Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Statement #2 by the State Street 29 Support Committee

For Immediate Release
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 out 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

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