Friday, October 12, 2012

Statements of Solidarity With Bay Area Decolonizers.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Decolonize/Occupy Seattle Statement of Solidarity with Decolonize the New World Arrestees.


October 11, 2012. The Decolonize the New World Convergence for Columbus Day weekend in the Bay Area was hella inspiring to us up here in Seattle.  Our city is built on land taken from the indigenous people by the descendants of European settlers, and we can see the harm done to the land and the people of theses continents by colonial invaders and the imposition of their capitalist values.  The arrival of Columbus in the Caribbean initiated 500 years of genocide and destruction, continuing to this day.  Columbus was a psychopath.  Celebrating Columbus Day is celebrating murder, rape, and slavery.

On Saturday October 6th, activists converged on Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco for an anti-colonial/anti-capitalist march that was one of several events called for Columbus Day weekend as part of a west coast call out for solidarity with those who resist the colonization of their native lands and the forces of capitalism and imperialism.   As people gathered in the plaza the police began a campaign of harassment that included destroying a float made for the march and sending in several undercover police officers to photograph participants.  Undaunted by this preemptive show of state repression, the march of 200 participants began to move through the financial district.

Immediately the police began stepping up the level of harassment and within ten minutes a swarm of police officers attacked a group in the center of the march, and despite the participants decision to step on the sidewalk after the police charged them people were beaten and arrested.  Between those arrested on the sidewalk and those who were chased down while attempting to flee twenty people were taken by the police. 

Within the next two days several media outlets released the booking photos and in one case the booking sheets of all arrestees, with damning headlines calling those arrested a criminal street gang, self described anarchists, vandals, and "the black bloc". 

We strongly condemn and denounce the actions of the police on the day of the arrests and the actions of the media outlets when they chose to assist the police by engaging in a smear campaign against those arrested.  The attempts to paint those arrested as guilty until proven innocent by using the media is an egregious attempt to intimidate activists and dissuade people from participating in rebellious political activities. 
We stand in solidarity with those arrested and demand that the political persecution cease immediately.  All charges against those arrested should be dropped.

While most of the arrestees have been released, one still remains in jail. It is obvious that these charges are politically motivated. Please call the San Francisco District Attorney and demand that all charges be dropped. The number to call is (415) 553-1751.

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Statement by the Black Orchid  Collective. 

Columbus Day weekend, people gathered at Canadian, US, and Mexican consulates and government buildings to oppose the occupation and destruction of Native/indigenous lands by multinational mining corporations. They also marched in downtown San Francisco demonstrating against capitalism and colonialism.

This was a march in solidarity with indigenous communities who are struggling against land theft and ecologically destructive resource extraction across the continent. It was also a march to oppose the ongoing colonial legacy of the US, Canada, and Mexico – three states forged through the genocide of indigenous people begun 520 years ago by Christopher Columbus and his crew. Instead of celebrating Columbus’ colonial racism, march participants celebrated 520 years of ongoing indigenous resistance and solidarity across borders.

In response to this march, the police arrested 22 people, including some who were fleeing from police violence. The state is alleging that some marchers engaged in property destruction and are using this as an excuse to criminalize all participants. The mainstream media published the names and photos of those arrested, leaving them open to attacks by racist vigilantes who support colonialism. The police labeled them a “street gang”.

According to our comrades in G.L.I.T.U.R :

    “A spokesperson for SFPD, Gordon Shyy, included unfounded allegations connecting the marchers to other “crimes” committed with no evidence and no basis in fact. Another newspaper released sensitive medical information as well as full names of those arrested, who have not yet been tried nor found “guilty.””
Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the specific tactics involved in the march, we are united in our opposition to the police repression of people fighting against ongoing colonization of indigenous lands.

We oppose all forms of repression and incarceration, not just against activists, but also against everyone else.
The police are a colonial institution. They were created to force slaves to stay on the plantations and immigrant workers to stay in the factories so their labor could be exploited and the profits invested in further colonization of native lands to make even more profits.

It is no surprise that police are attempting to criminalize aggressive opposition to mining companies and other corporate interests who continue this process today. A government built on the ongoing occupation of indigenous land and ongoing exploitation of workers’ labor should have no grounds to determine who is a criminal or whose political activity is illegal. The same corporations that oppress indigenous people exploit working class people from here to the maquiladora factories on the border to the South African mines. The police and courts work for them, not for us.

Drop all charges against the arrested marchers!
Down with colonialism and US Empire!
Freedom for all political prisoners!

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Statement From G.L.I.T.U.R. (Grand Legion Of Tenacious Unicorn Revolutionaries).

On Saturday, October 6th, comrades in the city of San Francisco took to the streets in order to protest the murder of indigenous peoples and the destruction of their lands at the hands of capitalists and the colonialist powers that enable them in a march referred to as a west-coast anti-colonial/anti-capitalist march. What began as an expression of sorrow and rage designed as part of the Decolonize the New World 2012 campaign instead turned into a pitched battle with the police, as San Francisco Police Department terrorized and beat marchers, to include those marching on the sidewalk. 22 arrests have been made, some of them protesters fleeing police violence and attempting to avoid repression from the State.

In the aftermath of the arrests, SFPD has released booking photos and sensitive information regarding arrestees to the press in a measure that can only be described as an attempt to intimidate and harass marchers exercising their ability to speak truth to power. A spokesperson for SFPD, Gordon Shyy, included unfounded allegations connecting the marchers to other “crimes” committed with no evidence and no basis in fact. Another newspaper released sensitive medical information as well as full names of those arrested, who have not yet been tried nor found “guilty.”

These acts on the part of the San Francisco Police Department and the local media are clear attempts to dissuade people from participating in free speech. One only need read the comments in the online news stories surrounding these activists to see that they are now exposed to threats of violence and retaliation from the American public. This is an attempt to wedge activists from the public who would benefit from actions against colonialism and capitalism. GLITUR condemns and denounces these tactics of oppression from the State, SFPD, and the corporate media, as should all people who hope for true liberation from oppression.
Queer liberation has always been an ideal and movement for true and total freedom. We urge fellow queers and fellow revolutionaries to stand and say NO to police oppression and NO to media-enabled harassment. We stand in solidarity with the arrestees and other attendees of the October 6th action, and now issue a demand that all charges be dropped and all media harassment end.

Please call the San Francisco District Attorney and demand that all charges be dropped, and that the arrestees be released immediately.

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