Declaration of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle
*The General Assembly passed this statement on Oct 20th.
**However, the name “Decolonize/Occupy” was not passed. Majority (63/40) of the GA insisted on keeping the name “Occupy Seattle.”
DECLARATION OF DECOLONIZE/OCCUPY SEATTLE
AFFIRMATION of Decolonization of Seattle with Northwest Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS, those participating in “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are invaders and squatters upon stolen indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Seattle being the ancestral land of the Duwamish and Suquamish people; and
WHEREAS, indigenous people of this land have continued to resist the violent conquest, oppression, exploitation and victimization by the invaders and colonizers since they first arrived on this continent; and as a result have endured a great amount of trans-generational trauma and woundedness; and that their experience strengthens this movement to expose those on-going inhumane crimes; and
WHEREAS, after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the repeated disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a violated and polluted planet, lacking the Indigenous people’s wisdom and knowledge to live in balance, harmony and at peace with the community of Life; and
WHEREAS, the term “occupation” has been used by imperialists to colonize indigenous lands
WHEREAS, the term “occupation” has also been reclaimed by militant workers of color from Latin America (Oaxaca, Buenos Aires, South Korea, China among other places) to describe their occupation of factories, schools and neighborhoods, to strike back against the oppressive forces led by racism and capitalism. It is in this context that we use the term “occupy”
WHEREAS the borders of the United States of America are a colonial construct based upon the violent destruction of indigenous land across the continent and therefore illegitimate in our eyes
WHEREAS this land is currently occupied by descendants of slaves kidnapped from the African continent, as well as economic refugees forcibly displaced by the forces of capitalism and imperialism around the world, therefore
AFFIRMED, that we prioritize the involvement of indigenous sovereign people in the redesigning and rebuilding of a new way of living on their ancestral land in the context that there is one mother of us all, our earth mother; and
As a Decolonization Statement to the national “Occupy” movement and to indigenous members who have been excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it is declared that phrase “Occupy Seattle” is reframed to the inclusive cross-cultural term “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle” to affirm the guidance and participation of indigenous peoples; and to affirm the history of militant labor struggles associated with the term “occupy”
Awakening to compassion and extending an open hand of friendship and partnership, we hereby invite indigenous members of the Pacific Northwest and all displaced peoples to collaborate with us in this event remembering and reawakening to our original identity as humane beings – that is now initiated on this continent and worldwide simultaneously.
We intend to facilitate the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their knowledge and wisdom of stewardship of the earth, water, fire and air to inspire and guide us restore to pure democracy rather than representative democracy as design failure in governing for collective survival; and to initiate a new era of cooperation and peace that is cross-cultural, intergenerational, inclusive and universal in practical application upon Mother Earth with the original indigenous inhabitants of this land.