Solidarity statement from Members of Decolonize / Occupy Seattle

Early Tuesday  morning,  the  Seattle  Police  Department  raided  the  home  of our friends, community members, and key organizers in Decolonize/Occupy Seattle and the Red Spark Collective. They were faced with assault rifles to their heads, flash bang grenades and an armed SWAT team.
The  Seattle  Police  Department’s  (SPD)  harassment  of  our  community  has been ongoing. Only two weeks ago during Pride weekend, they attacked our friends.  Before  that,  they  arrested  members  of  the  Decolonize/Occupy  community for disrupting the mayor’s bogus meet and greet, a continual shielding of the SPD’s record of police brutality. The continual harassment by SPD is not surprising. It is their modus operandi. Their lousy attempts at renewing their image with the “SPD 20/20” further disgusts us.
The violent raid against our friends this week, in search of “anarchist materials” did  not  happen  in  a  vacuum.  These  are  times  of  mass  social  movements around the world. People are resisting in Seattle, across this country, and across the world. The powers that be fear these struggles will spread and they do their best to intimidate and stifle our dynamism.
Global  anti-capitalist  forces  face  constant  police  terrorism  from  the  global power elite. They will always find excuses to delegitimize us and to further prop themselves  up  as  the  bearers  of  public  safety  and  welfare.  Over  the  last few months, there have been several shootings in the city, in the Central District, the North end and South end. The police have used this as an excuse to militarize the streets. By overcompensating through extreme policing and tactics in the streets and at our homes, police forces legitimize their racial profiling and repression of people of color and poor folks.  This is the story you’ll never hear about  Seattle’s  militarized  racist  police  force. We  remember  John T Williams and Oscar Grant and are in solidarity with anyone who has experienced police and/or military repression and state violence.
We do not forget for a moment that the trauma and fear our friends experi-enced this past week takes place often in im/migrant communities during ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids. As radicals we understand the complexities of the legal system in relation to how the state reacts to resistance.
They scare us, intimidate us, arrest us, and dehumanize us, hoping that in the process that we, too, take out our anger on one another, so that our communities break down. We will not fall for that.
It is important for us to understand certain patterns in the police responses to the national Decolonize/Occupy movement. The police have justified their use of excessive force against many of us by claiming that we are all dangerous anarchists. In their book, anyone whose organizing is threatening to the status quo is depicted as “anarchists,” “black block,” and dangerous threats to public safety.
They  want  to  divide  us  into  good  protesters  and  bad  protesters.  The “good” protesters, in their eyes, do not inherently create an ideological threat to the exploitative foundations of the existing system with their organizing. The “bad protesters” however, do not follow their rules of engagement. We threaten the status quo. It is in the interest of the state to affirm the “good protesters,” so as to upkeep a pretense of free speech and democracy. Given that the facade of democracy is the excuse that the US military uses in its war efforts, it would be a shame if there was not a pretense at keeping it in the home country. Failing to understand the ideological reasons why the state props up “good protesters” over “bad protesters,” through the tactics of “anarchist baiting,” will cause us to debate endlessly about which tactic is more effective than others in changing the system. This not only causes us to attack one another, but is also a distraction. Being used by the state to delegitimize other political forces is not a sign of strength. It is a sign of being manipulated. Hopefully, the broader Decolonize/Occupy Seattle community is smarter than that and this is not a trap we will fall for.
Even as we may disagree with one another’s politics and tactics, we will understand that an injury to one is an injury to all. We refuse to let our differences strengthen the legitimacy of police violence.
Generating fear and paranoia were the goals of the SPD on Tuesday, when the SWAT team broke the door with guns drawn, threw concussion grenades, and  yanked  people,  including  two  female  bodied  people,  out  of  their  beds without allowing them to clothe themselves. Folks were held cuffed in a room while the  police  confiscated  clothing  and  literature.  The  unnecessary  trauma inflicted on these people through militarized police terrorism tactics was a result of the  SPD’s  goal  to  prevent  further  organizing.  The  organizing  in  this house involves building community gardens, holding community potlucks, organizing to shut down the juvenile prison (through healthy, supportive, healing alternatives), fighting gentrification, and hosting a completely free music, arts, and politics festival. The organizers in the house are resisting through creating and empowering. In opposition, the police are attempting to destroy through inflicting fear and trauma. Our community immediately mobilized to support the needs of our comrades as they dealt with the violence of the increasingly militarized Seattle Police. Our bonds and communities are only strengthening through this oppression.
We will continue to combat fear and trauma with love and resistance.

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