chr15

Shell’s Epic Private Party #Fail

Update 10:20am 6/8/12: We we’re working with the Yes Men on this one. Check out the full story here.

Original Post

Last night Logan Price, a Seattle Occupier who’s now living in New York, managed to infiltrate a private party thrown by Shell Oil at the Space Needle to celebrate the launch of its Arctic drilling program. He caught this amazing video.

He also has some photos on twitter.

Logan sent us this explanation:

“It all started with a malfunction…. of the event’s centerpiece, a scale model of the Kulluk, one of the rigs heading up north, which was sitting in a basin of liquor (rum and coke?) next to an ice sculpture in the shape of an iceberg.

I guess the photo-op was meant to be a symbolic tapping of the Arctic. There was a ridiculous three-foot-high scale model of their Arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, and the mini-rig had a tap to pump liquor for the guests.

“The guest of honor was an elderly Japanese man introduced as the original Chief Engineer of the Kulluk rig who used to work at Mitsui back in the ’80s. But when the man went to turn on the ‘rig,’ the liquor went everywhere – and the first to be hit was another elderly guest, the widow of the man who’d actually designed the Kulluk back in the 1980s.

“The guy in charge kept asking the old engineer to fix it but he obviously had no idea how to turn it off. Shell’s PR people got REALLY worked up, and the designer’s widow started yelling. At this point the guy who was presenting the new ad campaign told me to turn off my camera and got pretty aggressive.”

Logan (who grew up on Vashon Island) helped capture an equally wacky moment last year when Obama told him at a fundraiser that Bradley Manning “broke the law.” That’s expected to have an effect on the army private’s case.

Call for a General Strike Bike Bloc!

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.

Bike Bloc Flier

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.

Zombie March Against Killer Incinerator

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.

Click here to download the letter (PDF)

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.

Zombie March

Zombie March Against Lethal Incinerator

December 23rd Die-In to Protest Pollution from Downtown Incinerators

December 23rd Die-In to Protest Pollution from Downtown Incinerators

PRESS RELEASE: Occupy Seattle: A New Phase for the Workers’ Movement

December 13, 2011
CONTACT: Seattleportsolidarity@gmail.com

[Note: This article was written by several members of Occupy Seattle who were closely involved with organizing for the December 12th West Coast Port Shut Down. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect all of Occupy Seattle.]

Occupy Seattle: A New Phase for the Workers’ Movement

SEATTLE, Wash — Monday, December 12th, Occupy protesters and allies shut down several major ports along the West Coast. In Seattle, we stopped all evening work at Terminals 18 and 5, causing millions in profit loss to major corporations Stevedoring Services of America, American President Line, and Eagle Marine Services.

Yesterday’s actions drew a wide swath of the 99%. Protesters of all ages demonstrated, and people of color turned out in large numbers. The protests included a coordinated city-wide high school walkout, a rally emceed by Hip Hop Occupies, and a three mile march to the ports. The shutdown was organized by members of Occupy Seattle in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and with the struggles of LA, Oakland, and Seattle port truckers and Longview longshore workers. Occupy Seattle’s People of Color caucus produced need-to-know guides for the action.

The shutdown was solidly an Occupy action, funded by the heartfelt donations of occupiers and their supporters, and a hefty donation from Occupy Oakland. We received absolutely no material support from any union. This was a direct action in the truest sense of the term: it was rapid-fire, organized on a shoestring budget, bypassed stalling bureaucracy, and mobilized the energy of an inspired community united against economic injustice.

The actions were planned with special attention to the long tradition of democracy and direct action within the ILWU. We picketed Terminals 18 and 5 in light of the longstanding ILWU principle of respecting other pickets. Union policy dictates that if arbitrators rule that picket lines are too dangerous to cross, ILWU workers will be compensated for the work they missed.

The protests were wildly successful. Truck drivers and port workers repeatedly expressed support for the protesters, waving and honking as they passed.

Terminal 18–the Port of Seattle’s largest and busiest terminal–was the first to be shut down. Protesters took the main intersection, swiftly forming a blockade of roadside debris to stop the incoming shift, while redirecting outgoing traffic onto one lane. This effectively blocked three gates, while the fourth had been shut down by the port in anticipation of the action. The Seattle Police Department, not protesters, temporarily stopped workers and truckers from leaving the port by forming a bike chain as protesters yelled at them to “let the trucks through.”

Under pressure from protesters, police backed away, but later stopped traffic once again, stating that they were trying to clear the road for police convoys to enter. In solidarity with the protesters, the truckers honked their horns loudly and persistently, and the frustrated calls of the crowd forced the cops back off the road. Occupiers then continued to direct traffic out of the port, delivering flyers of Scott Olsen’s statement to drivers as they passed (see below).

At 5pm, reports came through that the union arbitrator had ruled in favor of protesters, deeming the picket too dangerous to cross. The shipping company called off work at Terminal 18 for the evening. In accordance with union contract, dispatched longshore workers were nonetheless paid for their time.

Protesters then proceeded to Terminal 5, the location of the Port’s only other ship that day, chanting “Whose Ports / Our Ports.” Approximately one hundred protesters formed a human barricade and moving picket line at the terminal gate, while another hundred stood by in support.

Some protesters who remained at Terminal 18 were herded onto the sidewalk. When they tried to maintain the blockade, conflict escalated. The police used pepper spray and flash grenades to disperse protesters, in one case forcibly pulling back the head of a protester to spray him in the face. A few protesters flung road flares and a bag of paint at the police in retaliation. In the resulting chaos, a number of protesters were arrested.

The crowd of Terminal 18 dissipated and joined Terminal 5. After two hours of picketing, the union arbitrator once again ruled in favor of protesters, calling off work at the terminal.

The Occupy Movement Strikes Back

Many of us showed up to this action having learned from the experiences we’ve had in the short months since we began assembling together. Having previous engagements with the police, we knew to protect ourselves. Legal observers and medics were interspersed through the crowd, and the majority brought bandannas and scarves to cover their noses against flash bombs and other chemical weapons utilized by the police. Some of us sported the goggles that we learned to use after pepper spray incapacitated activists during the march on Chase Bank.

Occupy Seattle’s action was one of the last in the day, following successful port shutdowns in Longview, Portland, Oakland, and other places. A hundred of our friends in Bellingham continued to break the flow of capital by protesting on the railroads, some locking themselves to the tracks in defiance. Solidarity was extended to us even from Japan, where the International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba made a statement of support.

We send our sincere thanks to Oakland and Portland for extending their protests in response to the police aggression in Seattle that left several of our friends with stinging eyes and ringing ears. We extend our support and love to Houston and San Diego, where the police have used similarly aggressive tactics.

Today, we stand in solidarity with the unemployed, the underemployed, the incarcerated, and the 89% of the working class who don’t belong to unions. We stand in solidarity with students protesting education cutbacks and rising debts, with low-wage workers protesting union-busting, with those facing foreclosure, and with the unemployed. We believe that a workers’ movement does not merely belong to the unionized, nor does it recognize imposed political borders. This is the building of a new movement. We rise from our roots in the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and anticolonial struggles across the world.

For ongoing updates on the West Coast Port Shut Down action:

www.westcastportshutdown.org

Truck Drivers Statement:

http://riseanddecolonize.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/an-open-letter-from-americas-port-truck-drivers-on-occupy-the-ports/

More information on Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) and Goldman Sachs:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/153393/how_goldman_sachs_and_other_companies_exploit_port_truck_drivers_%E2%80%94_occupy_protesters_plan_to_shut_down_west_coast_ports_in_protest/

ILWU Guiding Principles (See in particular #4 regarding community picket lines):

http://www.ilwu-local13.org/history-guiding-principles.html

Appeal from Scott Olsen to Longshore Workers:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=1bt_ZhyioBUcmOXXMGrrv1p6BdcXM2V1-IgvsCy0HEQfzjKu1KgophSB_8qKk

Victory: Occupy Seattle Shuts Down the Port!



Today, demonstrators picketed and blockaded terminals 18 and 5 at the port of Seattle, the only terminals with ships actively unloading. At both terminals the unions arbitrator decided the longshoremen should not cross our picket line. In other words…

WE SHUT THE PORT OF SEATTLE DOWN!

You can learn more about the day’s event’s from our live blog and about why we did it here.

On a personal note, I’d just like to say how proud of everyone involved here and down the entire coast where shipping was also disrupted in Longview, Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego. We are showing the 1% that the 99% are powerful and we are building a movement that will take this planet back.

Port Shut Down With Mt. Rainier in the Background

LIVE BLOG: West Coast Port Shut Down Seattle

Monday December 12th – The occupy movement and its allies up and down the West Coast are shutting down major ports to take a collective stand against the 1%, their budget cuts, their union busting, and their brutal crackdown of occupations across the country.

Below you’ll find major updates, livestreams and twitter feeds.

Major Updates

Major updates will be posted here throughout the day.

ALERT: LEGAL NUMBER FOR Occupy Seattle in the Guide booklet is wrong. The RIGHT NUMBER IS 206-403-8741. PLEASE SPREAD. SORRY!

1:25pm: Twitter reports, we have at least 350 energetic people as speakers hype up crowd!
1:30pm: Have begun the march down 4th to the Port of Seattle! Beautiful banner declaring, “Rise and Decolonize!” Beautiful people chanting, “Shut down the West Coast!” and “Whose Streets? Our Streets?”
1:45pm: Live stream reports crowd of 700 marching South on 2nd Ave.
2:00pm: Reports of choppers circling the crowd
2:10pm: Occupy Seattle Twitter reports marching passed the stadiums, taking up 4 lanes of traffic on 4th Ave: “Seahawks supporters cheering us on!”
2:40pm: KIRO tv has live chopper feed, livestream and twitter reports. Sherrif’s dept. chopper, as well.
2:50 Almost to the port. King county sheriff helicopter flying right over head- “cop heli noisey. increasing volume of the people!” the energy is awesome!
3:06pm: March approaching Marginal Way! On the global livestream! Seattle Livestream reports we are 1,000 strong!
3:10pm: Port Truckers honking in solidarity! Cops on top of bridge looking down at protestors.
3:15pm: March arriving at the port with cheers and chants and Truckers sound their horns in support! Live stream reports more than a thousand people! the crowd stretches back several city blocks and a second crowd waiting for the marchers at spokane rally point!!
3:25 pm: one entrance to the port shut off, traffic blocked. Police in riot gear and bicycle cops arrive.
3:40pm: reports of 2 arrests. Mic Checks explain how to prevent the arrival of the swing shift and create a blockade for trucks.
3:45pm: second entrance blockaded. all gates to terminal 18, owned by Goldman sacks it shut down!
3:55pm: Witness reports 1 police and 2 coast guard boats.
4:00pm: police prevent worker traffic from exiting the port at end of shift, crowd chants “please let the workers go”
4:10pm: police allow workers to leave port.
4:45pm: The port gates are being blocked. The police have formed bike lines in front of the pickets. ” west side of port is shut down for night”
4:50pm: No work will be done at terminal 18 tonight. we shut it down!! on to the next terminal! Contingent staying at termonal 18 to make sure it stays closed. Other group moving to T5
5:00pm car hits two protesters and drives away- witnesses report licence number. witnesses have photos.
5:00pm: witness reports pepper spray, flash bangs? (had 2 loud bangs) used on protesters at 18- some on the sidewalks. barricades and horses used by police as “tools” to control crowd. Police gave no warning before deployment of weapons. 8 -12 arrests
6:00 pm: demonstrators have moved to terminal 5. over 200 picketing, 24 blockading.
6:05pm: after mounted police, tear gas, pepper spray and flash grenades cleared terminal 18 picket is holding down terminal 5.
6:20pm: the police have left.
6:45pm: “The longshore workers are standing by at the union hall waiting for the arbitrator to decide whether they’ll be sent to work here. so we need to maintain the picket line for sometime longer. Please stay if you can.
Invite friendst to pier 5 (3443 West Marginal Way SW), we have a lively picket line going there. We have the future of the worker’s movement here. Everyone on the picket line is having a great time.”

Live Streams

owsoccupyseattle:

Watch live streaming video from owsoccupyseattle at livestream.com


Also check out hiphopoccupies and occupybellingham (who is visiting Seattle for the day).

Twitter

@OccupySeattle:




Trusted Users:

Occupy Seattle Speaks Out for the December 12th West Coast Port Shut Down

Yesterday a group of occupiers got together for a potluck to build unity and do some last minute organizing for tomorrow’s west coast port shut down (March begins at 1pm tomorrow at Westlake Park here in Seattle). Here’s what a few folks had to say about why they support the shut down:

Unfortunately do to technical difficulties (I wanted to cry after hitting the delete button by mistake) these are the only testimonials available now, so you’ll have to come on out tomorrow to find out why people are coming together to shut down the port!

West Coast Port Shut Down, Seattle: What You Need To Know

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT:

The West Coast Port Shutdown:
SEATTLE

Contents
Statement by People Of Color Caucus
Why are we doing this?

Safety and Legal Issues
Transportation (it’s free!)
Map

Brought to you by the People Of Color (POC) Caucus

Essential Things To Know

Seattle Port Shut Down Flyer

December 12th, Shut down the port!

Abandoned Building Occupied in the Central District

abandoned home occupied on 11/19/11

Independent participants of the Occupy Seattle Movement have decided to indefinitely occupy an abandoned home in the Central District on the corner of 23rd Ave and E. Alder and are currently calling for support.

The occupiers came to the home during their march for the National Day of Action against State Repression of the Occupy Movement called for by the General Assembly in Oakland. They first marched past the juvenile detention center on 12th Ave and then reached the abandoned home.

A neighbor said banks took the home after the previous owner died several years ago and it has been uninhabited since.

Several occupiers in front of the home made speeches. They addressed how predatory lending, rent hikes, property taxes on homes, and police harassment have driven the working and middle class black community from the neighborhood. This has allowed banks, developers and other gentrifiers to move in.

After the speeches an ad-hock assembly decided to occupy the home and brainstormed ideas including forming a work party to rebuild it for the community.

occupied abandoned home

Abandoned building occupied on 11/19/2011.

Rally for Port of Seattle Workers this Thursday

Blog by Nate Jackson cross posted from working washington.

The Port of Poverty celebrates the 1%

If you are the Port of Seattle and most of your workers make poverty level wages what do you do? You throw a party to celebrate your overpaid executives, the one percent.

The Port of Seattle calls itself “The Port of Prosperity.” We call it the “Port of Poverty.” The Port on November 10th is having a self-congratulating $1,750-a-table banquet for the overpaid executives. There is just one problem. They forgot to invite the people who actually create the wealth of the port: the workers. That’s why we are holding our own banquet to honor the Port Workers at the Bell Harbor Conference Center at 5:30 pm.

It’s not the “Port of Prosperity” for workers. It’s the “Port of Poverty.” Workers are not treated with the respect they rightly deserve. No one understands that better than the airport workers who were just fired for praying.

26 Hertz airport workers were“ suspended” a few weeks ago for practicing their religion. Now they have been sacked.

Sadly, Hertz is far from the only port company that is taking advantage of its workers. The average worker at the ports are working poverty level jobs with no benefits, no job security and rules that change on managerial whims. Meanwhile, the Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, still makes$400,000 a year. It’s not right and that’s why we are standing up for good jobs at the port.

On Thursday, November 10 we are holding our own banquet to honor workers who work hard every day, providing essential port services, and don’t get the respect we deserve. We stand together. Every job at the Port of Seattle should be a good job. Won’t you join us at the Bell Harbor Conference Center at 5:30 pm?

This is our port and we should benefit from all our hard work.

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

From Occupying Banks to Building Community


Occupy Seattle Tents packed next the farmers market on Sunday, October 30th. Photo by chadswaney.

Over the last week Occupy Seattle has been steadily building strength. And while actions like bank occupations, disrupting CEO talks and celebrating bank transfer day have grabbed national headlines, the camp at Seattle Central Community College has flourished.

Dozens of tents are packed in tight, the kitchen is bustling, the information booth is stock full of literature and other resources. This week there will be many events that continue to build that community: dance parties, multi-media nights, quilting (to support Rise and Decolonize!), meditation, guerrilla composting, teach-ins, and much, much more.

And there will of course be more actions: On Wednesday, a UAW sponsored Chase Bank Action; on Thurdsay, a rally for Port of Seattle Workers; and on Friday, a Veterans Day Parade.

However, before we march headlong into the future, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the last week. What follows is the Statement of the Bank Occupier of November 2, 2011 that was written by the five folks who went into the Chase bank branch on Broadway and E. Thomas in Capitol Hill, locked down, and shut down the bank for 2 hours. OccupySeattle.org hasn’t been able to post their statement until now, but it is definitely worth your time:

Statement of the Bank Occupier 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 a 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 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 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 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

Our Purpose

We, participants in Occupy Seattle, have independently chosen to occupy, to put our bodies on the line in order to shut down a location of Chase Bank.

Chase Bank, the corporation that owns it, and the system that it represents, act to defend and fortify the 1%. They enable the river of wealth from which the 1% drink, they make the flow of wealth from the many of the few possible and profitable. Chase Bank and every other bank make obscene profits from massive foreclosures and the suffering of people throughout the US and the globe.

Banks uphold and enable a rotting system. Both democrat and republican parties and the governing bodies they manage have proven incapable of solving this crisis; they’ve proven incapable of meeting the needs of people; they’ve proven incapable of stopping the mechanized domination of other nations and people. Rather than serve us, politicians serve the 1% and their system.

The list of grievances of the 99% is practically without limit.

Our occupations have proven once and for all:

Mic Check! [Mic Check!]

The world [The World]

Does not [Does not]

Have to [Have to]

Be this way! [BE THIS WAY!]

Banks are not only responsible for crisis, poverty, and extreme wealth inequality but they are also working directly against the Occupy movement. The day after the NYPD “kettled” and arrested 700 New York occupiers, the Chase bank donated 4.6 million dollars to the New York City Police Foundation-the largest in its history.

We are occupying this bank and risking our safety in order to show you, the people, we are fighting for a world without banks, without poverty, without the wealth of the world owned by a tiny minority. We are out to change the whole planet. Starting. Right. Here.

Today the call from Occupy Oakland goes out: “General Strike!” We stand with them. Occupy together. Occupy the world.

Demonstrators claim victory against Jamie Dimon and Chase Bank

direct action at chase bank
Image: Bank Occupiers at a Chase Branch in Capitol Hill

On Wednesday November 2nd, 2011, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase came to Seattle. And independent participants of Occupy Seattle gave him a warm welcome.

Starting at 2pm, 3 men and 2 women occupied the Chase Bank branch in Capitol Hill on Broadway and E. Thomas. Along with about 70 demonstrators outside, they shut down the branch for over two hours.

Then at 6pm, over 300 demonstrators marched on the Sheraton Hotel where Mr. Dimon was speaking. They raised a loud voice in unison against Chase’s corporate greed and then hundreds proceeded to lock arm and block the entrances to to the Sheraton letting the 1% know that they can no longer proceed with business as usual in Seattle. Demonstrators believe they prevented Mr. Dimon from leaving for at least three hours.

Under Dimon’s leadership, JP Morgan Chase has kicked thousands of families out of their homes by predatory lending and foreclosures. They’ve laid off thousands of Washingtonians after their hostile takeover of Washington Mutual. They’ve perpetuate the monopoly the 1% have on our political system.

Enough is enough. No more business as usual.

“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.” – From the Statement of the Bank Occupiers of November 2, 2011.*

*Transcription coming soon.

chr15 is an independent observer and does not speak for Occupy Seattle as a whole.

“Welcome” Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan CHASE, to Seattle this Wednesday!

On Wednesday, November 2, 2011,, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase will be visiting Seattle. Chase collected billions in bailouts while giving millions in bonuses to executives like Dimon, laying off thousands of Washingtonians, and forcing families out of their homes with predatory lending.

Let’s show him that what Seattle really thinks of banksters like him!

We’ll be taking on Dimon with some awesome events:

1pm: Meet at Seattle Central Community College – 1 hour speak out.
2pm: March and action at a major bank.
4:30pm: Meet at Westlake Park to make signs and other preparations for march
6pm: March from Westlake Park to the Sheraton where Mr. Dimon will be speaking.

Occupy Seattle believes that Chase bank and Jamie Dimon are complicit in the collapse of the US economy and the ongoing economic injustice in our nation today.

The list of injustices is long. Here is a short sample:

  • While the majority of Americans saw their incomes decrease in 2010, Dimon received a 1,500 percent increase in compensation to $20.8 million.
  • Dimon believes that foreclosure is a form of magnanimous “debt relief” that leaves the former homeowners “better off” than they were before. As he said in May 2011, “…Giving debt relief to people that really need it, that’s what foreclosure is.”
  • In 2011, Chase agreed to pay $153.6 million to settle US Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges.
  • In March of 2010, Chase agreed to pay $75 million in fines and forfeit $647 million in fees to settle federal regulators’ charges that it made unlawful payments to friends of public officials to win municipal bond business.
  • In October 2010, executives at Chase confessed to signing tens of thousands of foreclosure documents without reading them.
  • In 2009, Chase reported a profit of $11.7 billion, more than twice its profit for 2008, the year the bank received a federal taxpayer bailout of $94.7 billion.
  • Adding insult to injury, Chase admitted in January of this year to overcharged more than 4,000 active-duty military personnel on their home loans.

The action is also in solidarity with the planned General Strike in Oakland. Let’s make November 2nd one to remember! Please RSVP and invite all your friends to this Facebook event:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=287152321305318

chr15

new to seattle but excited to work in the occupy movement