Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Statement from Anti-Fascist (Antifa) Working Group - Occupy/Decolonize Seattle on the Dictatorship Of The Self-Medicated at Occupy Seattle.

We are individual members of the Antifa working group at Decolonize/Occupy Seattle who have been involved in this movement since the beginning. Our working group is founded on the realization that we need to employ self defense in defending the principles of anti-racism, anti-sexism, among other liberatory principles to keep us and our communities safe.

We are fellow survivors of this racist, patriarchal, transphobic and ableist capitalist society. The capitalist system forces all of us to conform to its norms, and punishes those of us who can’t or don’t, with hunger, depression and homelessness. In the midst of pain, we all seek coping strategies. Some heal us, and others don’t. . It is our hope that this movement will create alternative ways for people to cope with their alienation, and ultimately, that revolution will create a world where we don’t feel as alienated, and as heavily reliant on drugs as we are here, today.

Drug use and addiction among our communities is a way in which people cope with the horror of this society. However, those same powerful drugs that temporarily relieve the pain and alienation of this society, also cause harm to the individuals who are using, as well as those around them. In our encampment at Decolonize/Occupy Seattle, we have unfortunately experienced the negative impacts of drug use through violence and aggressive behavior. Our friends become unrecognizable under the influence of drugs. The drug’s behavior creates an unsafe space for people in the encampament and put us all at unnecessary risk and danger.

The safety of the campers and all members of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle is important for the movement.

Antifa Working Group - Occupy/Decolonize Seattle.

2 comments:

  1. i want to say thank you to your group for the help with the recent evictions. truthfully, i don't even know how it all turned out as the last time i spoke to d---- he said 24 hour notices had been given.

    as you know, the evictions were a camper led event, and camp safety was there to assist with services and de-escalation. d---- said you all were there assisting with keeping the peace also. i called m--- to ask if he could get a message to you that your assistance was requested - don't know if that made it through or not and/or if you already were planning to be there.

    i know in the past there were issues in methodology between peace and safety and anti-fa, but i believe our differences were mostly miscommunication. i actually think that peace and safety and anti-fa worked and have worked really well together to keep our camp safe (safer anyway!).

    i've been grateful that anti-fa, as an affinity group, was able and willing to act at times in a manner that peace and safety, as a working group more answerable to the GA, could not. (i don't really understand the difference between the two - legal explained it briefly, i'm just glad it worked. i hope my saying so doesn't violate some significant principle.) i think most people who haven't been doing this job, and certainly those who don't live at or spend a lot of time at camp - i think they don't understand just how challenging the job of keeping our people safe has been. i'm hoping as we grow, move, streamline, etc. that the job will become MUCH easier.

    so, thank you. from me personally, and from peace and safety/camp safety if i can speak for them (several ppl have expressed same).

    - Sharla.

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  2. An Open Letter to SCCC President Paul Killpatrick

    on Sexual Assault as the “Last Straw”


    November 27, 2011



    Seattle Central Community College

    Office of the President

    Paul Killpatrick, PhD

    1701 Broadway

    Seattle, WA 98122



    Dear Mr. Killpatrick,


    I appreciate that SCCC may be less-than-willing hosts to the current Occupy Seattle encampment. However, I am truly saddened that you identified an attempted sexual assault as “the last straw” to evict Occupy Seattle.


    SCCC and the Occupy Movement exist in the context of our broader culture and society where sexual assault is a significant social problem. Citing the attempted assault as a reason to evict the Occupy Seattle encampment takes appalling advantage of someone who has been the victim of a crime.


    Using the attempted sexual assault to discredit a peaceful political movement is a reprehensible manipulation of a terrible situation. As a neighbor to SCCC, I am deeply surprised that no one in your institution--students, faculty or support staff--has yet publicly stated their opposition to your remarks.


    I see from SCCC campus crime statistics that no sexual assaults have been reported in the last three years. As a former Women’s Center program director at a small college in Oregon, I can assure you that a lack of reports does not mean a lack of incidents. Rather, a lack of reports indicates an institutional climate where persons experiencing sexual assault do not feel safe enough to come forward for support.


    Please do not politicize a personal tragedy for the political gain of your institution. There are other ways to work with the people at the Occupy Seattle encampment.


    In solidarity with survivors,

    Robin DeBates, MSW, LSWAIC

    Volunteer with Occupy Seattle Medical Work Group.

    ReplyDelete

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