Saturday, December 10, 2011

Selections from Occupy Seattle Weekly Issues 1 & 2

Issue 1, 11.5.11 - While We’re Giving Banks a Hard Time, Let’s Think of the Little Guy

Since demonstrations and actions against unjust and destructive financial institutions will continue into the near future, I feel it’s important to do something nice for all the 99%ers that happen work at those places.  There are a lot of lower level bank employees caught up in the crossfire between the Occupy movement and Chase/BofA/etc. upper management. 

I’m making it my mission to bring flowers and a condolences card (sorry about your bosses destroying the economy, we know you’re the 99% but sadly your bosses aren’t) to at least one Chase bank location on Capitol Hill before Black Friday.  Maybe I’ll add a little note about how it sucks to live in a world where we all have to live with the consequences by some ill-considered risks taken with other people’s money.

What’s not to love about an action like this? It’s inexpensive, dispersed, easy to recreate and propagate, doable with groups to 1 to however many can fit in a bank, not likely to bother the SPD, (hopefully) genuine enough to apologize to our fellow 99%ers, and quirky and whimsical enough to want to post to Facebook. If you think I’m right about this, then go out and do it, post it to the internet and tell all your friends.

Issue 2, 11.13.11 - A Question of Numbers

The Seattle PI sez; “The city’s price tag to monitor the entrenched Occupy Seattle protest ballooned to $529,609 this week, which includes last week’s pepper-spraying and arrests of protesters in Capitol Hill.” Occupy Seattle organizer Jesse Mulert sez right back: “How is it that that 50-300 peacefully assembled citizens warrant such a concentration of resources?” (Seattle PI). You have to wonder how OS got pinned with a half a million dollar bill that’s largely for police time. It’s almost as if the City of Seattle thinks the problems reported in and around camp didn’t exist before Occupy Seattle showed up. 

Will Capitol Hill and the City of Seattle suddenly be free of fights, drug use, vandalism and encampments of the un-housed if Occupy Seattle disbands? Maybe the concentration of those particular issues will decrease on that block, but they won’t really go away – they’ll just spread out through the city and the neighborhood again. It feels a little like the City is blaming the victim. For what are these things but symptoms of an economically unjust society and a massive wealth gap? The 99% didn’t create the disease, but it sure can get blamed for it.

Also: Who caused the Great Recession that tightened the city and the police department’s budget? The banks and financial firms whose actions led to the mortgage crisis. This cascade of economic disaster eventually led to the creation of the Occupy movement.  Why isn’t the city challenging these banks with this half a million dollar bill?

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