern
Washington to meet directly with workers and strengthen our solidarity
through further relationship building. We also support workers from
other dairies, orchards and farms that experience abuses similar to
those of Ruby Ridge Dairy, because we know oppression is not isolated.
As mentioned, this action was part of a greater web tied in with
international worker solidarity, class struggle, Northwest based
alliances, and immigrant/economic refugee justicia y libertad. From
the onset we knew this action was one aspect of a long-term vision,
which could help us unite in building for May Day 2012.
A key component of our movement/solidarity bridging was recognizing
the historical significance of May Day 2006, an international worker’s
day led by the people for the people. This event awoke like a sleeping
giant prior to the Decolonize/Occupy Movement. There are many lessons
we can learn about the general strike that led millions of economic
refugees to take to the streets, walk out of los campos, schools, and
divest from the capitalist empire. International Workers Day reminds
us that through unity, and through bridging struggles that transcend
traditionalist labor movement building, we as a people can create the
communities we want to live in. From Food Sovereignty and Workers
Rights, from the fields to the cities, we can dismantle the
capitalistic empire and its nation-states, and plant, cultivate and
nurture a new system. From planting community gardens in our
neighborhoods, to painting murals on urban canvasses we will move our
struggles forward. By building community with economic
refugees/migrants, farm workers, people of color, queer/trans folk and
wombyn, we will dismantle all systems! A movement led by the people
for people. May Day 2012 we unite with the world!
Will you be there?
For more information contact UFWsolidarity@gmail.com
Thursday, March 15th, five occupiers who shut down a Chase Bank in the city of Seattle on November 2nd of 2011 heard their verdict: Not Guilty. When the unanimous decision by the jury of six was announced today the shock, and elation, of the five occupiers and their supporters swept the room. “This sets a totally new precedent,” said one young woman.
The verdict was read at 4:15 of the third day of trial, having come after days of argument, examination of witnesses and cross examination. The City, having brought the charges, put the manager of the Chase Bank branch on the stand as well as three members of the Seattle Police Department. One had been working as private security for Chase Bank that day while wearing a police uniform.
Danielle Simmons, one of the defendants, after trial said, “I am in shock. The jury decided that our actions were justified and whether this is because they thought it was somehow lawful or just the right thing to do, something is changing, and I think it’s beautiful.”
On the day of November 2nd the five, now innocent occupiers, chained themselves together inside of the Chase bank using what is commonly known as a “lockbox.” When a march of about 200 arrived the branch was finally locked down and customers were informed that they should leave. The branch remained closed for the rest of the day.
“This is a huge victory for the Occupy Movement,” added Liam Wright, another defendant. “Every step of the way this bank occupation and the follow up has been more successful than we could have ever hoped for. We wanted to make clear to everyone that we don’t want a world defined by banks, we don’t want to live under them. We want to be human beings living together, free from the dead weight of financial profiteering.”
Liam Wright concluded, “They act like we will live under the rule of banks and money forever. But they can’t stop us. They can’t jail us.”
One of the occupiers, Michael Stevens said, “Right now the American political and corporate establishment is headed for another election. If anything, candidates might disagree about how much they want to limit birth control or how long the military should put off bombing Iran. This is so horrifying it’s ludicrous. Meanwhile, we are determined to end the rule of banks and billionaires — over us and over this whole planet. This doesn’t even appear on the radar of ‘official politics,’ yet millions agree with us.”
The defendants Danielle Simmons, Liam Wright, Sarah Svobodny, Hudson Williams-Eynon, Michael Stevens and their lawyers Braden Price and David Hancock, are available for interview.
Contact for the defendants: firstname.lastname@example.org
Braden Pence (Lawyer) – 206.551.1516, email@example.com
David Hancock (Lawyer) – 206.422.0848, firstname.lastname@example.org
See original post @ It’s Right To #Occupy:
"On March 13th, Five Seattle Occupiers go to trial for a November 2 occupation inside a Chase Bank branch in Capitol Hill. That day, hundreds rallied outside and disrupted business as usual. This action preceded a large demonstration that evening against JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as he spoke in Downtown Seattle.
Press Statement of the Bank Occupiers of November 2, 2011
We, independent members of the Occupy Seattle movement, are occupying this Chase bank to interrupt business as usual. We are here to show you that the polished, sanitized spaces of our day-to-day lives are places of horror. Banks don’t simply add arbitrary fees to debit cards or double your interest rates. They perpetuate poverty. They drive homelessness, and with it joblessness and the denial of healthcare. They force people out of homes through sub-prime lending and foreclosures, gentrifying neighborhoods in their wake by investing in real estate and construction firms that build condos and drive up market rates. They help make your “up-and-coming” neighborhoods whiter and wealthier and dispossess everyone needed to make them so. And for those who operate at the margins of society, committing victimless “crimes” or trying to save themselves and their families from starvation, banks are there to dehumanize them when they land in a private prison or get locked up in an immigrant concentration camp, like Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center (its extensive human rights abuse courtesy of Wells Fargo). All while executives reward themselves with millions for lives they have ruined and will ruin again, for a bottom line written in blood.
This movement isn’t just about bailouts. It’s not even about CEO salaries, corporate taxation, or campaign finance reform. The extremes of social and economic injustice most people experience today existed way before the recession, before Citizens United, and before executive pay skyrocketed in the last half-century. It’s about a culture. It’s about the logical consequences of capitalism. It’s about what those of us who grew up in America have heard since day one—the strong survive, the cream rises to the top. But the strength of those on top rests on the backs of millions who were never given a chance to achieve, the cream stays white, and the playing field is never even. It’s about the expectation your value as a person lies in your ability to drain money out of other people, and not in your ability to pursue your dreams in solidarity with fellow dreamers.
We refuse to live in a world in which power matters more than human lives and transactions more than relationships. We refuse to live in a world where survival—”getting a job”—means increasing the wealth of our bosses. We refuse to live in a world, in a country that never outgrew slavery—only sublimated it to the point we don’t recognize it, because its whips and chains have been replaced by redlining and unaffordable healthcare, or else hidden in the prisons that warehouse the people of color once enchained out in the open. We refuse to live in a world that inevitably confers privilege to upper-class, straight, white men, as it does under the rule of capital and the perpetual indentured servitude of the oppressed. We refuse to live in a world where we are accountable to anyone other than our interdependent equals. We refuse to live in a world where we are anything other than absolutely free.
Live your desires. Join us. This world is ours—all of ours—and don’t let them tell you anything different. We will build it together.
In solidarity with you in your own struggles,
Occupiers of Seattle."
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December 23rd Die-In to Protest Pollution from Downtown Incinerators
Seattle Steam’s lawyer is threatening to sue one of our Environmental Justice folks for “defamation and commercial disparagement.”
Here's the consensus process that General Assembly approved last night. We'll start using it next Wednesday, March 7th.
Issues and Proposals - An issue for dicussion or a proposal is presented by the person who put the item on the agenda.
- Presentation – the person who put the item on the agenda presents the issue
- Turn and Talk – 3 min, initial thoughts on the issue.
- Understanding; questions, facts - stack is open for questions and facts to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the issue.
- Open Discussion - thoughts, opinions, background information, and general debate
- Ideas and Concerns: list and address - how can we address this issue? what are our goals? what are our concerns?
- Consensus Test – are we ready to move forward with what's been suggested to address the issue?
- Other Concerns?
- Strong Opposition?
- Stand Asides?
If consensus is not reached, or 1/3 or more of the assembly is standing aside, or there is strong opposition to a proposal to address an issue, the assembly may table the proposal until a future meeting. If a proposal has been tabled once, the assembly may call for consensus among at least 80% [amended from 90%] of participants to move forward over strong opposition. This is a last resort if there is irreconcilable opposition to a proposal that the rest of the assembly is in favor of moving ahead with, and should not be considered as strong as full consensus of the assembly.
Wed March 7th
2nd floor of Convention Center
7th and Pike (where GA usually meets)
There's been a lot of talk/interest in having a session in OS that's specific to folks who are working at awful/low wage/mostly non-unionized/casualized jobs, and trying to be involved in Occupy.
There are many of us who resist the authoritarianism at our workplaces everyday and want to see a deeper connection between those struggles and the Occupy movement.
There are resources from existing class struggle organizations like IWW, that we could tap into to learn how to organize/survive on the job. Please come through if you/others you know, are interested! This is our first meeting!!
On Saturday March 10 from 11am-4pm at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle, Occupy Seattle Gender Equality Caucus will host a day in solidarity with International Women’s Day. Organizer Teah O’Neill says, “there is no single ‘woman experience’. This gathering is for the community to honor the diverse struggles and contributions of women around the world who are taking on leadership roles in unprecedented numbers.”
O’Neill believes that women continually find themselves at the bottom of every system including economic, health, education, and social/humanitarian services. Those entrenched to the lowest parts of these systems are disproportionally women who are of color, transgendered, immigrant, and/or disabled. According to O’Neill, the institutionalization of women is present everywhere and takes the form of attacks on abortion and birth control, increasing violence against women, and the trafficking of millions of women and girls as literal chattel in the international sex and garment industries. Additionally, transgendered and transsexual people as well as others who do not conform to traditional patriarchal gender and sexual norms are demonized and threatened on a regular basis. Organizer Rose Harriot asserts, “with this event we will unite and rise up because it is long overdue to eliminate the divide and conquer tactics that have kept women from all walks of life apart.”
The all day event blends music, art, poetry, speakers and speak-outs, creating a space for the different experiences actually lived by women. Speakers include Choctaw-Navajo Patricia Ann Davis on having an indigenous lens over gender relations, medical provider Deb Oyer on comprehensive reproductive health/justice, immigrant rights activist María Guillén Valdovinos on immigration and detention, Dorli Rainey on her work with the Equal Rights Amendment, and COYOTE founder Margo St. James on sex-worker rights. Amber Flame is on the line up of poets, and local musical talents include Gravey Grime Girls and Baron DeKalb.
For those who question if women and gender issues are a part of the Occupy movement, organizer Kristin Moon answers, “Occupy is concerned with the liberation of all people in every community across the globe. Over and over again women are shoved to the side, but a compassionate understanding of our individual and collective experiences unites us all to join hands and harness the power to fight back against the tides of all oppression!”
Occupy Seattle Gender Equality Caucus invites you to join this international celebration of women in the spirit of unity that is everyone together honoring women and their unique experiences. For more information about the event, email email@example.com.
From: Gender Equality Caucus of Occupy Seattle