At 7:00am, Monday, November 28th, buses will depart from Seattle Central Community College to take an Occupy Seattle contingent to Olympia where we will say no to the intolerable budget cuts being proposed in the upcoming special legislative session. In conjunction with Occupy Olympia and other Washington state Occupy organizations, we will occupy the Capitol building to voice our opposition to the more than $2 billion attack on the 99%.
The proposed cuts represent one of the greatest assaults in our state’s history against the interests of workers, students, and the poor. As the 99%, it is our duty to oppose these cuts in the strongest possible terms. With this action, we bring enormous pressure to bear against the politicians seeking to cut social programs and education. The proposed cuts include:
· 13,000 legal immigrants would be cut from the state’s food assistance program–their only source of food aid because they are ineligible for federal food assistance.
· 35,000 people would be kicked off the Basic Health Plan, ending a program that subsidizes health care for poor.
· 21,000 people enrolled in the state’s Disability Lifeline and ADATSA (Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act) programs would have their medical services cut off.
· Two wards at Western State Hospital would be closed eliminating some much needed inpatient psychiatric hospital services for the poor.
· Foster care, juvenile rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment programs would be slashed by $118 million.
· $150 million would be cut from funding school districts with a poor property tax base which will dramatically increase class sizes in affected districts and could shorten the school year.
· State colleges and universities will lose another $225 million.
· Funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs will drop by $240,000.
· The nuclear waste site cleanup program at Hanford–the most contaminated nuclear site in the nation–will lose $581,000.
This move comes on top of $10 billion in state budget cuts over the last three years, which have resulted in furloughs and layoffs for state employees, a 47 percent increase in tuition at public universities, the gutting of social and health services, and many other attacks on the basic quality of life for the 99 percent of Washington.
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.
Local 1488, the UW branch of Council 28 of the Washington Federation of State Workers AFSCME is providing buses and passenger vans to take people to Olympia for the opening day of the Special Session on Monday, November 28th. We are taking additional buses on Friday, December 2nd.
The first bus will leave Seattle for Olympia around 6:30 AM and the last bus will leave Olympia for Seattle around 5:00 PM on both of these two days.