Monthly Archives: January 2012

I’m STILL Getting Married to 10th and Union Warehouse! Community POTLUCK!

The following was written by occupier Babylonia Aivaz

Instead of a culture of death, destruction, and despair, I choose
life, love, and liberation!

BRING FOOD< INSTRUMENTS

Yes, I’m in love with a 107 year old building! How is that possible?
Well there must obviously be a deeper story…

On December 3rd, in this very same 10th and Union Warehouse, 16
activists (including myself) joyfully linked arms in a circle, and
fearlessly faced arrest for a cause in which we believed strongly.
That cause was COMMUNITY SPACE. Our intent in occupying that warehouse
was to reclaim it as a community center to address the needs of our
neighborhood: communal artspace, free childcare, etc. We had started
the occupation with 200 people who collectively worked to clean the
rooms and prepare for a brainstorm discussion on how to use the space
to best help our neighborhood.

The moment we entered the warehouse we became a true community. We
became self-motivated. We worked co-operatively. We thought only of
others well-being. We explored 36,000 square feet like children,
giggling and dreaming at the possibility of all that space. We played
with conveyer belts, riding up and down. The kind you always want to
sit on in the airport luggage dispensers. We strung up lights. We
adapted toilets. We removed pounds and pounds of unecessary building
materials. We fed 200 people. We dreamed. We dreamed. We dreamed.

I was and am constantly transformed by this whole event.

The warehouse is slated to be demolished in a week to make way for
luxury apartments whose destiny is to disintegrate our unique creative
culture and render our neighborhood even more unaffordable. Why
couldn’t we have had a community artspace and museum there instead?
What our neighborhood and the world needs is more togetherness,
collaboration, and sharing not corporate gentrification.

So Capitol Hill, LOVE YOURSELF! Lets celebrate what we are: quirky,
creative, open-minded, progressive love beings who absolutely love
being. Lets be together! Lets honor my love of this building as well
as Capitol Hill, the transformative power of community spaces, and
each other. It’s all we’ve really got at the end of the day!

This will take place at the warehouse of 10th and Union on Sunday 1/29 from 1PM to 4PM

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/179409232160431/
For news coverage see:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/138158504.html

THANK YOU!

Decolonize/Occupy Seattle March on Darigold! Friday, January 27th!

We call on all people to join with the United Farm Workers and Decolonize/Occupy Seattle to demand justice for Farm workers. On January 27, 2012 we will meet at Westlake at 2pm and march to the Darigold Headquarters at 1130 Rainier Ave. South. There we will rally at 3pm to call on Darigold to take immediate action to resolve the issues facing workers at Ruby Ridge. Transportation will be provided for those who need it.

The farm worker’s fight is the same fight against corporate greed that has led to the occupy movement. They are part of the 99%! JOIN THOUSANDS to demand that Darigold use its influence over its dairies to stop the abuses. Tell them they cannot ignore farm workers!!

###

Occupy Seattle se une en solidaridad con La Unión de Campesinos
Seattle, WA-Enero 27, 2012
Contacto:
UFWsolidarity@gmail.com
(206) 745-0164

More info here: http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2012-01-19/occupy-seattle-joins-solidarity-united-farm-workers

Voices of The Revolution

Occupy Seattle Media Presents: Voices of The Revolution.

A benefit concert for the Occupy Seattle Community Space Fund.

Voices of The Revolution is a concert/performance art series designed to raise money for the leasing of a warehouse space. A community center/working space for Occupy Seattle to use as a base of operations to organize, create media, hold public forums, provide a satellite desk and shared work center for each work group, hold benefits, and do outreach to the community.

All proceeds go to Occupy Seattle Media group, to further the efforts of public media, and the fund to acquire an Occupy Seattle base of operations.

A benefit concert for Occupy Seattle Community Space Fund.
Bands, performance art, drum troupe, dj, dancers, key note speakers, video projectionist (Occupy images!), painters.

Let us celebrate with music, art, and dance. Through these mediums we learn to better relate to one another. Please join us, and support this effort to sustain our movement.

*THIS EVENT IS ALL AGES*

*Music:

Once And For All:
www.onceandforalltheband.com

The Adrian Xavier Band:

http://www.adrianxavier.com/home.cfm

Surrealized:

http://www.facebook.com/surrealizedmusic

http://surrealized.bandcamp.com/

*Special guests:

DJ Michael Manahan

Dundun Village Drummers.

*Performers:

Tribal dancers
Real time interpretive painters
Video projectionist

We come together in the spirit of local community to manifest communication and recognition among those who struggle with us in body and spirit to achieve freedom. Through art and performance we bond on a deeper level of understanding. Let the tribe grow and move as one, in grace, in understanding, in unity.

$10 donation in advance:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/223220

$15 night of show.
Or
~The Robin Hood Tax Cover Charge~
$.50 for every thousand $ you earned last year.

All proceeds go to Occupy Seattle Media group, to further the efforts of public media, and the fund to acquire an Occupy Seattle base of operations.

Participants and donors please remember to sign our roster night of show. We would like to invite you to a future dedication banquet in honor of all those who supported and produced this benefit concert/performance art series.

Shut down Lethal Incinerators in Seattle

February 11th: Shut down Seattle Steam’s lethal incinerators now!

Noon rally at Westlake lead by Dorli Rainey. March to Seattle Steam incinerator next to Pike Place Market and then to Victor Steinbreuck Park north of Pike Place Market. Occupy the park with die-ins, teach-ins and direct actions.

Two Seattle Steam incinerators threaten to turn downtown Seattle into a LETHAL POLLUTION ZONE. One incinerator next to Pike Place Market is already burning dirty waste wood and sickening neighbors. These residents are mainly low income folks, many of whom are elderly and/or disabled. They are one of Seattle’s most marginalized communities. The huge $80M, 50MW Seattle Steam incinerator planned near Pioneer Square would emit hundreds of tons of killer particle pollution, make $500,000,000. for Seattle Steam, and threaten thousands more downtown Seattleites with lethal pollution.

In classic 1% style, Seattle Steam will tolerate no opposition as its steamrolls to obscene pollution profits. Seattle Steam “owns” the entire Seattle City Council which recently voted 9-0 to expand Seattle Steam pollution and kill even more more Seattleites. The city council has voted to become accomplices to murder.

Seattle Steam has been awarded more than $55M in federal subsidies for its two incinerators. The reckless city council scheme to further expand Seattle Steam pollution—headed by councilmembers Richard Conlin and Mike O’Brien— would add more local subsidies to fatten Seattle Steam coffers. We people of Seattle are literally paying to have ourselves poisoned!

WE MUST SHUT DOWN THE PIKE PLACE MARKET INCINERATOR NOW! AND STOP THE SECOND INCINERATOR BEFORE IT IS BUILT.

FB event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/158964460883645/

Finance

The OS book keeper is Linda Julien.

The OS account signer is Nathan Shields.

Pledge Drive Button

People Ignited Against Citizens United: Today at Noon!

The following event is not endorsed by Occupy Seattle. It is a direct action organized by “Get Money Out Of Politics.”

A coalition of organizations including Move to Amend, People for Free Speech, Public Citizen, and Washington Public Campaigns, will take to the streets of Seattle January 20 and 21. The rallies will launch a public awareness campaign focused on corporate personhood and the Citizens United vs The Federal Election Commission ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted corporations the same free speech rights as individual citizens. The events have been approved by Seattle Parks Department and GSA. A trained peacekeeping cadre of volunteers will also participate with the intent to prevent any clashes.

The January 21st event, “People Ignited Against Citizens United” will begin with a noontime rally at Westlake Park featuring singer, songwriter Jim Page, Congressman Jim McDermott, author Sarah van Gelder, The Raging Grannies and more, followed by a march at 2 PM which will end at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, at 2nd Ave and Marion St.

The goal is to build grassroots support for a Constitutional amendment which includes language making it clear that corporations are not people, that they do not have the same rights as individual U. S. citizens, and that money does not equal free speech. The two days are a kick off of efforts to raise public awareness about the effect of very wealthy donors and corporations on our elections process, particularly at the federal level.

For more information, contact:
Craig Salins, craigsalins47@comcast.net (206) 949-3285
Syd Fredrickson, gogreen@usa.com 206-679-5342
Jonathan Tong, tongjm@comcast.net
Maureen Van Hollebeke maureenvanh@yahoo.com (206) 349-2447

Updated Seattle Event information:

http://open.salon.com/blog/kennspace/2011/10/28/corporate_occupation_of_the_united_states_1

https://www.facebook.com/events/315384768492028/

Gender Explosion! Teach-ins All Day This Sunday!

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
11am-6pm:

Residence Inn by Marriot – Meeting Room
800 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, Washington

Please join us this January 22nd for a day of learning and discussion to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We will be discussing multiple topics related to blowing apart gender “norms” created by our society which reinforce attacks against gender equality. This includes confronting the dangerous gender binary and the way it marginalizes any person who does not fit neatly within the boxes created for us, as well as the way the transgender community has continued to struggle to gain inclusion.

We will also be addressing specifically the importance of remembering this historic date to reflect on the successes achieved with the Roe v Wade decision as well as to address the current state of the attacks against access to reproductive health here in Seattle, across the country and around the world.

Schedule:

Race, Economics and Reproductive Justice — 11:00 – 12:30

Trans Marginalization — 12:45 – 2:15

The New Fight for Reproductive Rights: Roe v Wade 39 Years Later — 2:45 – 4:15

Gender Binary and Culture Jamming — 4:30 – 6:00

Please join us for one or all of these teach-ins. The format of the event will include a presentation by some members of the 99% who have knowledge about these specific topics followed by an open facilitated discussion where everyone is highly encouraged to share their experiences and opinions. Every single person has experiences unique to them which can help shape the discussion and the realizations that people will hopefully take away with them following this so…we need you here.

facebook event page

https://www.facebook.com/events/331437453544082/

Delete Me

If People are in Desperate Need There are Lock Combos at the Medic Tent. We will keep this Situation until Funds are Raised and There is a Better Solution.

Occupy Seattle Joins in Solidarity with the United Farm Workers

Contact:
UFWsolidarity@gmail.com
(206) 745-0164

On January 27, 2012 Decolonize/Occupy Seattle will demonstrate their continued solidarity with laborers world-wide as we join with the United Farm Workers (UFW) in their long standing campaign for justice for the farm workers at Ruby Ridge Dairy, whose labor supplies the Darigold corporation with its dairy products.

Workers at Ruby Ridge work long days without breaks, when they ask for water they are told to drink from where the cows drink and are threatened with guns when attempting to organize; many have experienced wage theft.Farmworkers are not included in the National Labor Relations Act and already one third of the organizers have been fired for trying to form a union.

Actions have already been taken to hold Darigold accountable for the injustice at Ruby Ridge, yet nothing has changed. Like many large corporations, Darigold continues to turn a blind eye to the abuses being suffered by the workers who labor to produce their milk and their profits. Farm workers and UFW supporters found themselves greeted by security guards when they traveled to Darigold’s headquarters to discuss a remedy to the abuses.

In response, the United Farm Workers started a petition (http://action.ufw.org/page/s/darigoldpetitionkids) and on January 27, 2012, with support from Decolonize/Occupy Seattle and the greater Seattle community, will deliver these petitions to the Darigold Headquarters.

We call on all people to join with the United Farm Workers and Decolonize/Occupy Seattle to demand justice for Farm workers. On January 27, 2012 we will meet at Westlake at 2pm and march to the Darigold Headquarters at 1130 Rainier Ave. South. There we will rally at 3pm to call on Darigold to take immediate action to resolve the issues facing workers at Ruby Ridge. Transportation will be provided for those who need it.

The farm worker’s fight is the same fight against corporate greed that has led to the occupy movement. They are part of the 99%! JOIN THOUSANDS to demand that Darigold use its influence over its dairies to stop the abuses. Tell them they cannot ignore farm workers!!

###

Occupy Seattle se une en solidaridad con La Unión de Campesinos
Seattle, WA-Enero 27, 2012
Contacto:
UFWsolidarity@gmail.com
(206) 745-0164

En Enero 27, 2012 Decolonize/Occupy Seattle demostrara su continua solidaridad con los trabajadores del mundo al unirse con la Unión de Campesinos (UFW) en su larga campaña por justicia para los trabajadores en la lechería Ruby Ridge, la cual abastece a la corporación Darigold con sus productos lácteos.

Los trabajadores en Ruby Ridge trabajan largas horas sin descansos, cuando piden agua se les dice que tomen del agua que toman las vacas, y son amenazados con escopetas cuando intentan organizarse; muchas han sido víctimas del robo de dinero. Los campesinos no están incluidos en el Acta de Relaciones Laborales Nacional y ya una tercera parte de los organizadores han sido despedidos por tratar de formar una unión. “Le pedimos a la comunidad que se una a la causa para que Darigold escuche el sonido del llamado a justicia. Somos trabajadores, hacemos a Darigold fuerte y rica, y exigimos justicia. “-Margarito Martinez (Campesino y ex. Trabajador de Ruby Ridge)

Diversas acciones han sido llevadas a cabo para exigir contabilidad a Darigold por las injusticias que suceden en Ruby Ridge, pero nada ha cambiado. Como muchas corporaciones, Darigold se ciega a ver los abusos que sufren los trabajadores que laboran para producirle su leche y sus ganancias. Campesinos y apoyadores de la Unión de Campesinos se vieron recibidos por guardias de seguridad cuando viajaron a las oficinas executivas de Darigold para hablar sobre un remedio a los abusos.

Como respuesta, la Unión de Campesinos empezó una petición (http://action.ufw.org/page/s/darigoldpetitionkids) y en Enero 27, 2012 con el apoyo de Decolonize/Occupy Seattle y la comunidad de Seattle, entregaran las peticiones a las oficinas executivas de Darigold.

Hacemos el llamado a todas las personas para que se unan a la Unión de Campesinos y Decolonize/Occupy Seattle para exigir justicia para los campesinos. En Enero 27, 2012 nos reuniremos en Westlake a las 2pm y marcharemos a las oficinas executivas de Darigold en el 1130 Rainier Ave. South. Habrá un rally a las 3pm para hacer el llamado a Darigold para que tome acciones inmediatas para resolver los asuntos que enfrentan los trabajadores de Ruby Ridge. Habrá transportación para aquellos que la necesiten.

La lucha de los trabajadores es la misma lucha en contra de codicia que a llevado al movimiento Occupy. ¡Los campesinos son parte del 99%! UNASE A MILES para exigir que Darigold use su influencia sobre sus lecherías para frenar los abusos. ¡Déjeles saber que no pueden ignorar a los campesinos!

Occupy the Courts on Friday, January 20th has been cancelled. January 21st STILL ON!

Due to inclement weather, Friday’s Occupy the Courts event is postponed. A rescheduled date and time will be announced shortly. Saturday’s People Ignited Against Citizens United event will occur as
scheduled.

Stay tuned for more info.

General Assembly Resources

General Assembly Sequence

 

Facilitation Principles
  • Facilitators make space and move the process.  
  • Facilitators NEVER present content.  That means not speaking your views during discussion or using hand signs to respond to others opinions.  It’s hard, but it’s important.
  • When in doubt, ask the assembly.

General Assembly begins at 7pm.  Mic Check that the Assembly is beginning.

the times listed are guidelines – actual times may be shortened or extended by consultation with the Assembly

Orientation - 5 min
Anyone can read the orientation.  Orientation signals the beginning of the assembly. People will often gather and be seated as the orientation is being mic checked, so starting even if they’re still milling is OK.

Welcome and Introductions - 5 min
Facilitators introduce themselves, state their roles, and welcome the assembly.  Open stack and invite anyone who’s new to Occupy Seattle or has never been to a GA before to introduce themselves and say what brought them here.

Speakout  - 10 min
Workers’, campers’, and occupiers’ speakout.  Open stack.

Working Group Reports - 30 min
Any group (working groups, affinity groups, etc.) may report back.  Agenda keeper queues reports, sends one at time to speak.  Clarifying questions, but no discussion.

Actions - 10 min
Announcements of upcoming actions.  Clarifying questions, but no discussion.

Ideas - 15 min
Sharing of ideas and requests for feedback.  No discussion.

Break - 10 min

Upcoming Proposals - 10 min
Announce proposals to be voted on at an upcoming GA.  Proposers should include a date for their proposal, and agenda keeper can remind them to get a copy to Process and Facilitation (processandfacilitation@gmail.com) so it can go on the website.  Clarifying questions, but no discussion.

Proposals - 1 – 1 ½ hours
Proposer presents their proposal.  No more than 3 people should present a proposal.
- 3 min small group discussion.  
- Open stack for discussion.  Proposer can respond to questions and comments at the discretion of facilitation.  Nothing jumps stack except process points.  Any amendments must be either accepted by proposer or taken up by a temperature check of the assembly.
- Proposer restates proposal before vote, including amendments.
- All in favor raise one hand.  Facilitators count, compare totals.
- All against raise one hand.  Facilitators count, compare totals.
- Ask for blocks.  No blocks: announce totals and result.
- If anyone blocks, blocker(s) get 2 minutes to speak.  Multiple blockers should confer briefly and share time.  -Open stack for 3 min.  - Revote.  Facilitators count hands as before.

General Announcements

Unity, Solidarity, and Debate

Occupy Seattle has many different politics and visions within it. This is our strength. We will not allow any in our movement to be singled out and attacked for their politics whether they be anarchist, progressive, communist, liberal, socialist, radical, etc. We welcome healthy debate among and between each of these groups, but debate is very different from irrational attacks and fear-mongering. We will defend each other and our movement.

If people are partaking in actions which are damaging to the movement or risk the safety of its members unnecessarily, this should be dealt with as a separate matter, outside the purview of this statement of principle. But no one will be allowed to ostracize or demonize our fellow occupiers for their world views or goals. Unless that be a world view or goal which is decisively against the general unity and aspirations of the movement, such as: fascists, the openly racist, sexist, or homophobic, white-nationalist populists, ageist, ableist, etc. No action, except those passed by the General Assembly, represent Occupy Seattle as a whole. We do, however, stand in solidarity with actions taken against the powers that be by any group or individual within this movement.

passed in General Assembly 11/16/11

Opposition to NDAA

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, (NDAA), under its Title X – General Povisions, Subtitle D – Detainee Matters, section 1031 and 1032 and subsequent sections does not support the peoples rights in that they can be detained indefinitely without charges and without trial. This does not adhere to the principles of the Constitution of the United States per the following;

Article III section 2, “…under which judicial power extends to all cases, trial of crimes by jury and where said crimes have been committed.”

The 4th amendment, “No warrants shall issue but upon probable cause.”

The 5th amendment, “…or crime a person shall not answer unless presented with or indicted by a grand jury…nor shall any person be deprived of life, liberty or property.”

The 6th amendment, “…the right to a speedy and public trial…be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, be confronted with witnesses against him, and to obtain witnesses in his favor and assistance of defense council”.

The 8th amendment, “…no cruel or unusual punishments inflicted….”

The 14th amendment, section 1, “…no state shall enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of U.S. citizens nor deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due proces of law nor deny within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws….”

NDAA, section 1074 per the following; “…implementing procedures to integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System” is in opposition to the 14th amendment, “…the rights of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches.”

The NDAA also negates Habeus Corpus, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, and the Non Detention Act of 1971.

The NDAA is in oppostion to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Geneva Convention Rights all of which the United States is one of the signatories.

We the people claim the right to exercise the Power of the Constitution of the United States regarding all lawful and unlawful orders wherever they may be.

We the people know our rights. The American people have stood tall for liberty and justice for a long time and have sacrificed for these human ideals. We will not let them slip away or be eroded. “Our Constitution, We Will Keep It!”

-passed in General Assembly 1/8/12

Move to Amend – Abolish Corporate Personhood

The General Assembly of Occupy Seattle,

Convinced that one critical threat to free and fair elections, and authentic democratic self-governance comes from the fact that corporations have been defined as legal persons,

Declaring that persons are rightfully recognized as human beings whose essential needs include clean air, clean water, and safe and secure food,

Deeply disturbed that the granting of Constitutional protections to corporations has compromised, or resulted in the destruction of our communities, economy, democracy and natural world in many ways,

Convinced that the solution must be comprehensive, and remembering that those who believed defining people as property was immoral did not call for ending one or two parts of slavery, but for abolition of the institution of slavery,

Recalling that corporations are human-made legal fictions, and that human citizens are the source of all legitimate power in any democracy,

Deeply concerned that corporations need only profit for survival, and that such profit and survival are often in direct conflict with the essential needs and rights of human beings,

Having observed that the great wealth of large corporations lets them misuse the legal system to overpower human beings and communities, thus denying We The People’s rights,

Recalling that corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution, that The People never granted constitutional rights to corporations, but that individual judges and courts have misguidedly done so without Our consent,

Particularly disturbed that the rollback on legal limits on corporate spending in elections creates an unequal playing field enabling corporations to influence elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions,

Having seen that large corporations own most of America’s mass media and use that media as a megaphone for their own agenda, drowning out other voices,

With conviction that defining property as people is fundamentally immoral and a threat to real people, all other life forms, and the planet,

Be it resolved that Occupy Seattle calls for the abolition of corporate personhood. We join the tens of thousands of people, grassroots organizations and local governments across the country in calling for an Amendment to the Constitution to firmly establish that money spent on political campaigns must allow for an equal voice for all people, that human beings, not corporations, have natural rights protected by the Constitution, and that the rights of human beings will never again be granted to artificial entities or property.

-passed in the General Assembly 12/21/11

Occupiers and Cannabis Activist Coalition

Contacts: Devin Smith and Michael Dare
e-mail: Ireallyneedcars@gmail.com, michael@dareland.com

Meetings: 12pm on Friday at Westlake.

The intent of the OCAC is to help Occupy Seattle in anyway it can. The OCAC will also be a way for cannabis activists and occupiers to work better together.

Occupy Seattle Calls for Diaz Resignation

January 12, 2012
CONTACT: Phillip Neel
(530)340-1980

Occupy Seattle calls for Diaz resignation
SEATTLE, Wash — On Tuesday, January 3, the Occupy Seattle General Assembly joined the NAACP and other community groups in calling for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department. The call is in response to the recently released Department of Justice report on its investigation of the SPD.

“In consideration of the Seattle Police Department’s systematic use of excess force on the citizens of Seattle, its violent and unnecessary repression of nonviolent protesters and its disproportionate targeting of the most disenfranchised members of society, whether they be people of color or simply people without houses, Occupy Seattle hereby calls for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department and the prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct,” states the endorsed proposal, which passed with a large majority.

The first large action in the campaign will be on January 14, 4pm at 23rd and Union, in the Central District. The rally will then march on the east precinct at 12th and Pine to hold a public speak-out, in which members of the community who have been brutalized by SPD can publicly voice their grievances.

“The time is ripe,” said Liam Wright, one of the organizers behind Occupy Seattle’s Bring Diaz Down campaign. “I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and it’s always been like this. Excessive force, the explicit targeting of communities of color, constant abuse of the homeless. But we have a moment right now where the normalcy of it, the everyday acceptance, you know, is fractured. We have the possibility for something new.”

“And this isn’t just about what the DOJ has reported on,” added Carson Ivins, one of the presenters of the original proposal. “They mention the crackdown on Occupy, like how the use of pepper spray in Seattle is questionable, but I think it goes farther than just pepper spray. When we were rallying outside the Sheraton [to protest CHASE CEO Jamie Dimon] I was tackled by a plainclothes police officer for trying to help someone who had been knocked to the ground by a blow from one of the cops. This undercover, he literally tackled me from behind, smashed my face into the asphalt and nearly broke my arm. Excessive force is being used on us at almost every event, all because we are targeting the wealthy. And, you know, it’s the wealthy who the cops really protect and serve.”

When asked what Occupy Seattle would like to see come of the campaign, Wright said, “Well, we want to bring Diaz down. I mean, he needs to resign. After John T. Williams, after the repression of nonviolent protests, after this report, he just needs to leave. And all these officers repeatedly engaged in excessive force, in any kind of misconduct, they all need to be prosecuted. Not scolded. Prosecuted. But that’s just the beginning.”

“Afterwards we don’t just want a new face on this same practice,” added Ivins. “We want real systemic change. We are Occupy Seattle so we want a fundamental shift. I personally would like to see some sort of security commons, rather than a police department. Something that gives us a democratic infrastructure for oversight, a community-based network for public safety, instead of what we have right now. Because the department right now is simply a group of armed men who live in communities other than the ones they police. Armed men who are beholden to no one, especially the public.”
“The Justice Department found reasonable cause to believe that SPD engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,” the Department of Justice report states. It goes on to say that, although systematic racial discrimination could not be proven due to lack of good record-keeping on behalf of SPD, “the investigation raised serious concerns that some of SPD’s policies and practices, particularly those related to pedestrian encounters, could result in unlawful discriminatory policing.”

Further interviews and details can be obtained by contacting the Bring Diaz Down Committee at Bringdiazdown@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.occupyseattle.org

Statements and Principles

Principles

Occupy Seattle is a leaderless and leaderful movement. We are all leaders. 12.20.11

Occupy Seattle will be a Cop Free Zone to the Best of Our Ability. 10.19.11

No Arrestable Direct Action that Threatens Occupy Seattle as a Whole can be Undertaken Without GA approval. 10.9.11

Don’t Call the Police on Each Other, We Should Solve our Own Problems Instead. 10.9.11

Facilitators Never Present Content or Advocate Opinions 10.6.11

 

Statements

Anti-Oppression and Accountability Principles

Declaration of Decolonization 

Unity, Solidarity, and Debate

 

Open Letters and Resolutions

Open Letter to Wukan Village

Opposition to Corporate Personhood

Opposition to NDAA

Dear Steven Colbert

test proposal

test proposal

Occupy Seattle Facilitators Step Back

The small group of people that has been facilitating most General Assemblies believes that there are too few of us running too many meetings, that this tends to give us too much power, and that too many of us are white males. As a way of insisting that more people — and more people who are not white males — participate, the group of people that has been facilitating will no longer facilitate General Assembly meetings, starting Monday January 16, through Sunday February 11. During the four weeks of the moratorium, it will be necessary for others to step forward and facilitate. If no one steps forward, there will be no facilitation. The goal will be to share facilitation among the entire general assembly.

We remind Occupy Seattle of two General Assembly policies:
– Facilitation must rotate; no one should facilitate two nights in a row.
– Facilitator must not advocate or introduce their own opinions. (One more reason that everyone should share this task.)

During the four week moratorium, all current facilitators will continue to work in the Process and Facilitation Working Group, and will be making ourselves available at General Assemblies to answer questions and provide support. We’ll continue to hold 6:00 P/F Working Group meetings on Sunday and Wednesday nights, plus longer P/F Working Group meetings as needed, and we will continue to help build proposals and create agendas.

Training in facilitation will continue to be offered, and we are preparing simplified process and meeting-sequence sheets to help new facilitators with what they need to facilitate a General Assembly.

We love the General Assembly and we’re not looking for a vacation. We’re taking this step because we hope this will make the General Assembly stronger and better, and we feel there is an urgent need to decentralize anything that looks like authority. We look forward to rejoining as active facilitators when the task, with its privileges and headaches, is rotating among all or most of the participants in General Assembly.

Occupy Seattle responds to brutal Police raid on Occupied Squat “Turritopsis Nutricula”

SPD Misleads Public on Eviction of Turritopsis Nutricula
On 1/11/12 at approximately 4:15AM Seattle Police Officers evicted the residents occupying a house at 23rd and Alder St. and began a misinformation campaign:

SPD officers raided Turritopsis Nutricula, named after the immortal jellyfish, this morning at approximately 4:15AM by sawing off front door hinges and breaking in the front door. They pointed two shotguns at nonviolent occupants who offered no resistance. Officers forced the occupants to leave without their possessions. Cell phones, sleeping bags and most personal belongings were later dumped on the sidewalk outside. SPD then began a misinformation campaign against the Turritopsis Nutricula occupants and supporters.

In response to the claims that the owner ordered the eviction of a house being remodeled: Turritopsis Nutricula has been vacant since 2006 and left unfinished after remodeling attempts in 2009. The owner of the building had allowed the occupants to stay in the home until being threatened by the city with fines from $100 to $1000 per day. The city of Seattle forced the eviction of the residents, not the owner.

In response to the claim that online communications prompted SPD to use a SWAT team to evict the property: SPD has made no credible release of what communications lead them to believe that the house was barricaded or booby trapped prompting this overwhelming use of force. There is no evidence that this claim was credible. No one in the house was armed and everyone in the house left peacefully. However, Occupy Seattle must now warn the citizens of Seattle that their communication on social media sites is now being monitored by SPD and may be subjected to police harassment.

In this country there are over 5 times as many vacant houses as there are homeless people. Autonomous members of Occupy Seattle will continue to help find homes for the homeless and will help defend homeowners from foreclosure if requested.

Another communique from the residents of Turritopsis Nutricula is forthcoming.

Make our Intention Clear: Bring Diaz Down! March on January 14th.

Make our intention clear: Bring Diaz Down! marching to East Precinct (1519 12th Avenue), Seattle.

Join us for a speakout and rally at 23rd and Union on January 14th. Speak about your experiences with police brutality, inappropriate force, and harassment. We light the torches in honor of our dead, killed by the police. We’ll march to the East Precinct make clear our intention: Chief Diaz’s resignation and the prosecution of all officers who are repeatedly engaged in misconduct and excessive use of force. Bring signs, your passion, and determination.

The Occupy Seattle General Assembly has passed the following resolution, here in part: “In consideration of the Seattle Police Department’s systematic use of excess force on the citizens of Seattle, its violent and unnecessary repression of nonviolent protesters and its disproportionate targeting of the most disenfranchised members of society, whether they be people of color or simply people without houses, Occupy Seattle hereby calls for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department and the prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct…”

Check out the Occupy Seattle Calendar for more info.

Full proposal below:

In consideration of the Seattle Police Department’s systematic use of excess force on the citizens of Seattle, its violent and unnecessary repression of nonviolent protesters and its disproportionate targeting of the most disenfranchised members of society, whether they be people of color or simply people without houses, Occupy Seattle hereby calls for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department and the prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct.

John Diaz has been Chief of Police since August of 2010. Shortly after his inauguration, the city was thrown into uproar over the vicious murder of native woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle Police officer. The officer, though resigned, has never been charged for the crime. This murder brought to the surface many of the long-standing forms of repression that exist in the city of Seattle, all of which are directly facilitated by SPD, especially those officers who engage in repeated acts of excessive force.

The SPD disproportionately targets the homeless, who, through the passage of so-called “civility laws” have been deemed an effectively illegal population of economic refugees, constantly harassed, told to “move along” and, if they do not comply, violently beaten, arrested and even murdered. The department also disproportionately targets communities of color, whether by enforcing foreclosure evictions on behalf of the big banks, maintaining enormous Stay Out of Drug Areas which ban those with certain charges from entire regions of the city, or simply through direct racial bias.

The Department of Justice has clearly found SPD to be engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force, in which officers tend to escalate rather than de-escalate conflicts by verbally and physically abusing suspects. In addition, the DOJ has criticized the complete lack of oversight within the department, which very rarely brings repeat offenders up for administrative review. These practices have continued under Diaz, whose initial response to the findings was that they were simply wrong. He claimed that “the department is not broken” and is stubbornly refusing to make even the relatively mild changes in protocol suggested by the DOJ. Additionally, those officers outlined in the report as repeat offenders have yet to be held accountable for their actions.

Moreover, under Diaz, the city of Seattle has seen one of the most concerted, militant and violent repressions of a non-violent protest movement since the WTO protests. SPD has engaged in a systematic attack on Seattle’s Occupation, earning the city international infamy as news got out about the pepper-spraying of 84-year old Dorli Rainey, as well as the pregnant Jennifer Fox, who was pepper sprayed, kicked in the stomach and soon after miscarried. The department sent in a SWAT team with automatic rifles drawn in order to arrest protesters who had occupied a community center slated for demolition in Capitol Hill, to be replaced now by high-income condominiums. They threw percussion grenades at occupiers demonstrating for workers’ rights in the Seattle Port Shutdown, where police horses spooked by these very grenades then proceeded to trample protestors. Early on in our Occupation they sent in the special Gang Unit to dismantle our encampment at Westlake, taking down tents, tarps and even umbrellas and arresting those who resisted.

Diaz, as Chief of Police, is not only responsible for continuing SPD’s regular practice of escalation, racial profiling and excessive force, he is also directly responsible for giving the orders to crush the most vital, hopeful protest movement in the world’s recent history. This police department enforces the rule of the 1%, an untenable, unjust dominion which will not be allowed to continue.

For all of these reasons, we call for the immediate resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department and the prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct.

Jan 6th 2012: Unity vs. Union Bureaucracy

Jan 6th 2012: Unity vs. Union Bureaucracy
Occupy Seattle in Solidarity with Longview, WA

Note: The following piece has been written by some organizers of the January 6th Longview, WA action planning meeting and solidarity panel in Seattle. It does not represent the opinions of all the organizers of the Friday, January 6th meeting. For unaffiliated updates on the Longview solidarity actions please check out this website: http://westcoastportshutdown.org/ or email: seattleportsolidarity@gmail.com.

In order to contact the writers of this article specifically, please email: 21st.century.class.struggle@gmail.com

On Friday, January 6th, members of Occupy Seattle organized an event to build for an endorsed solidarity action to block a grain ship owned by union busting corporation EGT in Longview, WA. Longshore workers in Longview, members of the ILWU Local 21, are being displaced from their jobs by the international EGT and replaced with scab labor. They are fighting back, with support from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Labor Council. Occupy Longview has also actively reached out to the Occupy movement to join them. Occupy activists up and down the coast have answered this call and committed to mobilizing large numbers of people to caravan to Longview to take direct action in solidarity with Local 21’s struggle.

The Friday event emphasized the importance of working class unity and solidarity. It was a historic event bringing together rank and file union members, along with those from the 89% of the working class that is not unionized and unemployed. Through this event, we showed that Occupy is a new type of working class movement that goes beyond the limits of traditional trade unionism by bringing together working class people across industrial lines, and across lines of race, gender, and national origin. Building off the example of the December 12th West coast port shutdown (D12), speakers dared to envision forms of class struggle that exceed the limits set by 20th century labor laws purposed to constrain past struggles into tame truces that are being broken now by companies like EGT. There was a sense that if Local 21 (Longview) wants to win the fight for its life, it will have to embrace the new forms of struggle that Occupy represents.

Together with members of Occupy Portland and Occupy Oakland, we organized a panel where longshore workers from Longview, Oakland, and Portland spoke alongside organizers from Occupy Seattle and Occupy Oakland. The speakers at the event reminded us of the militant struggles that ILWU workers have participated in historically. They reminded us of the need for working class solidarity, between non-union and union workers, as well as with unemployed workers, as the only way we can defeat big capital – the 1%. Through the retelling of these stories, we learned from the ILWU members that the toughest, most controversial decisions are most often the simplest, most important to make. When grounded in principles of solidarity, class struggle, and fighting state oppression, our actions will unify. The speaker from Local 21, a rank and file member, revealed the conditions in Longview where police harassment has become an everyday affair to punish the workers for participating in direct action, against union busting efforts by EGT. The moving speeches can be seen and heard through Occupy Seattle’s livestream.

Portland

On Thursday, January 5th, the night before the Seattle event, Occupy Portland hosted a similar panel. The Local 21 (Longview) President Dan Coffman, spoke on the panel. Coffman had been slated to come to Seattle the next day to participate in a similar conversation. When Coffman spoke in Portland, the lights and microphone at the hosting facility went out suddenly. The electricity had cut out, right when the Longview union president was to begin speaking.

During the open microphone, the Local 4 (Vancouver, WA) President Brad Clark took the microphone. To the Occupy crowd of longshore, unemployed, students, and non-union workers, he offered an impassioned plea which reflected the position of the International, “We support Occupy, we support Longview, but please keep your mistaken efforts at solidarity away.” His message was contrary to the voices of the workers and community members in Longview.

Later, long after the announcement of the close of stack to wrap up the meeting which had already gone 15 minutes over time, Local 8 (Portland) President Jeff Smith demanded to speak. Jeff Smith had made a name for himself in the weeks leading up to the event, evicting Occupy Portland members from the union hall in the lead-up to the D12 Port shutdown, denouncing the event in local media, and even threatening to rip fliers from the hands of Occupy members. In a blatant act of disrespect to the event, Smith took the stage, preceding to read a long, publicly published letter from the leadership of the ILWU international. As the crowd in attendance filed out of the room in protest, Smith finished his letter to a mostly empty hall, while rank and file longshore and retirees stayed behind to rebut him for what audience remained.

Subsequently, after Longview workers spoke in Portland, Oregon, the leadership of ILWU International allegedly ordered picket support from Locals in Portland and Vancouver for Longview’s longstanding picket be immediately ceased. We would soon find out that this form of disruption and sabotage would not be an isolated incident.

Seattle

The next day, Friday, January 6th, we heard from Portland organizers that the ILWU International had clamped down on the Longview members for their public speeches and organizing. We were told that they would be forbidden from attending the speaking engagement in Seattle.

Our initial disappointment at finding out this news was reversed when we received a phone call only hours before the event, saying that some Longview rank and file members would come after all. They arrived minutes before the panel began, but they were determined to build with the Occupy movement in Seattle for the Longview convergence.

Prior to the panel, we had a planning meeting for the solidarity caravans. Working groups formed to organize logistics and local solidarity actions for the arrival of the EGT ship. As the meeting went on, groups of people wearing ILWU jackets began showing up at the door. We recognized individuals from Local 19 (Seattle) leadership, including Richard Austen (president of the Pacific Coast Pensioners Association), Cam Williams (President) and Richard Eisner (Vice President of the Labor Relations Council). They were debating with some other longshore workers and members of Occupy Seattle outside the event.

We had initially thought we had a functional relationship with the officers of Local 19 (Seattle). Prior to D12, we had established communications with the union officers where they had expressed respect for our port shutdown efforts even though they said they could not be involved because of labor law constraints and threats from the courts. On November 30th, the President of Local 19, Cam Williams had publicly received a solidarity letter we had written to the local, and in response he held his fist up in the air saying “Solidarity Forever.” On D12 itself, Terminal 5 owners violated their contract with ILWU and withheld pay for the longshore workers even when the arbitrator ruled it was unsafe for them to cross our picket line. We were encouraged by a well-respected union officer to picket outside Terminal 5 in the morning, to help the longshore workers make the point that a violation of their contract was not acceptable. Workers refused to cross our line, delaying the start of the December 13 dayshift for an hour.

Things were not so friendly the night of January 6th. Around 5:50pm, 10 minutes before the panel began, a self-identified longshore worker in the audience came up to one of our organizers. He told her that there would be a disruption of the panel, and that any Longview rank and file member who spoke would be physically removed from the stage. Audience members also heard ILWU members in the audience who had arrived prior to the event, talk about going to the bar across the street to get drinks before the event started. Because of the short time notice, the organizers were unable to strategize any further, apart from making sure that the stage was guarded by a few Occupy participants with security experience.

The disruption took place when Jack Heyman, retired ILWU member from Local 10 (Oakland) spoke. Cam Williams, President of Local 19 (Seattle), along with several ILWU members behind him, rushed to the microphone that was set up in the middle of the room. He interrupted Heyman’s speech and demanded that the letter from the International be read. Organizers of the event went up to him telling him he would get the chance to speak during the open discussion period after the panel was over. An indigenous Latina woman, organizer with Occupy Seattle, was our last speaker after Jack Heyman. She intended to speak about connecting the Longview struggle with the farmworker struggles, many of whom were trying to unionize under harsh and authoritarian conditions. Occupy Seattle has recently started to mobilize in solidarity with farmerworkers, as an initial step toward a mass action on May Day. We requested that the ILWU members show respect to the event and the speakers by waiting their turn.

Cam Williams shoved the organizers aside and grabbed the microphone. Subsequently, about 15-20 ILWU members and union officers, who had spread themselves out across the hall, took the cue to disrupt. Presidents of Local 4 (Vancouver, WA) and Local 8 (Portland) made sure to throw their weight around. When asked to leave, they threw punches, shoved people, swore and yelled. Their breaths reeked of alcohol. One man wearing ILWU swag was holding a megaphone he had brought along. Audience members surrounding them chanted “shame, shame” and “sit down or leave.” They had come prepared to prevent the unity of Longview rank and filers and the Occupy movement. They were goons, doing what exactly the bosses want them to do. The leaders of the most militant union in this country, was acting like company goons.

It was unsurprising that these goons who were set to destroy any form of class solidarity, were also sexists. They were preventing a woman of color from speaking by disrupting the panel. Among those who asked them to show respect, were two female members of Occupy Seattle. In response, two individuals called one of these women “baby” and told the other to “put a muzzle on her.” In response, the man was slapped across the face by the first woman, with his glasses knocked off. Him and the other goons he had come with, proceeded to shove the women, only to be met with more physical resistance from Occupy Seattle folks who had had enough of this sexist behavior.

An ILWU member also proceeded to call the police on the event. We believe it is important to let everyone know, that some in the Local 19 (Seattle) goonsquad, in their efforts to stop the class solidarity between Occupy and Longview workers, were willing to rely on the state, the apparatus that has been known to suppress labor movements, including in Longview.

We know however, that the actions taken by those individuals on Friday Jan 6th, does not speak for all of Local 19. To those who oppose the actions, we hope to continue building with you.

Efforts that had been focused on building and organizing quickly transitioned into protection and safety measures. We, of Occupy Seattle, reject sexism and misogyny in any form. Neither will we welcome undemocratic goon squads, and it became clear to us that despite our best efforts to remove them, the disruptors had come prepared to halt our important coalition work by any means. In the end, only the State and corporations benefit from these divisions.

We believe that Local 19 (Seattle) of the ILWU owes an apology to Occupy Seattle for disrupting our event with drunk goons. The presidents of Local 8 (Jeff Smith, Portland), 4 (Brad Clark, Vancouver, WA) and 19 (Cam Williams, Seattle) were involved in the disruption, as were elected officers of Local 19. This appears to be an action led by the ILWU leadership. We wonder if they had received prior approval from the rank and file of the union.

Further, the individuals who participated in the sexist misogyny directed at the women in the audience need to apologize for their actions. We have your photos.

Implications for Longview struggle

Many of us came away from Friday’s action more determined to support Longview rank and filers who risked so much to be present in Seattle to build with the Occupy movements. We believe that together, we can present a 21st century version of class struggle based on the principle: An Injury to One is an Injury to All. Narrow minded, parochial tunnel visions held by bureaucrats and their loyal followers, will only destroy class struggle. It is exactly the tunnel visions of union bureaucracies that have brought us to a 2012 where only a tiny percent of the workforce is unionized and where Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO is simply a tool of the Democratic Party. The problem is not simply that union leaders keep betraying us because they cowardly or greedy. The problem is that old forms of struggle that gave birth to the unions no longer work in this globalized world, and the union leaders are sending goons to prevent us from building something new that actually would work; they are trying to prevent us from transcending their dying structures, and they are insisting that we all go down with the ship.

Some members of Local 19 (Seattle) have told us that this was primarily a beef within the ILWU and that we had been caught in the middle. We were told that some union members loyal to the ILWU International are beefing with what they perceive to be a progressive or left wing of the bureaucracy, lead by Jack Heyman from Local 10 (Oakland). That’s why they chose to launch the disruption during his speech. We have been told that we are perceived as Jack’s shock troops, or foot soldiers, which is why we were also attacked.

It is unclear to us whether Jack and his crew represent a progressive wing of the bureaucracy, or an inner-union reform caucus that could attempt to take positions in the bureaucracy in the future. In any case, we are nobody’s foot soldiers and our struggle is not in any way confined to attempts to reform the ILWU from within. Occupy is a fiercely independent movement, consisting of working class people from different unions, who are unemployed, employed, and non-union as well. We have working class demands that cannot simply be confined to an individual workplace union nor addressed by any political party. As one Occupy Seattle panelist said, we can act like a bottom up union fighting collectively, like the Longview ILWU rank and file and other ILWU members in their best moments, except we don’t have an “up.”

We were happy to share the stage with Jack Heyman because he is doing good work, helping mobilize in solidarity with the Longview workers. But our ultimate interest in this matter is to support Occupy Longview and fighting longshore workers, as we attempt to develop new ways of struggle that transcend the limits of 20th century unions. We will face down goon squads from the Longview workers’ own union to get their backs because they are facing the same kind of job insecurity and police harassment that many of us face. We are not some “naive” youth who can be used a pawns by union activists. We are oppressed people ourselves – workers and unemployed – and we are doing this as our own organizational force with our own interests.

As members of Occupy Seattle who were active with the D12 port shutdown, we would like to reiterate that we did not shut down the port on D12 because Jack Heyman told us to! As we had stated before, we shut down the port to resist police harassment and austerity cuts that are destroying our communities. We asked the ILWU to be in solidarity with us on that day by refusing to cross our line. We also expressed solidarity with Longview rank and file because they are fighting like we are fighting, and like us they are considered outlaws by this decrepit system.

Occupy is no one’s tool and we will not be co-opted or intimidated. We are a new movement of the working class, including the 89% of the US workforce that is not unionized, and rank and file members of unions who believe that the traditional ways of fighting no longer work, and the unemployed who are increasingly on the move. In our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods, we resist the intrusion of Capital – the 1%, and the race to the bottom, the economic nationalism and white supremacy that pits workers against one another based on national origin.

*

The upcoming battle against EGT can only be won if workers, both union and non-union, and community members respond to the call by Occupy Longview and Local 21 workers, to mobilize their forces. We need longshore workers on the East Coast, international longshore workers across the Pacific Ocean, as well as all workers, union and non-union, to fight back against big capital – the 1%. Food justice organizations concerned about the manufacture and distribution of food can also target the main investor of EGT, Bunge Grain , that owns 30% of the world’s grain supply. Bunge’s storage facilities in the South, along the Mississippi River are also campaign targets for Occupy movements in the South that want to be in solidarity with the Longview struggle. There are countless stories of small towns where union busting and deindustrialization have left towns poor, open to the building of the next new privatized immigration detention center or prisons, herding in yet more immigrants and people of color, in the 21st century human trade. The battle in Longview is crucial to prevent exactly this.

An Injury to One, Is an Injury to All
Defend Longview, WA from multinational corporation, EGT!!

Occupy Seattle City Hall Served Eviction Notice

“Renewed the permit for the occupation at Seattle City Hall this morning but it had one new provision. ‘This permit shall expire on Saturday, January 14, 2012, at 7AM. The city does not expect to renew this permit upon its expiration. The permitees will remove their belongings and material before the expiration of the permit. All such belongings and materials remaining after permit expiration will be removed by the city.’

I am open to suggestions.”

-Michael Dare

Permit:

http://i.imgur.com/4IVL3.jpg

Occupy Seattle Public Education

Contact:
OSPublicEducation@gmail.com

Reasonable Solutions Caucus

A caucus dedicated to changing the system from within. We seek to use reason, logic and common sense to achieve real, political victory for the 99%
Contact: ReasonableSolutionsOS@gmail.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reasonable-Solutions-Occupy-Seattle/272842572761405

Transformative Justice Workgroup

Contact: os.transformativejustice@gmail.com
Voicemail: 206-926-9600

Community Over Capital

Contact: communityovercapital@gmail.com

When Affordable Housing is Under Attack? What do you do? RISE UP! FIGHT BACK!
When Community Spaces are Under Attack? What do you do? RISE UP! FIGHT BACK!

Please click “Community Over Capital” for more info.

What does community over capital seek to accomplish?
- to turn the 10th and Union Warehouse into a community center
- to end gentrification enabling corrupt tax give aways to developers (Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program)
- to create housing for people not for profit
- to discuss how the landscape of our cities can be organized so that we are more connected to each other
- to make decisions regarding the way we want OUR space to be developed

The Community Over Capital working group continues the revolutionary spirit of the 10th and Union Warehouse Occupation wherein 16 activists, the UCC 16, were arrested. In the face of the recent slew of closures and cuts to libraries, community centers, and other public spaces, we sought to restore the warehouse, formerly the site of the Union Cultural Center, to its use as a “supportive educational space for teaching, sharing and creating vibrant culture.”

Upon more research we discovered that the high-end apartments replacing our beloved warehouse would be a part of the corrupt Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program. According to the Multi-Family Tax Exemption Plan, developers will be exempt from paying property taxes for 12 years if 20% of their units are set aside as “affordable” at rents between $1000-1600/month. The “affordable” units are only accessible to tenants who make 65-85% of the Seattle Median Income, for whom a surplus of housing already exists on the market. Under this program, approximately 25 developers in the past year have received 75 million dollars in tax breaks for absolutely no public benefit. Since 2004, a handful of developers have received approximately 140 million dollars in tax breaks for absolutely no public benefit. The money developers make helps put City Council Members back in office guaranteeing the vicious cycle of “building capital” and “destroying community” continues.

City Council wants to upzone more neighborhoods, wipe out our open space, pour concrete over urban streams, and tear down existing LOW INCOME HOUSING. These extremely accelerated rates of growth, have served only to drive up the cost of housing and cause more poverty, displacement, and homelessness in our city. This can only be a case of the disease we
all know as gentrification which hits working class people and people of color the hardest. Soon our city will no longer be a place where people can gather and build communities; rather, it will be a graveyard whose tombstones are empty condos and luxury apartments.

An open letter from Occupy Seattle to Stephen Colbert

Dear Stephen Colbert,

Occupy Seattle would like to invite you to be our honored guest at a
very special double birthday party the weekend of January 20th and
21st. We know you probably have other things to do, but we think this
is more important.

As you may be aware, the “Citizens United vs. Federal Election
Commission” decision is turning two years old on January 20th and we
thought it would be nothing short of criminal if we did not celebrate
the second anniversary of corporate emancipation. On that date two
years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that, because corporations are
people too, they are entitled to the same first amendment rights as
the rest of us fleshy mortals. In a narrow 5-4 decision, the court
finally put an end to the discriminatory practice of treating
corporations as second-class citizens, for no other reason than that
they lack physical bodies and the physical organs to sustain
them(including, but not limited to, hearts) and, in doing so,
rectified one of the greatest and most glaring injustices of our time.
Finally, after so many decades of struggle, corporations can finally
express themselves freely, and spend as much money as they want doing
it as the rest of us.

Being as we are incapable of detecting blatant sarcasm, we can tell
from your show that you are one of the most passionate advocates of
corporate rights alive in America today–second only to Newscorp,
FoxNews, and the vast majority of their employees. Since none of those
people returned our phone calls, we are reaching out to you. We’re
hoping that you might join us for this two-day celebration. There will
be music, marches, and lectures by human-people. There will also be
mock trials for some of the corporate-people who have given corporate
personhood a bad name by doing things like stealing other people’s
houses and dumping poisonous chemicals on other people’s
farmland(including, but not limited to, JP Morgan Chase and Monsanto).

If you can’t come, or just don’t feel like flying to the West Coast
for the beginning of Citizen’s United’s terrible twos, could you, at
the very least, plug the event on your show? That would be cool.

Sincerely,

-Occupy Seattle

Healthcare for the 99+1 %

Contact info: kathleenr8@gmail.com

Description: “Educate, advocate, collaborate, and demonstrate for healthcare for everyone.”

Online Forum: http://test.occupywa.org/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=90&sid=6562cfe6d4e65e6dc4294738c19455e7

December 12th Seattle Port Shutdown: A word from some womyn & genderqueer organizers

For more information on the December 12th West Coast Port Shutdown, please check out: westcoastportshutdown.org . To contact Seattle organizers, please email: seattleportsolidarity@gmail.com .

Also see: West Coast port shutdown announcement video (from Occupy Oakland) and This Week In Occupy: December 12th West Coast Port Shutdown

December 12th Seattle Port Shutdown: A word from some womyn & genderqueer organizers

We write as some of the main organizers of the Seattle D12 port action. We are the womyn and genderqueer organizers who worked behind the scenes to make this day happen. The majority of us are people of color. The majority of us are the 89%: non-unionized workers in care work, food work, and the service sector. We are a group that has organized together, faced many of the same struggles, and discovered common stories others need to hear. As POC, Womyn and Genderqueer, we navigate multiple identities and bring this understanding to our organizing. We also have varied experiences even as we share some affinities and commonalities — differing immigration status and records, educational levels and access, as well as employment statuses. We emphasize our common experiences but do not want to dishonestly erase our varied experiences under this system of capitalist exploitation, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy.
We affirm that the D12 Port Shutdown was a multi-issue action in a multi-issue movement. The face of this action has been dominated by white cis-males, primarily due to the racist media bias, as well as reasons we discuss below. Thus people do not see that our organizing was predominantly womyn and genderqueer led. In reality, we organized as equals with comrades who are white, cis and male. D12 was possible because of us and our communities. We write to let that be known. We write to ensure it is not forgotten.

How we organized

Womyn, genderqueer, and POC organizers were central to this action from the beginning — among the first to rally to the call from Occupy Oakland. When we began organizing for this action we focused on building an organizing space that was bottom up, unlike bureaucratic unions who use rank and file as warm bodies only when a lobby day is scheduled or a contract is due to be re-negotiated. We did this by calling community meetings and inviting those who came to the meetings and showed interest to be part of the organizing structure. In these core organizing spaces, womyn, genderqueer, and POC organizers predominated and guided much of the process.
Our structure on the day of was simple but effective. We chose public faces or “emcees” who were responsible for communicating with the crowd, making sure the bullhorn was in use and being shared with the crowd, and acting as point people when folks had questions about the action. We also chose “Responsibles” whose role it was to understand the layout of the port, communicate with each other about police presence, get updates from the longshore dispatch hot line, and decide the best course of action based on our read of the crowd and the information we received about port activity. These two positions — the emcee and the “responsible” — were partnered at all the picket team sites in the port (gates, intersections, and safety zones).
After careful thought and discussion, we decided to choose mainly male-bodied people, both white men and men of color, to be the emcees. Some of those amongst us had vulnerable immigration status and records which made us targets of the police for our political involvement. Others amongst us had our own reasons for not wanting to be public emcees based on personal capacity and previous experiences with the police. Regardless, our refusal to be the public emcees on that day was not indicative of our fear of the state, but simply a calculated decision based upon weighing personal risk and capacity. We know of the media’s fascination and obsession with white cismen as spokespeople of the movement. We know clearly also that the Seattle Port Shut Down was not carried out by white cis-men only, but rather a wide range of people with varying identities, political tendencies, and safety concerns.

Behind the scenes: outreach, multi-state conference calls and preparation

The two and a half weeks prior to D12 were a coordinated blanketing of our city with community specific flyers for high school students, college students, port truckers, longshore workers, and a general flyer for Spanish and English speaking community members. We and many others spent hours every day handing leaflets out one by one and posting flyers at Community Service Offices, Labor Ready and Work Source Centers, and a Latin@ day worker center. Bus stops on busy, working class thoroughfares and in our neighborhoods were all flyered. Local Spanish radio stations made daily announcements. Organizers were invited to speak in public high school classrooms and to student clubs, such as the Black Student Union. Several working class organizations in Seattle, such as the Seattle Solidarity Network and the Industrial Workers of the World, mobilized their networks through phonebanking and mass texting. We made a consistent and concerted effort to outreach to our working communities of color and immigrant communities.
Specific attention was also given towards reaching out to port workers. Groups went multiple mornings a week at 6:30am to hand flyers to receptive truckers waiting in line to load containers, several of whom openly shared the impossibility in making ends meet and the reality that “something’s gotta change.” On two different occasions the port police were called on us by security people. We put flyers on truckers’ parked cars near the port and also went to Georgetown and SODO to flyer all the parked trucks in allies and quiet roads amidst the industrial warehouses. The same effort went into flyering outside the union hall before swing shift dispatch. While acknowledging the sensitive legal position the local was bound by, we did not hesitate in greeting each rank-and-file member we encountered as an individual with their own opinion on the D12 action and broader Occupy movement.
The regular West Coast conference calls were invaluable in buoying our morale in Seattle knowing that dozens if not hundreds were doing similar work up and down the West coast and into the mainland. Hearing about other organizers facing the common brick wall built by union leaders calmed our nerves and solidified our resolve. We initiated a conference call specific to the Pacific Northwest region which we hope will allow for further future collaboration around the ports and beyond.

Relationship with Occupy Working Groups

We had some very positive experiences with some of the working groups in Decolonize/Occupy Seattle. In particular, the livestream and internet communications team maintained excellent communication with organizers and broadcasted information leading up to and during the action. The arts and entertainment team contributed an array of well-messaged banners and picket signs. We thank them for their part in making the action a success.
However, a few of the other teams did not work with us well. We raise our critiques constructively, with the intentions and hopes that we all be reminded, that the various working groups in Decolonize/Occupy Seattle should respect the decisions taken by the General Assembly and allocate resources accordingly. The General Assembly had unanimously voted for the port action. However,whether intentional or not, we faced a lack of support and accountability from some working groups.
In particular, we faced difficulties with acquiring Occupy Seattle funds for the port action. The accessibility of the port action for people with disabilities was a major priority of ours. This required the rental of a wheelchair accessible van and bus to bring people from Westlake Park to the action. Our requests for funding for this need, as well as requests for support in fundraising, were met with skepticism and resistance, at times culminating in personalized attacks. We were fortunate that Occupy Oakland was able to come through with financial support, making it possible for us to provide accessible transportation. Individual organizers also ended up paying out of pocket for much needed amenities such as porta potties for the action (for which our fundraising efforts were later able to reimburse). The bureaucracy and resistance we encountered from members in Occupy Seattle, the lack of solidarity for organizing in two weeks one of the largest coordinated action along the West Coast since the May 2006 General Strike, was shocking.
In the lead up to D12 we experienced push back, skepticism, and questioning of the action on the part of the intergroup, an aspiring representative council of all working groups and a group made up almost entirely by white men. Among a few individuals in this council, we sensed a distrust of us as organizers, as well as a sense of having to convince them of the action’s legitimacy. We wonder if this is directly connected to the organizers being mostly womyn and genderqueer people of color. Since the organizing was not happening in their networks and channels, they withheld support , talked behind our backs and also assumed the worst of us. It is all the more shocking, because many of us have been very active in Decolonize/Occupy Seattle since the beginning, and were not new or unknown people to the movement.
As organizers, we too learn from this action. We do not wish to absolve ourselves of any shortcomings by displacing them on the other members of our movement. Communication during intense stressful moments, especially relating to scarce resources such as finances, are expectedly difficult. However, we do find it difficult to separate the pattern of racist and sexist behavior of some individual members, from the expected difficulties that arise from organizing a port shutdown in two weeks.
Other members of Occupy seemed to fear the militancy of the port action, with some even calling it “violence.” They feared we would alienate unions (typically meaning union officials, not rank and file members) and that we’d alienate people watching mainstream news coverage of the event. We in fact did reach out to the ILWU leadership more than once and were conscious of the impact on working class people’s lives. For example, we tactically decided against shutting down the West Seattle Bridge. We found that many individuals who expressed those reservations chose to abstain from helping to organize rather than do the work that’s needed to deal with those issues.
On a more fundamental level those fears express the middle class/bourgeois mentality that some Occupy members are still bringing to our organizing. When we reached out to working class people, predominantly people of color in White Center or to port truckers, the general response was not that this action was too radical or militant and therefore alienating. We overwhelmingly heard from other working class people of color– most of whom have no union at all — that militant action is exactly the kind of thing we need to do in response to the cuts that are hitting us hard.

Art & culture: The Revolution Will be Visualized

The Decolonize/Occupy movement first begun to make national headlines in social media networks and throughout the world when individuals created autonomous messages, signs, posters to connect an individual “narrative” to a collective struggle. Revolutionary art is vital to the imagination of the movement. As we decolonize, we create a way of living with each other.
We surrounded ourselves with our culture throughout the day of action. Hip-Hop Occupies played a crucial role in organizing both the action and the rally. Hip-hop is a powerful instrument of decolonization and autonomous/collective messaging with a radical legacy of revolutionary organizing that transcends physical, mental, and imaginary borders. Collaboration between the Arts and Entertainment working group and Food not Bombs also produced banners focused on decolonization, food justice, and ending all forms of oppression.
Within the euro-centric, hetero-patriarchal educational system that denies youth, people of color, Indigenous peoples, economic refugees, womyn/muxeres, trans/non-gender conforming folk, and other communities access to our legacies and collective narratives, we reconstructed and redefined community learning through creating banners at the POCCUPY/Decolonize: Rise and Decolonize Giant Banner Making Party and throughout the week leading up to the port action. As cultural carriers, our identities are interlinked with cultural knowledge that manifests in the creative arts. Our self-determination and autonomy as a collective was visualized in a giant Rise and Decolonize banner that led the march towards the port. We made this decision to send a clear message to the global elites that not only do we recognize the historical legacies of colonialism and imperialism but we reaffirm our voices in a global struggle.
When the education system fails students through budget cuts and standardized testing, the arts are often not seen as a valid form of education and building community. As radical organizers, we recognized music and arts as forms of education central to our identities, in particular in creating a space for youth to collectively and autonomously participate in organizing. Artists are educators and often our knowledge and creative resistance is taken for granted both within the education system and movements. We demonstrated a commitment to decolonization and resilience in the form of collective knowledge and liberation.

The Revolution will not be catered: Food Not Bombs holds it down

On D12 we shared 1,000 burritos! These burritos were made from donated small-farm organic vegetables, organic rice and beans and the tortillas purchased direct from a local family-owned factory. Many different people came together for fun work parties involving music, art and conversation. When we prepare and share food we align our values with action. We kept our communities in mind in every effort regarding food for the Port Shutdown, preparation, serving, ingredients, accessibility.
Additionally, we called attention to Food Justice and the specific connections to the Port of Seattle, Bunge Corporation and Export Grain Terminal. As we continue to engage in the process of decolonization we work to deconstruct hierarchies and oppressions as related to food and land. As we deconstruct we need to create alternatives to sustain us and the Earth, to allow us to envision a future in which all our needs are met.

D12 though our eyes

We got small glimpses of what our collective liberation will look like all day on D12. After an energetic rally at Westlake, several hundred occupiers marched the four miles plus to the port. The crowd came from a broad spectrum of Seattle’s working class, including unemployed folks, youth of color, service workers, and students. With our beautiful “Rise and Decolonize” banner up front, we marched energetically, chanting “Shut down the West Coast/Hit ‘em where it hurts the most”. Many cars and trucks that passed us on the way honked their support. As we approached the waterfront, virtually every port trucker honked, waved, and held up peace signs.
The People of Color Caucus produced and distributed an English and Spanish pamphlet with information on dealing with cops and what to expect that day, chants, and a port map. For security reasons, we couldn’t lay out he plan, but we specified different color-coded “zones.” We explained that, while we couldn’t guarantee what the cops would do, arrests and police terrorism would be less likely in the “green zone” and much more likely in the yellow and red zones. Day of, we tried to communicate what these zones were though that was made more difficult by lack of sound system.

Once we reached Terminal 18, the primary target for the day, we shouted to the growing crowd the locations of the zones. We explained on the megaphone that crossing into the Terminal puts you on Homeland Security territory, and for people to make sure and not do that. There was definitely some confusion and slow moving for a bit, but many of us who knew the plan shouted information and instructions to help guide people on where to go according to comfort level and ability/willingness to face arrest.
With new people arriving all the time, we blocked all of the entrances to Terminal 18 for about an hour and a half before receiving word that owner, SSA, the same owner who is screwing over port truckers in Oakland and LA, had shut down the port for the night. Our success in shutting down the busiest terminal at the port well before longshoremen arrived for evening shift meant there was still time to block the other smaller terminal that had work that day, Terminal 5.
At this point there was definitely some confusion and problems with communication. Not all of the organizers had received and trusted the news that the terminal was shut down. Some organizers advocated for staying until we knew for sure, while others, more confident in the information, wanted to head to Terminal 5 right away. We didn’t have the numbers to split the group and hold both terminals.
Eventually, though, most of the crowd made it over to Terminal 5. Some people stayed behind at the road blockade at 18, where a hard barricade blocked all but one lane of traffic (and where the police blocked the last lane despite occupiers shouting for them to leave it open so that workers could leave and ambulances could get through in case of an accident on the terminal). Police took advantage of the smaller numbers by unleashing an assault on the remaining occupiers. They threw flash grenades and possibly tear gas into the crowd and began beating and arresting people.
At Terminal 5, a growing crowd blocked the ILWU foot entrance as the evening shift arrival time neared. Several hundred of us stood in front of the gate, marched in a circle, and milled around the vehicle gates to keep an eye on police activity. We chanted, freestyled, beatboxed, and sang while most longshore workers waited at the union hall to see if the arbitrator would rule that they didn’t have to cross our picket line for health and safety reasons.
Eventually the arbitrator ruled that longshoremen didn’t have to cross our picket line. However, in violation of contract, Terminal 5 declared that they wouldn’t pay longshore workers for the day! This was a clear attempt to turn longshore workers against us. However, many folks came out the next morning and picketed in solidarity with longshore workers, a move that helped strengthen the solidarity between them and people who blocked the port, most of whom are non-unionized service industry workers or unemployed.

New approach to organizing labor

The coordinated West Coast port shutdown marks the emergence of a new phase of Occupy. We are taking ourselves seriously as a workers’ movement. We shut down the ports in solidarity with immigrant truckers, and longshore workers in Longview. We also shut down the ports because we, the working class, have been hit hard by the budget cuts, by austerity. We, the 89% of the workforce that is non-unionized, came together to assert our demands. We showed ourselves to be a serious legitimate force in the workers’ movement. Inspired by our call, many rank and file union members came out to join us, despite the disapproval and hostility from their union bureaucracies and leaders.
The Occupy-led West Coast port shutdowns have also highlighted the backwardness of the labor laws that govern unions in this country. We are reminded that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) from 1935 was created by the 1% of this country at a time of mass labor unrest. The NLRA prevents unions from practising class solidarity. It removed the workers’ strike as a weapon of resistance by workers by enacting No Strike clauses in contracts. The purpose of the NLRA, like any arbitrary law created by the 1%, is aimed at preventing class unity and isolating our struggles..
We showed on D12, that these laws that bind union bureaucracies, are no longer relevant to us, the masses of workers. While the union leaders, stuck in their old ways of thinking and obeying the rules of the 1%, are unable to support the activity of large numbers of non-unionized workers, we, as the Occupy movement, has shown that we carry none of that legalistic baggage. We are the new phase of the workers movement.
This is also an international workers’ movement. Seattle media outlets decided to highlight photos of occupiers with nationalistic, anti-China signs. But we know we have much more in common with exploited Chinese workers than any American capitalist. The Japanese railroad workers who did job actions on D12 showed us that international class solidarity is not a story of the past found only in obscure labor history. It is an emerging current reality. We are building a workers’ movement that has no top-down leadership, one that builds across the working class, one that brings labor back to its origins: An Injury to one is an injury to all. Occupy is the union of the 99%. The union leaves no one behind. We will learn skills to organize on our own jobs, our own low-waged measly paying workplaces. Just as we occupied the port truckers’ and longshore workplaces to be in solidarity with their struggles, we will occupy our own workplaces for an end to austerity measures that are placed on our backs.

Elections

We feel the rumbling approach of national elections as we watch the circus show of “debates.” The corporate fueled message of complacency “just vote for a politician who’s gonna screw you over less” rings hollow when we feel our power in taking direct action. Some in the Occupy movement have called for creating a third, independent political party or to “occupy congress.” Others have called for electoral reforms, boiling our problems down to capping campaign donations by the wealthy or strategizing on how to lobby near the ear of the 1%.
But it was upon our backs that this system was built and we remember why we first came out. The movement’s fierce independence away from political parties, the openness to new visions of possibility, the warmth of being with others, and the collective shifts in thinking about our histories of colonization, waged and coerced labor, gender binaries, and white supremacy. Neither politicians nor a political party could ever create this for us.
We know no one can represent our interests or ideas except ourselves. They tell us to go home, go back to work, go back to believing that voting for a golden tongued politician will take care of our families and communities. But we won’t go back. Our struggles continue together.

General Strike!

There is currently discussion of a General Strike which will take place on May 1st. We hope to make strides toward this goal in the next few months and will use the lessons we learned on D12 to inform our work. This team will be be back in the streets together in the future – this is not the last time we will make history together. Solidarity Forever!

Ally Statement

We write this to say that an effort of this magnitude is not, and cannot be the efforts of a few leaders. In Seattle, those of us who were on megaphones passing information and hyping up the crowd were called “emcees”. We need to be clear that emcees were not the ones calling the shots at this action. In fact, we were accountable to, and in many cases were taking directions directly from, a larger organizing body that that included many of the core organizers who helped initiate the shutdown here in Seattle. This larger body was in communication with each other, and had the necessary information to make key strategic decisions; it was our job simply to pass this information to the crowd. This larger organizing body included many people of color, women, queer folks, and gender nonconforming people, and was largely working class people, including unemployed people.
The emcees who were on the megaphones were elected at public planning meetings. However, we found that most of the people who volunteered to run for this position, are racialized and gendered by this society as white, male, and cisgendered (meaning we are not viewed as gender nonconforming or transgendered, we are seen as “normal” by a society that refuses to accept creativity or ambiguity). We recognize that this racist, sexist, and heterosexist society oppresses our comrades more than it oppresses us. For example, some of our comrades of color are more likely to be targeted by the police or by immigration authorities (ICE, Homeland Security, etc.). Our comrades who are women, transfolks, or gender nonconforming are more likely to be sexually harassed or assaulted by police or prison guards. We understand why many of our friends wished to remain anonymous during the action, and that it is less of a risk for us to be public. This does not mean that we are immune from repression or police retaliation because of our race or gender, but we understand that the oppressions we do face as working class people can only be overcome if working class people people who are more oppressed than us rise up and overthrow the racist, sexist, and heterosexist divisions between us and them. Our unity is our power, and it can only be built when the most oppressed members of the working class rise up and make history. This started to happen on the 12th.
Our comrades chose to stay anonymous, but this does not mean they were not leaders – they participated in all of the decision making, and once decisions were made, we announced these decisions. Hence, credit for the success of the action should not just go to us, but should go to them, and to everyone who helped organize it. We say this because we are aware of how history is often written in ways that glorify white, straight, male leaders at the expense of everyone else who actually makes history happen. As emcees, we certainly helped make history on Monday, but we were not the only leaders, and this action was not just made by leaders. We ALL built a multi-racial, multi-gendered team that could work together as equals; this team is historically groundbreaking in its own right and deserves to be celebrated.

Longview_flyer

OCCUPY! An Injury to One is an Injury to ALL Defend LONGVIEW, WASHINGTON

OCCUPY! An Injury to One is an Injury to ALL
Defend LONGVIEW, WASHINGTON from Union Busting Multi-National EGT

Friday, JAN. 6TH
SEATTLE SPEAKING TOUR
Hall 8, Seattle Labor Temple (2800 1st Ave – on 1st Ave between Clay & Broad north of downtown)

invite your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/228300320577427/

Speakers from:

* ILWU Local 21 (Longview) *
* Occupy Oakland *
* Occupy Seattle *
* Million Workers’ March Committee *

4pm: planning meeting for solidarity caravans to Longview

6pm: Roundtable discussion with speakers

Questions? seattleportsolidarity@gmail.com

The historic Dec 12th 2011 West Coast Port Shutdown revealed that the Occupy Movement has become a new type of movement of unemployed, low waged, and casualized workers both in the workplace and outside of it. We are the 89% of the US working class that is not unionized. Many of us are immigrants and women. We showed we are capable of shutting down the businesses which fuel Wall St. profit.

Some of us are also rank and file union members who realize that we need to expand beyond the limits of traditional labor struggle if we want to stop the attacks we are facing.

We are in solidarity with Occupy Longview and ILWU Local 21. EGT is a multinational conglomerate owned partially by Bunge, Inc, a grain cartel that controls 1/4 of the world’s grain supply. They are trying to bust the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 21 by hiring scab labor in their new grain terminal. We won’t let that happen. Some members of Occupy Seattle are preparing to join Occupy Oakland and Occupy Portland in a mass convergence in Longview. On the 6th, come learn more, get invovled, and prepare for this event.

Download flyer for event here: http://occupyseattle.org/sites/default/files/documents/files/Longview%20Speaking%20Tour%20flyer.pdf

Occupy Seattle Seeks Amendment to End Corporate Personhood

January 3, 2011. “Corporations are not people,” has been a mantra of Occupy Seattle since the organization’s inception, and on Wednesday, Dec. 21, these words were committed to action. Joining a long list of similar actions taken by Occupy movements around the country and the Los Angeles City Council, a resolution was adopted and a portion of the text reads:

“Be it resolved that Occupy Seattle calls for the abolition of corporate personhood. We join the tens of thousands of people, grassroots organizations and local governments across the country in calling for an Amendment to the Constitution to firmly establish that money spent on political campaigns must allow for an equal voice for all people, that human beings, not corporations, have natural rights protected by the Constitution, and that the rights of human beings will never again be granted to artificial entities or property.”

To celebrate this call to action, Occupy Seattle will join national rallies on January 20th and 21st. The January 20th event will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, referred to as “Occupy the Courts.” The Seattle event will take place outside of the U.S. District Court at 700 Stewart Street, starting at 11:00 AM. The January 21st event, “People Ignited Against Citizens United” will begin with a noontime rally at Westlake Park including speeches, music, and street theater, followed by a march at 2 PM which will end up at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, at 2nd Ave and Marion St.

The rallies will set in motion a public awareness campaign focused on corporate personhood and the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted corporations the same free speech rights as individual citizens. The rallies are permitted and a trained peacekeeping cadre of volunteers will be in attendance.

Formed on Oct. 1, 2011, Occupy Seattle is a leaderless movement of concerned Americans who have taken to occupying public spaces in order to focus our nation’s attention on the undue influence of large corporations on our government, elected leaders and our democracy itself. It is inspired by and modeled after the Occupy Wall Street movement.

An Open Letter to the Participants of Occupy Seattle from a Member of the Faith Community

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We in the Faith Community have supported the Occupy Seattle movement almost since its emergence some months ago, and this support has been increasing through forums and workshops at many places of worship, providing meeting space for work groups, being “on site” at Seattle Central Community College, and being part of marches and demonstrations. Two local clergypersons were injured during these events, as were others from the Movement. What Occupy is calling in and of today’s social and economic structure resonates so very strongly with us in terms of justice, equality, and personhood.

It is because of these shared values that many of us were deeply disturbed, distressed in fact, that an adoption of a nonviolence policy was rejected at the General Assembly this past Tuesday, December 20th. Nonviolence is a deeply held value by us. It is the policy that enabled the civil rights movement, not only to be born, but to last, increasingly gained the hearts of millions in this land and throughout the world. It is the policy that empowered the anti-Viet Nam protests. It is the policy that gave strength and sustenance to the farm labor movement. It reaches the deepest part of the human spirit, it has always ultimately prevailed and grown. The Occupy Movement itself has captured the political and public moral high ground with its creatively bold actions rooted in nonviolence. It is nonviolence that calls forth that which is genuine and right, and which ultimately triumphs good over evil, be it personal or societal.

Make no mistake. Nonviolence is not passive, but rather a robust effort to create and model the conditions that foster genuine and sustainable equality and justice. It is both a moral and pragmatic choice—the most profoundly revolutionary source of strength available to us. As noted in A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, “It is not a myth that violence can alter events. It is a myth that it gives power to the people.”

We are concerned that for many in the Faith communities, this rejection will impact standing in solidarity with you. Many of us want be with you, helping hold up the critical social and economic concerns you raise. Many of us would like to continue this conversation, possibly through an Occupy Seattle Working Group, possibly helping facilitate an understanding of nonviolence and developing nonviolence tactics.

We urge Occupy Seattle to seriously reconsider adopting a policy of nonviolence. The cause is right. We want to stand with you.

Peace,

Mike

The Rev. Mike Jackson, Assisting Priest
St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
Seattle, WA
comprose@earthlink.net
206 – 909 – 3336

Local House of “Artists” Receives S.W.A.T. Team Raid- Arraignment for Occupiers

Contact: occupyseattle.media@gmail.com
Phone: 206-552-0377

December 28, 2011.

Just hours before Christmas Eve, Seattle S.W.A.T Team surrounded a house in the 1900 block of East Spruce Street, only to find 2 unarmed Occupy Seattleites, who had been given a house key. After hours of lighting up the neighborhood with the shining headlights of 8 squad cars, a team of 15 Seattle S.W.A.T. entered the house with guns drawn and a battering ram. “The door was unlocked,” said Shanti, one of the individuals occupying the home. “No one was armed, everyone was peaceful.”

According to the Seattle Police Department, the raid came in response to a 911 call reporting several male and female subjects had unlawfully entered and occupied the residence. “The key was given to us,” said Cammi, another occupier.

The individuals have identified themselves as participants of Occupy Seattle and artists trying to better the community. The graffiti that was mentioned inside the home was a large mural on the wall, depicting a forest landscape.

The three Occupiers will be arraigned today at 9AM at King County Jail. Two are being charged with Criminal Trespass, and one charged with Weapons Violation. The individual charged with Weapons Violation was arrested on the lawn of the home, not inside, and willingly handed over a small-sized pocket knife before the arrest.

Formed on Oct. 1, 2011, Occupy Seattle is a leaderless movement of concerned Americans who have taken to occupying public spaces in order to focus our nation’s attention on the undue influence of large corporations on our government, elected leaders and our democracy itself. It is inspired by and modeled after the Occupy Wall Street movement.

All Power to the Positive Podcast

Independent Podcast put on by activists participating in Occupy Seattle and often centered on the occupation

All Power To The Positive (podcast/radio show/blog)
www.allpowertothepositive.info

Blog
www.allpowertothepositive.blogspot.com

Social Networking
www.facebook.com/gregorylewis
www.facebook.com/jacobbrown
www.twitter.com/senseilewis

Contact
allpowertothepositive@gmail.comt at: http://www.allpowertothepositive.info