Occupy Capitol Hill | Dr. West speaks to Occupy Seattle

(Images: CHS)

Civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West made an appearance at the Occupy Seattle camp Wednesday afternoon one day after the protesters faced stiff SPD force in a downtown confrontation.

 

“It’s a love movement,” Dr. West shouted to a crowd huddled together surrounding a rain tent as a near-freezing drizzle fell continuously on Capitol Hill. Many cheered and waved their fingers in the hand gestures of the Occupy movement’s general assemblies.

“The old freedom fighters smile from the grave,” he said.


West also had sharp words for Seattle City Hall following Tuesday night’s use of pepper spray on protestors saying leaders “ought to be ashamed” for the tactics. One attendee asked him what the ultimate goal of the Occupy efforts should be. “We want to change the ethos of the nation,” Dr. West said.

The rally, speech and Q&A session came as Dr. West is scheduled to appear Wednesday night at Green River Community College. The Princeton University professor who has become one of the leading figures in the Occupy protests said that even if the Seattle Central school administration decides to move forward with efforts to remove the Occupy Seattle camp from its campus, the movement will continue.

“You can never evict the belief,” Dr. West said. “You can never evict the commitment.”

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20 thoughts on “Occupy Capitol Hill | Dr. West speaks to Occupy Seattle

  1. I think Occupy Seattle is in the absolutely perfect spot. The merchants downtown did not want it there for the holiday shoppers to see. Why do you want it moved from the college?

  2. If Occupy stands for the children, maybe Dr. West can help them make the childcare space safe by moving AWAY from the iron fence. These are children of parents who are students, many living in poverty or on assistance, and who would like to play outside without having to worry about a dog biting them or being stuck by needles.

    The child care center at SCCC is a safe place for these children – actually, it WAS a safe place before Occupy moved in. PLEASE be good neighbors and MOVE 10 feet away from the iron fence, free and clear AND monitor this area!

    After all, “FOR THE CHILDREN.”

  3. @You know It: Exactly.

    @Juno: Of course the downtown big box retailers, banks and businesses who all directly contribute to the 1% at the 99%’s expense don’t want the camp downtown. THAT’S THE POINT OF AN OCCUPATION.

    Instead, the Occupy camp is up on the hill hampering the very small businesses they claim to care about. The many, many unique small, diverse, gay, women & minority owned businesses of Capitol Hill request that Occupy Seattle returns to its stated goals and move its camp to a more useful, impactful location as soon as possible.

  4. I’m in the area of SCCC almost every day and don’t see a negative impact on businesses. The foot traffic on Broadway is as healthy as ever and I still see lots of people in area restaurants and businesses that are right on the same block as the movement. Are you a business owner in the area?

  5. It’s scheduled to close the last day of this quarter which I believe is the 16th of December. I posted a suggestion on a stale story a week ago so I guess no one saw it. I’ll post it again as I think it’s worthy until I am convinced otherwise. The original suggestion is below:

    Here’s my suggestion. Could this possibly work?
    I don’t have kids and know as much about day care and the laws or lack thereof regarding daycare as the next bachelor so take it as just a suggestion.

    Why can’t the parents who utilize this daycare now, rent out a vacant/suitable retail spot on the hill and run the daycare by themselves and/or with the former SCCC daycare employees? Pool the voucher money from SCCC fairly to pay the employees and possibly have a parent or three volunteer at any given time to staff the facility. Possibly, find other parents (not SCCC students who maybe can pay a premium and be willing to do so) who were rejected by the long lists at other nearby daycares and maybe find a way to raise the lacking funds.

    Good luck.

  6. Legal liability is probably the biggest issue for the college. Vouchers gets the college off the hook if something should go wrong in child care of any of the patron.

  7. I am. And although I would have preferred the headline “request” rather than “demand,” I join the Chamber in the concerns raised here:

    http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2011/11/18/occupy-capitol-

    To pre-answer a few questions/accusations that may come up: I am not in the 01%. I own a small business that I opened after being laid off 3 years ago. I have two employees and legally pay all of my/their taxes (I actually overpay slightly because I believe in responsible participation). I’ve supported a number of local non-profits through material support and direct action and I believe in the overarching goals of the occupy movement. I & my business materially supported Occupy Seattle while they were downtown. But the holiday season is critical to my business’ survival and I’m very concerned at Occupy Seattle’s willingness to consider me and my neighbors’ continued modest self-employment a sacrifice that they are willing to make for their cause.

  8. Eric,
    It’s interesting that you turn to the PROTESTERS as the source of the threat to your business, but not to the PROTECTORS of the system that created the neglectful and violent economics to begin with. This seems like a behavior that enables the perpetuation of the system as-is.

  9. I’m not saying that you need to close your business, just pointing out that you run a business that exists within the larger neglectful and violent economic system. How do you want to go forward?

  10. Responsibly and committedly*, just like I have been?

    *examples of which include our charitable giving to both at-risk and homeless youth support organizations, our public advocacy of gay rights & our current project to set up game manufacturing in the Seattle area to create jobs for younger unskilled workers

  11. Eric, those are all good and commendable things and I pray that you’re able to continue and attract more individuals and business entities with means to join you. Prevention is often less costly than cure but it requires protesting/critically evaluating/changing a system.

    Protest
    Critical Evaluation
    Change

    Occupy Wall Street/Seattle/London etc… have reported for duty. Has Main Street? Does Main Street want to maintain its subservient and possibly protector role in the system as-is? I grew up in the Church so I know about giving and missions the same organizations who lose their voice when it comes to addressing the greed, war, unplanned, unmanaged procreation that cause the destitution and endless ripple of social costs and troubles.

    It’s commendable to help at the exhaust pipe, but it’s even better when independent business/commerce lends its voice and power to way-changing, vehicle-changing, purpose-changing for a better city, nation and world. Be part of the head, not the tail.

  12. Are you calling me an internet troll? :) Or did you mean to say “no more assuming that people on the internet ARE trolls”? In any case, I’ve enjoyed the exchange and hope it is beneficial on some fertile ground.

  13. “You can never evict the belief,” Dr. West said. “You can never evict the commitment.” Ummm, I am pretty sure most people understand that you cannot evict either of those things…I am pretty sure they are merely attempting to evict PEOPLE. And, funny thing here…people CAN be evicted. Just sayin…

  14. Excellent point.
    We all know for a fact that many “troubled” people have blended their way in to this group and have committed hideous acts on other people. These kids shouldn’t have to be subjected to that. OS and OWS etc are too reckless to consider these ramifications.