Monthly Archives: April 2012

Demand Full Employment

Note: This piece was authored by Samuel Levine, editor and writer at levinetech.net.

Demand Full Employment

Recently I read a blog post about Modeled Behavior a piece written by Edmund Phelps on Keynes vs. Hayek. One interesting quote pointed out on the post was:

“What now do we do? With some luck, the economy will
“recover” through a return of investment activity to sustainable
levels once some capital stocks, like houses, have been worked
down. But it will not recover to a strong level of business activity
unless something happens to boost innovation. The great question
is how best to get innovators humming again through the breadth
of the land. Hayek himself said little on innovation. But at least he
had an applicable theory of how a healthy economy works.

The Keynesians, sad to say, show no understanding of how
the economy works. They think they can lever employment up or
down by pushing buttons – as if the economy were hydraulic. They
show no grasp of the concepts that would be necessary to restore us
to prosperity and flourishing. In an old image that applies well to
the posturing of today’s self-styled Keynesians, “the Emperor has
no clothes.””

Phelps (a nobel prize winner) is arguing that full employment won’t happen without innovation because proponents of fiscal stimulus don’t understand the economy enough to stimulate it. This is, unfortunately, wrong. We have a huge excess of industrial capacity:

and millions of unemployed and underemployed, 14.5% of the labor force. There are more productive things they could be doing than sitting at home wondering how they’re going to pay their underwater mortgages and student loans.

The 1930s were an amazing time for innovation, but we didn’t get to full employment US until we entered WWII. We had the government pull large levers on the economy and we put ourselves back to work on a great project: saving the world from fascism. Today the greatest threat to our freedom isn’t panzers, it’s a lifestyle built on cheap hydrocarbons.

Today, we have tons of unused economic capacity, some growth and lots of innovation happening, just not enough aggregate demand to use it. Government spending as a percentage of GDP is close to what it was shortly after the US entered WWII, but unlike Keynes we don’t need to make the assumption that what you spend money on doesn’t matter that much.

The science of climate change is clear: either we limit our carbon emissions or we face catastrophic results. Here are a few suggestions that help deal with both aggregate demand and climate change:

– Building and deploying renewable energy generators such as solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal plants and sea turbines.
– Developing and constructing scalable energy storage facilities (i.e. ones that don’t require more lithium than exist on the planet) so we can store and distribute power 24/7.
– Constructing a smart power grid that will allow us to efficiently deliver power from places that have energy to places that need it.
– Manufacturing and constructing electric high speed rail and light rail systems to replace air travel and single occupant automobiles as standard means of transportation.
– Building energy efficient, high density and affordable housing for people within our very productive cities.
– Deploying gigabit Internet connections to homes and businesses that are nearly 200 times faster than commonly used broadband.

Much of what what we need to do involves work on the scale of the Manhattan project to take what we know and turn it into what we can build, but a great deal can be done with technology we have today (PV panels, elevators, trains, etc.). Our community colleges would jump at the opportunity to retrain millions of Americans with skills we’ll need over the next few decades. All told, the cost of getting a lot of this done would be a lot. Think 4-6 trillion dollars of infrastructure, just for the US.

You don’t get out of poverty by sitting around waiting for work, which is what we’ve told 14.5% of the country to do while we figure out what we need them for. We need them. Our children and their children need them. We’re facing the deaths of millions if we continue our current path. I think fixing our energy, transportation and housing systems so that we don’t cause a world wide holocaust would be a good use of our incredibly massive economic capacity. We just have to demand it.

Hip Hop Occupies Announces “Rise & Decolonize 2: May Day General Strike”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie C (425)223-7787
Email: HipHopOccupies@gmail.com
Hip Hop Occupies Announces “Rise & Decolonize 2: May Day General Strike”
Organizers create family-friendly, arts & culturally rooted space for May 1st protests

SEATTLE, April 26th, 2012 – In solidarity with International Worker’s Day and the Global General Strike, Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize presents Rise & Decolonize 2, showcase and rally at Westlake Park. On Tuesday, May 1st from 9am to 4pm, artists, youth, families, and the broader Seattle community will take a day off and come out for music, live art, dance, cypher sessions, and more in the spirit of resistance & Hip Hop. “Rise & Decolonize 2” will feature a diverse, multi-generational showcase with over forty performers and speakers ages four and up, including special guest, internationally renowned poet and historian Walidah. A full list of performers and detailed schedule is available on the Hip Hop Occupies website.

Maria Guillen, organizer with Hip Hop Occupies says, “In times of decolonization, hip hop manifests as a collective voice and the spirit of self-determination. Just like Hip Hop and art transcends borders as a result of young people reclaiming streets and spaces, we celebrate building community outside oppressive systems. No longer will our creativity be crushed out of us. We are what we’ve been waiting for. May Day 2012… expect us.”

As Seattle gathers in creative resistance, we will remember the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago and acknowledge the legacies of the tens of thousands of people across the country who carried a three day general strike in support of the 8 hour work day on May 1, 1886. We will remember the Great American Boycott of 2006 where millions of im/migrant workers and economic refugees took to the streets to stand up against H.R. 4437, racist attacks against Im/migrants and all victims of economic violence across the globe. We will also remember and honor Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, John T. Williams, and all those whose lives were lost to systemic and internalized white supremacy. Join us in remembrance of the past and creation of the future. Another world is possible.

Event Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Event Location: Westlake Park, 4th & Pine in Downtown Seattle

Event Schedule: 9:00am – 11:00am: Morning Meet & Greet, Set Up
11:00am – 4:00pm: Rise & Decolonize Rally & Performances
4:00pm – 7:00pm: Clean up & Meet up w/ May 1st Coalition

For full list of performers, detailed schedule, & more information visit www.hiphopoccupies.com

Call for a General Strike Bike Bloc!

Cyclists of Seattle Rise Up!

This May Day join the global general strike on wheels. Help shut the down the city to fight for a life worth living.

If you want to ride this May Day, here’s a proposed schedule:

All Day | Swarm – grab some friends and take to the streets.

11:15am | Bike Bloc convergence at Seattle Central Community College to support the student walk out. We’ll then ride down to Westlake Park.

12:00pm | All cyclists meet up for the bike bloc and take the streets in mass. We can ride at the front of the several marches, scout ahead and more.

From critical mass to the Copenhagen climate protests of 2009, bike blocs have been used successfully to disrupt traffic as usual and support convergences. More recently in November, a bike bloc helped interfere with the eviction of Occupy Portland’s encampment. It could be a perfect addition to May Day’s General Strike!

So help us flood the streets with people, life, and freedom. Dress in your most flashy clothes and get ready to get sweaty.

May Day is What YOU Make of It!

Note: This opinion piece was written by Greg Lewis of the All Power to the Positive Podcast:

http://allpowertothepositive.podomatic.com/

May Day is What YOU Make of It!
My [edited, amended] Reply To Someone Who Asked
“Why Rise and Decolonize?” and “Why Strike?”
by Sensei Gregory C. Lewis. allpowertothepositive.info

The following was inspired by an original fb reply I wrote to a fan of Hip Hop Occupies.
It has been edited for length, grammar, and [ideally] greater clarity.

May Day is what YOU make of it! This is what really makes it a “worker’s holiday”.

May Day consists of 24 hours. A lot can be done in that short period of time. Part of the day is for those who do not or cannot go ‘hands on’ at the system or its supporters. Many more will be hearing the collective ‘decolonize’ message for the very first time on May 1st.

You worry about the cops doing something violent at a permitted event. I got two words for you: “Trayvon Martin”. Also,”Sean Bell”. Want to avoid potentially deadly conflict? Stay away from other people. Keep in mind that living like a [scared] hermit is NOT living.

Here’s another dirty little secret: people in america are 15 percent of the world’s wealthiest. This economic relationship to the global social product has real world consequences.

It is why in Egypt the bus drivers, along with other industries, are STILL on strike. Yet, in america, organized/unionized labor is still less than 10 percent of all u.$. industries. And all are o.k. with this exploitative global economic relationship, as long as their members can still afford to live ‘the American dream’. Few are striking in the u.$., and those that are get little mainstream press coverage or support from the assorted Democratic party funded and controlled national labor bureaucracies.

Meanwhile, large sections of the oppressed/captive nations (so called ‘minorities’) in america are shut out of those good paying union jobs (or shut out of the job market entirely). Yet, most of them/us still believe very deeply in this system and the current administration; despite what their/our actual life situation(s) tell them/us, or what any of us in Occupy have to say about it.

I absolutely bear witness that most amerikkkans find it easier to be ignorant, violent, self medicating, fascistic, sheep and cattle. I also bear witness that this is due to the aforementioned exploitative global economic relationship and the social relations it perpetuates. They didn’t start off that way. None of us did.

Americans are made ‘amerikkkan’ by [mis]education of all types, harsh penalties for non conformity and grand rewards for obedience and allegiance, including financial compensation for participation in a shared material interest with the 1 percent: the exploitation of the resources and labor of the ‘developing’ nations for the benefit of the upper classes, and the bribery of the lower classes, in america (and other ‘industrialized’ nations).

The poor of the industrialized nations spend most of their waking hours catching crumbs. For most, it is a situation of “the dog initiates the master, but only eats the leftovers” (Tobacman) and most seem o.k. with being that dog that imitates his or her master, as long as there is material comfort and social privilege that comes out of being just as ignorant, violent, self medicating, and fascistic as ones master.

The people of Egypt want a hell of a lot more than just to ‘get money out of politics’: they want to get america out of their politics! In places like Greece and rural India, you have large groups of workers taking that phrase to a whole new level, by actively struggling to bring down capitalism, its oppressions, and the oppressors who promote and protect it. This is very different than getting a piece of legislation passed or getting a local bureaucrat to listen to a marginalized community; or getting that same bureaucrat to work exclusively in favor of that marginalized community against the monied interests currently in power.

To ‘decolonize’ begins with getting one’s own mind off the plantation first. Sadly, for far too many, the decision to finally go down this path is shaped by the intensity, frequency, and severity of the abuse put on them by this system, its governments, and its supporters.

To ‘decolonize’ means to not just simply ‘go through the motions’. It means being crystal clear about who you are, what you want, and why you do what you do in this moment in this movement, let alone in life. It means being upfront about your politics, especially around ‘dividing line’ issues; in particular all things considered ‘life and death’.

For me, a ‘dividing line’ issue is regime change.

I have lost count of how many times I have heard the words “Tahrir Square” drop from the lips of my fellow Occupiers since October, 2011. Yet, as I participate, I often see that few even understand what they are truly advocating, since their avowed inspiration(s) and aspirations often do not match the ‘real politic’ of how they approach their obligations to the global movement, let alone the local one (and how these are related); indeed few bear witness openly that obligations exist for them (and all of us) in this movement.

Obligations? Yep. And here’s a major one: if our goals are genuinely more ’forward thinking’ than simply being ‘seen and heard’ by an indifferent (and increasingly, more openly hostile) 1percent, more than simply voting for their political leadersh*t every 4 years in the name of ‘pragmatism’, if Occupy in america is to truly echo the world’s collective cry for real freedom, democracy, equality, and power in the hands of real people, let alone do our part to create the space for any of that to happen, then we must be more and must do more.

Bike Bloc Flier

Cyclists of Seattle Rise Up!

This May Day join the global general strike on wheels. Help shut the down the city to fight for a life worth living.

If you want to ride this May Day, here’s a proposed schedule:

All Day | Swarm – grab some friends and take to the streets.

11:15am | Bike Bloc convergence at Seattle Central Community College to support the student walk out. We’ll then ride down to Westlake Park.

12:00pm | All cyclists meet up for the bike bloc and take the streets in mass. We can ride at the front of the several marches, scout ahead and more.

Help us flood the streets with people, life, and freedom. Dress in your most flashy clothes and get ready to get sweaty.

Queer Liberation is Class Struggle

“QUEER LIBERATION IS CLASS STRUGGLE! GENERAL STRIKE MAY 1ST

Queers have always had to fight for our rights, our dignity, our survival. It’s time to step up; it’s time to push the 1% out of the way and make Seattle ours.

Occupy Seattle has called for a mass strike, boycott, walkout and day of action on May 1st. This is our time to shine. In that spirit, the queers of Occupy Seattle will be forming a pink bloc for May Day!

Queers are the the 99% and the 99% is queer! Despite what the leadership of the HRC looks like or what the characters on Bravo look like, most queers are not white and middle class. Class society was built on top of the divisions and oppression of gender and normative sexuality. Queers and gender rebels have felt the brunt of the attacks from the 1%, being pushed to the bottom of the economic pile since the very beginning. This makes it impossible to separate our struggle as queers from our struggle as the working class. And while wealthy, white gays and lesbians—the queer 1%—may have made advances into American capitalist consumerism, most of us remain on the outside, still dealing with the struggles that confront us as queer members of the 99%: the struggles to end discrimination against transfolk in the workplace, for better wages and more desirable jobs, for an end to the homelessness of queer youth, for affordable medical support for AIDS patients, for sex worker rights and organization, for immigration rights for our same-sex partners, to stop youth suicides… our list of demands is as long as our history of struggle.

The way we win our demands as the queer 99% is by recognizing thecommon political thread that unites every one of our individual fights: the struggle of the 99% to regain control of our lives from the 1%. Every one of us in the 99% is struggling to take the 1% out of the equation and start living our lives for ourselves and for our neighbors, not for our bosses and all the others who steal all of our waking hours from us. And getting rid of the division between the 99% and the 1% means getting rid of the divisions of gender and sexuality, and of race, class, and all the other things that make the 1% the 1%.

This is why we are participating in the May 1st general strike. The general strike brings together the struggles of all the members of the 99%—queers, workers, immigrants, students, prisoners, disabled, unemployed, parents…—while leaving us the space to organize autonomously. We pull ourselves together into one punch that builds power for all of us and brings all of us closer to meetings our needs, and closer to a future of queer liberation.

To participate, wear pink and bring signs pertaining to the issues facing working queers. Most importantly, bring laughter, determination, and the spirit of queerness that makes us unique in the 99%. See you on May Day!

Listening Post

Note: This blog post was authored by Manny Frishberg.

Between staking out the mayor’s house in Greenwood Friday night and preparing the next newspaper for people to purchase from their cadre of street vendors, the people at Real Change made time to begin a dialogue with a few members of the community Saturday, April 21. I was one of them.

The half-dozen people in my Listening Circle had some things in common and some not. All of us were White (though that wasn’t necessarily true for all the groups). In all likelihood no one there in my group was under 40 – only one person shared her age and she was in her ninth decade. No names have been changed because none are being given. Nor will I delve into the details of anyone’s personal history. One of the rules for the listening session was that what was said in that room, stayed in that room.

All of us had been poor at one time or another. Half had been in the military and half had not, or if they had, it didn’t come up. Most of us had been to college; some had advanced degrees, others hadn’t finished even one. All of us had attended the School of Hard Knocks, where the only diplomas are etched into your face. But no one there felt sorry for themselves, and that may have been the most important feature we shared.

A couple of us came from privilege. One of the questions we answered in turn was “When was the first time you met someone of a lower class than you? When did you first meet someone of a higher class?” A couple of people in the room answered to the first part of that question by talking about the servants or housekeeper their families had employed when they were growing up. One answered the second part by talking about the time one of his schoolmates was given a ride home by the family’s butler – so even the well-to-do had encountered people far above their stature. Then there was the person whose family had lost their fortune in the Depression and grew up as the poor relation in a family used to wealth.

Myself, I said I’d grown up as one of the have-nots (or have-lesses) in a decidedly middle class suburb of New York. But I only became conscious of class divisions when I moved into New York’s Lower East Side in junior high, where 90 percent of my schoolmates were people of color, and even though my mother could barely make ends meet on her salary, the gulf was undeniable. A few years later, after I’d quit high school and joined my first Occupy movement at Columbia University I hung out with people who, I later learned, were not just among the 1 percent but the .001 percent – and I had more in common with them than the high school classmates I’d left behind.

We talked, for the hour-and-a-half allotted, about whether we had ever not had enough to get by. And, while some had lived on the streets or with no permanent address for at least a while, no one seemed to feel that they hadn’t had what they needed – after all we’re all still here. And we shared our thoughts about what class means in this society. While most of us spoke about it in socio-economic terms, one person took the discussion in a different direction – talking about what it means to have real class: to be kind, to share what you have, to treat others like you wish they would treat you.
And we talked for a time about fashion, about the Junkie-Chic portrayed in the pages of Style sections — $300 distressed jeans and the like, and the people who cannot afford to dress down because dressing for success is the mask that ensures them a modicum of respect.

So what did it have to do with ending homelessness or rebalancing the scales of economic justice? Maybe just a reminder that nobody – not the 99 percent and not the 1 (not even the .001) percent – gets out of this world alive, or unscathed. And that, in the end, 100 percent of us have only each other to count on. Not a bad lesson for a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Mayor McGinn and Deputy Mayor Address Operation Jungle Defense Protesters

Mayor McGinn and Deputy Mayor Address Operation Jungle Defense Protesters

By Aliana Bazara

Approximately 60 people gathered Friday evening in front of the Mayor’s house in Greenwood to protest the impending eviction of a homeless community in West Beacon Hill, known as The Jungle. The protest was organized by several Occupy activists and included residents (both homeless and non-homeless) of Beacon Hill, Wallingford, and Seattle. After 2 hours of talking, playing chess, eating, and sharing stories of why they were there, the crowd was greeted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. A circle quickly formed around the officials, and deep conversations and questions began.

“When you break apart a community such as this one, forcing individuals to leave their support mechanisms and fend for themselves, you are creating even greater safety concerns,” said Ben Holden, resident of Beacon Hill.

The issue that no social services had been offered to these individuals prior to the eviction notice, was raises, and the Mayor responded saying that Fire Station 39 has been opened as a shelter and there is space at The Fry Hotel and City Hall Shelter.

Enoch Madison, a US Army veteran, homeless resident of, and spokesman for The Jungle, advised that 60-70% of the residents of The Jungle are Veterans who are already on long wait-lists for housing. “The shelters are not safe or clean. People there have lice and scabies. We’re not hurting anyone where we are (in The Jungle). Please, please, please, I am begging you, don’t kick us out.”

The Mayor defended the eviction, explaining that he had an obligation to keep the community safe and cited that a gun linked to a previous crime was found at the encampment recently. The crowd barked back, with shouts of “What community are you keeping safe?” Karen Studders, a lawyer and Occupy Wall Street activist asked the Mayor, “Would you evict the residents of Greenwood if a gun was found in this community?”

Studders poses an interesting question, a double standard that deserves investigation. Why should those that are homeless be considered more of a threat than those that have homes? As more and more Americans face unimagined poverty, the mindset of “us” versus “them” seems to be disappearing. The “middle class” is losing its status and seems to be realizing that they too, could face similar treatment.

The question and answer period continued for an hour and a half on the sidewalk of Dayton Ave. N. & N. 87th St., and went remarkably smooth as it was done in typical Occupy fashion. A stack was taken, points of process were called, and clarifying questions were asked.

The biggest question of the night remains unanswered. Will residents of the Jungle be forcibly removed? Receiving 3 different answers from the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, and the SPD standing by, the future is unclear. So activists exchanged information last night and agreed to be ready for an immediate response should an actual eviction take place.

Imminent Eviction of Residents of Beacon Hill’s “Jungle” Pulls at Heartstrings of Occupiers

Imminent Eviction of Residents of Beacon Hill’s “Jungle” Pulls at Heartstrings of Occupiers

By Aliana Bazara

Reminiscent of Occupy Seattle’s eviction from Seattle Central Community College back in October, residents of Beacon Hill’s “The Jungle” are scheduled to be evicted this week in much the same fashion. According to a KING 5 news report last week, the Seattle Police Department will soon post an eviction notice at the encampment, giving the homeless 72 hours to pack up and disappear. Sympathizing with residents of “The Jungle,” around 10 Occupy activists took a trip to visit the endangered community in West Beacon Hill to see if there was anything they could do to help.

“I asked them what they needed most right now. Aside from support, they said they could use a place to shower. So Josh and I built them a shower,” says Delgado, a 35 year old social worker and member of the Camp Safety work group of Occupy Seattle.

Delgado and other Occupy activists plan to do more than build a shower. They are planning a good ol’ fashioned protest. After speaking with several residents of “The Jungle,” Delgado was dismayed to hear that no social workers had been to the site yet, despite reports from KING 5 suggesting otherwise. “No one from the City sent me here. I came on my own because I feel bad for these people. The shelters are full.” Enoch Madison, a 45 year old veteran of the US Army and resident of “The Jungle”, told Occupiers that the majority of the people residing in “the jungle” are either already on long wait lists for housing or weren’t “lucky” enough to be selected for the shelter lottery systems. Enoch says that his community is safe, drug-free, and sanitary. When asked about the recent reports of gunshots in the area, he says “They didn’t come from here.” Upon investigation of the shots fired, no weapons or evidence of gunfire was found at the scene.

Día Internacional del Trabajador y la Huelga General Mundial

Hip Hop Occupies para Descolonizar presenta Subir & Descolonizar II, en solidaridad con el Día Internacional del Trabajador y la huelga general mundial. Estamos invitando a artistas, jóvenes, familias y la comunidad de Seattle para que guarden la fecha y se unan con el pueblo este Primero de Mayo desde las 9am-4pm en el parque de Westlake. Vamos a tener un día de música y arte en vivo, baile, sesiones de cypher, y mucho más con en el espíritu de Hip Hop y la resistencia creativa. ¡También en memoria recordamos a todos los que están en centros de detenciones y a Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, Rhamarley Graham, Kenneth Camberlin Sr., Wendell Allen, John T. Williams, and y todos aquellos que han perdido sus por el odio, racismo, y supremacía blanca sistemática e internalizada! ¡Ningún ser humano es ilegal!

Horario:

9 a.m.-11 a.m. Desayuno y Asamblea General

11am-4pm actuaciones, altavoces y mitin incluyendo a:

206 Zulu Kids, Black Magic Noize, Jamil Suleman, Prince Kapone, King Khazm, Youth Speakin’ Truth, Kama, J.Infinite, Milu, Notorious Potential, Too Chill, Massiah, Mic Flont, Man Danno, Ethos, Maria Gullien, Stephany Koch Hazelrigg, Members of the Seattle Fandango Community, Jadis Sue Floe, Dee.Ale, Sista Hailstorm, Baby J, Suntonio Bandanaz, Jace Ecaj, Spyc-E, Ms. Kash, Baron Dekalb more! DJs Gumbeaux, Cues, SeaBefore, & Too Quick on the decks. Sonido por: Spoken Visuals

4:30-7 p.m. La marcha de la coalición del 01 de Mayo comienza en el centro donde marcharan hacia la Iglesia Santa María. Pueden marchar o esperar en el centro de Seattle donde se van a reunir a las 5pm para el Mitin de la Coalición del Primero de Mayo en 3rd y Univeristy st en Wells Fargo.

Antecedentes del Primero de Mayo: En conmemoración de la masacre de 1886 de Haymarket en Chicago, El Día Internacional del Trabajador (May Day) históricamente ha celebrado y honorado la resistencia de todos los trabajadores del mundo. A medida de resistir y descolonizar, reconocemos a las miles de personas en todo el país que llevaron acabo una huelga general de tres días en apoyo de la jornada laboral de 8 horas el 1 de Mayo de 1886.También recordamos la Gran Boicot Estadounidense de 2006 (El Dia sin el Migrante), donde millones de trabajadores migrantes y refugiados económicos salieron a las calles para hacerle frente a la ley anti-inmigrante y racista HR 4437, enfrentar los ataques racistas contra los migrantes y todas las víctimas de la violencia económica en el mundo. Este Primero de Mayo, La “Primavera de América,” similar a un día sin los migrantes en el 2006, estamos en contra la explotación de todas las personas en el mundo. ¡Si el capital, bancos y las empresas pueden cruzar las fronteras, también todas las personas tienen el derecho de migrar! Similar a como Hip Hop trasciende las fronteras en movimiento y espíritu, nosotros como personas empezamos el proceso de construir un mundo mejor, descolonizar nuestros cuerpos, mentes, corazones y nuestras comunidades.

¡El mundo entero está mirando, otro mundo es posible!

www.may1stseattle.org
www.hiphopdecolonize.com

Julie C

International Worker’s Day and the Global General Strike

Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize is proud to announce we have solidified the performance line up for Rise & Decolonize II, in solidarity with International Worker’s Day and the Global General Strike! Please join the facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/192910980825148/ and share with friends! We are inviting artists, youth, families, and the broader Seattle community to save the date and join us at Westlake Park from 9am-4pm for a day of music, live art, dance, cypher sessions, and more in the spirit of Hip Hop and creative resistance, as well as in remembrance of Trayvon Marvin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawai, Rhamarley Graham, Kenneth Camberlin Sr., Wendell Allen, John T. Williams, and all those whose lives were lost to systemic and internalized white supremecy.

Our tremendous inter-generational, mixed-medium, multicultural, line-up honors voices from our communities and includes performers ages two and up featuring:

206 Zulu Kids, Black Magic Noize, Beloved 1, Jamil Suleman, Prince Kapone, King Khazm, Youth Speakin’ Truth, Kama, J.Infinite, Milu, Notorious Potential, Too Chill, Massiah, Mic Flont, Man Danno, Ethos, Maria Gullien, Stephany Koch Hazelrigg, Members of the Seattle Fandango Community, Jadis Sue Floe, Dee.Ale, Sista Hailstorm, Baby J, Suntonio Bandanaz, Jace Ecaj, Spyc-E, Ms. Kash, Baron Dekalb more! DJs Gumbeaux, Cues, SeaBefore, & Too Quick on the decks. With sound by: Spoken Visuals!

We are also VERY excited to announce our special guest WALIDAH, (http://www.walidah.com/), who is a world-renowned historian, reporter, revolutionary and spoken word artist. (Thanks to Sam Chesneau w/ Seattle Central Community College for hooking this up.) Stay tuned for more announcements on speakers and live-art coming soon!

May Day Background: In commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, International Worker’s Day (May Day) has historically celebrated and honored the resistance of all workers of the world. As we rise and decolonize, we acknowledge the legacies of the tens of thousands of people across the country who carried a three day general strike in support of the 8 hour work day on May 1, 1886. We also remember the Great American Boycott of 2006 where millions of im/migrant workers and economic refugees took to the streets to stand up against H.R. 4437, racist attacks against Im/migrants and all victims of economic violence across the globe. In the” American Spring”, similar to a Day Without Im/migrants, we stand up against the exploitation of all people worldwide. If capital and corporations can cross borders, so can all humans! Just like Hip Hop transcends borders in movement and motion, we as people decolonize our bodies, minds, hearts, and communities.

The whole world is watching, another world is possible!

www.may1stseattle.org
www.hiphopdecolonize.com

~Julie C

Everything for Everyone Festival this August 11-12. Help Make it a Reality!

Pledge to support the #e4e festival. Help make the Everything for Everyone Festival a reality!

(link) https://www.wepay.com/donations/everything-for-everyone-festival

The Everything for Everyone Festival, www.everythingforeveryone.org, is a free, two-day music, art, and politics festival scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington on August 11th and 12th.

Send your Proposal Soon, Help Shape #e4e

There are two months left until the Everything for Everyone Festival makes it’s appearance on August 11-12. In coordinating the festival, we have seen a great deal of interest and enthusiasm for bringing together radical music, art, theory culture and politics. Now is the time to concretely flesh out the presentations, workshops, discussions, activities and art.

We need proposals from participants and endorsers for what you would like to see at this festival–and the sooner the better!

Day One will take place outdoors in Jefferson Park. In addition to the music stage, will be an auxiliary stage and lots of park space for panels, workshops, trainings and debates.

Day Two will branch off into various Seattle venues for plenary discussions, actions, and continued workshops.

Are you or your organization interested in organizing a workshop, debate, training or performance? Perhaps focusing on theory, politics, art, history or practical skills that people can use?

Send us your proposal! Please include your:

· Name/Organization/Contact Information
· Title
· Content
· Format (including panel participants, presenters, facilitators)
· Time needs
· Logistical Needs (Audio/Visual, Space, Materials)

Email your proposal into the #e4e Coordinating Committee (e4e.fest [@] gmail.com). The deadline for priority proposal is June 24.

We help coordinate times and locations for proposals and help group together similar proposals.

In 2011, the rule of the 1% began to be challenged in brand new ways. A wave of discontent with the old older of things began in Egypt and Tunisia in the Spring. This wave gained strength and momentum into the Fall with the Occupy movement. Now in 2012, there is a desire coming from everywhere on the planet to continue that spirit of resistance of 2011, and to develop it in new and meaningful ways. This desire for change is not manifesting itself in the traditional forms of opposition to the current system, nor is that desire seeking just to “fix” the old oppressive order to make it seem “fairer” to the relative few on the planet.

The desire is for a new form of popular struggle, and a new content of the way we relate to each other as people and to our planet – our common home. This desire is not for merely balancing the budgets or repairing the social safety nets in just a few countries, but rather making everything for everyone all over the planet. We would like to invite those all over the world with this desire to come together in a celebration of the world we seek to bring into being, and to exchange our ideas about how make that happen.

The Everything For Everyone Festival is meant to give a face for this new movement. The festival intends to facilitate debate and cross-fertilization between different ideas, for a mutual flourishing of those engaged in different aspects of a common struggle and those who have yet to participate. A movement for changing everything is much more than actions and protest, as vital as those are. It is a new politics, culture, and forms of organization; a new way of living.

The Occupy movement has opened eyes and created new possibilities. This festival aims to include those who have participated and those who have yet to participate but are attracted to fundamentally changing society, and to provide a space for the new culture, the new philosophy, and new politics in its diversity and complexity to intermingle and grow stronger. It aims to bring together art, music, workshops, philosophy, and encompassing participation from attendants.

To make this happen, we need your help. $11,000 is needed just to cover some of our initial costs, including permits, PA equipment, and travel costs for speakers and performers. As you consider whether or not to back this project, remember that your pledge is not merely to fund a festival; it will directly contribute to creating a new culture, forging new relationships among people, and building a new world in which everything truly is for everyone.

Your Companions on the Road to Freedom,

The Everything for Everyone Coordinating Committee

Initial endorsers: Occupy Seattle, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Portland, Sanhati, Kali Akuno-Malcom X Grassroots Movement, Black Orchid Collecitve, Student Anarchist Study Group, Red Spark (Kasama Project), Rising Tide

Boycott Wells Fargo

Contact: boycottwellsfargoseattle@gmail.com

Ride Free Area Advocacy Update

Ride Free Area Advocacy Update
by Elaine Simons

As most readers know, King County Metro will eliminate the Ride Free Area (RFA) in the heart of downtown Seattle as of September, 2012. This will make life even more difficult for everyone who relies on this transit option, whether they live in downtown or come here from around thee city and the county to access services.

We need you to COMMENT on this change before the Friday, April 13 deadline. Below are key talking points to help you make a strong case to King County and Seattle City Council members, and to both executives, that we need a mitigation plan that will really work for everyone who relies on this service.

We also need you to ATTEND and SPEAK UP at two upcoming King County Council meeting:
Monday, April 16 @ 6.00 p.m.
Friday, April 25 @ 9.00 a.m.

The King County Council will vote on this plan in May. The Time to Advocate is NOW.

SKCCH’s Single Adults Advocacy Committee is RFA Advocacy Central! Next SAAC meeting is on Thursday, April 12, from noon – 1.30 p.m. at Plymouth’s Simons Senior Apartments, 2119 Third Ave. in Seattle.

BACKGROUND and KEY TALKING POINTS:

SKCCH has been working with other stakeholders to develop a ROBUST and JUST mitigation plan in response to the loss of the RFA that will offset the negative effects of losing this community resource on people who live, work, visit, shop, and access services in downtown Seattle. A successful solution will be comprehensive, and will include a free, public option for navigating downtown. Secondary elements should include making it easier for people who are elderly or have disabilities to obtain reduced fare permits, and securing more bus tickets for human service providers.

Our public transit system can and must be accessible to and inclusive of people who are homeless, low income, disabled, elderly, and that the whole community benefits when the system works for all people. We believe that the King County Council and Executive and the Seattle Ciy Council and Mayor working together can preserve the most valuable elements of this vital public good, and improve on the public transit access for vulnerable community members.

We are advocating strongly for the following elements:
A free, public loop service that operates daily and is available to everyone and can accommodate the passengers who need it

A predictable schedule with service frequency at least every 20 minutes
Hours should ensure that people who rely on overnight-only shelters can get to and from those locations without excessive waits or walks very late at night or very early in the morning.
A route or routes that maintain access within the broad downtown area, and helps people get to key locations (including Harborview Medical Center and other hospitals, the International District, and key resources not currently in the RFA).

SPEAK YOUR PIECE! Please submit comments during this extended comment period, and invite others to do the same.
* How does the Ride Free Area currently help you or the people you work with?
* What will the loss of this service mean?
* How do people from OUTSIDE of the downtown area and from AROUND King County use the RFA to help them access needed services and programs?
* What mitigation services will help people continue to be able to get around?

The comment period has been EXTENDED to this Friday, April 13.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Monday, April 16 at 7.00 p.m. the King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will hold a special meeting to receive public input on the proposed service changes. There is an opportunity to offer Public Testimony about the proposed system-wide changes to Metro Service, including the loss of the Ride Free Area. JOIN us and help build the case for a strong response that will benefit the general public.

Monday, April 16
Sound Transit’s Board Room at Union Station
401 South Jackson Street, Seattle
6:00 p.m. open house
6:30 p.m. presentation
7:00 p.m. public testimony

The Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will also hear public comments at its regular meeting:
WHEN: Friday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Council Chambers on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle.

Board Decision Overturned. We Have Been Heard…Maybe

Board Decision Overturned. We Have Been Heard…Maybe

Editorial

April 10, 2012 – by Sebastian Garrett-Singh

On April 5th, a second public hearing was held at Broadway Performance Hall at SCCC to hear concerns about revisions to WAC code 132F-136 and the implementation of code 132F-142. These changes would directly limit First Amendment rights on Seattle Community College campuses. Nearly 200 people were in attendance, and many rallied against the proposal, ranging from teachers to Student Council representatives.

“We heard you…” a point made and reiterated in a letter from Chancellor Jill Wakefield. The letter outlines Wakefield’s removal of WAC 132F-142 due to the public outcry but will move forward with revising WAC 132F-136 (last revised 1984) to include: “hours of operation (section 14), camping (section 15), and incorporating Due Process to Trespassing (section 050).”

On the surface this appears to be a great victory for First Amendment advocates and the Seattle community. However, there are some inconsistencies and foreboding wording in WAC 132F-136. We have been heard…maybe.

Section Two states: “In general, the facilities of the college shall not be rented to, or used by, private or commercial organizations or associations, nor shall the facilities be rented to persons or organizations conducting programs for private gain.”

This section has already been compromised by the college as Balagan (a private nonprofit theatre company) operates The Erickson Theatre. Erickson was originally funded by private donors for the purpose of Seattle Central students. I am not sure what defines the “In general” but this section needs to be completely overhauled. If the SCCD cannot hold themselves accountable to their already implemented WAC, then how can they proclaim to follow their proposed amendments?

Section Seven states: “Handbills, leaflets, and similar materials except those which are commercial, obscene, or unlawful in character may be distributed only in designated areas on the campus where, and at times when, such distribution shall not interfere with the orderly administration of the college affairs or the free flow of traffic.”

This seems perfectly acceptable, but who is define to “obscene”?

Merriam-Webster defines obscene as “disgusting to the sense.” Now who is to decide what is disgusting to the senses? What is acceptable to some is “obscene” to others. Who decides here? According to the WAC, “The decision of the manager of campus security or designee will be the final decision of the college.”

Section 15 of the WAC, which addresses camping on school grounds, states: “Camping is defined to include sleeping, carrying on cooking activities, or storing personal belongings, for personal habitation, or the erection of tents or other shelters or structures used for purposes of personal habitation.” I don’t know if whoever wrote this has been to Seattle Central during finals week, but countless students pull all-nighters then take an hour between classes to rest on one of the 4th floor chairs. I once saw 5 students taking sanctuary during finals madness on campus. A New York judge ruled that “the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not allow the city to prevent an orderly political protest from using public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression.”

So I guess if a student takes a nap on campus he will have to hold up a sign saying, “My nap is a political protest, leave me alone!”

Amendment One states that those who commit unlawful acts in regards to the WAC will be “requested by the campus president, or his or her designee, to leave the college property.”

Now I hardly see President Killpatrick coming out of his administrative castle to tell someone to leave, and I assume that his designees would be campus security. So my question is: “If campus security kicks you off the property, and you have to appeal to campus security, then how can this be unbiased?” Campus security cannot be delegated this responsibility.

The appeals process should run through an unbiased committee made up of faculty, students, and administrators; this is the only way to avoid a conflict of interest.

Section Three of the Amendment states: “When the college revokes the license or privilege of any person to be on college property, temporarily or for a stated period of time, that person may file a request for review of the decision with the manager of campus security within ten days of receipt of the trespass notice. The request must contain the reasons why the individual disagrees with the trespass notice.”

The proposed WAC amendments do not elaborate beyond this as to how this process would work. This is a glaring omission from the amendments, and must be addressed.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for campus security; they have always conducted themselves in a professional manner and have been courteous to students. They should however, not deal with administrative responsibilities, as they’re not administrators.

Wakefield in her letter speaks highly of supporting the First Amendment and of all the people that came out to voice their concern. I commend her for the acknowledgment, but it seems hollow and overdue. She notes that some WAC supporters voiced concerns that, “At times, members of outside groups have harassed our students and followed them across campus and to their classes.” Obviously, this is reprehensible, but is already covered by RCW 9a.46.110.

This is not the issue at hand: it is a red herring slipped in to defend the proposals. What we’re talking about is preserving our First Amendment rights, which has nothing to do with clearly criminal activities, such as stalking, or menacing students.

We have been heard…maybe.

Originally Published by New City Collegian:

http://www.newcitycollegian.com/2012/04/10/board-decision-overturned-we-have-been-heardmaybe/

An Occupier Speaks: May Day General Strike!

One Occupier has released this statement in support of Occupy Seattle’s General Strike:

May 1st, 2012, is a global general strike. Every year millions of people around the world celebrate May 1st as a dignified day of revolt against this system.May Day is an international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police defending, as always, the interests of the ruling class attacked and murdered workers participating in a general strike and demanding an 8-hour workday. Five anarchists, known as the Haymarket Martyrs, were framed and sentenced to death as a result.

Occupy Seattle has chosen to stand in solidarity with the international call. We urge everyone to skip out on school and work to take to the streets. This general strike will not be comparable to the 1919 Seattle General Strike because the general strike is not what it used to be. In this current era of extreme social cuts, anti-immigration racism, and massive predatory financial speculation the number of unionized workers in the US stands at only 11.8% of the population.

Therefore, we are calling out to a population of largely unorganized workers as well as the growing millions of people who are unemployed or underemployed. We are calling on those who are never mentioned in the statistics; the undocumented and manual workers drawn largely from immigrant communities as well as those whose work at home through unwaged gendered labor. We are calling on the youth, college students, and the retired to meet in the streets with the employed, the undocumented, and the homeless. The general strike in this century is a day of generalized rebellion for the exploited.

As students and youth we walk out against the ongoing attacks reflected in education cuts, juvenile detention center expansions, police harassment, and racist murders.

As workers we walk out against selling our time and energy to a boss or owner that profits from our labor. We walk out because we would rather be with our friends, family, and comrades creating and working with each other and not for a system we never agreed to be a part of.

As the exploited, excluded, and working classes we walk off the job, out of the school, and into the streets because we see standing up together in the streets as the first step toward dismantling this system that oppresses all of us.

On May Day 2012, Occupy Seattle will act in solidarity with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world in a Global General Strike to shut down the global circulation of capital that every day serves to enrich the ruling classes and impoverish the rest of us. There will be no victory but that which we make for ourselves.

REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING!

STRIKE / BLOCKADE / OCCUPY

MAY 1ST 2012
9AM-12NOON-3PM-5PM-7PM
Rallies, Marches, Speakers, Music, Food, Assemblies
WESTLAKE PARK (4TH & PINE)
may1stseattle.org
#M1GS

Free Speech Battle Over Protests Looming at Seattle Colleges

A major battle over free speech is being waged on local college campuses in Seattle. The Seattle Community College District Board of Trustees wants to revise the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) for Seattle colleges. The district is proposing new rules
[http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2012/03/23/board-seeks-to-limit-protest-at-seattle-central-in-wake-of-occupy-seattle-camp ] that would regulate protests on all three of the city’s state funded community college campuses.

Organizations opposed to the board’s proposals include the ACLU, the Seattle chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, student councils at all three of the district’s colleges, and Occupy Seattle.

About a hundred Occupy Seattle participants set up camp at Seattle Central Community College last fall after being pushed out of Westlake Park by police. SCCC president Paul Kilpatrick and the school administration went to court to evict the demonstrators from the campus, and on December 10, 2011, the occupiers were forced to leave [http://capitolhill.komonews.com/news/politics/695733-judge-sccc-can-evict-occupy-protesters ]. A Thurston County Superior Court judge has allowed the college to impose new rules which prohibit camping on the campus, on an “emergency” basis
[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016840646_occupy24m.html ].

Prior to this ruling, there had been no rules regulating encampments on state college campuses in the state of Washington.

Among other proposals, the new set of rules would:
-restrict the size of protest signs to a maximum of 3 feet by 5 feet
-impose a limit of one sign per person.
-place restrictions on where protests can take place and how long they can last. Student groups would be forced to end their demonstrations after eight hours, whereas off-campus organizations like Occupy Seattle would only be allowed to rally for five hours at a time.
-prohibit protests outside of designated “free speech zones” on campus
-require non-student groups to notify the college 24 hours in advance of demonstrations.

Protesters who violate the rules could be arrested by Seattle police and charged with trespassing.

At the first board hearing on Tuesday March 27, Karen Strickland, president of the Seattle chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said that if the changes are adopted, her organization’s march banner will not be allowed on campus.

“Some people’s views have not been appreciated,” she told them. “Free speech, just like access to public higher education, is a core part of democracy. And that’s what we need to fight for! Right now in our country there are all kinds of threats to democracy.”

Although the school district claims that the process of adopting new rules actually began in 2010, Occupy Seattle activists have interpreted the proposed rule changes as a direct response to their occupation of the college. They claim that the district is placing a prior restraint on any future protest activity at the school.

Washington State law requires an open public comment period before any new state college rules can be established. In compliance with this requirement, the SCCD Board of Trustees held a public hearing on March 27. Due to the overwhelming community response to these proposed rule changes, the school district scheduled another hearing a week later.

On April 5, about 200 people participated in the second hearing held at the Broadway Performance Hall on the campus of Seattle Central Community College. Seattle Community College District Vice Chancellor Carin Weiss was “the presiding official over the proceedings.” SCCC president Paul Kilpatrick was in attendance, along with a representative from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Derek Edwards.

Weiss opened the hearing by stating that the purpose for the new rules is “to establish reasonable controls on demonstrations at the college campuses.”

She asserted the Board of Trustees is attempting to propose rules which will maintain a balance between the rights of people to protest and the needs of the administration to limit disruptions to the educational process.

LaRond Baker from the Washington ACLU spoke against the proposed rules, citing limitations on the rights to freedom of speech and assembly that are protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

“We are opposed to the rules on several grounds and we believe they will not be upheld by the courts,” she said.

The ACLU maintains that any rule which requires non-student groups to notify the college 24 hours in advance of protests is illegal and would be considered ‘prior restraint’ under the Washington State Constitution.

Baker also criticized a proposed prohibition on the distribution of potentially “libelous” material on campus. She described the language of the proposed school district rule as “vague” and warned that under the board’s proposal, “persons passing out handbills on campus could be charged with a criminal offense.”

She concluded her public testimony with the following statement: “The Washington ACLU is opposed to these new rule changes and we ask the Board of Trustees to withdraw their proposal.”

Seattle Central Community College staff member Kelly McHenry told SCCC President Paul Kilpatrick, “As a college librarian, I love the free exchange of ideas. Because of this, I have to stand up against anything that infringes on the First Amendment.”

McHenry opposes the regulation of demonstrations because she believes colleges and universities should encourage rather than limit public discussion.

“Allowing for free expression is part of the educational process,” she argued. “Are you also going to limit what films students should see and what books they can read?”

Zack Robertson, head of the SCCC student government, read a statement to the board of trustees:

“We oppose the new rules because we find them unnecessary. Regulations already exist that prohibit disruptions of classrooms, vandalism, etcetera. Why do we need new rules when these issues have already been addressed?”

Robertson also opposed the idea of ‘free speech zones’.

“We have measured the area on campus that is being designated for this purpose ,” he said, “and found it to be less than 400 square feet. It’s about the size of a small one bedroom apartment. That is clearly unacceptable.”

One eloquent statement came from Sange, a 20 year old immigrant from Gambia who is enrolled at Seattle Central Community College.

“You may have forgotten why people from around the world come to this country,” he said. “Where I lived we had no protections on our freedom, so let me say something to you.”

Sange then proceeded to read the Declaration of Independence .”We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he recited.

When he was finished reading he received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Broadway Performance Hall.

Although hundreds of people have participated in the public hearings, no one has spoken in favor of the new college district rules.

A board of trustees meeting is scheduled for April 12 to access the results of the public comment period. Despite the community outcry, school district officials could vote to approve the proposals on that date. There is nothing in the state law that requires the board to follow all public recommendations. Student groups say they will picket the meeting if they are not allowed to participate in the next step of the decision making process.

According to the state law governing changes to the WAC rules, if the community college district board decides to make significant changes to their original proposal, another series of public hearings will be required to provide for more public comment.

After the college school district hearing on April 5, one anonymous Occupy Seattle activist wearing a Guy Fawkes mask addressed a large crowd of students and teachers outside the building.

“If they approve these new restrictions on our freedom of speech and assembly,” he said, “We will have to be ready to immediately challenge the rules by breaking them. We need hundreds of people on campus holding two signs or standing outside of the designated protest areas. We can’t let them take away our First Amendment rights! I’m willing to go to jail to defend my freedom of speech! Are you?”

Local Author Mark Taylor Canfield, published in Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-taylorcanfield/free-speech-battle-loomin_b_1408759.html?ref=college&

ANNOUNCING: ANTI-CAPITALIST MAY DAY MARCH

On May Day, some Occupiers are choosing to decry capitalism by having a march against the current economic system:
NOON MAY 1ST 2012 – WESTLAKE PLAZA

Don’t Go to Work
Ditch School
TAKE THE STREETS!

The same processes are at work everywhere. In our homes, at school, and at work, our lives are taken from us. The banks and landlords profit from our homes while bosses and owners profit from our work and schools control the youth.

Today capitalism is on the offensive. For workers, it’s the attack on workplace organizing and the scarcity of even the lowest paid jobs. For students, it’s rising tuition and loss of ethnic studies and arts programs. For immigrants, it’s the militarization of the borders, the harassment and racism on the job, and raids by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement).

But we are not just against the current excesses of capitalism, we are against the system itself. Because:

Capitalists exploit us at work – We don’t work because we want to. We work because we have no other way to make money. We sell our time and energy to a boss in order to buy the things we need to survive. During our time at work we make things or provide services that our bosses sell. Our everyday working lives are sold hour after hour, week after week, generation after generation.

Capitalists profit from and control what we need to survive – Banks and landlords profit from our need for housing. Actually, all the things we need to survive—the water we drink, the food we eat, even the roofs over our heads—are turned into commodities that someone makes a profit from. This excludes many of us from the necessities of life.

Capitalists terrorize immigrants – Hundreds of immigrants and refugees are forcibly deported every day for doing what humans have done for thousands of years—moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, disasters, persecution, or war. Those on the wrong side of borders, whose homelands are often torn apart by the same economic practices that define the so-called First World, are illegalized and criminalized and are forced to work for less than those with papers.

Capitalists create schools that produce obedient workers and unquestioning citizens – The primary task of education in a capitalistic society is to teach students to ‘respect authority.’ Authority is imposed through a system that punishes those who do not do what they are told and rewards conformity. Strict adherence to trivial rules teaches us to obey no matter how stupid the order is. This prepares us for the world of bosses, cops, politicians, and military officers ordering us around and treating us as inferior.

Capitalism affects everyone differently, but regardless of who we are, as working class people we are exploited by the system in one way or another. That pervasiveness can be threatening, but it is also a common link that we can use to struggle against it together. Simply standing up for our own interests in this struggle is the starting point for undermining capitalism. – For a pdf of a double sided flyer with the above text go to http://www.mediafire.com/?d26yspdd6t0qece

Zombie March Against Killer Incinerator

We Zombies are UNDEAD and UNCOMPROMISING! That’s why we are taking action to shut down Seattle Steam’s incinerator next to Pike Place Market that is now filling the air with lethal pollution.

Seattle Steam is burning dirty waste wood in its incinerator on Western Avenue. This dirty fuel emits pollution so lethal the American Lung Association states it can kill “on the very day of exposure”.

JOIN US AS ZOMBIES! WE NEED TO MASS AND STOP THIS KILLER INCINERATOR! We will gather at the park just north of Pike Place Market. We will party at the park then “zombie-shamble” to the incinerator and to the market. People need to know how lethal this incinerator is. We zombies will tell them. We zombies will have fun scaring Seattle Steam into shutting down.

Residents of the Pike Place Market neighborhood are already falling sick from this toxic pollution. Many of these folks are low income, elderly and disabled. They must be protected. All of us must be protected. Seattle Steam’s incinerator must be shut down!
WARNING! ZOMBIE ATTACK COMING!!

(all folks welcome)

Seattle Steam’s lawyer is threatening to sue one of our Environmental Justice folks for “defamation and commercial disparagement” since our campaign has been telling the lethal truth about Seattle Steam’s toxic incinerator near Pike Place Market and its much larger incinerator planned near Pioneer Square. The lawyer’s threatening letter came only days after our February11 Die-In at the market.

Click here to download the letter (PDF)

This an outrage, so… Let’s show this legal Hit Man that Occupy Seattle has changed the rules. Let’s show Seattle Steam that its killer incinerator will no longer be allowed to threaten the lives and health of the people of Seattle. Overwhelming medical evidence caused the American Lung Association to state in its 2008 State of the Air Report (pg. 42/204) about particulate matter pollution like the Seattle Steam incinerator emits right now by Pike Place Market: “First and foremost, short-term exposure to particle pollution can kill. Deaths can occur on the very day that particle levels are high.” (http://www.lungusa.org/assets/documents/publications/state-of-the-air/state-of-the-air-report-2008.)

One Seattle Steam incinerator is already making Pike Place Market neighbors ill, say residents. The huge 50MW, $80M incinerator planned near Pioneer Square would emit hundreds of tons of killer particle pollution. AND, Seattle City Council’s “District Energy” scheme would drastically ramp up this lethal pollution by removing city buildings from low emission hydro-power and powering them by burning the dirtiest fuel of all, wood…while Seattle Steam rakes in more than $500M over the next 20 years profiting from ‘sweetheart’, no-bid city contracts.

Here is the exhaustive list of medical and scientific citations Occupy Seattle Environmental Justice always includes in campaign literature to educate folks about the lethal threat of Seattle Steam’s incinerators:

1. Pike Place Market incinerator (1319 Western Ave.): Burning wood emits more particulate matter (PM) than coal combustion, per unit of energy produced. Source: industry fillings and analyses accepted by EPA, per Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA
2. Pioneer Square incinerator (633 Post Ave.): Would emit 166 tons per year of PM. Source: DOE EA, 6/10
3. Both incinerators: “Short term exposure to particle pollution can kill”. Source: American Lung Association
4. Both incinerators: PM can kill on “the very day of exposure”, when PM levels are high. Source: ALA
5. Both incinerators: PM is a health hazard with no safe level of exposure. Sources: American Heart Association & EPA
6. Both incinerators: Health effects of PM: premature death, heart attacks, cancer, strokes, lung function changes in children, heart arrhythmias, chronic lung disease, higher ER admissions. Source: EPA
7. Both incinerators: The smallest PM, nano-PM, is the most dangerous PM. Source: AHA
8. Both incinerators: No pollution control device can effectively reduce nano-PM. Sources: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA, and Air & Waste Management Association.
9. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is completely unregulated. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD and WA air pollution agencies
10. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is so small it enters our blood directly through our lungs—and attacks our bodies systemically. Source: American Lung Association State of the Air Report-2008
11. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is now being associated with congenital conditions, lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Sources: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA and Block & Calderon-Garciduenas
12. Both incinerators: Nano-PM is not stopped by any human body barriers, including the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA and Block & Calderon-Garciduenas, 2009
13. Pike Place Market incinerator: Burning wood emits more CO2 than burning coal, per unit of energy produced. CO2 is the leading greenhouse gas causing climate change. Source: Manomet study, Boston, MA, 6/10.
14. Pioneer Square incinerator: 207,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide would be emitted. Source: DOE EA.
15. Both incinerators: No pollution control devices are available to reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions.
16. Pike Place Market incinerator: Burning wood emits more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than burning coal, per unit of energy produced, according to industry filings and analyses accepted by the EPA.
17. Pioneer Square incinerator: Would emit 31 tons/yr. of NOx and Volatile Organic Compounds. DOE EA
18. Both incinerators: NOx and VOCs attack human respiratory systems and cause ground level ozone that causes asthma in children. Source: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD, Cambridge, MA
19. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood construction debris (“urban wood”) can be contaminated with toxic substances including paint, asbestos, resins, and glues that defy industry attempts at removal.
20. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood combustion emits dioxin. Dioxin produces cancer at far lower concentrations than any of more than 600 chemicals studied by the EPA. Source: EPA
21. Pike Place Market incinerator: Wood combustion emits 6.5 times more of 4 toxic pollutants that attack human respiratory systems than burning natural gas does. Two of these pollutants are lethal. Sources: (1) “Biomass Environmental Impacts” study, Dr. Jeffry Morris, Sound Resource Management, November, 2010; (2) EPA; ,and (3) PSCAA.
22. Both incinerators: Seattle Steam has been awarded more than $55M in federal subsidies to build and retrofit its two downtown incinerators. More state & city subsidies would come under the District Energy scheme. Press /web accounts
23. Both incinerators: It is obscene to subsidize a highly polluting corporation in a time of budget free-fall—or ever.

Zombie March

Zombie March Against Lethal Incinerator