Whose side is Sable Verity on? Just because Sable Verity has fashioned another thought-out, well-reasoned argument doesn't make her conclusion right. Yes, the Occupy Seattle movement is riddled with failings. Yes, the cost for Seattle Community College, Occupy's unwilling host, is onerous. Yes, the Seattle Occupy activists should take Ms. Verity's criticisms seriously, but for her to demoralize them, in their chaotic effort to fight for justice, to call for them to pack their bags and go home, undermines the very values for which Real Change has championed since its inception. All of us, the 99 percent, have watched in disbelief the overwhelming amount of treachery the 1 percent have employed to globally undermine our economic security. This treachery has been documented continuously by Real Change.
Patrick J. Burns
Evicting Occupy Seattle more of the same As winter drives most fair-weather activists indoors, it has become apparent that the Occupy Seattle camp is increasingly about poor people's right to occupy public space, along with a right to define that struggle in the explicitly political terms of Occupy Wall Street.
For those of us lucky enough to have shelter, the question then becomes: Does this change the equation? What does solidarity look like when a chasm of class suddenly opens up within the populist alliance? Do we qualify our support or amplify it?
Once perceived as a group of privileged activists camping out to make a point, the Occupy movement may in fact be morphing into a class of newly politicized homeless citizens. With cold weather gripping Seattle, one gets the impression that the needy and disenfranchised make up a majority at the encampment.
The homeless are certainly capable of having what C. Wright Mills called the "sociological imagination," or an ability to place their personal plight within the framework of a larger social dystopia.
By camping in the town square -- or in this case -- on Capitol Hill, the poor and dispossessed bring their plight out into the open, where everyone can witness the failed system we call capitalism.
Even if the camps are broken up within a matter of months, the temporary security that comes from shared labor and codes of conduct is worth the effort.
I was alarmed by recent signals from the college about their intent to adopt "emergency rules" to evict the campers. The conditions at the camp that the authorities cite are nothing more or less than what the homeless face every day: fear of assault, exposure to elements, and inadequate access to hygiene. Moving them does nothing to solve this social issue.
Evicting the camp merely moves the problem out of sight, where comfortable people won't be reminded of it. Nobody knows what to do, but everyone agrees that something should be done. I believe we must support the Occupy camps because of their critical role in keeping this issue before the public.