Monthly Archives: February 2012

May Day 2012 – General Strike!

May Day 2012 Occupy Seattle stands in solidarity with and endorses the call for a General Strike – A day without the 99%!

On May Day, wherever you are, we are calling for:

*No Work
*No School
*No Housework
*No Shopping
*No BANKING
–TAKE THE STREETS!

Come and help build for the May 1st 2012 Global Day of Solidarity, Wonderment, and Merrymaking, Tuesdays at 7pm at the Washington State Convention Center.

Visit may1stseattle.org for more info on May Day.

Food Not Bombs Liberate Seattle Working Group

FREE FOOD FOR ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Contact 407-234-9733

Help Save Our Supplies and Equipment

Save Seattle's Stuff – We need Help Now !

We are losing our storage space. Help save all the contributions and supplies that we now use and that will be crucial in the days to come. We need you .. any transportation, any location that can provide storage, or just a willingness to help pick, pack and carry stuff. Without your help Occupy Seattle will lose thousands of useful items and supplies.

If you can help in any way, post your name, what you might be able to do and any contact information that can be used to contact you on this event page  https://www.facebook.com/events/149438631843538/

westlake

Solidarity March, Protest, and Prayer for our Tibetan Sisters and Brothers

Wednesday, February 22nd
First Day of the Tibetan New Year
11am March (from NW 83rd/Greenwood Ave to Westlake Park)
3pm-5pm Protest and Prayer (Westlake Park)

March, Protest, and Prayer to stand in solidarity with our Tibetan sisters and brothers who are being jailed, beaten and murdered by Chinese military forces for speaking out against the Chinese government. Stop Tibetan Genocide!

Join us on the first day of Tibetan New Year to protest Chinese treatment of Tibetans, and to come together in solidarity for traditional prayer and meditation. Self-Immolations in and around Tibet have peaked the last two months in direct response to increasing attacks and human rights violations by the Chinese military.

Human rights violations to Tibetans by Chinese military are unprecedented at this time. Hundreds of convoys carrying Chinese military personnel with automatic machine guns have been making their way to Tibet. It appears as though the Chinese government is preparing for something incredibly tragic. Media censorship has made it near impossible for the situation to be accurately reported on. However, as of one week ago, undercover reporters have entered some of the most effected areas in and around Tibet including Aba, reporting that cities are lined with armed military vehicles as well as armed militia posted on many street corners. The increasing number of Tibetans self-immolating is no coincidence. In the last year alone, two-dozen Tibetan monks and nuns have self-immolated, twelve of which have occurred since December. Self-immolations by Tibetans are an ultimate sacrifice and desperate cry for help: Tibet is Burning! This is a call to action for each and every one of us, Tibet’s international community of brothers and sisters. As one person inside Tibet explained, “We are suffering a lot in our hearts, and when we can no longer bear it we burn ourselves to death.”

Tibetans are being jailed, beaten and even killed at this very moment for standing up for their people, land, and way of life. These are the consequences they suffer when protesting the Chinese government. We must stand strong with the Tibetans. They have called on us, and so we will come together as their sisters and brothers in a spirit of inherent unity and cooperation.

Please read this for more information about the situation in and around Tibet:

Rare Visit to Remote Chinese Region

Facebook Event: March for Tibet – Tibet Burning!!

Full Schedule:

9:30am Prayer service at Sakya Monastery
10:45am Sangsol outside Gompa
11am Scarf offering for H.H the Dalai Lama and Sakya Dagchen Rimpoche
Advice/Speech by Avi Rimpoche
March for Tibet–from Sakya monastery to Downtown Seattle (via 15th Ave & Ballard bridge)
2pm-5pm: Gather at Westlake mall. Protest and prayer.

March 1 Protest and March for Public Education

Banks got bailed out, students and teachers got sold out!

Thursday, March 1
2:45pm – Gather at Westlake Park
3:30pm – March to the Gates Foundation Headquarters
4:15pm – Rally, teach-in, and grade-in led by Seattle teachers
(NOTE: There is also an event at 1p.m. at SCCC – Stop by both for a full day of action!)

Students and teachers should not have to pay for the crisis created by the 1%. We refuse to accept the dismantling of our schools and universities, while the banks and corporations make record profits. We refuse to accept budget cuts, educational re-segregation, attacks on teacher unions, rising class sizes, massive tuition increases, outrageous student debt, and increasing privatization and corporatization.

They got bailed out and we got sold out – but through nationally coordinated mass action we demand FULL PUBLIC FUNDING and FULL PUBLIC CONTROL.

The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that the State is out of compliance with its “paramount constitutional duty” to fully fund education. K-12 education’s share of the state budget has been in decline since 1981. Since the “Great Recession”, Washington State has cut $10 billion from public education and social services, with over $3 billion slashed from K-12 funding alone. Washington State now ranks 42nd in the nation in per-pupil spending and has the 3rd highest class sizes in the country. State universities have raised tuition by over 47% in the last three years.

But rather than devote more funding to providing quality public education, state politicians are putting forward legislation that would open the door to charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately owned and run. These unaccountable schools are exempt from state standards and union contracts. The Gates Foundation is a leading backer and promoter of charter schools nationwide, despite the fact that their own Stanford University study showed that charters, on average, perform worse than public schools. Charter schools are nothing more than a stepping stone toward privatization of education.

We call on all students, teachers, workers, and parents from all levels of education — pre-K-12 through higher education in public and private institutions — and all Occupiers, labor unions, and organizations of oppressed communities to mobilize on March 1st to tell those in power: The resources exist for high-quality education for all. We demand:

– Full funding for public education and social services

– Full public control of education policy

– Tax the 1%

– No budget cuts

– No tuition hikes

– No attacks on teacher unions

– No privatization of public education

Organized by the Occupy Seattle Public Education work group. For more info, contact ospubliceducation@gmail.com.

Endorsed by Social Equality Educators.

To get involved in helping to plan and organize the Seattle day of action, come to an OS Public Education work group meeting — every Tuesday, 6pm, east-side of the 2nd floor of the Washington State Convention Center, Pike between 7th & 8th.

To endorse the Seattle day of action, please contact ospubliceducation@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/events/272897626112207/

General Assembly Consensus Process DRAFT

Last night, a participant in the Process & Facilitation workgroup presented a basic outline of the consensus decision-making discussion. Here's the discussion model that was presented:

 

Issues and Proposals – An issue for dicussion or a proposal is presented by the person who put the item on the agenda.

  • Turn and Talk – 3 min, initial thoughts on the issue.
  • Understanding; questions, facts – stack is open for questions and facts to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the issue.
  • Open Discussion – thoughts, opinions, background information, and general debate
  • Ideas and Concerns: list and address - how can we address this issue?  what are our goals?  what are our concerns?
  • Consensus Test – are we ready to move forward with what's been suggested to address the issue?
    • Other Concerns?
    • Strong Opposition?
    • Stand Asides?
    • Consensus?

If consensus is not reached, or there is strong opposition to a proposal to address an issue, the assembly may table the proposal until a future meeting.  If a proposal has been tabled once, the assembly may call for consensus among at least 90% of participants to move forward over strong opposition.  This is a last resort if there is irreconcilable opposition to a proposal that the rest of the assembly is in favor of moving ahead with, and should not be considered as strong as full consensus of the assembly.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or concerns, please let us know at processandfacilitation@gmail.com.

 

Bring Diaz Down! The Next Step: March on City Hall

Bring Diaz Down! The Next Step: March on City Hall

The Seattle Police Department is under enormous scrutiny. After the Department of Justice reports were released, giving a legitimized shape to what people feel every day, Diaz has been out to protect his cops and their ability to brutalize people. He needs to go down, we need some justice for once.

Gather at 12:30pm at Seattle Central, Speak out and tell your story
March on City Hall at 1:30pm

All those who have used excessive use of force should be prosecuted.

We will carry torches for our dead, murdered by the SPD and police everywhere.

On February 27th we’re going to make clear that Diaz is not the SPD chief.

Come march with us, there is room for everyone.

—————————————————————————————-

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.

Strike Rally in support of Seattle port truck drivers

Strike Rally in support of Seattle port truck drivers

@E. Marginal Way and Hanford, under the viaduct.
Several buses ( 21, 22, 35, 56, 57, 85, 116, 118, 132), stop nearby
This Monday, February 13th, 9am

Over the last two weeks non-unionized short-haul truckers at the port have refused to work until they receive better treatment. For months they’ve been trying to build an association to fight back. They face horrendous conditions on the ports – extremely low pay, harassment from law enforcement and trucking companies, exorbitant fees charged by the companies that more than once have resulted in “negative” paychecks for the drivers. Because of this they’ve stopped work, first at just one company, but it has since spread to many companies, slowing all traffic at the port. They’ve asked us to support them at a strike rally they’ll hold on Monday. We’ll be there with banners and flyers. Their situation is desperate, and it’s extremely important we show solidarity, we’re there to say “We support the Settle truck drivers and their association.”

Depending on how their actions go there may be future ways we can help out. People from Occupy have also organized a food drive for the truckers – who aren’t making any money while they’re out. Donations of food can be taken to the Puget Sound Labor Agency. For more information contact portdriverssolidarity@lists.occupyseattle.org.

We’ve won three fights in the last week, will be having some victory parties soon, and we hope to turn our momentum to support the drivers.

Solidarity and Struggle!

General Assembly Process

(Note: this document is partial, but will be continually updated.)

PROGRESSIVE STACK:

“Stack” is the list of those who want to speak. To get “on stack” raise your hand so the “stacker” can see you. We use ‘progressive’ stack. It means we give people whose voices have been more likely silenced or ignored in our society an earlier place in line. Someone who appears to a stacker to be a white, able-bodied man, may not be called on first, or second, or third. All others get ahead in the stack. Also someone speaking for a first time in an assembly may get to speak before someone who wants a second turn. Making a progressive stack is subject to a stacker’s limited judgment. It relies on guessing your color or sex. We make mistakes. We rotate stackers so we rotate our limitations.

A stack is “closed” when the process mover together with the time keeper determines the discussion is going long enough. This is determined by reading the assemblies signs, taking temperature checks, taking straw vote checks, or going by a pre-announced amount of time for a discussion. Usually the mood of the assembly rather than a pre set amount of time determines the limits of the time allocated if the facilitators determine there is a compelling read of the feelings of the assembly. As a notice to the assembly, an announcement can be made that “The stack will be closing after the last set of people recognized by the stacker (through eye contact) has had a turn to speak.”

Port food drive flyer

Port Truckers Food Drive

On Monday truck drivers from the port of Seattle walked away from their rigs, protesting dangerous conditions and faulty equipment. The one day strike became a two day strike, and now shows no sign of ending until the workers’ demands for safe, livable conditions are met. Unfortunately, these workers, like so many of us, have little to fall back on. They need our help! This message was sent to Occupy Seattle:

“According to Teamsters Local 117 which has been working with the truckers, the main way supporters can help at this point is to gather food items and drop them off at the Teamsters Hall – 14675 Interurban Avenue S, Tukwila – so the drivers can feed their families while they’re not working.

Then stand by for word from the Teamsters on specific support actions.”

What can we do to support the port workers?

Bring canned or boxed food items to GA on Sunday or Wednesday for collection.
Tell your friends, family, church, book club . . . anyone who will listen!
Make a donation for the truckers, and we’ll use it to buy bulk food items.
Share this link with your Facebook friends : http://www.facebook.com/events/105957899529352/
These workers have no union and no strike fund to fall back on. They are the 99% that we came together to support, and they are literally going hungry fighting for their rights. We can fix that!

Thank you for all your donations! The drivers have ended their strike and are going back to work, so we’ve removed the donation link.

WA State senate Votes 28-21 in Favor of Marriage Equality

Tonight in a historic vote. The WA State Senate voted 28-21 to legalize Same-sex marriage. The bill now goes to the House where it will almost certainly pass In addition Governor Gregorie is very supportive and has every intention of signing the bill into law.

Occupy Seattle has always been strong advocates of Equal rights for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and we rejoice with them in this momentous victory for human rights and equality.

Feb 4th Day of Mass Action to Stop U.S. War on Iran

Feb 4th Day of Mass Action to Stop U.S. War on Iran
In over 23 cities.
NO war! NO sanctions on Iran! NO intervention! NO assassinations in Iran!

Seattle Action: Saturday Feb 4th @ 1:30pm at Westlake

In many ways, U.S. war on Iran has already begun.
The United States and Israel, both of which have nuclear weapons, say they will stop at nothing to keep Iran from having a nuclear program, even though the U.S. Secretary of Defense says Iran won’t have nuclear capability anytime soon.

The U.S. has begun harsh economic sanctions that can destroy the Iranian economy, and the lives of millions of Iranians through depriving them of food, medicine and electricity. Either the U.S. or Israel is killing Iranian scientists in car bombings. U.S. surveillance drones are flying over Iran, in violation of its sovereignty. 3 U.S. carrier groups are right off Iran’s shore. And secret U.S. commando operations are in the country.
Will we allow another U.S. war based on lies?

Iraq is devastated from decades of U.S. military intervention and sanctions that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, and led to 4.5 million people being driven from their homes. Afghanistan, the poorest country in the world, is being destroyed by the richest.

Let the whole world see that we will not let the U.S. rain death, destruction and devastation onto yet another country and further inflame a dire situation in the Middle East. One thing we know is that when people stand up together to resist the crimes of their government like the courageous protesters of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, something beautiful can emerge.
Test your knowledge on Iran: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1170/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=1363

facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/369981473027720/

For more info go to: worldcantwait.org or email seattle@worldcantwait.org