A Memo from SCCC President Dr. Killpatrick Regarding Occupy Seattle

The following was sent at 4:14 pm today, October 28th, to the Seattle Central Community College Campus Community regarding Occupy Seattle and our intention to camp on the SCCC campus. Under Washington code the occupation is legally allowed on campus! Read the full memo below:

Seattle Central Community College Memorandum

TO: Campus Community

FROM: Paul T. Killpatrick, President

DATE: October 28, 2011

SUBJECT: Occupy Seattle Update

I would like to update you on the intentions of Occupy Seattle to have an encampment at Seattle Central Community College for their lawful freedom of speech activities.

Over the past few days, I have been in discussions with legal counsel, representatives from the community, city and state, and also with members of Occupy Seattle. In my discussions with legal counsel, we learned of ambiguity in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) as it applies to college property.

My primary concern remains the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding Capitol Hill community.

Yesterday, I met with representatives from Occupy Seattle. They declared that regardless of college policies and college concerns, they intend to continue their action. While I remain concerned about a host of possible adverse impacts (personal safety, financial impact, etc.), the WAC, as it is currently written, allows this occupation to take place.

Occupy Seattle has assured me that they will not interfere with the mission of Seattle Central Community College, which is: “To promote educational excellence in a multicultural urban environment, and provide opportunities for academic achievement, workplace preparation, and service to the community.” They also offered a number of other assurances, including: providing porta-potties, garbage and recycling containers, protect college property from damage (graffiti, grounds damage, acts of vandalism, etc.,), self-policing their group, and not interfering or disrupting authorized events such as the Broadway Farmers Market or performances at Broadway Performance Hall. They also assure me that their activities will not interfere with the college’s ability to offer a safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff. I expect Occupy Seattle to honor these assurances.

Occupy Seattle’s intention is to begin their encampment on the South Plaza lawn beginning this Saturday, October 29. They informed us that they plan to continue their activities at Westlake during the day and camp at Seattle Central at night.

We will be monitoring the situation closely and will continue to keep the college community informed.

3 Responses to A Memo from SCCC President Dr. Killpatrick Regarding Occupy Seattle

  • msmikestew35 says:

    The biggest worry of this move is the presence of the AFT and the likelihood of their spying on the movement. AFL-CIO, which is the parent body of the AFT has a sordid history of spying on its membership and handing out names of the more determined members to the authorities.

    There is a recent article by David Walsh of the Socialist Equality Party that describes how the AFL-CIO organization is planning to co-opt the movement. The union is being provided political cover by pseudo-left parties like the International Socialist Organization (ISO).

    The ISO is active in Seattle, and quite possibly they are influential in the organizing committees of OWS. The organizers asked us to thank the AFT for their support. This shows that the organizers do not have a good grasp about the trade unions.

    Anyone can profess support for OWS. Recall that our late “friend” expvideo said he supported us and then later disparaged us as a bunch of people who don’t want to work hard?

    When the AFT claims to support us, the question to ask them is, well what would they be willing to *do* for the 99%? Quite clearly, the parent body AFL-CIO can mobilize a General Strike that goes on until all our demands are met. But they have not done this ever, but worked to block a General Strike when the sentiment was strong for one (ex: Wisconsin)

    I would highly recommend reading Walsh’s article fully and also look at the WSWS.org archives for more information on the trade union apparatus. (How the trade unions stopped a General Strike in Wisconsis is also valuable reading)

    http://wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/unio-o28.shtml

  • Bradford B. Morrison says:

    Get real, msmikestew35;
    Hey, Mike, it sounds like you are knowledgeable about a history of political maneuvering by various groups within labor and politics on these issues in the past. Mike, that’s all well and good, and your opinions and knowledge are undoubtedly valuable. Keep speaking up, for sure. But, Mike, please remember that it takes a while to change things in this old world. I simply cannot believe that you appear to be advocating a General Strike by a union (AFL-CIO) “until all our demands are met.” Who, Mike, if such a strike actually happened, is going to be in charge of what our demands are and who judges whether , say, a “demand” is 50%; 75%; 90%; or 100% “met”?? You, Mike??
    For instance, Mike, let’s say that it takes 4 years to pass a first-rate bank regulation bill, or a reasonable income tax code so that the very wealthy pay their fair share, (including BIG OIL companies, who even Donald Trump, right on Fox News, said are not paying their fair share). Should people stay on strike for 4 years, Mike?? Are you gonna help these strikers when the union’s strike fund runs dry?? Have you thought this through, Mike? Am I misinterpreting your above statement?? What gives?

    Thanks for Listening
    Peace and Love
    Loudmouth Karaoke Brad

  • msmikestew35 says:

    Brad, you raise important questions and a serious attempt to answer them must be made.

    First you are assuming that we don’t really know our demands, or the extent of them. So we would not know when to stop the strike (your reference to 50% – 75%)

    But demands made by the working class and concessions granted by the ruling class do not have any such mechanical correspondence. The ruling class is compelled to make concessions when their political power is in question. Look at what is happening in Greece. Massive protests, token strikes of a day or two, people on the streets. But is the Greek government’s power in question? No! Why, because there is no political party willing to take over to run the Greek state in the interest of the Greek working class.

    That is how I would attempt to answer the questions you ask.

    The next point is that you are thinking that under a sustained General Strike it could take as long as 4 years for any meaningful concession to be given. But how could this be? A General Strike brings economy down to a serious crunch and it will not be possible for the markets to work for more than a few weeks (months the most).

    The crucial question is of course how the ruling class will respond when we initiate a strike and are we prepared to defend our rights? I believe that we must have a program – a clear political perspective – so that we can start preparing for the state’s offensive.

    The trade union movement clearly is not interested in such a political perspective, program or party. They just hang around the Democratic party, take dues money from the poor workers they represent, hand large chunks of it over to the Democratic party, and award a good life to themselves (the leaders at the top)

    Will the strike fund run out while we are doing this? It is an important question, but not a question that you can address in isolation. That is not the only factor. The other factor is how long the state can last against a sustained onslaught of a general strike. These are the two opposing forces, what will give first?

    And it is important to remind ourselves that AFL-CIO has a sizable “strike fund”, which they of course do not use to award strike pay. The union representing Verizon (CWA, part of AFL-CIO) recently asked the workers to stop their strike and go back to work just when they were required to pay workers from the strike fund.

    Here is what WSWS.org wrote about that:

    http://wsws.org/articles/2011/aug2011/pers-a22.shtml

    To quote:

    The timing of the decision to end the strike underscores the completely manipulative character of the unions’ actions. They ended the strike just as the workers were to become eligible for union-paid strike benefits, and at a point where the walkout was beginning to seriously affect the operations of the company. The result—the workers sacrifice two weeks’ pay with nothing to show for it, while the union executives lose not a penny of their six-figure salaries.