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Vacating Occupy Seattle

Factions That Endorse Violence Are Driving Away What's Left of Occupy Seattle

Vacating Occupy Seattle
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If you haven't seen evidence of Occupy Seattle around town recently, it's not just that the grassy plaza where tents used to stand at Seattle Central Community College is now an empty mud field. Since protesters were evicted on December 6, the activists themselves have become introverted and distracted from an agenda to reform Wall Street. Many supporters, including church leaders, have taken a step back to wait out divisive internal conflict. Others have fled the community entirely, saying it's too toxic to touch.

The rift results from a vote taken on December 20, when protesters at a general assembly rejected a proposal that would "commit to using methods of nonviolent civil disobedience at all of our demonstrations..."

According to the minutes of the conversation that led up to the vote, several activists argued that Seattle's protest was akin to the revolution in Egypt (and thus required violent clashes), while others said protesters must be free to use a diversity of tactics, if they choose. A man named Forrest warned that when martial law is declared (in Seattle, martial law?), "How many of us are prepared to stand before rifles, to subvert the police, to do everything possible to bring down the state as necessary?" Another man, named Greg, called the nonviolence pledge a "social fascist position" and a "domestic colonialist view."

Those voices won in a particularly heated 16-to-54 vote, thereby rejecting Occupy Seattle's attempt to declare itself a peaceful movement.

While those loony voices prevailed, cooler heads fled.

"I would never consider putting my name on a document of an organization that would not disavow violence," says Jim Goettler, a member of the Occupy Seattle legal team. He's obtained permits for WTO protest rallies and other demonstrations over two decades and had joined the Occupy movement to extend his expertise. After the vote, though, he says, "I've stepped back, as have many individuals. This is real serious."

Votes like this prevail after some activists "pack the room," Goettler explains. "If there are people of mixed feeling and the bullies take the floor with a really good rap, they may prevail."

The vote to reject nonviolence alarmed local church groups that had been working closely with the Occupy movement. "We are concerned that for many in the Faith communities, this rejection will impact standing in solidarity with you," wrote Reverend Mike Jackson, the Occupy Seattle liaison from St. Mark's Cathedral, in an open letter sent in late December. Although Jackson remains an ardent supporter of the Occupy vision, he told me on the phone this week, "I think that for most of the faith community—not just Christians, but Muslim and Jewish groups—it presents a bit of a barrier to working more closely with them." He says many like him are "waiting to see this challenge get resolved."

Occupy Seattle had struggled with violence issues for months—the arguments are too numerous to unpack in these few column inches. However, it came to a head in December: A couple weeks before the vote, Occupy Seattle protesters trying to shut down the Port of Seattle were caught on video throwing plywood at police officers.

Since then, the movement has splintered: Some are occupying foreclosed homes, some support budget reforms in Olympia, and others have produced a declaration to oppose corporate personhood. There have been few, if any, of the protests aimed at banks that defined Occupy's autumnal incarnation.

"Instead of having the energy going into actually organizing, all the energy is going into the squabble," Goettler laments, citing general assemblies that continue to dwell on the violence versus nonviolence issue. "People are not participating until this is resolved." recommended

 

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1
For some reason the song Chickenshit Conformist comes to mind when I read the phrase "domestic colonialist view".

Agree with my position 100% or I won't work with you. What a crock of shit that attitude is.
But then again, this is clique loving, back biting, dithering Seattle after all.
Posted by heavyhebrew on January 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Or it could be fracking January.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
3
Straight up, the movement is non-violent until it isn't. I voted against the proposal because it seemed a passive aggressive chance to police the 'unsavory' elements of Occupy (unsavory to establishment liberals) when it wasn't a conversation that needed to happen. Non-violence was affirmed when we signed on to the original OWS declaration. People are unwilling to have the difficult conversations necessary to real planning and cooperation- they want to put everything to damned vote. On both sides. On every side. I was heart sick about this until I had breakfast with a community organizing mentor of mine...he said simply 'You *are* a non-violent movement. The folks who are going to do anything violent are going to do it regardless of whether or not OS sanctions it. They'll do it, you disavow it, and move on!' We can't control everyone's behavior. I'm non-violent, until the day I can't be any more. And to be clear...the scariest, most intimidating thing at that night's proposal was a Non-Violence proponent screaming at the top of his lungs. It was genuinely upsetting.
Posted by RainCityGlasses on January 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
4
gawd. you're so two weeks behind, domino.
Posted by kiraspeaks on January 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Arrest them all.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM · Report this
6
Interesting and really freaking annoying that you didn't interview anyone that actually opposed this proposal. Great reporting. Isn't The Stranger supposed to be an alternative news source? Maybe you should just go report for Fox News.
Posted by Snowbunny on January 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
7
Interesting and really freaking annoying that you didn't interview anyone that was actually opposed to the non-violence proposal. You just took from the notes and you weren't even there. Great reporting. Isn't The Stranger supposed to be an alternative news source? Maybe you should just go work for Fox News. I think your tactics would fit in better there.
Posted by Snowbunny on January 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Garrett 8
I was very confused when I first saw this because I was looking at GA proposals passed and for 12/20 there is only a single mention:

"12/20
1. Occupy Seattle is a leaderless and leaderful movement. We are all leaders."

And then I was like wth is Dominic talking about. Then I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page. Yeesh.

Looks like they took advantage of people, especially students, being on holiday.
Posted by Garrett on January 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
trstr 9
Dominic, get back to us when the Democratic Party adopts a policy of nonviolence.
Posted by trstr on January 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
10
Sounds like agent provocateurs. It's the easiest way to discredit popular movements.
Posted by Bobby Seale on January 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
11
Dominic, it could be a pretty interesting investigative piece to talk to these folks who are so aggressively advocating violence in OWS - just since there's a rich known history of police/FBI agents or informers infiltrating such groups and acting as agents provocateurs, encouraging both internal division and violent protest tactics within initially peaceful dissent movements. I mean, sure, probably plenty of the folks arguing against nonviolence in OWS are just angry, disaffected people who also happen to have limited reasoning skills and a disconnect with the social contract. But your story about the growing stridency of this violence-pushing faction makes me curious whether there's an assist coming from the SPD or FBI. It is, after all, a proven and useful tactic to weaken and delegitimize protest movements.
Posted by Anne X on January 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
12
. . . as commenter #10 more succinctly put it. :)
Posted by Anne X on January 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
13
It's a shame that once again the baby is going with the bathwater... but this is the price we pay for "radical inclusion of voices". Sometimes, the old technique of the realists organizing, and letting the fringe lunatics and zealots stand in the cold without a voice in the work really is the best way to go. Sometimes it's OK to not include people who aren't adding something productive to the conversation. In fact, all of the time that's OK. But, then, I never could give a flying fuck about bleeding-heart radical inclusivity. Outcomes, not process. I'm just going to keep saying it.
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on January 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Bub 14
Occupy Occupy.
Posted by Bub on January 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
DOUG. 15
Dominic: You think martial law can't be declared in Seattle? Did you live here in December 1999, when armed National Guardsmen would not let people into downtown?

I did. I was turned away at Denny and Stewart because I couldn't prove I worked downtown ("papers please!").

I also lived in LA in May 1992, when armored National Guard trucks cruised my neighborhood at Lincoln & Rose after the Rodney King Riots.

That was martial law. These tactics may be cool with you (frankly I was glad to see the Guard in LA in '92), but don't pretend that it can't happen here.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on January 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Andrew_Taylor 16
Note that the Seattle general strike was resolved without invoking martial law, just threatening it:

http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/stri…
Posted by Andrew_Taylor on January 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Kinison 17
The great thing about protests that turn violent, is that the movement can easily deny any involvement with those violent protesters and blame it on a few bad clams. But now it doesnt seem so easy to do now that people are basically voting in favor to conduct violent protests, as if Washington State was run by a facist dictator for 40 years.

And if blame cant be shifted to someone OS claims isnt part of their movement, blame it on undercover cops trying to make the movement look bad. Because OWS refuses to take responcibility for the actions of their members, they lose more and more credibility to the point where not even moderates are willing to support them.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on January 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
18
Dominic, your parenthetical "(in Seattle, martial law?)" suggests you aren't fully aware of the events during the WTO protests. I don't think it's unreasonable to characterize the police assaults, curfews, exclusion zones, and states of emergency during WTO as martial law. It happened before in Seattle, and it could happen again.
Posted by Asdfgh on January 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
chimsquared 19
i missed the declaration of marshal law. can someone resend the memo, please?
Posted by chimsquared on January 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
20
Dominic's characterization of the December 20 vote as one "to reject nonviolence" is inaccurate. We rejected a proposal to 1) commit to using nonviolent civil disobedience at all of Occupy Seattle's demonstrations, and 2) define "violence" as unprovoked physical aggression. I voted against it, because 1) I don't think every demonstration needs to involve civil disobedience, and 2) I think a violent act qualifies as violence regardless of whether or not the perpetrator was provoked.
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on January 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
21
What @10,@11, and @12 said: I believe the "operation" against OWS Seattle has been a success.
Posted by neo-realist on January 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 22
@12 Nice that you read unregistered comments, but I don't.

Any movement that does not account for the actions of it's enemies is pointless. There needs to be a base-line assumption that well funded organizations will attempt to infiltrate & disrupt the proceedings BEFORE any of this "We're all leaders" takes place. If that doesn't happen, the movement is impotent.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 11, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Kinison 23
To everyone disputing that the GA really did vote in favor of violent protests, or that violence is turning people away from the movement, just look at the protest conducted lately. What have they done recently to protest the lack of Wall Street reform? Where in the past, you could expect 500-1,000 people show up on a weeknight and triple that on a Saturday, but now its less than 100 people. The port of Seattle protest basically showed alot of moderates the door out and theyre not coming back.

Just look at Occupy Oakland, most of their protests are focusing on the police and less about Wall Street reform. Their goal, their focus, their energy is basically being wasted on "F**K THE COPS" protest marches. And dont you wanna know how much the cops love it when you chant aloud "F**K THE PIGS!!" as well as verbally tant them with a flipcam in their face,. These people, who appear to lack the most basic comon sense, are just beging to get arrested.

Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on January 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
24
One expects an oversimplification of Occupy from the mainstream media. One hopes for better from The Stranger, in vain. The arguments about the proposal were complex on all sides, and the vote against was an indication that we were far from consensus and understanding on a number of issues, not that anyone endorsed violence.

Your two quotes are far from representative of those against the proposal. Some were offended by the hubris to define of violence without including the structural violence in our society. Others were bothered by the failure to understand that people of color are victims of violence in the way many privileged Seattleites don't understand. Some felt it was too general or too specific. There were personal issues as well, concerns about an advocate of non-violence who'd claimed to represent the movement.

I've spent the weeks since urging people to listen to each other and try to understand their positions. I urge you to do the same.
Posted by Jack B on January 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
25
Plywood...splintered...I see what you did there.
Posted by pox on January 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
26
Violence-promoting people were active and vocal in Occupy Seattle even at Westlake in the first weeks. But, like good "liberals", the seasoned activists chose to be "inclusive" and "fair". They allowed time and space for this group, and kept saying that the whole group would gel if everything was in the open. The old activists played 'fairly' - even to the point of supporting the (manipulated) vote to occupy SCCC (and resulting violence) and then the impromptu takeover of a warehouse (and the resulting violence)

This violence-promoting element is in power now; they define Occupy Seattle. The original supporters stand on the sidelines -- much like the befuddled 'Republicanized' Democrats ... all of these good people still can't figure out why 'being fair and nice' doesn't work when dealing with this kind of people.
Posted by AnV on January 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Vince 27
Americans should not abuse their right to protest. To do so makes victims of people just trying to make a living for their families. The one percent won't suffer. But OWS will. We should set an example. In fact, candlelight vigils are far more effective. I would even buy hunger strike. But violence will doom the movement to nonrelevance. And that will be a shame.
Posted by Vince on January 11, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Andy Niable 28
"According to the minutes of the conversation that led up to the vote, several activists argued that Seattle's protest was akin to the revolution in Egypt..."

And what did the folks in Egypt want? A democratic voice, an infrastructure so they could vote.

We have that, folks, but it's being neglected. Only about 40-60% ever show up to use it. Work to get the corporate money out of politics (that means pragmatic legislation) and get those voter numbers up, Occupiers, and then we will start getting some actual results and achieve those very meaningful goals.
Posted by Andy Niable on January 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 29
I would like to welcome everyone to Occupy Ballard, Occupy Fremont, and Occupy Queen Anne, where we occupy all the coffee shops and stay warm, filled with good scones and hot chocolate.

The violent dweebs can freeze their butts off downtown.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 30
P.S. Why no mention of Occupy Nigeria? now THAT is violent.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
31
Just because your the loudest, and have the most power, doesn't make you the rightest.
Posted by DJ PopRockit on January 11, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
32
WTO history: Local Proclamation of Civil Emergency Order Number 3 (Revised) states that “no person shall enter or remain in a public place as defined in SMC 15.02.046C within the above described limited curfew area except the following: Delegates and personnel authorized by the WTO to participate in official WTO functions; Employees and owners of businesses within the limited curfew area and other personnel necessary to the operation of those businesses; Persons who reside within the limited curfew area; Representatives of the press with proper credentials; City officials with valid identification, and; Emergency and public safety personnel.”
Posted by WTO History on January 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
33
Yes, and the violent faction is literally taking swings at the longshoremen for allegedly "sexist" speech at meetings, with their Maoist cadre of tatooed thugs swaggering around to back it up. When the longshoremen fight back they are called "goons sent in by the bureaucrats". Keep it classy, Occupy.
Posted by Fuck the neo_Stalinist Bullshit on January 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
34
Seems like only yesterday Holden was calling this a 'revolution'. Now, it's a dozen of the usual suspects meeting once a week at the Convention Center to watch the Transphobia Resistance Caucus battle it out with the People of Color Caucus, over whether the "womyn & genderqueer organizers" of OS really did shut down the port for a whole hour.

Folks, it's 2012. Occupy is sooooo 2011.
Posted by Limousine Liberal on January 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
treacle 35
Well, the thing about votes is that those who are (able to be) present will vote, but that only those who stillmfeelmtheybhave a s take in the matter will stick around.

Logistically speaking, this is winter; the majority of Occupy has made a tactical retreat to home and PT jobs to pay the rent. If a small contingent wants to bait a stronger power into the losing game of violence escalation, then they can go learn what eras of political activists have learned: they got the guns.

But non-violence works when we got the numbers. And to get those numbers.... you have to......

Right.

Commit to non-violence.

I think it's fair to say that Occupy Seattle doesn't really exist at this point. That nobody speaks for Occupy right now.
Posted by treacle on January 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
chaseacross 36
The latter days of Occupy leave me contemplating a chestnut from Nietzsche: "Idealists, do you expect to grow anything without the manure used to grow everything else?" The attempt to create a forceful movement for change, a movement that would appeal as much to the HVAC specialist with the RV in Renton as it does to the crustpunk anarchist, has from the beginning been hampered by naive attempts to practice radical discourse rather than savvy communications strategy. The stakes were and are too high to play things by ear and give every obstructionist equal time on the stage. When everyone is heard, no one is heard. When everyone is the leader, no one is the leader.
Posted by chaseacross on January 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
judgmentalist 37
And this is why nothing will be accomplished:
Your two quotes are far from representative of those against the proposal. Some were offended by the hubris to define of violence without including the structural violence in our society. Others were bothered by the failure to understand that people of color are victims of violence in the way many privileged Seattleites don't understand. Some felt it was too general or too specific. There were personal issues as well, concerns about an advocate of non-violence who'd claimed to represent the movement.
Posted by judgmentalist on January 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
38
1) If Dominic Holden actually went to the meetings instead of doing lazy reporting from his computer. You would have found out that the non-violence proposal was overwhelmingly supported many times but blocked by a few individuals because this is a truly democratic process and a lot of people have good arguments. Anyone can speak and have their views heard. And I can personally say that 97% of the people that show up are STRONGLY in favor of practicing non-violence.
2) Because occupy is only run by volunteers not everyone posts the transcripts for "GA minutes". There have been non violence proposals almost every week and are always debate heavy.
3) There's general assemblies almost EVERYDAY at the Washington state convention center on the 2nd floor. Sundays/Mondays/Wednesdays seem to be the bigger ones. Saying "activists themselves have become introverted and distracted from an agenda to reform" is completely wrong. there's a lot of organizing and actions still getting done and actually increasing numbers to GA every week.

I FULLY support Occupy endorsing nonviolence. Especially when it's turning people against our movement when there seems to be a degradation in journalism these days.

Also: The majority of the time Slog is not a source of good journalism. Sorry.
Posted by ChristinaLuv on January 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
39
When people who declared themselves part of Occupy Seattle squatted in an abandoned house on 23rd, I didn't find the act criminal—at first. I thought the occupiers/squatters were treating the house with respect and conducting themselves as the best neighbors anyone could ask for. Instead, the house was painted horribly and then covered in contrived graffiti and empty sound-bytes. People would stand outside the house and smoke, toss their butts onto the property (or beyond), and then return inside. What could have been a shining example of civil disobedience quickly degraded into adults acting like ignorant, entitled brats who contributed nothing to the health of the neighborhood or the long-term vision of the Occupy movement. I couldn't wait for the cops to evict the squatters, and I hope these "protesters" never return.

Occupy Seattle is not unlike the blind leading the naked. If the movement wants to be taken seriously and supported, then work with other organizations to be the social welfare that is painfully lacking and missing in our country.
Posted by riot gorl on January 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
40
It looks like the people over at uw have a better understanding of what good journalism is: http://dailyuw.com/news/2012/jan/10/comm…
Posted by ChristinaLuv on January 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
41
"97% of the people that show up are STRONGLY in favor of practicing non-violence."

I've seen you clowns at the Convention Center. You can't divide the dozen people I saw by 100 and multiply by 97 to even make 97%; unless you count the "Transphobia Causus" as 2.75 people.

This isn't a revolution, it's the world's smallest circle jerk.
Posted by Limousine Liberal on January 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 42
We of the Anarchist People's Freedom State of Judea are at war with the Peaceful Anarchists of Free Peoples of Judea!

(oh, wait, is it Monty Python yet?)
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
43
@40. Good luck selling student debt forgiveness to the 70% of americans without college degrees.
Posted by Limo lobs on January 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
44
freezing hippies. ain't nothing funnier!
Posted by lmaooo on January 11, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
MarkyMark 45
People are so incredibly unbelievably naive - this was all 1,000% predictable from day one; all the authorities had to do was wait for the inmates to take over the asylum and drive everyone else away...
Posted by MarkyMark on January 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
46
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON Department of Transportation (Wsdot) is VULNERABLE. The agency and other state DOTs have violated State, County and Municipal codes & laws regarding the three multi-billion dollar scandalous highway projects in Seattle. The Port Authority is inextricably connected with these consequential criminal acts. Shutting down West Coast ports to demand answers must've made these boards of directors very nervous.

This vulnerability must be exploited to stop the INSANELY DANGEROUS deep-bore tunnel (DBT) before its too late. Wsdot directors & department heads know this type of tunnel is malevolently reckless and otherwise poorly engineered to manage traffic. A criminal case to stop the DBT and enact needed reform at Wsdot would be a great victory for the 99.9%
Posted by Wells on January 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
watchout5 47
"I would never consider putting my name on a document of an organization that would not disavow violence"

You do realize congress does this bullshit too? OH WHY DIDN'T YOU PUT YOUR NAME DOWN AS HONORING OUR SAVIOR MARTIN LUTHER KING YOU ARE A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING. Let me ask you, how much of the civil rights movement was based entirely on non-violence? The idea that even as the cops were murdering people for sport there should not be a single person in the country do a violent act against a police force trained to treat you like cattle. The only reason why the powerful make a big deal out of people like Ghandi and MLK is they were the voices of reason while the violent aspects of the revolution took hold. Ghandi would have died for nothing if it weren't for the violent fighters who took British women and children and hung them in the square on pikes. Telling me some kind of fantasy where we all live happy and non-violent is a crock when this government tells me I can be locked away forever for no reason. I'll happily put down more violent tactics when out government puts their weapons down. I'm willing to bet I have more patience and I'm smarter than a bunch of goons with machine guns but I'm not going to tie my hands when they wouldn't hesitate to blow me away. Fuck that noise and fuck all the pacifists, we couldn't do this without you but I am the furthest thing from a pacifist and I can't sympathize at all with their preaching.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on January 11, 2012 at 10:57 PM · Report this
48
@47

And how's that working out for you, eh?

How much of the civil rights movement was based entirely on non-violence?

The effective part, that's how much.
Posted by robotslave on January 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM · Report this
Posted by trstr on January 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM · Report this
50
I get where you're coming from in criticizing focusing on many issues, Dominic, but there's a lot of shit wrong with this country.

People care about issues that directly effect them, even if the root cause is a financial industry in bed with the political elites.

With regards to the political reform efforts within Occupy, we're offering a solution to fixing said problems. Isn't that what everyone's been asking Occupy to do for months?

Occupy does need to be better at staying on message and tying it all together, though.
Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on January 11, 2012 at 11:45 PM · Report this
51
I think all this discussion is redonkulous. Are non-violent protests or violent action effective "game changers". Answers to both- probably not.
Violent action would be effective if 1,000+ banks were burned to the ground. That violence would force a very real conversation with a good chance for positive change, at least from the current quo.
Non-violent tactics can and would be effective if actual protests happened and involved actual numbers- instead of a few hundred "invisible" communtiy activits in the rain at westlake. Non-violent protest especially depends on media converge, violent action couldn't possibley be ignored.

But what is happening on any front is neither ospicious, glorious or on-going (GA's and promises don't count). What ever happens in the spring or summer please drop the "Occupy" moniker- it's time for re-invention (OWS has plenty of baggage at this point), there's no need for nostagia - it's time to drop it. Me personally? I will be forming a band of merry-men called "Pissed off Personages" a food fighting unit (throwing rooten food at legit targets). I will leave all the discussion to the slog on whether or not it was police-informants who gave us the idea in the first place.
Posted by Goatwhiner on January 12, 2012 at 1:22 AM · Report this
52
I think all this discussion is redonkulous. Are non-violent protests or violent action effective "game changers" right now? Answers to both- probably not. Not even if they were working together (lol).
Maybe violent action would be effective if 1,000+ banks were burned to the ground (instead of 1/4 of one). If you grab CEO's children and press pistols to their temples demanding "change". Through that violence a very real conversation could happen with a good chance for positive change, at least from our current situation, but those willing or even capable of carrying out "acts" is startling limited. The crop of "violent" folks around are the paint bomb, noise-ordinance violating offenders than professional guerillas engaged in combat- I wouldn't worry churches or Chinese invaders.

Non-violent protest can be effective if actual protests happened and involved actual numbers- instead of a few hundred community activists in the rain at Westlake, envaporating with a firm municipal shove. Non-violent protest especially depends on media converge, violent action couldn't possibly be ignored.

Imagine if the OWS protest numbers from early fall held and those involved just..stayed (no matter what). Occupied, took the police brutality, came back no matter what--sacrificed. They would still be a force, a wonderful non-violent success, but they.. quit. And quiters (no matter the reasons, excuses) just don't win.

Nothing at the moment is auspicious, glorious or simply on-going.
Posted by Goatwhiner on January 12, 2012 at 1:50 AM · Report this
53
Not the smartest tactic.

when my girl friend asks me if she looks fat, what should i say?

when "society" wants to know if my movement is non-violent, what should i say?

I am an athiest. but if somebody walked up and said, i will give you a million dollars if you believe in god, do you know what i would tell them? do i need to explain why?

People really should learn to put there egos on leash.

Posted by ooooooooo on January 12, 2012 at 3:06 AM · Report this
54
Thanks Dominic for being a total fucking MSM douche bag and not telling the whole story.
Posted by KitsapPatriot on January 12, 2012 at 6:40 AM · Report this
55
@42: It is always Monty Python.
Posted by supergp on January 12, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
slade 56
Americans cant stand Violence? did some one toss a friggen plywood stick at the world power and make the poor world power cry?

these homeless beggars are baby killing steely eyed skull puckers following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and hiding
yellow cake in abandon houses across America?

Classic example of how America operates? admit nothing deny everything and them falsely convict and sentence them in media and court of law and united nations as well.

they are trying to spread communism across the globe and that's all these homeless beggars are doing! worst then them thar Vietnamese devils of far east.

they just taint hillbilly's from Arkansas like we'ins be.

Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on January 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
57
@42: Yeah---I think I see John Cleese, Eric Idle, and the Big Foot coming down.
Spam, spam, spam, spam....
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 58
Ghandi would have died for nothing if it weren't for the violent fighters who took British women and children and hung them in the square on pikes.


How fucking ignorant are you? Gandhi was killed *after* independence by another INDIAN.

I'm willing to bet I have more patience and I'm smarter than a bunch of goons with machine guns but I'm not going to tie my hands when they wouldn't hesitate to blow me away.


You're going to be losing a lot of money then, buddy, because you're an IDIOT. And, you are one of those goons.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
59
Open letter regarding this article.

http://abolishgreed.blogspot.com/2012/01…
Posted by Akirin on January 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
60
"No investigation, no right to speak." - Mao.

Dominic Holden would do well to remember that.

Then again, it is in his material class interests to not mention how non-profit and democratic party forces have made 6 separate attempts at seizing power over Occupy Seattle.

Because they lack a majority, all they can do is fall back into the very same undemocratic, Machiavellian politics and organizing practices of the Two Party dictatorship that brought us to Westlake in the first place.

Read:
http://www.allpowertothepositive.blogspo…

Listen [to episode #70]:
http://www.allpowertothepositive.info
Posted by Wake Up, God Dammit! on January 12, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Banned on The Seattle Times 61
I stepped back a long time ago. Locally, the movement has been co-opted by a bunch of idiot teenage drug-addicted homeless punks and because the organization is designed the way it is, there is nothing that was able to stop the theft of the movement. Time to move on...
Posted by Banned on The Seattle Times on January 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM · Report this
62
General Assembly attendance is generally very high. The camp is gone, but the spirit isn't. As a writer and activist. I have trouble keeping up with all the occupy actions, meetings, rallies, etc.

And the wood throwing is an exception to what I consider to be a peaceful movement.
Posted by Greg Spence Wolf on January 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM · Report this
63
Dogmatic pacifism, exemplified by the proposal that would "commit to using methods of nonviolent civil disobedience at all of our demonstrations...," is ineffective and unrealistic.

Go read "How Nonviolence Protects the State."
Posted by paula_7 on January 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM · Report this
64
People who condone violence against others grow up to be totalitarians, regardless of where they started from. This is a concept that unites the extremes of right and left. Go read the history of the 20th Century to understand this. If you give up the moral high ground, you may win the battle, but you lose the war. Compare MLK and Gandhi v. Hitler, Stalin, and ObamBush.
Posted by Joe Mentum on January 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM · Report this
65
I think a major of us would probably ask for a piss test from Luke Skywalker before the Death Star was attacked.
Posted by Goatwhiner on January 14, 2012 at 12:32 AM · Report this
66
You're the kind of reporter I never want to be. One who slanders and bastardizes fact for a paycheck. this is NOT an unbiased, professional report. Likewise, the Stranger has no place trying to fill a slot of opinion on the matter and mission of occupy Seattle.
The Stranger's back pages are lined with adds for personal escorts, meanwhile, Seattle takes the cake for the largest port in the US for Sex trafficking. Occupy Seattle has spread awareness of issues like this, and have opposed the complacent lifestyle of your average well-to-do American. All you have done, Dominic, is piss a lot of people off. You are a coward and a liar. Your misrepresentation will not be tolerated anymore.
Outside of mindless ranting. I want to make on thing abundantly clear. The debate over violence and non-violence is not something that will tear the movement apart. Likewise, it's not a matter that will hold water for much longer. The people involved in Occupy Seattle are resilient, and they know that what they're trying to change is more important than diversity of tactics. As we speak, Occupy is moving toward a consensus process so that all Occupiers may be accurately represented. Get your fucking facts straight, Dominic.
One last thing -- This debate took place about three weeks ago, It's not been brought up since. You're tardy and repugnant as usual.
Do yourself and the movement a favour, Stay the fuck away from us.
Posted by TheStrangerIsDisgusting on January 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
67
May I recommend the following excellent booklet on principled pacifism vs not discarding possible tactics beforehand? It was very influential in my thinking on the subject, read it with a open mind, you might in the end still not agree but it makes a good argument and gives plenty of food for thought: http://agamsterdam.wordpress.com/teksten…
Posted by dutchie on January 15, 2012 at 5:57 AM · Report this
68
@67

From the tract you've linked:

A handful of pacifists have shown such a sustained commitment to revolution and incurred such risks and sacrifices that they are above the criticisms typically deserved by pacifists, and even pose a challenge to the functioning of the status quo


In other words, this rambling, painfully repetitive critique of pacifism doesn't apply to the disciplined, effective sort of pacifism that many of us are calling for, when we say OWS should adopt the tactics (and rigorous constraints, and self-discipline) of the Civil Rights Movement.

Of course, when one achieves any aim through violence, then what one has done is precisely to establish a hierarchical, coercive relationship-- that of the victor over the vanquished. There is no acknowledgement of this unavoidable fact in that tract.

Which isn't a problem, of course, so long as one's ends are never achieved (or "fully" achieved); as in, for example, a state of permanent revolution.
Posted by robotslave on January 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM · Report this
69
martial law was declared in Seattle, during WTO in 1999. of course, that was when dominic was still in grade school.
Posted by Elijahbenjudah on January 17, 2012 at 1:28 AM · Report this
slade 70
http://occupywallst.org/

Tonight's the night. seems your wordy gurdy man mist it? Bz in da Dc Db?
Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on January 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
71
This is like "The Movement That Time Forgot." The rest of the world stopped thinking about Occupy around the same time Wham! broke up. Sorry folks. Its over, nobody cared nor cares.
Posted by thatsjarrod on January 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 72
So ... now they're against the criminal behavior? In for an ounce, out when a pound.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on January 18, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
73
are those idiots still out there ? i thought that shit ended a long time ago . i think its just homeless and bums now right ? you accomplished nothing just like every one said . feel stupid much ?
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on January 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM · Report this
74
What until the spring..
Posted by Goatwhiner on January 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
75
What did they do with the meth tent?
Posted by Mister G on January 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
slade 76
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/occ…

Ms. Rainey, who is 85 and was pepper-sprayed by the police in November, has been fully booked for months. On a recent Thursday, she joined 10 people in Olympia, Wash., who were supporting a State Senate resolution to remove American soldiers from Afghanistan. She led a rally near Pike Place Market against steam incinerators, which the protesters complain release pollution in the downtown area. In March, she plans to join Occupy leaders in Washington for events that are still being planned.

“People have different goals,” Ms. Rainey said. “Mine is, we’ve got to build a movement that will replace the type of government we have now.”
Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on February 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this

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