November 15, 2011. Occupy Seattle is disappointed that SCCC would level allegations against Occupy Seattle in the media as opposed to discussing the details of those concerns in the regularly scheduled meetings Occupy Seattle has with SCCC administration. Occupy Seattle understands the deep funding cuts facing the school, in fact our work is focused on changing the economic inequity in this state so that schools are adequately funded. We are committed to being respectful of the school and the community and look forward to continuing what we thought was a good working relationship to address all concerns.
Members of Occupy Seattle have not been vandalizing the school’s bathrooms. According to faculty member Kimberly McRae “I have worked in the building for 13 years and the south end bathrooms have been considered the worst. With the continued defunding of Community Colleges, SCCC was forced to cut custodial staff again, so the bathrooms have been even worse”. Occupy Seattle provides its members with the necessary sanitation facilities and members agree to abide by the tenets of Occupy Seattle’s Good Neighbor Policy which include respecting the learning environment and the buildings at SCCC.
Occupy Seattle is not the source of the drug paraphernalia found in or around a community college in the heart of a major urban area with well known drug problems. Athena Marsden, former teaching assistant at the daycare on campus said “Every day as part of our jobs, we picked up drug paraphernalia, needles, used condoms, cigarette butts, anything that threatened the safety of the kids. All that stuff was there way before Occupy Seattle”. Long time Capitol Hill resident Cathy Hillenbrand joking said, “If I had a dime for every hypodermic needle I’ve seen in that area over the years, I’d be in the 1%”.
Occupy Seattle adheres to its non-violence policy (as stated in Occupy Seattle’s Accountability Principles). In response to a movement dedicated to nonviolence, hiring of additional security guards is unnecessary and excessive, particularly in a time of severe budget constraints.
We request a full accounting of the dollars the school alleges has been spent as a result of our encampment so as to assure ourselves and the community that we are not being blamed for spending that is either unnecessary or inaccurately attributed to Occupy Seattle.
Formed on October 1, 2011, Occupy Seattle is a leaderless movement of concerned Americans who have taken to occupying public spaces in order to focus our nation’s attention on the undue influence of large corporations on our government, elected leaders and our democracy itself. It is inspired by and modeled after the Occupy Wall Street movement.