The Greater Seattle General Defense Committee calls upon the UW campus and community beyond to join us at Red Square on Friday, March 31st at 12PM in declaring that we will not be intimidated by the violence of the far-right! This includes the near-fatal shooting of one of our members at University of Washington on January 20th as well as the others who are currently facing attacks and harassment.
This is a report back from the eviction of Omari Tahir-Garrett from his home, the UMOJA Peace Center (a community based cultural center). I was in and out throughout the day, so consider these a few snapshots and not the whole story.
On Wednesday morning, the eviction began. By the time I arrived the work crews had already begun clearing the side yard and had entered the house. The yard had seemed to be occupied by a few encampments fringed by decorations and political signs. We watched the excavator bite into and crush one grill after another. They also cleared piles of garbage which – the neighborhood knew - the developer had dumped there to make the place seem in disrepair.
Each attempt the police and work crews made to move forward was met with pushback from the small but growing crowd. People lined up around the yard to prevent construction fences from going up, blocked the way of the clean-up crews removing Omari’s possessions from the house, sang and chanted and made speeches. With twenty or so people and little coordination (as far as direct action), the most that was achievable was a slow-down of the work day. In what looked a lot like a line of scrimmage, the police and the protesters pushed against each other, fighting for every inch of the fence line.
The police and their dogs searched the house for Omari and came up empty handed. The crowd outside knew that this 70-year-old man was inside somewhere, hiding. I liked the almost mythical idea of him inside, tricking the police and confusing everyone.
The singing continued: “I can hear my neighbor crying ‘I can’t breathe’ / Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave / Calling out the violence of the racist police / We ain’t gonna stop until the people are free”
When I returned later, the rally had grown to 75 people, sprawling over the intersection. At this point, most people were gathered around the loaded dump truck, preventing it from leaving the property. Everyone was chanting for the driver to “take the keys and walk away.” Work was certainly at a standstill.
The police ordered the crowd to disperse several times, in response to which people held their ground and pulled out their cameras and Maalox. The police approached in a line with their bikes out to create a wall. And the protest pushed back, people calling pertinent information to each other, badge numbers, helping each other off of the ground, screaming crazy shit. Eventually the line broke when the police made an arrest of a black woman. Fucking pigs.
Overall, people did a really good job of pushing at every step of the way, considering a pretty small capacity. I was inspired by the amount of courage people brought to the eviction, which I think speaks to the resonance of the situation. There was an outpouring of emotion from people in the crowd, especially in rage at the police.
At the end I left with some questions: How can we get ahead of the police instead of reacting to their actions? What if, instead of watching for the raid, people had already been occupying the property? What skills or materials could we share to allow a small group of people to have a larger impact or take larger risks? We will likely encounter more need for emergency raid responses in the future – How can we respond quickly, creatively and powerfully?
For more context see this article posted yesterday.
The Umoja Peace Center, home to Omari, are staples in the activist community and are central to the defense of the central district in Seattle, and are currently under direct threat of eviction. Earlier this morning sheriffs arrived and entered his house with an eviction order, and as they searched the house and removed his belongings, were unable to locate him anywhere.
On March the Fourth some anarchists in Olympia, WA dropped a banner that read
"SMASH DIVISIONS (///) RESIST FASCISM" off the southern side of the building
that is often locally known as "The Mistake By The Lake" in solidarity with
demonstrators countering the pro Trump convergence happening below in
On March 4th, racists, nazis, alt-right trolls and trump supporters convened
at Heritage Park in Olympia WA for the Spirit of america rally. Despite a lot
of internal conflict on the Spirit for america facebook event page, they
managed to get around 250 people to come out, most sporting american flags
and a huge number of people open carrying. The counter-demo converged at the
park at the same time as the trump rally, with about 150 people at its
height. A caution tape barrier was set up to keep the counter-demo away from
the stage but was quickly broken through, leading to scuffles between
demonstrators and cops which led to 4 arrests at the very beginning before
many other counter protestors had arrived.
The KEXP 90.3 radio program Mind over Matters has recorded a roughly 30-minute interview with Fellow Worker Hex, the IWW and GDC member who was shot on January 20th outside of the Milo Yiannopoulos event on the campus of University of Washington, Seattle.
In this first interview with the press since the shooting, Hex talks about the experience of being shot, the importance of having a network that supports you when you are attacked, the responsibilities of firearm ownership and use, and the problems with the punitive model of justice.
We in the Twin Cities GDC salute our fellow defender and friend, continue to wish him speedy recovery, and call upon all those who oppose fascism in the Pacific Northwest to make your support of antifascist efforts known to your community. Make sure that our people are supported and defended, so that they can continue to help support and defend our communities.
For more than five years, thousands of people in Seattle have fought the construction of a new $210 million youth jail in Seattle’s Central District, the city’s historically African-American neighborhood. People from all walks of life–Black and brown people, criminalized people, queer and trans people, students, healthcare workers, anarchists, youth, social workers, migrants, clergy members, Raging Grannies, teachers, 75 community organizations, and more–have mobilized month after month since 2012 to reject the idea that any young person should be in jail and to force the City and County to abandon the new youth jail project. Here are 12 points against the new youth jail.
A few nights ago we smashed out the windows and doors of Wells Fargo in
Lacey. Wells Fargo funds the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as GEO Group,
the private prison company that runs the Northwest Immigration Detention
Center and many other private detention centers. Wells Fargo profits off of
the destruction of the earth, the incarceration of migrants, and the ongoing
land theft of native lands. Multiple cities and schools are divesting funds
from Wells Fargo, individuals are closing their own accounts, and anarchists
This interview was conducted in the winter of 2014, shortly after Coyote had arrived to Olympia, WA to resettle after a 16 year stint in the Nevada prison system. This discussion on his experiences in and out of prison has been brought back to light in lieu of some much needed support that Coyote needs regarding multiple legal cases surrounding his involvement in anti-racist and anti-police struggles in and around Olympia, WA.
This is a claim of responsibility for causing disruption to the Pacific Northwest Corridor Rail Line north of Vancouver WA. On several occasions over the last few weeks, 6-Gauge Booster cables were attached to rail junctions at several points along the rail lines. Artificially triggering the railway signalling system.