Mayor apologizes to Occupy Seattle for Seattle PD tactics

Mayor Apologizes to Occupy Seattle

November 16, 2011. While we are gratified that Mayor Mike McGinn has apologized to those who were pepper sprayed last night, his statement of apology does not go far enough to assure us that we are in fact protected by the Seattle Police Department or to hold the SPD accountable for their misuse of power.

Since the formation of Occupy Seattle, SPD has been excessive in its presence, its tactics, its violence and its spending with respect to our organization. Occupy Seattle is a movement dedicated to fighting for economic justice through nonviolent protest and nonviolent civil disobedience. The sheer quantity of officers, vehicles, weapons, hostilities and pepper spray was and is excessive and absolutely unnecessary.

We agree with the Mayor that restraint on the part of the police is in order and that a thorough review of the incident is warranted. We ask that the Mayor include Occupy Seattle in the review process as we are arguably the largest stakeholder in its outcome. We also suggest that the Mayor and the Seattle Police Department learn the lessons articulated by Norm Stamper, former Chief of Police for the city during the WTO protests who last week wrote about the protests “My support for a militaristic solution caused all hell to break loose.”
The Mayor’s apology asks that Occupy Seattle work with the city. We do work with the city. On this particular night, we had informed the police of our march and route in advance so as to assure public safety. Given that the police blocked our passage and then used pepper spray indiscriminately suggests that it is not Occupy Seattle that is unwilling to work with the city, but rather that SPD is not willing to work with Occupy Seattle. While pepper spraying nonviolent protestors is a high price to pay, perhaps this incident will lead to better treatment of Occupy Seattle participants by the SPD.

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.

7 Responses to Mayor apologizes to Occupy Seattle for Seattle PD tactics

  • msmikestew35 says:

    Whatever do the organizers mean with “While pepper spraying nonviolent protestors is a high price to pay, perhaps this incident will lead to better treatment of Occupy Seattle participants by the SPD.”

    High price to pay? That is what the organizers can say for this police brutality totally done with the approval of the Mayor?

    How do the organizers then go on to assume that “this incident will lead to better treatment of Occupy Seattle participants by the SPD.”? It is baffling logic indeed if we did not already know the class orientation of the organizers.

    The organizers are trying to lie to us again. Here is what they want to say: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Exactly how this sequence of events happpens is of course not explained.

    As the organizers mention here, they worked with the city, so they gave all the information to the city about our plans and made it easier for the police to carry out this attack. They knew fully well that we will be attacked. The crackdown happened before in Oakland, Portland, Newyork – it was clear that Seattle would be targeted.

    • Bradford B. Morrison says:

      Friends, and msmikestew35;
      Well, mike, you have done it again. You are so wise, mike, at “predicting” (after the fact) what will happen between Seattle Police and OCCUPYSEATTLE, as if Chief Diaz and Mayor McGinn are just paid stooges of the big money, with no real power to influence SPD’s behavior in any way other than to keep escalating the pepper spray and harsher tactics. You may be right, mike, BUT I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE!!
      By the way, this comment is being written by a 64 year old guy who got pepper-sprayed in the neck and cheek from one foot away, and also got hit in the jaw by officer SUNDERLAND’s bicycle handle bars, on Nov. 2nd, in the street at Chase at Broadway and E. Thomas. So, I am a bit “radicalized” by that emotionally. BUT I STILL THINK WE HAVE a REASONABLE chance to DE-ESCALATE here in Seattle. Cynicism, msmikestew35, is, in my not so humble opinion, at least your brand of it, is a non-helpful over-reaction to the situation.
      My suggestion, at least for now, is to go through the process of complaining, through all possible normal channels…(media; letters Mayor McGinn and/ or Chief John Diaz; telling everyone you know about the over-reacting on the part of SPD; reporting individual SPD officers with names (and badge numbers whenever possible); etc…. We still have a reasonable chance that,at least in Seattle, we can DE-ESCALATE. Mayor McGinn probably doesn’t want to do too much more public apologizing; I am guessing he (and his political advisors) do not want to have his promising political career come to and end with a maelstrom of bad publicity. After all, these guys know how to count votes!! (Why do you think OCCUPYSEATTLE was allowed to set the tents back up in Westlake Park for two days, Oct. 15th to 6:45am Oct.17th?? I’ll tell you why, msmikestew35, because 3,000-5,000 people went on the GLOBAL DAY of ACTION MARCH that day!! Like I said, these guys KNOW HOW TO COUNT VOTES! THEY ARE NOT DUMB!!
      Anyway, folks, I hope I am right and msmikestew35 is wrong and just being overly cynical about the system. Time will tell.

      Thanks for listening
      Peace and Love
      Loudmouth Karaoke Brad

      P.S. For what it’s worth, the day after my being assaulted 3 times by SPD on Nov. 2nd, I hand-delivered, within less than 24 hours, ON MY OWN BEHALF,( not representing occupyseattle, just myself as a citizen) copies of a letter complaining about officers SUNDERLAND and LEYBA; to Mayor McGinn’s and Chief Diaz’s receptionists. I also contacted the City of Seattle’s complaint department, who turned that complaint over to the SPD’s OPA (Office of Professional Accountability). Following up on Nov.14th, I told the OPA investigator verbally, under oath and being recorded, about the incident, and why I believe those two officers should either recieve desk duty, suspensions, or be fired. They are currently being investigated. C’YA

    • John Ellis says:

      “The organizers are trying to lie to us again.”

      This poster is doing great harm to our Occupy movement, as he keeps posting comments accusing us of being deceitful to the public, his fiction being that we have “organizer” leaders who have locked us in darkness by an illusion of good.

      Occupy Seattle, by a vote of the majority, has decided to give law enforcement enough rope to hang itself. Surely collective wisdom, an expression of harmonious minds and not the work of organizing and thought controlling gullible minds.

      Surely the rich hire paid actors to generate such confusion.

  • John Ellis says:

    It is not the 1% most wealthy, but the 51% most wealthy, the 51% majority with all the wealth, they who keep in poverty the lower half of society.

    Truth is, the 99% are only the 49%, and they are flat out the minority. The zero wealth, less educated and out numbered minority.

    So, do they have any concept of what it means to take the right to rule away from the voting majority? Why, its anti democratic and looked down upon as a dictator mentality.

    Do they have any idea of what it means to pry wealth loose from them who have all the wealth, especially when they are the majority. Why, its criminal behavior and a most anti social endeavor.

  • John Ellis says:

    If the Occupy Wall Street movement has its way, if they rob from the upper half of society and pass half of the wealth down to the lower class where they feel it belongs, then everyone in the upper half will loose half of all they own.

    Problem is, our upper half voting majority, they owning all the wealth and with their trigger finger on all those nukes, well, you know how it goes.

  • frankiesocks says:

    Wake up. You are a very bitter man. (and most likely part of the 1%).
    There is a new awakening in the minds and hearts of people.
    That is to be commended.

    Maybe you would like to propose an alternative that will solve all the nation’s, actually, the globalized world’s issues.
    Be our guest.
    However, until you have a better solution, please sink back into your comfortable hole and continue to complain about the decreasing value of your 401K.
    Thank you.

    • John Ellis says:

      As a slow and careful thinking old-old laboring man, I must yield to your educated middle-class mind and allow you to create a solution to this class warfare that is as old as civilization itself.

      But what I can do, with over a half century of activism and employment in a slave-labor environment, is keep you out of the blind alleys inherent in bad solutions. My above two posts for example, they show how impossible it is to get the 51% most wealthy to give you charity, understanding or anything but police state harassment.

      For the 51% most wealthy love government just the way it is, so forget government and go for strikes and things that peacefully hamstring government. So circumvent government that the upper half of society can no longer control you by the deadly force of government.

      For it is self-evident that the 1% High Society and 10% Country Club class are against us, so the real issue here is how many of the 40% educated middle-class stand with us?