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.”

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

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.

14 Responses to Declaration of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle

  • peacegranny says:

    Sadly, i doubt that most who voted to retain “occupy” have an understanding of what it is like to be occupied for over 500 years; to have your land stolen; your people forced into boarding schools; your spirituality and language destroyed (in many cases) and ongoing racism endured day after day. Then there is the problem of Indian people being disproportionately murdered and jailed. People of color endure racism on a scale most white people have rarely considered. To once again see the reasonable requests of Indigenous peoples denied is very painful, no matter how eloquent this statement is and i can bet that it is put together by white people as well.

    It is truly not up to those who reside in the realm of oppressor race to tell Indigenous people how they must proceed; how they must feel about occupation; how they must yet again cope with the inability of even activists to really comprehend the depth of the insult.

    It is up to those being oppressed to define what that oppression is all about. It is not the place of the oppressor to do the defining. Ever.

    I will do all in my power to educate my white people about the ongoing racism and cultural insensitivity that continues to be carried out, including crimes against humanity due to forced relocation, corporate resource extraction, destruction of sacred lands, pollution, theft and murder. The full truth of what continues being done to the Indigenous people of the amerikkkas, in the name of energy independence and profit, must be known by all.

    Peace, love and justice,
    swaneagle harijan
    Irish Hippie Frontline Grandmother

    • REPUBLIC says:

      Why would people that their ancestors might have colonized and wiped a population of natives and might have owneld slaves are saying that they are feeling pain of the oppressed. Granny, it is possible that your ancestors did not do that, but you are old enough to understand that no one feels or nearly feel the pain that the majority of natives were killed or fed disease. Please donKt make such comments unless your ancestors were natives. Also, the natives do not care about occupy anything, in their eyes we are a bunch of rude people trampling on their land.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    PROTESTING THE GOVERNMENT FOR FEARNESS AND SOCIALISM.

    OCCUPY WALL STREET OR ANY OTHER OCCUPY

    THE PROTEST SHOULD BE FOR ALL SO CALLED AMERICANS TO MOVE BACK TO OUR ANCESTORS NATIVE LAND. RIGHT NOW! I AM READY TO MOVE JUST WAITING ON YOUR MOVE FIRST.

  • peacegranny says:

    Republic, are you aware that there are actually allies to Indigenous peoples? Can’t you see i posted my Irish heritage? I have been working with traditional Dine (Navajo) elders for nearly 28 years. In 1984, i responded to a call for NonIndians to be human rights observers to the spiritual resistance of the Sovereign Dine Nation against the largest forced relocation of Indigenous people in the 20th century and to Peabody Coal Mine expansion in northeastern Arizona, which has the largest coal strip mine in the US possibly the world. I have lived on the lands of Pauline Whitesinger off and on since then living in her hogan, chopping wood, hauling water, working in the cornfields, herding sheep, blocking bulldozer threatening a burial site, driving Pauline all over the Navajo rez, took on a speaking tour, etc. I also did a 24 hour all night vigil at the site where John T Williams, the Indigenous wood carver was shot by Seattle cop Ian Birk. I do all i can to use my privilege as a below poverty level “white” grandmother to bring attention to the message traditional Indigneous people carry to save the Mother Earth. I have never owned land and never will. My people have been occupied for 700 years by Britain the longest occupation in the world followed by that of Turtle Island. I have been asked by traditional people to call my own people on their inability to listen to the first people of these lands. Decolonize War $treet.

    • REPUBLIC says:

      Do you know how to fix the problem? People that are not native/originals to this country should move out back to the ancestors land.

      Let’s stop occupy their territory and let them prosper on their own.

      Instead of OCCUPY the North America let’s be fair and move back where our ancestors came from. I call this justice for the natives.

      What do you think? We owe them this land therefore let is have a decolonization movement.

      • REPUBLIC says:

        DECOLONIZE NORTH AMERICA and return the land to the Indigenous people. If you feel that this government is no good we must decolonize it and move back to where our ancestors came from.

  • peacegranny says:
  • REPUBLIC says:

    DECOLONIZE NORTH AMERICA from the foreign occupiers which is all of us.

  • John Ellis says:

    PeaceGranny
    “I doubt that most who voted… have an understanding
    of what it is like to be occupied for over 500 years;
    to have your land stolen; your people forced into… ”

    Eat your heart out, for at least your people had several thousand years of freedom before white supremacy did a genocide on your numbers, your spirit and your heritage.

    But, not so my ancestors, for my laboring-class folks came from England in a sailboat, bond slave teenagers they were and forced out of an orphanage. And so impoverished that when married by the ship’s captain, both had not a last name and were given the name Ellis by the captain named Ellis. And as bond slavery was just as perpetual as chain slavery, for hundreds of years it was cruel, brutal and living hell.

    So, great grandfather Andrew hauled heavy ice on his back, grandfather Fredrick hauled railroad ties on his back, father Fred hauled 100lb bags of fir on his back and for 20 years I hauled a knee buckling bag of seedling pine as I enhanced the value of land owned by the timber giants from Texas to Alabama, from Florida to the Canadian border.

    So, forget the mainstream media brainwash that our economical slavery is all about race, all about hatred and a self-inflicted misery — such that we have only ourselves to blame.

    For the 51% most educated and wealthy, they have always been the voting majority, they have always hoarded all the wealth and power — and how our battle goes will all depend upon how well we organize the lower half of society.

    • John Ellis says:

      But then, my window into reality is but that of a white boy who grew up from the dock slums of Milwaukee, to the stockyard slums Minneapolis and to an abandoned motel slum LA.

  • peacegranny says:

    As i have said, i am an Irish Hippie Granmother, so i know the story. I also have been a longtime ally of traditional people and have done as much as i can to witness for myself what is going on. Those standing for Indigenous peoples, The Black and Brown People, Women, clearly include the very poor. How are we to ever know each one’s story if we don’t listen? Justice for all, voices for the silenced, peace on a dying planet.

  • peacegranny says:

    As i have said, i am an Irish Hippie Granmother, so i know the story. I also have been a longtime ally of trasilenced, peace on a dying planet.ditional people and have done as much as i can to witness for myself what is going on. Those standing for Indigenous peoples, The Black and Brown People, Women, clearly include the very poor. How are we to ever know each one’s story if we don’t listen? Justice for all, voices for the

  • peacegranny says:

    voices for the silenced, peace for a dying planet.

  • gimmeAbreak says:

    As someone of Native America decent (Sioux) I find this declaration to be naive and somewhat racist. It’s a silly misconception born out of ignorance that native peoples by their very nature have some kind of innate respect for the earth and a shaman like ability to live in peace with the natural world, or that we would all want this movements brand of change, and that we all live in a oppressed state.

    I know the stereotyping I’m accusing this declaration of is subtle and oblique, but it is there none the less. Some of us find this whole movement to be deeply flawed and counterproductive. I for one think it is actually damaging in that it distracts from the possibility of real reform. (And no, I am not in the 1%. I work hard for a living)