Breaking! Permit Issue Violating Constitutional Rights for “Rise & Decolonize! Let’s Get Free”

The community has been working diligently to organize the Rise & Decolonize National Event which is scheduled for Nov 18th, 5-10pm at Westlake, and requires amplified sound. It is an important event that is getting a lot of national attention due to the creative way we are bringing the voices of color and youth into the occupy movement table, and it is not just a showcase or dance party. We will be canvassing our communities with a survey, and having amplified sound is critical to educating people on issues, getting voices heard, and ensuring the event flows smoothly.

Hip Hop Occupies applied for a permit for Westlake Park over two weeks ago (the application is dated October 24th) and although we called Jeff Hodges, head of the permit office, almost every other day since, we heard very little except that he was “waiting on word from his superiors.” We were contacted Thursday morning finally, and notified that although our permit had cleared, we would not be allowed amplified sound after 6pm. We were told the decision came from Christopher Williams, superintendent of the Parks Department.

When I got in touch with him, he told us there were “seasonal interpretations” around the city’s 10pm noise ordinance, that if it were the summer time it would be okay, but since it was dark earlier, and because they have a “good neighbor” agreement with residents around the area, that he could not grant us an extension on the permit without seeming unfair to other groups that applied. I told him that had we been notified earlier of these restrictions, we could have taken them into consideration, but since we were not told at ANY point about the 6pm cut-off, and since what we are requesting is WELL WITHIN our legal, first amendment rights, that he should grant us an extension. He told me he would speak with the permitting office and get back to me, but still has not responded.

We are asking all of our partners, individuals, organizations, businesses, the media, everyone who can to PLEASE 1) EMAIL and 2) CALL EVERYONE on the list below so that come Monday morning, the city if FLOODED with HUNDREDS of requests that:

*The City of Seattle grant Hip Hop Occupies and POC Caucus of Occupy Seattle an extension on the permit so that we can have amplified sound for “Rise & Decolonize: Let’s Get Free” November 18th from 5-10pm.*

Please emphasize that as a member of the community, you fully value and endorse the mission of our event and believe that city should honor our request and our right to gather, protest, and organize through “Rise & Decolonize: Let’s Get Free,” and that denying us this right would be downright shameful and a violation of the first amendment. We aim to express that this is not just a show, or a group of random people who want to play and cause ruckus at Westlake, but that this is a serious, coordinated community effort that deserves to be honored as such.

1) Please do this as soon as possible! Copy and Paste ALL these emails into your “To” space when you send your email:,,,,,,,,,

2) Please call and leave messages reiterating such for everyone on this list:

Superintendent of Parks Department:
Christopher Williams

Permit Office:
Jeff Hodges

Mayors Office:
Mike McGinn

Council Members:
Sally Bagshaw

Tom Rasmussen

Bruce Harrell

Jean Godden

Philip Roewe

3) Finally, please fwd this information widely, share on your lists and
social networks, etc.

Thank you in advance for your continued support,

Julie C

One Response to Breaking! Permit Issue Violating Constitutional Rights for “Rise & Decolonize! Let’s Get Free”

  • REPUBLIC says:

    This is what I think about permits it is okay to get permission from the city, but people should not be paying for the permit to exercise the First Amendment. Do you agree?