Occupy Seattle’s Big Week

The Movement Stumbled, Sprinted, Then Seemed to Hit Its Stride

Comments

1
As for the police it seems someone from high up has every kind of police officer and federal agent working the crowd so the best and the worst are out there? SPD is not the brightest force in the land as they park their command center 5ft from where a potential riot may or could ensue and if you watched the crowd and looked for the under cover happy smiling swaggering John Wayne types they were real easy to spot.

A clear screw up by Diaz the police chief or who ever was calling the shots as crowd control officers are there to "prevent" a stupid accident from creating a angry mob hell bent on revenge.

After watching the narcotics officers screwing around the park acting like jerks I didn't feel at all safe as I realized SPD was just going all kinds of redneck hillbilly and turning it into a ho down square dance.
2
Held in lockdown overnight without access to vegan food. The horror ... the horror!
3
What's with the "Slavoj iek" naming practice? I thought this was a typo at first, but it continues throughout. Isn't his name still (as ever) "Slavoj Zizek"?
4
I was not there missed it but if this was back in the day there would not be any glass in the bank.., This can work peacefully if folks stick it out don't go home Ill be there if i can find some who can push my chair while running
5
"Nationally, hundreds were arrested over the weekend, including . . . 141 in Boston, . . . 90 in Boston . . . there were no arrests over the weekend in Seattle."

Boston is listed twice in case you wanted to make a correction.
6
Hey, great coverage, guys! The special characters in Zizek's name are not rendering correctly; it currently reads "Slavoj iek." If, you know, you're looking for a new copy editor or anything, I'm looking for a job... Just sayin.
7
@ 6. Whoops! Thanks. We'll fix that in a jiffy.
8
One thing about this movement versus war protests. As soon as we go to war, the protests tend to fizzle out. The economic grievances that this movement is all about will not go away anytime soon. Until the grievances of jobs and wealth equality are addressed in a meaningful way, (and no, the 1% will not give up their wealth without a fight) this imperfect movement will soldier on. There will be action on the streets, at the polls, who people will do business with, (remember there will be a run on the banks on November 5th!) possible job actions,etc. To those who think this movement will go away if there is no leader or coherent message, the inconvenient truth is that the movement is here to stay as long as economic unrest continues to fester in our society.
9
I'm with Brandon Whitehead!!
10
You have a few factual inaccuracies in the first article, by Dominic Holden. The GA never voted to go to City Hall on the 14th of October, as evidenced by our recordings and transcription of our General Assembly located on the website: http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-10-14…

This is simply not true, and I am not sure where the author heard it. Similarly, the early vote about negotiating with the mayor was not overturned in the wee hours of the morning by an "antiestablishment" group, as you can see on our assembly notes from the 11th: http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-10-12…

The "overturn" was voted in as an amendment, noting that we go somewhere other than city hall, it was done this way because the original vote (for negotiation, stating of demands, etc.) was done without process being followed, primarily there was no opposing argument heard, and the blocks were not acknowledged.

Lastly: the author should be more careful about getting the opposing argument correct. There is NO contingent within occupy seattle that simply demands to stay in Westlake. The contingent that believes in holding Westlake ALL acknowledge that we need a secondary location for sleeping. Just last night (the 18th), there was a long discussion about the merits of using Seattle Central for this purpose. It is a grievous misportrayal to say that there are some who just care about holding Westlake at all cost. The idea is simply that we are open to any secondary location OTHER THAN City Hall. Seattle Central looks most likely at this point.

I ask that you correct the factual two major inaccuracies above and do better fact-checking in the future. I also remind The Stranger that all of our GA notes, including all proposals passed and all discussion occurring at the GA, are on our website, transcribed and audio-recorded.
11
"... as they park their command center"

In the 90's we all called it the Winnebago of Justice. Is that still the case?

I remember when they first rolled it out to show it to the public. They parked it on Broadway in front of Fred Meyer (now QFC), proud as punch, eager to lead casual tours of their new beauty. I expected to see state-of-the-art communications gear, wireless faxes, SOMETHING.

But no; They had three typewriters (for all them carbon-copy forms and reports and what-not, don'cha know) and a small holding cell. What a joke. Of course, plenty of crime-fighting budget dollars later, it surely is today's gleaming symbol police "presence."
12
You have a few factual inaccuracies in the first article, by Dominic Holden. The GA never voted to go to City Hall on the 14th of October, as evidenced by our recordings and transcription of our General Assembly located on the website: http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-10-14

This is simply not true, and I am not sure where the author heard it. Similarly, the early vote about negotiating with the mayor was not overturned in the wee hours of the morning by an "antiestablishment" group, as you can see on our assembly notes from the 11th: http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-10-12

The "overturn" was voted in as an amendment, noting that we go somewhere other than city hall, it was done this way because the original vote (for negotiation, stating of demands, etc.) was done without process being followed, primarily there was no opposing argument heard, and the blocks were not acknowledged.

Lastly: the author should be more careful about getting the opposing argument correct. There is NO contingent within occupy seattle that simply demands to stay in Westlake. The contingent that believes in holding Westlake ALL acknowledge that we need a secondary location for sleeping. Just last night (the 18th), there was a long discussion about the merits of using Seattle Central for this purpose. It is a grievous misportrayal to say that there are some who just care about holding Westlake at all cost. The idea is simply that we are open to any secondary location OTHER THAN City Hall. Seattle Central looks most likely at this point.

I ask that you correct the factual two major inaccuracies above and do better fact-checking in the future. I also remind The Stranger that all of our GA notes, including all proposals passed and all discussion occurring at the GA, are on our website, transcribed and audio-recorded.
13
There are some major errors in this article, I'm in agreement with @occupation.

Sections like this:
"After being released from jail that night, he was still annoyed that his comrades bailed while he was handcuffed, booked into King County jail, and held in a cell without vegan food."

Dominick seems to be purposely using that language to single out and discredit important people who are organizing in the movement as whiny hippies(i.e., anyone left of liberal). I personally know this person and know for a fact that his quotes are being taken out of context and misused.

The fact is, the radicals in this movement are not just whiny hippies, but realize that this movement will not grow if we are making concessions with the mayor rather than demands. Will Dominick support the movement if it uses a similar tactic of camping at night elsewhere and occupying Westlake during the day if it's NOT at City Hall? I somehow doubt it.

14
@10 & 12) As for your first point, lots of protesters did decide to move to City Hall on the 14th and accept terms provided by the mayor's office, according to several sources I spoke to. An estimated 25 people were in the encampment there that night. If there wasn't a General Assembly vote, there was some sort of collective decision (or else all those people wouldn't have moved and an agreement couldn't have been struck with the city).

As for your second point, again, I didn't say the GA voted until the next evening. The decision to stay at Westlake was ratified by the GA on the evening of the 12th.
15
@13) Constructive criticism is bad for political movements, so supporters ought to just shut up.
16
How about some investigative coverage of 21st century "community policing" techniques employed against the will/knowledge/Constitutional rights of citizens and protesters such as:

Video Surveillance, Recording and Archiving
Audio Surveillance, Recording and Archiving
Communications and Data Surveillance and Archiving
Tracking individuals via cellphones, iPhones, Android phones etc.

Facial Recognition Analysis and Archiving of the above data,
Various other 'data mining' analysis techniques applied to data gathered about citizens- without warrants, without criminal charges, and without the knowledge of those being spied upon.

Next time you see a protest scene where some individuals seem to be 'targeted for arrest' and are removed from a lawful assembly for no apparent reason, think about the above common law enforcement practices, which are rarely even mentioned in our clueless mainstream media.
17
This person can't write and clearly doesn't know what they are talking about.
18
Zero drum circles = I'm in.
19
Occupy the movie (2m40s) made completely of still images.
Shot in Seattle Oct 2011

Music by King Missile
photos and edit by rick barry
BrokenShadePhoto.com

Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/BTi7FyeCna8
20
@17 SeaGnat...
Your 'writing' sucks worse than anything on the whole website. There are several contributors to the article. Obviously you can't even read, dumbass.


Better duck off to Europe, before some literacy cop punches you square in the face.
21
Dominic: There are so many errors and lies in this article, it can't even be taken seriously. Any simple journalistic research would solve most of these or simply contacting the police to check on arrest numbers, voting percentages, and the actual unfolding of events.
22
I didn't know the fleabagger circus had hit town!

Cool, I've got t-shirts to make and sell, I may have to hire more people to keep up with demand.

Maybe I can unload that gross of Ernesto Lynch crap I've been stuck with.

Down with Capitalism!! Start the money machines!!
23
Again and again in mainstream (and less mainstream) media, I am reading a certain, specious analysis of the situation at Occupy Seattle.

The article by Dominic Holden in The Stranger, October 19 2011, Occupy Seattle's Big Week, is a typical example of this injudicious reportage. He writes, "Smart folks who agreed with the overall message about economic disparities were getting sick of seeing protestors obsessed with staking a few tents in Westlake Park."

Au contraire! I believe that:

1. maintaining a 24-hour presence in the downtown area is crucial to the protest.
2. the occupiers ought to spend as much time and debate as they find necessary to figuring out how to achieve this.

Let me expand upon what truly "smart folks" might agree.

Wherever it has sprung up, maintaining an overnight presence, that is, occupying, a piece of downtown real estate is fundamental to this movement. It means that the protesters are not going away. It is one piece of what makes this protest different from many of the last decade or so against the injustices and inequities of our world. Occupation does two things that previous rallies and marches so often did not do:

1. Occupiers are placing their bodies where their convictions are, to create a blockage in the system as it is.
2. They are acting as a focal point for the rest of us without the fortitude to act on our beliefs in this way. They provide the opportunity for the rest of us to come in for the rallies and marches that force the continued dialogue between power and the people. I have faith that while I scramble to organize within my own network, that the opportunity to plug into this force greater than disparate groupings will be available when we are ready.

The "squabbling" over where to sleep is actually "planning," Dominic. A necessary and unsexy step in many projects. Considering options, weighing pros and cons, etc is going to look messy and "directionless", especially when it unfolds in a public consensus process. I don't know whether any of the Seattle contingent spent much time thinking through their strategy and intentions before they showed up at Westlake, but I hear the folk in NY spent three months in preparation. It is more than unhelpful to hold this phase up to some fantasy standard of success, perhaps based on the juvenile expectation that real change happens in some kind of tv-land manner of rousing action hitting the screen within the first ten minutes.

To characterize what was going on at Westlake for the first couple of weeks in October as a "petulant" group out "to defy the mayor for the sake of defiance" is a most egregious missing of the point. What Dominic chooses to pronounce from on high as the "lesson" (sleep at City Hall, round the clock protest at Westlake) is what I see as a decision, made from below, after a process of deliberation. And should that change again according to further deliberation, I support the occupiers whole-heartedly.

There is a certain overlap going on that is probably the source of confusion, on the part of both occupiers and observers. Should we regard the act of occupation as an act of civil disobedience in itself, or simply as a matter of logistics, like setting up a base camp? The initial set-up of the occupation is a bit of both, which is perhaps why we see disagreement over what's worthy of getting arrested for.

Holden reports that the toughest police action took place, not on Saturday when 3,000 weekend protesters went on an un-permitted march, but in the wee hours of Monday and Tuesday mornings when occupiers were arrested. Yet he fails to make the connection that those commanding the police obviously have. The "occupy" in "occupation" is the key (that is, the necessary but not sufficient condition of tents on the ground) for the "programming" Holden so blithely hankers after, "which draw the largest crowds, garner the most media".

I write this as an enthralled observer and fair-weather protester of this movement. Such punditry should not stand un-refuted in the public record. I see this same misleading analysis creeping into the self-examination of the occupiers, creating unnecessary doubt and discouragement. Living out conditions of un-tented cold and police harassment ought to be enough to deal with. Thankfully the impact of this punditry remains ineffectual while it reports with feeble surprise that the movement "didn't fizzle". To my heroes and heroines at Westlake Park or City Hall or elsewhere, I cheer, "whatever gets you thru the night...!"

(Sorry for picking on you Dominic - yours just happens to be the article in front of me.)
25
Move Your Money protest against robber baron banks. You can download Tim Geithner fiat cash funny-money design and print billions to pass out in front of banks.

http://www.archive.org/details/MoveYourM…