Collective of Seattle Art Museum Workers Call for a Boycott of the Museum



Among many other ridiculous aspects of this, why the fuck are they called "Decolonize SAM"? What does any of this have to do with colonialism? Do words mean anything anymore? "Colonial" became an activist buzzword about four years ago and just gets slapped onto everything these days.

It's a museum, not a homeless shelter. If these activists care so much about the plight of their local heroin junkie, they should put them up in their own apartments, not in their employer's workplace. As a patron of SAM, I'd rather not have it become the new City Hall Park, where people get assaulted and raped just trying to get into the museum.


"Decolonize" - how quaint. So is Mimi Gates Queen Victoria?

Also, friends don't let their friends camp out in front of art museums.


Also, the details of why the hostile architecture was necessary was included in the earlier article on this subject, but apparently not important enough to include in this more one-sided article:

In a statement to The Stranger, the museum said these policies come as they have experienced an "increase in physical violence and threats to our staff with makeshift weapons" at the downtown location. Last week, SAM director Amada Cruz wrote in an internal email to staff that "several SAM staff have been physically threatened in the last few weeks, one with a broken bottle," and that "another was actually punched." In the email, shared with The Stranger by staff, Cruz said she "will not risk the safety" of any staff members. SAM's press representative confirmed these incidents.

So this group of clowns calling themselves "Decolonize SAM" is literally advocating for their co-workers to be punched, threatened, and assaulted with broken bottles. How many people are in this "collective" anyway? Their website doesn't say who's actually in it. This could literally just be one person who doesn't even work at SAM trying to stir up shit and getting a one-sided article in The Stranger as their reward.


I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be able to safely and comfortably (ie not be threatened by unstable vagrants) walk around the Seattle Art Museum as well as it not smelling like piss and shit after a wholesome night of camping and shooting meth.


It's getting so people cant even shit and shoot up on any sidewalk anymore. What is this? Nazi germany?


Amada Cruz is to be respected for caring about her employees' safety. That must be a top priority for SAM or any employer. If she oversteps her authority and intervenes in city policy-making to punish the homeless, that would be different. But simply trying to create a safe environment around the museum from legitimate fear her employees could be assaulted... I can't see faulting her for that. I look forward to learning more to get a fuller sense of what the situation entails.


Who would have guessed the chuds were such staunch supporters of The Arts?


@7: Plausible. Considering you're their role model.


This is 100% "The Onion," right? Right???


I love that they refer to the vagrants loitering around the museum as "visitors" as if they are the same as the other patrons. The navel gazing and woke-speak is strong is this post. Truly great work all around.


@7, get out of here with that. All sorts of people don’t want to step over bums and or shit just out and about trying to enjoy the museum.


Even Brent thinks this is crazy.


All the potential volunteers declined because they didn’t want be stepping In homeless poo only to be shanked by needles or have to dodge rolling shootouts.


So, you can choose not to go to SAM because you don't want to be assaulted outside it, or you can outright boycott SAM for taking active steps to prevent you from getting assaulted outside it. Really, it's a win all around!


"Decolonize SAM". Great, there's a group who wants more POC artists represented on museum walls than the usual dead white Europeans! No, not that. So it's a group that is advocating for returning all objects among SAM's collections which were stolen from Africa and Indigenous Peoples everywhere? Nope, not that either. Umm, could they be for promoting more access for low income visitors, and/or possibly against pimping the facilities out to big spending corporate sponsors? Nah, none of the above. From what I can tell it's a group of disgruntled staff who are okay with their colleagues and museum guests being harassed and occasionally assaulted, all in the misguided notion that removing "hostile architecture" and having unarmed security trained in de-escalation techniques inform folks that they cannot set up camp on the grounds is helping the homeless. If you want to advocate for the homeless, then elect politicians committed to affordable housing, find a group that offers outreach services to volunteer with, attend public meetings, or get a job with any number of employers who are working to end homelessness (note: the pay, while still low, is much better than a VSO's).


One of these things strikes me as not like the other. Should SAM be paying private security to harass people (homeless or otherwise) on the public sidewalk surrounding their building? Absolutely not. But I can't really muster an argument against the bollards. It looks like there's still enough room there for someone to throw down a sleeping bag, they just can't erect a structure. I don't think that's an unreasonable measure to take in an entryway as opposed to, say, an alcove with no use other than visual interest.


@15, You can always raise funding on your own Art Museum, even a Tax raising vote of the people might get it approved. Then you can show whatever shit you want.

Oh yeah, if your White or even part White, you have blood on your hands you fucking privileged fuck.


Does anyone go to SAM anymore? I thought they were in dire financial straits. The workers want to pound the last nail into the coffin that is their career/industry?


Seems like SAM would be a perfect homeless shelter full stop. Remove the prentetious art and turn into temp housing. Lots of room and great location close to mass transit. Decolonize SAM has its sights set too low.



Frankly, I've always felt that Lake View Cemetery was the ideal spot for a homeless encampment. Large tract of land, rarely visited, no children, gets cleaned and maintained regularly.

We've already decided that letting junkies and criminals live in our parks is not only A-OK but, according to The Stranger's promoted activists and staff, an applaudable thing. But all their arguments in favor of park camping can also be applied to graveyard camping

Oh, people don't like tents in their graveyard and don't think it's appropriate? Why are they so afraid to see homelessness?

Oh they wanted to use the graveyard to respect their dead? Why should their privileged desires matter more than their houseless neighbors' life-or-death right to shelter?

Oh, these junkies and criminals make the graveyard a hostile and dangerous environment with their threatening behavior? That's all Ronald Reagan's fault for defunding mental health in the 80s, you're not allowed to complain about it, just vote for more tax dollars for mental health services and until then shut up and live with it.

If I was a more daring activist, I'd go set up a big ugly tent right next to Bruce Lee's grave and challenge the city to sweep me. There's literally no case the city can make where sweeping from a graveyard is good but sweeping from a park (or a SCHOOL!) is bad. But even the most hardened slacktivist can see that turning a graveyard into an encampment is wrong.


Well I think we should start a grassroots citizens group in support of the Museums policies of repelling vagrants from soiling, spoiling and damaging the museum. And further we should show our contempt by not supporting art collective workers....frankly fire them and start over.

It is against the law to camp on public property, poop/pee/vomit, do drugs, leave garbage etc. Clearly the City will not enforce or protect the Museum so the Museum has no choice but to protect itself by erecting structures and hiring private security.

The Museum's approach is good, right and proper.

Frankly, I think the Museum should sue the City for failure to enforce the laws and provide even minimal protection of property and the rights of our citizens to walk freely on our own streets unfettered from the lawless rabble ruining our city.


In other The Stranger news, there's the article gushing over a $29 lobster roll at Market Eatery in Edmonds. Also opening a second location soon at SAM.




SAM should have free days for their specials exhibits (too). I hope that demand can be included in the boycott.


Its beyond dead eyed right wing trollers to see that homeless people are human beings.

Former homeless here. Red blood in our veins just like the rest of the human race.

The problem is POVERTY. Put your big boy/girl pants on and start acting like adults.
Poverty can be caused by low pay, medical bills and unexpected crises illness or other.

You've allowed massive corporations to suck up the wealth including stealing the taxes.
You have let international, super wealthy wall street take over housing. You have voted in corrupt politicians that sell us out and then you complain, insult and dehumanize the victims of this outright greed. The unhoused, the poor and working class. How cowardly can you get????


21 You need to carefully read number 25. But we doubt that you will because you are most likely unwilling to unstuck yourself.