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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Open Letter to Mayor Mike McGinn

Posted by on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Dear Mayor McGinn,

Don't do it. Whatever you do, don't authorize the police to sweep the Occupy Seattle protesters out of Westlake Park. Mass arrests... macings... potentially violent confrontations... nothing good can come from it.

I know, I know, the protesters are violating the law—laws you've sworn to uphold. And yeah, they're disrupting commerce and generally making a nuisance of themselves. But that's the whole point of civil disobedience, isn't it? And at your core, you know that the protesters are right, that their cause is just, and that the best thing for America right now would be for this movement to grow.

So rather than looking at this as a no-win situation that forces you to choose between doing your job and being true to your values, I urge you to use this as an opportunity to fulfill the potential many supporters saw in you during your campaign, by becoming the first big-city mayor in the nation to stand firmly with the Occupy movement, and not against. Call off the police. Go to Westlake Park and promise them your protection. Hell, set up your own tent and spend the night. Now that would catapult you into the national spotlight.

Yeah, sure, it would be a risky political move. But then, you've already totally lost the support of Seattle's business establishment—they'll be putting their money behind your opponent(s) in 2013 for sure—so what's to lose there? And yeah, the Seattle Times editorial board and professional assholes like Dori Monson would viciously savage you, but how's that different from any other day?

But stand with the Occupy movement, and you could become a local folk hero, generating the kind of genuine grassroots support no amount of political money can overcome. A risky gambit, you betcha. But since when have you backed away from risk? And besides, you know it's the right thing to do.

We elected you to make the tough choices. It's time to make one.

Best of luck,



Comments (37) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Most excellent suggestions, Goldy.
Posted by TechBear on October 5, 2011 at 1:52 PM · Report this
JF 2
Psh, what's little law violating between friends?
Posted by JF on October 5, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
He does need this sort of thing, I think, though it's worth remembering he can back away from risk as fast as anybody out there.
Posted by gloomy gus on October 5, 2011 at 1:54 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 4
Um .... if they aren't arrested, then it's not civil disobedience.
Posted by KittenKoder on October 5, 2011 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Phoebe on NE 79th 5
Nice to know that you've rethought your VIOLENCE IS THE ANSWER dispositions Goldy.
Posted by Phoebe on NE 79th on October 5, 2011 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Vince 6
He will doom himself in the next election if he orders a raid on the protestors. That's almost guaranteed. He has no friends other than the left. If he were smart he'd go there and cheer them on.
Posted by Vince on October 5, 2011 at 1:58 PM · Report this
I just forwarded that to the Mayor.
Posted by Pol Pot on October 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 8

Occupants are taking the wrong approach if they hang around in one place too long.

Sitting in a place and "claiming" it is what got us into the mess.

Be mobile and Outmaneuver.

End of transmission.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on October 5, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 9
Posted by mr. herriman on October 5, 2011 at 2:03 PM · Report this
@4 you are amusingly not smart, I'll use the wikipedia entry: Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power

Often times that refusal leads to arrests, see the civil rights movement in this country for example or maybe Rosa Parks wasn't practicing civil disobedience since she ended up getting arrested.
Posted by ams1111 on October 5, 2011 at 2:05 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@6, quite the contrary. If he goes and camps out with the protesters, he won't make out of the primary -- he'll get 20% of the vote.
Posted by Fnarf on October 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 12
On the other hand, seeing how the SPD handles this might just bolster the resolve of those who haven't been beaten mercilessly.
Posted by MacCrocodile on October 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
seandr 13
I thought Wall Street was the problem, not Westlake Park. Perhaps there's a connection between the Food Court in the upper level of the mall and the real estate crash? Sgt Doom would certainly know.

And Goldie is right - McGinn should definitely resign as mayor and join the protesters.
Posted by seandr on October 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Goldy 14
@5: I suggest you re-read that post. It doesn't say what you appear to think it says. (Hint: the question to what violence is the answer to, is posed in the opening paragraph.)
Posted by Goldy on October 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Great letter Goldy. I hope McGinn understands that he cannot have it both ways. He cannot being a champion for progressive issues while clearing out the very same protesters he claims to support by threatening them with arrest. Right now he needs to bike over to Westlake in the rain and talk with the protestors, not send the police after them.
Posted by anonymajones on October 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM · Report this
don't see mcginn as being smart enough to come to this realization himself.
Posted by philosophy school dropout on October 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 17
@10 You actually proved my point, not countered it.
Posted by KittenKoder on October 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 18

I like how you work. First call for violence, then coax Mayor McCheese into the fray. I too think it would be delightful to see him knife-sticked, maced and hauled off to jail while firmly securing the Marxist vote and spurning the Capitalist vote. (I’m sure he’ll follow your lead, considering that there are no Capitalists in Seattle).

BTW… Why aren’t you sitting in a tent in Westlake, fomenting violent insurrection among the Occupying Forces?
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on October 5, 2011 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 19
Well.....looking at Westlake it appears McGinn told you where you can go Goldy.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM · Report this
I heard he was actually down there just a little while ago giving only vague statements about his intent.
Posted by Reg on October 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Cui Bono 21
Posted by Cui Bono on October 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM · Report this
@17 - and that would be how?
Posted by ams1111 on October 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM · Report this
@22: by citing Wikipedia as a source, you idiot.
Posted by Furcifer on October 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM · Report this
I don't want people to get arrested, but how is it meaningful civil disobedience if there are no consequences to breaking the law, and if you're not risking anything in doing so?
Posted by Irving on October 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM · Report this
emor 25

So KittenKoder, it's your opinion that the only way to break a law is to be arrested? And that up to that point you have not broken any laws?
Posted by emor on October 5, 2011 at 3:01 PM · Report this
@22- So their definition is incorrect? What? I'm an idiot why?
Posted by ams1111 on October 5, 2011 at 3:03 PM · Report this
seandr 27
@15: The rule of law is a far more progressive idea than any slogan you'll find on those protesters signs.

Posted by seandr on October 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM · Report this
PTrig 28
I think Goldy provoked His Honor.
Posted by PTrig on October 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 29
Excellent post, Goldy.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
gwhayduke 30
perfect, goldy. do it mcginn!~ this is why we voted for you.
Posted by gwhayduke on October 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM · Report this
I second 24.
Posted by sara on October 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM · Report this
@17, 23: well, here, let me help y'all . . .
Posted by zobot on October 5, 2011 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First Amendment - make a note of it.
Posted by Rhetorical on October 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM · Report this
if my people are swept there will be unfathomable repercussions.
Posted by The Oracle on October 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM · Report this
@20: I was there from noon until about 5:00. If Mayor McGinn was there, he was hiding. Christopher Williams and Dewey Potter from parks were there.
Posted by Phil M on October 6, 2011 at 1:03 AM · Report this
So every business owner or employee in the area should put up with mobs of people for weeks and all the problems that could create, just so some cause in new york gets met. I'm sure Westlake will be delighted. Why even have a downtown retail core if all you want from it is a stage and semi-willing audience for every little cause that comes along?

Sorry, shaking your tiny fist at the banks in new york will accomplish nothing, has accomplished nothing, will continue to accomplish nothing but potentially disrupting many innocent peoples' lives who work, own, or live in the area.

Awfully selfish of you Stranger, but then, you wanted McGinn in the first place. Hows electing a dishonest lawyer working out for you? Idiots.
Posted by certaindoom on October 6, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Adios, Mayor McGinn. I voted for you and stood beside you your whole term in office. In the end I'm pretty sick of how un-fucking-different you are.
Posted by HOT PUSSY on October 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM · Report this

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