OPEN LETTER TO OUR PEOPLE OF COLOR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
Please join us for the West Coast Port Shutdown on December 12!
Occupy Seattle’s General Assembly voted unanimously to endorse the call to action put out by Occupy Oakland. Port blockades are planned in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Vancouver, Tacoma, and Seattle.
At 1pm on Monday, December 12th, Occupy Seattle will march to shut down the Port of Seattle through a mass community picket and blockade in solidarity with the rest of the West Coast Occupy movement and all those who value people over profits. The march will begin in downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park on Monday, December 12th at 1pm where we will make our way down to the port. Join us in standing up in support of the Longview, WA Longshoremen struggle for justice against the multinational grain exporter EGT.
This day of direct political action is an opportunity for all peoples to come together as a unified front to make both a political statement and a strategic profit loss to those 1% who have assumed power over our powerful majority; the 99%. It is vital that we as people of color come out in mass numbers in solidarity with other West Coast movements to represent the reality that WE, indeed, are the majority, that WE, publicly and collectively reject capitalist systems that make commodities of us all, (particularly people of color,) and that WE, indeed, are powerful.
If you come late, please check #occupyseattle or #occupyseattleport on twitter for the march’s current location. Information about the coast-wide day of action can be found here:http://www.westcoastportshutdown.org/.
Please invite your friends on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/318022101544266/
WHY WE FORMED AND WHY WE ARE INVOLVED WITH THIS ACTION AND MOVEMENT:
The POCcupy/Decolonize Caucus of Occupy Seattle is composed of Indigenous peoples, people of color, non-citizens, economic refugees (immigrant workers), survivors of systematic state sanctioned violence and survivors of the prison industrial complex. We are involved in “Occupy Seattle” to build a revolutionary movement that acknowledges the United States historical legacies of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, and genocide within/outside this nation that has brought about extreme poverty and state-sanctioned militarized violence to many communities. We rise and decolonize, reclaim and reaffirm our voices in a global struggle against a toxic capitalist economic system that has kept us in inhumane living and working conditions. Through capital, the 1% controls politics and implement inhumane laws that exploit and deprive our communities of our human and worker rights.
In solidarity with queer people of color and survivors of the prison industrial complex, we acknowledge our liberation is interlinked and we must build from an anti-oppression framework a people-led movement. On D12 we strike back against the attacks on our communities. From inhumane budget cuts that will eliminate vital services and hurt millions of people, the 1% has built their wealth on the systematic genocide and slavery of our ancestors and the exploitation of the earth through economic and militarized terrorism. We cannot remain silent when politicians and the 1% blame immigrant workers for an economic recession we did not create. As the United States detains innocent people who escape for survival, we strike back at the 1% whose laws are illegitimate in our eyes. We do not believe that being arrested for trespassing private poverty is a legitimate excuse to physically attack us. We do not recognize the rules created by the 1% to exploit and violate our rights. We’ve always been the 99% and we cannot afford to live in fear anymore. We shut down the west coast in solidarity with truck and port workers and show our community strength to build a better world.
In mainstream media, they depict “the Occupy” movement as a “white” “middle-class” struggle, which furtherinvisibilizes our narratives and experiences as people of color, economic refugees, womyn, queer folk, and other disenfranchised communities in the “occupy” movement. As POCcupy/Decolonize caucus we have witnessed how the police strategically target people of color at Occupy Seattle and utilize violent methods to arrest us. We stand in solidarity with our comrades and will not let any of our people go. This is nothing new, as we understand how the 1% has historically targeted and used the police to attack our communities and inhumanely imprison our families, friends, and love-ones in detention centers and prisons. Our bodies are not for sale. Our bodies are not “cheap labor.” Our communities will not be terrorized.
POCCUPY/DECOLONIZE CAUCUS PRINCIPLES:
We know that as people of color we face a legal system dominated by white supremacy. “More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day. (http://www.sentencingproject.org) We will do everything in our power to support our members who are arrested or face any legal consequences due to their political activity with our movements. We share an understanding that our communities are targeted by state violence, and the legal system and because of this we know our communities are more vulnerable and need to be in united when faced with State repression.
We will not pressure people to face arrest. We trust our members to know themselves, their situation and whether it is safe for them to face arrest. State violence is unpredictable and we know people of color are prime targets when the forces of the State decide to repress our movement.
We are occupying buildings, streets, centers of production, our communities, and our bodies. We are decolonizing buildings, streets, centers of productions, our communities, and our bodies. We decolonize and occupy to build the communities we wish to live in and create the world we believe is possible.
We know that our communities overlap and intersect and that many of us are part of several communities. We support members of the queer community, working class and poor people, people of different abilities in this caucus and our wider community. We understand that “oppression of one is oppression of all” and will do our best to ensure no injustice done to anyone in our struggle for social justice.
“Like abuse, resistance takes many forms. Sometimes the result is progress, even revolutionary change.” -The Revolution Starts at Home, Chen, Dulani, & Piepzna-Samarasinha
We will support our ever expanding membership as fully as possible. We need to be accountable to each other and we need to be able to have honest conversations about our work and relationships within our community.
We will organize in support of people of color who are currently under the supervision of the criminal justice system. As we seek to decolonize our consciousness at people of color we remember the wisdom of precolonial times where those on the front lines, captured, or wounded or lost in battle were honored as warriors. It is important today for us to remember and stand for our warriors as we continue our struggle for racial and social justice with them in mind. Many of them are made invisible by the state and are in need of our attention and support. Troy Davis. Oscar Grant. Jesus Mejia. Aiyana Jones. John T. Williams. “We are losing many of our leaders to the prison industry. We are losing many warriors. We are losing much of our future. “– Luis J Rodriguez
BLOOMING IN THE
NOISE AND WHIP
OF THE WHIRLWIND.”