The people occupying the unfinished duplex at 23rd and Alder will have their day in court December 28. Attorneys for the property owner have filed for an eviction court order to remove the members of the Turritopsis Nutricula collective, who have been living in the building for over a month.
According to an email from the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to people who had filed complaints, the building owner’s representatives “had sought to have the occupants removed as trespassers but the Seattle Police Department took the position that a court order would be required to remove the occupants.” DPD then gave both the occupiers and the building owners an “Emergency Order to Vacate” due to unapproved electrical work and the lack of water service. They set the deadline for vacating as December 16 at 5 p.m., but the occupiers defied the order. That order does not authorize physically removing the occupants.
As you know, the house at 23rd and Alder is still very much occupied. I wanted to give you a couple of updates on what has been happening behind the scenes.
The owner’s representatives attempted to negotiate with the unauthorized occupants for their departure. When this was unsuccessful and the occupants did not leave by the deadline discussed, the owner’s representatives filed an action to obtain a court order for eviction. (The owner’s representatives earlier had sought to have the occupants removed as trespassers but the Seattle Police Department took the position that a court order would be required to remove the occupants.) The hearing on this order is December 28th at 9 a.m. in King County Courtroom W-325, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle. I’ve attached a copy of the show cause order which contains more information.
Meanwhile, last week DPD issued an Emergency Order to Vacate the building, the emergency conditions being the unapproved electrical work and the lack of water service. The order was issued to both the owner and the occupants. The occupants did not honor the deadline in this order (Friday 12/16 at 5 p.m.). Noncompliance with the order does not authorize physical removal of the occupants, though it does give the property owner added incentive to resolve the issues at the property to avoid potential fines, and it puts the occupants on notice that the building they are in is not approved for residential use.
At this point it appears the owner is doing everything possible to resolve this situation. The court date is a week from tomorrow (the earliest date they were able to get) and if the requested relief is granted, that will include authorization for law enforcement to take action to remove the occupants of the building.
In order to reoccupy the building as a residence or residences, the owner would have to demonstrate that the building is up to code standards.
This has been a long and frustrating haul but we are hopeful that the end is in sight. We appreciate your patience as well as the additional information some of you have provided. Please feel free to contact me, Housing Zoning Inspector Kevin Hou (615-1613), or Inspector Supervisor Clay Thompson (684-7794) if you have questions or concerns. Of course, if you observe any criminal behavior at the site, you should call 9-1-1.
Diane C. Davis
Code Compliance Manager
The occupiers, many of whom are associated with Occupy Seattle, say they are there to live, be part of the community and protest vacant housing. Their official media statement is:
There are homeless people. There are empty houses. That makes no sense.
Since moving in November 19, residents have painted the unfinished exterior of the house black, green and red, and an anarchist flag hangs in front.
Renovations on the building began in 2008, but stopped abruptly amid the financial crisis. It had been uninhabited until the collective moved in. Court documents officially recognize the owner as 307309 23RD LLC, though a man named Denmark West has also been identified as the building owner. Attempts by CDN to contact Mr. West and his representatives have so far been unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, a post on the Puget Sound Anarchist website by “one irregular resident” of the collective gives a take on the occupation and others elsewhere in the region, from Bellevue to White Center. The anonymous poster also discusses recent graffiti in the neighborhood, including the “Gentrification Kills” tag on the fence of “an ugly cubist-fascist-brutalist style house” at 19th and Jefferson.
Here’s the court document summoning the “John Doe and Jane Doe Occupants” of the house:
A “long and frustrating haul”? That seems a very strange statement to make, considering the owner has been totally derelict for 3 years leaving the community with that unfinished eyesore.
The occupiers assert that they are here to “live, be part of the community, and protest vacant housing.”
On the “protest vacant housing” front, I hear you loud and clear. Vacant housing makes no sense when we have so many homeless people.
You’re here to “live”? Good for you. You have a Constitutionally guaranteed right to live.
But, occupiers, you get a huge “Fail” on “being part of the community”. Time and again, the occupied sites have issues with litter, destruction of property, vandalism, graffiti, and drug use. When Occupy was at the college, an attempted rape prompted the Dean to say “Enough is Enough” and prompted Occupy’s eventual eviction.
Spreading filth, trashing your surroundings, and trying to rape folks ain’t going to win hearts and minds.
If you want to be part of my community, act that way. Put away the spray paint, stop being part of the drug traffic, and figure out where the wastebaskets are.
You get a huge “Fail” at life
On my bus commute this morning, I saw “Fuck Starbucks” spray painted near the children’s playground at Powell Barnett park (over half a mile from the nearest Starbucks. Real brave, guys). I’m not normally a “think of the children” type, but that level of disrespect for the community was the last straw for me. I was ready to stop waiting for them to be evicted, and start working to make it happen. What a pleasant surprise to open up CD News and see that it’s already happening!
For those of you confusing these “occupiers” with the larger Occupy movement, please don’t. These are just anarchists, a.k.a. kids (by mentality, if not by age) with huge chips on their shoulders who will latch on to any progressive social movement and ruin it with half-baked ideas and antisocial behavior.
Are you aware that there is a no drugs policy at the house on 23rd and Alder? This was partly to preempt any of the same problems that happened at the SCCC occupation site.
Obviously, the SCCC occupation site was a draw for homeless people and drug users and homeless drug users; some were there simply because they could stay there without police harassment, have a place to sleep, and get free food (which is no wonder considering both homelessness and shelter closures are on the rise), others were there because they wanted to be part of a movement that is attempting to address the socioeconomic roots of poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction. There was a constant struggle within the camp to make it a safe place, but it is extremely hard to kick someone out of an open-air, public encampment. OS had/has very limited resources, but people were really trying to figure out solutions, contacting substance abuse counselors, etc. Unlike society at large, there was a general unwillingness to simply throw people away because they had problems (unless the *person* his/herself became a problem, being violent, stealing, etc). The accountability group has done some good work on trying to figure out how to address problems in a holistic way, where the point is healing and not punishment (like in the criminal justice system we have now).
As to rape–rape happens all the time, everywhere. It is not something to treat flippantly. Rape and drug use happened on the hill before Occupy came to town, and now that the camp is gone, they will, of course, continue. The media has chosen to focus on these things precisely because people with weak critical thinking skills will accept the ridiculous equation “Occupy = rapists/druggies.”
Anarchists helped start Occupy Wall Street and have played hugely important roles in occupations and recent actions throughout the country, including the Oakland general strike and the port shutdowns. In this case, I think I see more “progressives” and liberals latching onto a largely anarchistic (non-hierarchical, horizontal) movement. Here’s an article from The Nation called “Thank you, Anarchists”: http://www.thenation.com/article/165240/thank-you-anarchists
Kids are great. “Growing up” and fulfilling the proper adult’s role in this shitty world is highly overrated. Have fun working 40 hours per week at that job you hate, coming home to the spouse you only love sometimes and watching TV together.
Also, most kids who can read are probably familiar with the word “fuck.” They probably hear their parents say it all the time, probably when they are fighting with each other.
Anyway, I think it’s good for the young ones to know that Starbucks is fucked. That said, I would agree that it would have been better to actually tag the Starbucks itself, but hey.
Do you think all graffiti in Seattle (or even the CD) is the work of the kids at 23rd and Alder? (Hint: It’s not.)
I agree. If you want to be part of the community act like it. Stop playing the victim and most importantly put down the spray paint and stop tagging the shit out of this neighborhood. You guys could have done this way better. It wasn’t the cause that failed it was the execution.
Or MAYBE, just MAYBE, it would be good to NOT tag someone else’s property AT ALL, even if you yourself have nothing but disdain for their property or their ownership of it.
If you’re looking for ways to gain public mindshare for the cause, you’re clearly failing at it. Are you all really so dense as to not see what works, and what doesn’t? Tagging doesn’t.
“Do you think all graffiti in Seattle (or even the CD) is the work of the kids at 23rd and Alder?”
No, of course not, just the overtly political stuff. I’ve been here long enough to know what sort of graffiti is normal for the area, and that stuff is not. It also tends to be much larger and in much more publicly visible spaces than the “normal” graffiti.
By the way, saying graffiti and spraying “fuck” next to a playground are okay because you didn’t invent vandalism and profanity is like saying punching strangers in the face is okay because you didn’t invent violence. It’s a really, really, stupid and immature argument.
“working 40 hours per week at that job you hate, coming home to the spouse you only love sometimes”
Hmmmmm, I’m an adult and my life isn’t anything like your asinine generalization.
lalala – I think you’re doing it wrong. Maybe you forgot the “growing up” part?
“The owner’s representatives earlier had sought to have the occupants removed as trespassers but the Seattle Police Department took the position that a court order would be required to remove the occupants”.
On Capitol Hill the owners of the building there had the police remove them within hours, why a diffrent tactic here? Are we diffrent than other parts of town?
WE ARE A CONTAINMENT ZONE! We should demand the police should move on it now before more damage is done!
“Work at a job you hate?”
Not me, pal. I love my job.
Your assertion that I struggle through some sort of ersatz, bastardized, compromised version of “existence” only goes to show you have no idea who you’re talking to. I love my life.
Because residential eviction is handled differently from ordinary trespassing. Even if the residence is occupied totally illegally.
Eh, I just think it’s healthier for kids to be seeing tags saying “Fuck Starbucks” than it is for them to see television commercials and bill-boards, considering that the Starbucks world has no future for them. But unless you already see the world around you as abhorrent and inherently violent, you will not understand where I’m coming from. And to you I will seem immature and stupid. But what is more immature and stupid: trusting that an ecologically destructive, sociopathic socioeconomic system will take care of you (and your children) or taking the risk to fight back against it–to take back responsibility for your own life? The state and capitalism WANT us to be dependent, to be helpless, to need them, to not think, to give up our power–to be, in a sense, immature and stupid. Tagging is a small step away from this kind of immaturity and stupidity… and I know there are a lot of people (especially young people) who will understand the message.
The huge turnout and success of the port shutdown basically disproves your point.
If you think this eviction will stop anything other than this particular group of people living in that particular house, you have your head up your ass.
the turnout at the point wasn’t due to mindless tagging.
If you think squatting in vacant houses and making them even uglier than they already were will prove anything, your head is even farther up yours.
Your impact is small and inconsequential. Stop acting like your port whine was anything other than a public annoyance. And stop deluding yourselves into thinking the graffiti is some valuable public service. And stop thinking that people who have more money than you are evil and/or blind. You’re the 1% of the 99% (so the 0.99%) and you think you’re speaking for the rest of us. You’re not. Stop.
And another thing: if you so desperately want to live in an anarchist country, why don’t you just move to Somalia? Seriously, I hear they’ve had that system of government (well, the lack thereof) for some time now. It’s working out pretty well for them, no?
Great news, getting them out of the neighborhood can’t come soon enough in my opinion. Their destructiveness and self-entitled postings have only served to fracture the neighborhood in a negative way. Their squatting in a privately owned house has not befitted any cause for economic or social reform. If anything, they have done more damage than good to the property, the neighborhood and any message they are trying to spread. I will be cheering (loudly)when they get kicked out!
Ya just cant say that without smiling. The funny thing is that the brutalist facist types always start out as vile immature insolent characatures, co-opt a populist movement (nationalist socialist), and then fail to mature, become angry, paraniod, drug addicted and violent. Now immagine that I am invoking the evil single name world leaders (other than Madonna). If the jellyfish people succeed – they will end up as the brutalist facist that they claim common Seattle residents to be. I suppose the architect of my home was such a brutalist cubist. I thought he was just dumb. The hose looks OK, but, the space design blows in 143 small ways depending on what you count. Also, some of the nails seem to be missing. That could be a result of the metal theaves. How long before they begin pulling out the nails of society and hauling them down to the criminally operated “Recycle Depot”. God I hate those stink faced recyclers. Makes me want to throw my beer cans in the lake just to spite them. And another thing -you guys smell really bad and ya look like rats. Move to China where you will fit in.
I forgot – why do we hate Starbucks?
this is not news.. i can’ believe people are soooo hung up about some homeless streetkids squatting an abandoned property! Next thing you know, people will be calling the DPD and complaining about the overpopulation of urban chickens and pygmy goats.
Perhaps the tagging brought some people out, perhaps it pushed others away. It certainly let people know it was happening, especially when the news reported on the tagging and those OS fools cleaning the graffiti up…
But what you said was that “we” are failing to gain public mindshare, which we clearly are not, considering the number of people at the port shutdown and the success of the action.
#1: If a family uses fuck as part of their vernacular at home, that is their business. I think it is a huge leap to say that all parents want their “young” people (I assume you are defining young as the 2-5 year olds who most frequently play at Powell Barnett) to be exposed to this type of language. So your argument that it’s better for “young people” to be exposed to “fuck” graffiti is very paternalistic–we should all cave to your beliefs that this is how our children should be educated?
#2: Building on #1–if you actually want to reach the targeted “young people” (better defined as high school age), then you should stand on the corner of 23rd and Jackson during Garfield’s lunch hour. You could try talking these young people out of handing their cash over to the Starbucks–which is where a large number of them head before, during, and after school. Or, if you don’t like talking directly to people, maybe you could spray paint the sidewalks, buildings along the way, or the actual Starbucks itself.
#3: Since when is working a 40-hour a week job mutually exclusive of fighting for human rights (or whatever it is that you are passionate about)?! I work close to 40 hours a week at a job that I absolutely love, with an incredible group of people who share the same passion. And we work for a large corporation here in Seattle (one that I’m sure you’d target as “evil” just for the fact that it makes money). In my spare time, I also do volunteer work with the immigrant community, participate in my kids’ schools, stay up-to-date on current events, vote, read, get to know my neighbors and try to participate in my community at large. I don’t get why the only way that I am considered productive is if I quit my job, stop paying my mortgage, alienate my neighbors and start spray painting things.
As many have said before, I think that the anarchists have alienated many of us “working class” members of the community–mainly because they are unbelievably elitist and demeaning. We’re all working towards the same goal, guys–some of you believe that self-government is the solution, and many of us believe that we are able to change things from the “inside”. If you stop treating us like we’ve made shitty decisions because we work for “the man”, then maybe we’ll be able to actually talk about all of the things that we have in common.
Squatting a house does more than “prove a point”–it directly provides housing for those who otherwise might not have a place to live. That is the difference between symbolic action and direct action.
I understand that you don’t think the house looks good–I don’t think it looks that good either, but I’m not living there, so I don’t really care.
If you want to live in a neighborhood with standardized aesthetics, go find the special gated deed-restricted community that suits your taste.
Ah, the old Somalia argument. Bo-ring.
Anarchism is (among other things) about living without coercive, hierarchical social and economic relationships… I hardly think Somalia qualifies as some kind of anarchist utopia, but it is quite common for people to be ignorant about what anarchism actually is so I am not surprised to hear this shit again.
Oh, and is a port shutdown along the entire west coast small and inconsequential? No, especially when it is practically a training run. Just wait!
You’re right! Fascists = anarchists = fascists = anarchists, genius!
Uh………………….. wait. Except that the most basic principles of the two groups are in direct conflict.
I think it’s because they have the audacity to be public and proud about reclaiming vacant property for shelter! Homeless street kids are better kept hidden away, secretly slipping into decrepit properties under cover of night. That way, no one has to face reality!!!
but we should really send in a homeowner’s association.
How do I contact the anarchist Design Review Board to be sure I please them.
Of course with no banks, no respected property rights, and no landlords, I guess we all need to live in cardboard shacks anyway.
By the way, look up brutalist architecture and educate yourself.
There you go again Lucas, trying to copy my words and writing style again but very poorly. Do not try and copy me just be your juvenile limited self.
are “reclaiming” and “stealing” the same thing? Cuz last I heard, the house, however ugly and empty it may be, has an owner. And the owner doesn’t want anyone in it. So no matter how homeless you may or may not be, you don’t get to “claim” it just because it’s empty. Do I need to worry next time I go away on vacation, that some rag-tag anarchists will decide to “reclaim” my house because I’m not using it?
Just so CD News readers know, the issues go beyond aesthetics, though I think aesthetics are very important. The house has no water. How are they getting rid of human waste? Sadly, I can tell you. There is some solid waste, along with toilet paper, beside the house, where the garbage (some bagged–yes, in plastic–and some not) is also piling up. I imagine the two large, rain barrel-type containers in front of the house on 23rd (into which a hose is pointing) is for liquid waste. And whatever the rules in the house may be, weed is being smoked behind the house. So the police come around. This is no alternative tent city, where hygiene and rules do prevail. Which is why tent city has always been welcomed at 22 & Cherry.
Hoorah: there is a court date!
Clearly, Helen, you are too terrified to even walk past the house. Otherwise, you would know the outside buckets are for water to collect in. Get over your fear, look into the buckets, and you’ll see clear water, not human waste.
To everyone else, Helen does not know anything. Go look for yourself. They wont kill you.
I would hardly call the port shutdown a success. I witnessed a whole bunch of ppl looking for conflict, and life moved on w/ in hours of this successful ‘shut down’. I think it’s awesome Occupy is targeting those that work they hardest in the 99%, and putting them w/out a paycheck. I would call that a failure.
YAY! train to put even more people out of work, just because you don’t want to!
Has anyone noticed the wonderful style and ant artistic contrbutions that the Occupiers and Anarchists have brought to us. Just look at the wonderful make over they have done to parks, streets, homes, and buildings. Things are always so much better looking and healthier in the presence of these guys.
Yes I am ignorant. I have no knowledge of the ideal anarchistic society you strive for. That’s probably because *there’s never been a successful example in the history of earth for me to study*. What you’re accusing me of is being ignorant of all the anarchist insider pamphlet and website dreck you share among yourselves.
And what did you accomplish by yelling and holding signs at the ports? The world kept on humming. You generated more negative feelings from the 99% than positive. The net effect was negative! Don’t you get that we’re all rolling our eyes at you?
I’m sorry you haven’t made the world work according to your world view, really I am. But life is all about the choices we make and dealing with their consequences. A tiny contingent (the 1%) work harder, longer, smarter, and yes, greedier than everyone else… and they get what they’re after. Most of us don’t want to put in that kind of time or effort, and so we aren’t billionaires. I’m content with that choice for myself. But I’m also not jobless and homeless because I choose to be educated, to show up to work presentably and punctually, to be agreeable with my superiors (key to moving up, but I guess you’d say it’s selling out)… you know, all the stuff you chose not to do over and over again. The sum of my choices is the relatively comfortable life I have. The sum of your choices has you squatting in an abandoned building with no electricity or water. Who’s the sucker here? I don’t think it’s me.
What’s funny is how tiny their triumphs are. Great hurrah’s for the birth of a cockroach. Failing to notice that loud squishing sound of nobody giving a shit.
There is a toilet INSIDE the house. People flush the toilet with buckets full of water collected outside.
I know toilet paper and human feces when I see them. And no I am not afraid to walk by–I do so regularly. However, I *am* afraid of filth, and rightly so. That’s part of what urban planning and residential codes are for: to help keep people and their living environments free of filth, illness and disease. You’ve shown and argued for your disregard for the former. Ergo, you can’t be as concerned about the latter *as you should be* by law. But we agree on one thing: Ugh.
So… it hasn’t rained lately… where’s that water coming from?
And did you Anarchists know that we silly homeowners pay taxes to pay for the sewage treatment of that excrement you flush down the toilet? So while you may collect rainwater (when there is rainwater) to flush, it has to go somewhere. It gets treated before sending back out into the world. Oh gosh. Some silly person with a paying job thinks of and deals with your sh** – both figuratively and literally. Seriously, you should be grateful. I know I am.
Otherwise we’d be pumping Anarchist poop straight out into the sound, untreated.
Nice image, huh.
They “SHIT” on the neighborhood,both metaphorically and literally.
Grumbo, sometimes you’re a bit grating and sometimes you’re awesome. This comment represents both. And I like that.
This is a really cool and puts some of this recent stuff in perspective: http://libcom.org/files/the-housing-monster.pdf
Some things to consider re: anarchists, poop, and you:
Excerpt from “A Tale of Two Tunnels”, issue 4
Whenever a big storm rolls through Seattle, the sewers, some of which combine both waste-water and street run-off, overflow into Puget Sound and its tributaries. The problem is common in urban areas. The sewer infrastructure buried beneath the streets was built long ago and without adequate capacity for today’s population.
The ongoing solution has been a new network of multi-billion dollar storage tunnels which are intended to keep (most) of the sewage and other pollution from spilling over into the region’s suffering waters. Fundamentally, the tunnels act as the City’s constipated bowels, holding (mostly) everything inside until they can safely relieve themselves into the water treatment facilities. This year, King County began work on the $1.8 billion Brightwater treatment plant on unincorporated Snonomish County land, despite early resistance from local residents.
•What We Think•
Obviously something needs to change in the way we dispose of our shit. But why do sewage solutions always involve using advanced technology to bury the problem itself deeper and deeper?
Once, combined sewers replaced open gutters running with refuse. Cities around the world solved a serious public health concern by hiding it underground. Only, it turned out it wasn’t quite solved after all. Now the County is spending billions of dollars to again expand the sewage system. It is a temporary solution that relies on more of the same infrastructure, technology, and experts. It is reliant on existing waste-water systems, which use large quantities of poisonous chemicals such as chlorine. The pipes are bound to crack and leak eventually, and if the ‘solution’ to the sewage problem continues to be expansion rather than a total transformation of our relationship to waste and the environment, the problem will only deepen as we try to hide it away.
from issue 3:
“Dog Doogity” is a Load of Crap
The City of Seattttle has paid out $27,000 to produce “Dog Doogity,” a new and trying-too-hard-to-be-hip music video that enthusiastically encourages city residents to pick up their pets’ shit from the sidewalk and grass.
The video is part of the official “It Starts Here” campaign to reduce the amount of yard chemicals, motor oil, grease, soap, and bacteria that enter the Puget Sound through storm drains.
It doesn’t take much perusing of the “It Starts Here” website to realize that the campaign is doomed to utter failure. The Puget Sound ecosystem will continue to suffer from the effects of the cities, ports, and highways that line its shores for as long as we continue to believe that band-aid solutions like bagging dog shit will be enough.
The real cause of pollution in the Puget Sound is the infrastructure that covers the Puget Sound watershed like a cement scab. All of this infrastructure is part of a global system of ecological devastation. This same social-economic system encourages people to try to solve its problems in a piecemeal fashion. For some reason, we are supposed to get hung up on a little dog poo while ignoring the massive amounts of shit the City itself is spewing into the environment.
On July 14th, eight thousand gallons of raw sewage discharged into Lake Washington from a Seattle municipal waste treatment facility when an electrical failure caused pumps to stop running. Although an unusual event, the ‘accident’ was actually a spectacular example of the everyday disaster of industrial civilization.
The City’s functions are in direct conflict with the health of Puget Sound, and for the Sound to live, the City must die.
It starts here.
Actually, there are examples. Here’s one…
From Tides of Flame (Seattle’s anarchist paper) #10 – http://tidesofflame.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/tof10read.pd
Free Barcelona, 1936
In 1936, a civil war broke out in Spain. Segments of the military led by the fascist Francisco Franco attempted an armed insurrection against the republic of Spain. While they were successful in some areas to the south of the country, they were crushed in many other regions. One place where the fascists were stopped was Barcelona, and the only reasons the fascists did not win was because that city had been an anarchist stronghold for decades. After days of intense gun battles, Barcelona was finally taken and became, for a brief and beautiful time, an anarchist and worker-controlled commune.
We could attempt to list and describe all that the anarchists accomplished in that one city, but instead we will quote a good man whose opinion we trust:
“It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workman.
“Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying that it had been collectivised; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said ‘Senor’ or ‘Don’ or even ‘Usted’; everyone called everyone else ‘Comrade’ or ‘Thou’, and said ‘Salud!’ instead of ‘Buenos dias’. Tipping had been forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered, and the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of people streamed constantly to and fro, the loud-speakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all.
“In outward appearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no ‘well-dressed’ people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls or some variant of militia uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in this that I did not understand, in some ways I did not not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.”
Those words were written by George Orwell soon before he was wounded in battle fighting the fascists. We could narrate to you the betrayals that soon followed the taking of Barcelona. There are countless stories of communists selling out their anarchist comrades and of the Western powers refusing to intervene to stop the spread of fascism. But we will not tell you those stories now, because now is the time to remember that the free commune of Barcelona once existed, and when it did it was marvelous. We will end this with a song sung by the free women of the anarchist militias:
Fists upraised, women of Iberia
towards horizons pregnant with light
on paths afire
feet on the ground
face to the blue sky.
Affirming the promise of life
we defy tradition
we mold the warm clay
of a new world born of pain.
Let the past vanish into nothingness!
What do we care for yesterday!
We want to write anew
the word WOMAN.
Fists upraised, women of the world
towards horizons pregnant with light
on paths afire
toward the light.
The goals of the port action were limited, and they were achieved successfully. No one is saying that Dec 12 was the revolution, just that it was an effective action in that it fulfilled its intended goals. The Longshoremen showing up to Terminal 5 on the morning of Dec. 13 to see a line of picketers there supporting THEM and THEIR comrades who were stiffed the day’s pay (against their contract) were happy and supportive! Many of the port truckers stuck in traffic that day (Dec 12) were SUPPORTIVE… because the point was to show solidarity with port truckers who are getting fucked over by Goldman Sachs-owned SSA Marine. The action was also in support of the Longview, WA, Longshoremen in their labor dispute with multinational grain corp EGT… Though ILWU did not officially support the action, lots of rank and file members DID. You don’t think that the effects of that day’s action have reverberated through different communities, that the connections made between occupiers and port workers that day (and since) will strengthen and develop through time? This actually was a big deal, for what it was. (Especially considering it was a west-coast-wide, relatively high-risk direct action organized in a matter of weeks that ultimately involved thousands of people.) It shows that people have the potential to hit the “1%” where it hurts the most–by disrupting the flow of capital. This is the first humble step. To ignore all of this is to ignore so much about the state of things today and where things are headed… People are talking about a national general strike on May 1.
***EGT Grain Ship Arrival – Call to Action by Occupy Longview Washington***
Occupy Longview (Washington) is officially putting out a call to action to block the EGT grain ship expected to arrive mid-January.
There has already been discussion between occupies in various cities to caravan here to Longview, WA for the purpose of blocking this ship. We, Occupy Longview, are ready to move forward with planning and coordinating to make this action successful.
We are calling out to all occupies, from New York City down to Florida, all the way through to the West Coast, to join us in solidarity.
What we will need:
1) Numbers! We need to have a large turn-out. We need your bodies!
2) Media coordination/help
3) Finances/donated funds from larger occupies (for buses, housing early arrivers, etc.)
Arrangements are already being planned to acquire a donated space or rent a building for the month of January for the purpose of planning, organizing and housing those who may arrive early and/or for those who may come from afar.
We ask that tens of thousands travel to Longview to join us and make this action the central action for January 2012. Let’s kick off 2012! Join us in Solidarity!
Mmm-hmm. and what would the anarchist solution be? Seattle and King County are spending money dealing with an expanding population, and a system that wasn’t built right (see combined sewer overflow, or CSO) in the first place. It’s not getting solved as fast as I would like, but progress is being made.
totally agree with you JS. I wonder what the Tides of Flame would suggest as a solution. I love the “The Problem, Their Solution and What we think!” That sums up their lame excuse for being. A real solution is no where to be found.
So, Jellyfi and other related anarchists – What I think? Seattle was a ‘concrete jungle’ long before you arrived. I would even guess that even some of the major companies around were in existence before you were even born. So, why, would anyone, who despises modern conveniences such as sewage treatment, health and safety services provided by a taxed based system, education and homeownership, even move to a city such as ours? It was here before you arrived and will remain long after you move on to your next fad movement.
Since you have all the answers, please go occupy some raw land and start your own civilization somewhere else. Really. Its so obvious modern society needs you, but maybe consider practicing your own way of living. on yourselves first. Your total self reliance would work well, in say, Montana. And I bet you could snag some wifi somewhere out there too.
That response about working at a job you hate/watching a lot of tv/going home to the spouse you fight with and how kids have already heard “fuck” because their parents yell it while fighting – that is very telling. It goes to show the life that these “anarchists” come from. What’s sad is the myopic thinking that makes them think that their individual life is exactly like everyone else’s and their childhood is like every child’s. There are plenty of children who have decent parents who actually love each other and their children. There are adults like me who enjoy their work (for a non-profit working to increase government accountability) and find meaning and joy in life by having the ability to be able to help others – be it because of homelessness or mental illness, or being screwed by the government. I feel sorry for the anarchists who believe everything in the world is shit and are more than happy to strip away innocence from children because their’s was so sadly stripped away at a young age. But I don’t feel sorry for them enough to put up with the behavior. They need to grow up and learn to be accountable and responsible like everyone else. And if they can’t learn how to grow up and still be happy then don’t take it out on the rest of us. (By the way – they don’t sound too happy as immature, uneducated messes either).
Now they are waste water pollution facility experts. You failed to mention both black water systems, decentralization of facilities and ways to address CSO issues in ANY academic sense. A little bit of knowledge you have gleened is dangerous to rely on and convey. Now go home, your parents are looking for you and come back when your all grown up and have had some formal education. Other than that you are embarassing yourselves (like that mattered up to this point)annoying people and will wind up in jail where you will be someones “b–ch”.
The article was highlighting the very serious issue of solving problems using either piecemeal solutions (bagging dog poop) or high-technology that is bound to collapse some day.
Of course there are other solutions–the articles suggest that we must look for them, and that they may look a lot like dismantling much of the infrastructure that currently exists. The toxic run-off from roads and buildings is a much bigger problem than dog shit. Tear up most of the roads, you begin to solve that problem. But the economy needs the roads. Big conundrum, right? Destroy the roads to heal the natural world or continue to destroy the natural world to keep the economy running.
Things like rain gardens, “green machines,” etc, are worthwhile, but not if they are few and far-between and mostly only accessible to the wealthy. There are a lot of specific possibilities out there–true, the article doesn’t list them. There are already a lot of people focusing on that–we often choose to approach things from a different angle. There is creation, and then there is destruction. You suggest a focus on the creative end, but both are necessary.
Your suggestions that we are uneducated do not bother us. You would find in reading our paper that we are actually quite knowledgeable about many things and that we care very much for knowing.
Ohhh “right” “tides of flame”. Thats why you all sprayed “gentrification kills” on a house that is one of cutting edge sustainable design. You also released flurocarbons into the air when yoou did it as well. Sad, life is hard but for you it is harder when your stupid.
Funny this is that the fascist, and national socialist, by and larg were huge fans of classical architecture, wanting to return to glory of the state to that of the roman era and despised modern Bauhaus architecture.
Telling people what type of house to live in seems a more than a little Fascist to me.
Also guess what, I know you kids don’t like this but in truth you ARE fascist, right down to the matching black uniforms, (although I think Hugo Boss’ designs had a lot more style than black hoodies.)
I mean you have a very strict narrow set of views that denies compromise, these views are against mans individual rights to free speech, free expression and the right to control ones own destiny.
You area an “Anti-Capitalist” movement, as were National Socialism and Fascism, If you look at the last century you will see that the anti-capitalist have a FAR higher body count than the capitalist.
You both directly and indirectly use force to attempt to accomplish your goals. What is “direct action” if not force? The hypocrisy being is that you rely on the current social contract which prevents others from using force against you. Also anarchist property destruction seems to echo Kristal Nacht. Who were the Jewish shop owners if not “rich capitalist.” Also lets leave Goodwins Law out of this as you kids brought it up first.
Even within your own organization you do not tolerate deviation from your ideals despite being backed by by facts, science or logic.
However you so suffer from lack of organization and lack of any kind of will to power, thus marginalizing yourselves, and to be honest the Fascist were far more accepting of the working class and common man, who you tend to blame rather than support.
Be happy that you will never achieve the anarchy you seek, you wouldn’t last a week in the presence of free men.
Yup. That’s right Karl.
I guarantee you that tearing down whatever was there before and building a new house in its place released about a billion times more poison into the environment than some spray paint. Oh, yeah, and there’s the social costs of gentrification, the displacement of the poor………………. etc………..
Allow me to respond…
you: Funny this is that the fascist, and national socialist, by and larg were huge fans of classical architecture, wanting to return to glory of the state to that of the roman era and despised modern Bauhaus architecture.
Me: I’m not the one arguing about the architecture, so I don’t really care much about this. I actually think brutalist architecture looks kind of cool.
You: Telling people what type of house to live in seems a more than a little Fascist to me.
Me: I haven’t been. My problem is with gentrification. I hate seeing new/renovated houses and condos built for rich, mostly white people while poor people, many of color, are pushed further and further away from downtown.
You: Also guess what, I know you kids don’t like this but in truth you ARE fascist, right down to the matching black uniforms, (although I think Hugo Boss’ designs had a lot more style than black hoodies.)
I mean you have a very strict narrow set of views that denies compromise, these views are against mans individual rights to free speech, free expression and the right to control ones own destiny.
Me: No, anarchists are not fascists. Fascism is characterized by nationalism (anarchists are against racism, nationalism, and borders, and are for the free flow and association of people), a strong, centralized, authoritarian state (anarchists are against states, period) with one party (we are against political parties, too).
You: You area an “Anti-Capitalist” movement, as were National Socialism and Fascism, If you look at the last century you will see that the anti-capitalist have a FAR higher body count than the capitalist.
Me: Sigh. The body-count for capitalism is literally countless as it is the direct cause of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of deaths every single day. Throughout capitalism’s development, the pursuit of profit has been the cause of a ridiculous number of wars, like the Iraq war, for example. And just look at what the imposition of neoliberal capitalist economic and social relations has done to indigenous people throughout the world…
As to the anti-capitalist body-count, anarchists should not be lumped in with all “anti-capitalists” as this group includes many tendencies and ideologies that anarchists are hostile to, especially state/authoritarian communism. Perhaps authoritarian communist body-counts is what you are referring to? Lots of dead anarchists are included in there, too. Anarchists’ victims are few and far between, usually only including political leaders, police and other agents of the state, and capitalists.
You: You both directly and indirectly use force to attempt to accomplish your goals.
Me: First off, “violence” or “force” is not equal to “fascism,” though fascism is certainly violent and requires force. You are relying on a logical fallacy. If all violence/force is fascist, then is a wife killing her abusive husband “fascist”? No. It’s self-defense, as is fighting back against the violence of capitalism and the state.
Most of what anarchists are doing in Seattle has nothing to do with violence or force… something to consider.
You: What is “direct action” if not force?
Me: Direct action means solving a problem directly instead of appealing to authorities for reform. Sometimes it requires force, yes, against those who are preventing people from getting what they need to survive, destroying the earth, oppressing others, etc.
You: The hypocrisy being is that you rely on the current social contract which prevents others from using force against you.
Me: I’m not sure what you’re saying with this social contract thing. Anarchists do get into physical confrontations with people who don’t like our ideas…
You: Also anarchist property destruction seems to echo Kristal Nacht. Who were the Jewish shop owners if not “rich capitalist.”
Me: Anarchists destroying a bank or some other predatory institution is not the same as an anti-semitic pogrom. That’s just crazy. Nazis used some fucked-up stereotype about jewish people to justify their fucked-up behavior. That is not the same as anarchists understanding a bank’s ACTUAL role as an exploitative institution and attacking it. Don’t see the connection other than the broken glass thing.
You: Also lets leave Goodwins Law out of this as you kids brought it up first.
Me: I don’t know what Goodwins Law is and I don’t feel like looking it up.
You: Even within your own organization you do not tolerate deviation from your ideals despite being backed by by facts, science or logic.
Me: Some of us might come across as pretty hardline on the internet, but in reality we work with people with differing viewpoints all the time, and we discuss these differences. And what “organization” are you talking about anyway? I think you’re the one with the facts and logic problem!
You: However you so suffer from lack of organization and lack of any kind of will to power, thus marginalizing yourselves, and to be honest… read more e Fascist were far more accepting of the working class and common man, who you tend to blame rather than support.
Me: Fascists play on things like national and worker pride in order to garner support and gain followers. Anarchists are members of the working class… so what are you talking about “not accepting the working class”? Many of us hate the concept of “waged labor” (of being forced to work for a wage in order to survive within capitalism) but that doesn’t mean we hate “workers”… since most of us were/are workers (others are unemployed). There is no monolithic “common man” or “working class.” I do get really angry with people who passively accept/actively celebrate things as they are, yes.
You: Be happy that you will never achieve the anarchy you seek, you wouldn’t last a week in the presence of free men.
Me: We are the ones trying to get free, wtf are you talking about? The anarchy I seek is based on free association, voluntary cooperation, and mutual aid. The anarchy I seek means an end to hierarchy, domination, oppression, and coercion. I revel in the presence of “free men”–anarchists–believe me.
Spare me the Anarchist FAQ lecture
I have read Proudhon, Kropotkin, Bakunin, Goldman, Bookchin. Was in the streets at WTO, FTAA, G8. Was got trained by and did training for ABC medical. Been to squats, traveled the world, ate out of dumpsters and lived off the land. I was one of the few that I med from an actually poor background. I got really disgusted with anarchism modern incarnation and separated from the movement. Guess I didn’t hate myself enough for being white.
I am not talking about theoretical anarchism, I am talking about the actions of your compatriots and perhaps yourself, whatever ideology is being claimed you are acting like fascist. You are openly against anyone who doesn’t conform to your twisted set of values, and quite guilty of oversimplification.
Who are you to dictate who lives in the neighborhood, and in fact many “poor people of color”, made a lot of money selling their homes
to “rich white gentrifiers.” Funny thing is anarchist, punk rockers and artist types tend to be the first wave of gentrification, putting in infrastructure, and making the neighborhood edgy but still safe for white people (for lack of a better phrase). Time has passed, the CD is not the CD of yore, did the blacks gentrify out the Japanese, did the Japanese force out the Jews. Over time neighborhoods change their residents and socioeconomic status. To paraphrase the Buddha “Shit changes, deal with it.” We should be glad that neighborhoods are getting revitalized, perhaps you would rather live in Detroit, I hear they have people of color there too.
As for Nazis not understanding the true exploitative nature of banks, perhaps you should read a few of Hitlers speeches about capitalism, his rhetoric sounds very close to your own. I think you fail to understand the correlation between free markets and a free society.
And social contract I am talking about it the one that keeps people from kicking in your door destroying everything you own and ruining/taking your life. Not everyone needs rule of law, unfortunately most people do.
And not you do not revel in the presence of free men, free men don’t like being told what to do, which seems to be your specialty.
nice resume, karl, what do you do these days?
“shit changes, deal with it.” talk about oversimplification.
sure some people got rich selling their homes–others were priced out, **especially renters**.
uh, the way you’re going on about people of color makes me think that you were stuck with an identity-politics-obsessed crew or something. you can’t ignore the racial dynamics of gentrification, but i do understand that some white radicals DO get caught up in white guilt. that is different from recognizing the institutionalized racism that has contributed to the CD changing from a mostly black neighborhood to a largely white one. for a white person to recognize this fact is not to hate oneself as a white person (though someone could certainly do both at the same time) but to simply acknowledge the reality of history.
28th is tomorrow.
Any updates? Its not the 29th and it doesn’t look like anything has changed.
It still looks like a shit bucket.