It’s Day 18 for Occupy Seattle’s camp on Capitol Hill at the corner of Pine and Broadway in Seattle Central’s plaza. Here’s what’s new.
- We reported last week that Seattle Central is talking with the State Attorney General’s office about how to legally remove the encampment citing the cost of cleaning up after the campers and complaining about behavior and drug use. If you missed it, we heard back this week from the AG but the office didn’t offer anything substantive on what comes next. “We are not able disclose legal advice or whether we have given specific legal advice to our clients,” a spokesperson told us via email. “When contacted by our clients, our practice is to outline the applicable law and provide option-based advice.”
- Occupy issued a press release Tuesday morning refuting Seattle Central’s claims:
Occupy Seattle is disappointed that SCCC would level allegations against Occupy Seattle in the media as opposed to discussing the details of those concerns in the regularly scheduled meetings Occupy Seattle has with SCCC administration. Occupy Seattle understands the deep funding cuts facing the school, in fact our work is focused on changing the economic inequity in this state so that schools are adequately funded. We are committed to being respectful of the school and the community and look forward to continuing what we thought was a good working relationship to address all concerns.
Members of Occupy Seattle have not been vandalizing the school’s bathrooms. According to faculty member Kimberly McRae “I have worked in the building for 13 years and the south end bathrooms have been considered the worst. With the continued defunding of Community Colleges, SCCC was forced to cut custodial staff again, so the bathrooms have been even worse”. Occupy Seattle provides its members with the necessary sanitation facilities and members agree to abide by the tenets of Occupy Seattle’s Good Neighbor Policy which include respecting the learning environment and the buildings at SCCC.
Occupy Seattle is not the source of the drug paraphernalia found in or around a community college in the heart of a major urban area with well known drug problems. Athena Marsden, former teaching assistant at the daycare on campus said “Every day as part of our jobs, we picked up drug paraphernalia, needles, used condoms, cigarette butts, anything that threatened the safety of the kids. All that stuff was there way before Occupy Seattle”. Long time Capitol Hill resident Cathy Hillenbrand joking said, “If I had a dime for every hypodermic needle I’ve seen in that area over the years, I’d be in the 1%”.
Occupy Seattle adheres to its non-violence policy (as stated in Occupy Seattle’s Accountability Principles). In response to a movement dedicated to nonviolence, hiring of additional security guards is unnecessary and excessive, particularly in a time of severe budget constraints.
We request a full accounting of the dollars the school alleges has been spent as a result of our encampment so as to assure ourselves and the community that we are not being blamed for spending that is either unnecessary or inaccurately attributed to Occupy Seattle.
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.
- Occupy campers and school officials have been meeting every Tuesday to discuss status of the camp. UPDATEBut not this week — and maybe no longer. This just in via Twitter from @pmocek: “Alyssa from #OccupySeattle Supply&Storage reports that weekly 11am mtng w/ SCCC faculty was canceled, college has discontinued contact.”
- Monday, the Seattle City Council approved Resolution 31337 “recognizing and supporting the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as a cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal and local levels.” Here’s what the Seattle Times had to say about the support:
The resolution was a grab bag of proposals meant to provide a local response to the concentration of wealth and abuses in the financial sector that the Occupy Wall Street protest and its regional offspring have called attention to in encampments and rallies around the country this fall.
“Working together, we can fix our broken economy and fix our broken social contract,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, who sponsored the legislation. He said that, at the very least, the city can make sure public funds are reinvested in the community.
- Regardless of Occupy’s message and the City Council support, expect to hear and read more pressure from the Capitol Hill business community this week.
- Also, it might not take state law to remove the camp if Seattle looks to “public safety closures” as a potential model for removing Occupy from Capitol Hill. Here are the details on the overnight sweep of the original Occupy Wall Street camp in New York.
- Licata moderated Saturday night’s Stranger-sponsored Town Hall forum that you’ve probably heard by now was taken over by Occupy Seattle activists. “Their stunt replaced what was supposed to be an informed discussion of the movement with an uninformative, shout-a-thon about process that consumed most of the evening,” wrote the Stranger’s news editor Dominic Holden about the Occupy actions. In the scheme of things, Occupy Seattle’s monkeywrenching of a forum held to supposedly discuss their movement hardly qualifies as a major concern. And, besides, not everybody agreed that the event was ruined.
- CHS was sent the video Seattle Weekly is shamelessly hyping of a man defecating on the Broadway sidewalk outside the Occupy Seattle camp but we haven’t posted it. For one, a man taking a shit outside the camp does not make the man an Occupy Seattle protester. For two, it’s gross — yes, to look at but also to hear the video shooter’s glee. The video is shot from the Broadway Building and the residents and tenants are probably tired of Occupy Seattle so it’s hard to judge them for a lack of compassi
on. But deciding to post it to Youtube is a different decision altogether.