For Immediate Release
Statement #2 by the State Street 29 Support Committee
May 24th, 2010
On April 8th, 2010, 29 individuals were arrested in Olympia, WA while taking part in an unpermitted march against police brutality. This march, like many others in cities along the west coast that day, took place in response to several recent and horrendous examples of police brutality in the west coast states. These marches were a part of the West Coast Days of Action Against State Violence on April 8th and 9th, which were anonymously organized to rally people to speak out against these atrocities and others like them.
In the weeks that have followed that night, the arrestees in Olympia have received nothing but defamation and unfounded attacks from their local corporate and independent media outlets. These news sources have used their positions of power as supposed voices of the people to call upon the entire Olympia community to literally turn their backs on the arrestees and to deny them of any form of support. They have made illegitimate claims as the to the groups intentions that night, and have written editorials to denounce the principles of those involved, painting them as hate mongering “masked morons,” and “bad anarchists.” These commentaries have not only demonized young Olympia residents, dividing the entire Olympia community and stifling chances for meaningful dialogue in the process, but they have also worked to turn the spotlight off the most important issue: the brutality of the police.
We, the State Street 29 Support Committee, recognize a necessity for dialogue about that night and call upon the greater Olympia community and beyond to start meaningful discussions about the alleged actions that took place during the march in Olympia. We recognize that discord may arise when a variety of tactics are used to address an issue. And we support debate between perspectives as valid and necessary means to reaching cohesion in a community. However, in the last month the local media’s handling of that night has done just the opposite. The discourse they have used has done nothing to resolve differences between the arrestees and others in Olympia, to make space for discussion on perspectives on tactics, nor to strengthen and support a community engaged in struggle against the repressive forces of the state. On the contrary, they only work to further divide the Olympia community and weaken chances of future coalition building.
Thus, we encourage you and your community to begin engaging in discussions about the issue of police repression and successful (and unsuccessful) means of addressing it. We invite anyone interested in discussing this issue, the night of the 8th, or other related matters in an open and meaningful way, to please attend our events and fundraisers, to use open web forums such as Olyblog, Indymedias and independent publications to begin constructive conversations, or to contact us directly.
If you support our efforts, feel free to publish an open letter of support on behalf of your group or organization for the State Street 29. You may also link our blog, from your website to ours. To whatever degree this must be done we would like to achieve dialogue and pull the curtain on excessive persecution of those facing charges in the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle and Olympia. We see such discussion as a means to creating alternatives to the police and to strengthening our communities to be safer and more sustainable. Join us and begin to appreciate the interconnectedness of our struggles.
In solidarity with all those against state repression,
The State Street 29 Support Committee