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Monday, November 28, 2011

Tweets from Occupy Olympia

Posted by on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I'll update these periodically if and when notable things happen.

Around 10:

The irony of #occupyolympia is that the biggest obstacle to fix the problems was put there by the 99% - the 2/3 requirement to raise taxes.

At 8:04:

Livestream of what appears to be people being arrested outside the Capitol building. And Twitter is talking about protesters surrounding a bus full of arrestees and perhaps lying in front of it. Guy on the livestream is currently trying to find/follow one of the bus/paddy wagons.

At 7:52:

RT @cohenkomo: Troopers have 3 arrestees on city bus; protestors have surrounded bus, chanting: "whose bus? Our bus"

At 7:45:

Everyone's getting picked up and carried out, quite peacefully, while the demonstrators softly sing "Which Side Are You On?" in commendable harmony. And now, from the bright lights and dead sound on the livestreams I've been following, I assume that the cameramen have been arrested.

At 7:36:

Our cameraman seems to be sideways, linked with the others.

People are being lifted and dragged out of the Capitol by state patrol officers—but this, I should add, is what people have been asking for. Peaceful arrests of peaceful demonstrators, not chemical weapons and batons.

On the livestream, from a guy speaking into the people's mic while lying locked down (linked arms with other people) on the floor: "Is it more criminal to lay on the floor of the Capitol building than to throw disabled people on the street? I think that's a moral choice that you have to make."

Arrests are happening and people are singing Woodie Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."

At 7:31:

From a guy at the GA speaking on the livestream: "At first, I didn't want to be arrested, so I could come back. But now I realize... Occupy Medina! What's the real cause of not being able to come back to Olympia, when the servants of Medina work here?"

At 7:27:

Slowly going to make my way to the door. I cannot get arrested and if I stay here any longer, that's what will happen

At 7:25:

Live streamer just zoomed in on undercover cop "protestor" giving intel into hidden wire on collar

media bloackout at #occupyolympia in the capital. TV stations told to leave

Police just cleared out the press. This does not look good.

At 7:23:

Lady at the General Assembly on the livestream (while officers stand stoically by): "Tax the rich! You tell me we don't have enough money in this state that we don't have enough money to take care of low-income people—that is dysfunctional."

Another lady, to the police officers: "You are desperate, just like us, to put food on the table... you are not defined by your badge number."

At 7:16:

No matter what goes down tonight, I'm so proud of this Occupy group. We've been so civil and cooperative, good job my friends.

At 7:14, from a text by someone on the scene:

Arrests occurring. Hard to tell numbers but 20+

At 7:12:

Better livestream for the moment here. They keep switching channels. One guy at the General Assembly: "They [Washington state legislator] say we're broke, but that's bullshit... The problem is that WA state has the most regressive tax system in the country."

Civil Disobedience in Capitol Rotunda Olympia, limp bodies being removed by Capitol police right now... arrests happening

At 7:06:

The General Assembly goes on...

Sitting here watching people that I have become friends with be arrested under the Christmas tree.

Spokane Occupy just showed up. They marched up to the front chanting "Let Us In!"

At 7:00:

On the livefeed, a state patrol officer speaking at the General Assembly, using the people's mic: "The building is closed. It reopens tomorrow at 7 am. Please leave... failure to do so will result in your removal... you will not be able to return to the Capitol for 30 days."

At 6:58:

The livestream has switched to here. No substantive news on Twitter, just expressions of support. But the occupiers seem to be still holding a General Assembly meeting in the Capitol building.

At 6:42:

Arrests are happening!

At 6:36:

Asking us to leave if not they will remove us and ban us for 30 days.

At 6:32:

Police have to mic check haha.

People are refusing to leave. "WE AREN'T LEAVING!"

Alot of cops. I am going to try to get out. We are pinned. They are walking through the crowd. Does not seem safe.

Livestream goes black.

At 6:13:

@Wastatepatrol confirms three protesters were Tasered at #OccupyOlympia in state Capitol,

At 6:05:

Now people on the livestream are saying nobody got tasered, though state patrol officers drew them at a tense moment.

cohenkomo Lindsay Cohen
To clarify: our reporter at capitol is working to confirm reports protestor tasered at governor's office. More as I get it.

Livestream guy: "If KOMO is reporting that, it's because I told them there was some pushing by the doors."

That's new media for you—within minutes, source talks to reporter, reporter talks to editor, editor tweets what reporter said, then has to pull back what she tweeted, while the source has his own livestream to complain directly to his audience (and the reporter's readership) about how the reporter misunderstood his comments.

Oh my god! Now the source is complaining to the reporter live on his livestream about how she may or may not have misinterpreted what he told her! New media is disappearing up its own asshole! And it's taking me with it!

Anyway—there's a general assembly meeting going on at the moment but it's hard to hear what they're saying.

At 5:55:

cohenkomo Lindsay Cohen
Our reporter at #occupyolympia says one person has been tasered outside the office for the governor. More as I get it.

At 5:45:

@Seespikerun: #OccupySeattle A bus full of riot police R pulling up on the Capital building. Hang in thr! U're Heroes !!!!

On the livestream, some protesters are trying to get into the building, the state patrol is blocking the way, and people are screaming: "Let them in! Let them in!" A few folks are also screaming obscenities at individual cops. (That's uncivil disobedience.)

At 5:35:

@ wastatepatrol 2 ppl tried to climb in a Capitol window, removed and given 30 day trespass warning. Not arrested or cited, but can’t return,

RT @komonews: RT @wastatepatrol: Had to arrest one subject who went too far. Hundreds of other protesters loud but legal. #occupyolympia.

From the livestream: "Let me show you what the State Patrol are doing—they're just standing around!" The narrator sounded incredulous but grateful.

At 5:19:

Occupiers are currently setting up sleeping bags in the Capitol. I counted about fifty people, for now.

The building officially closes at 5:30. The livestream shows thunderous chanting: "Whose house? Our house!"

At 5:11:

Occupy Olympia seems to have stayed inside the capitol building with sleeping bags and blankets—with some state troopers moving in and out of the frame. Livestream here.

At 5:06:

The doors to Gregoire's office are now closed, the Police left, and our Governor has left cowardly, without showing her face. #OccupyOlympia


Comments (31) RSS

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This is going to get ugly...
Posted by sonder on November 28, 2011 at 6:07 PM · Report this
And did KOMO bother to ask the Washington State Highway Patrol *why* they used electrical shock on demonstrators? If troopers were in emminent danger, that's a pretty big story they're missing out on.
Posted by Phil M http:// on November 28, 2011 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 3
I hope Jennifer Fox doesn't have another miscarriage.
Posted by Gern Blanston on November 28, 2011 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 4

I hope she has 2.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on November 28, 2011 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Regarding my questions to KOMO about police casually mentioning that they used electrical shock on someone who was simply non-compliant, see our discussion:…
Posted by Phil M http:// on November 28, 2011 at 7:03 PM · Report this
Can we get a reporter of some sort to figure out if some state patrol cop has the authority to unilaterally ban someone from a public building for a month? Seems that would be a good question to ask when their PR person gives his or her report. Also, it would be good to find out what, if any, danger the cops thought they were in when they used electrical shock to gain compliance from what were likely peaceful demonstrators.
Posted by Phil M http:// on November 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM · Report this
michaelp 7
What, again, is the benefit of getting arrested?
Posted by michaelp on November 28, 2011 at 7:15 PM · Report this
@7: Benefit to whom? Typically, the benefit of an arrest is stopping a violation of law in progress or ensuring that someone suspected of having violated the law will be put before a judge. I don't think the arrestee benefits.
Posted by Phil M http:// on November 28, 2011 at 7:24 PM · Report this
@7, these particular arrests are a cameraderie-enhancing way for Occupy to highlight the injuries being done to public buildings by closing them nights and weekends.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM · Report this
@9: GG, I Michael's question @7 is based on a flawed premise. People don't typically *want* to be arrested, but it's often the consequence they accept as the result of their actions.
Posted by Phil M http:// on November 28, 2011 at 7:33 PM · Report this

The police do not have that authority, the courts do.

Telling people they will be barred from a place if they don't stop doing, er, whatever they're doing, does not imply that the person issuing the warning will also be the person imposing the ban.

From the sound of it, someone will be seeking temporary restraining orders against protesters who refuse to leave. I'm guessing the "person" seeking the injunctions in this case would be the state of Washington, and that they'd be granted, or not, by a judge.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2011 at 7:36 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12
Give these paid tax thieves the boot.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on November 28, 2011 at 7:49 PM · Report this
Wake me when Dominic brings that murdered fetus to the protest
Posted by dominics murdered FETUS on November 28, 2011 at 7:50 PM · Report this

While people typically don't want to be arrested, protests are an exceptional circumstance. Quite a few protesters do want to be arrested, for long-established and well-understood propaganda purposes.

There are other protesters who, as you suggest, merely accept arrest as a consequence of breaking whatever laws they happen to be breaking. There are also at least a few who get arrested despite every effort to obey the law. This, however, doesn't mean we should pretend there aren't protesters actively seeking to use arrest and detention as publicity tools.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
GlibReaper 15
I've never before seen a media bloackout being enforced live as a spectator. When watching the live-stream I heard the cameraperson say "what the fuck are you doing, officer?" and then the camera went sideways and cut out. The stream is now offline:

That's a bit chilling: first they force the reporters to leave and arrest other citizens with cameras, then... profit?
Posted by GlibReaper on November 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM · Report this
GlibReaper 16
Ok, now they're reading the riot act and threatening people with criminal trespass: still live here:…
Posted by GlibReaper on November 28, 2011 at 8:16 PM · Report this
I hope they get a chance to sing "Good Night, Irene" too. Maybe during their brief journey on the Misdemeanants Bus?
Posted by gloomy gus on November 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM · Report this

The reporters were not the first people arrested. The reporters were asked to leave because they, like the protesters, were trespassing. The reporters by and large complied with the order; many protesters, of course, did not.

An actual media blackout would look quite different. Reporters would be hassled for talking to protesters, or to people who had been arrested. Footage would be confiscated. Media outlets would be prevented from publishing or airing reports.

The only restriction placed on the press here, as in the Zuccotti park tent removal, is that The Media are expected to obey the same laws and police orders that the protesters are expected to obey. This means you might not get live footage, but there will be plenty of stories published tomorrow, with heaps of footage, photos, and protester interviews.

I can understand the propaganda value of spinning this as "media blackout," but it's going to be a tough sell with anyone lacking a certain level of paranoia.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM · Report this
It seems like everybody is being a little crazy this time around. I question the value of spending the night in the state capital but I don't understand why the cops are being so aggressive. Why not let the hippies have their slumber party and kick them out in the morning when they're tired and easier to deal with.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on November 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM · Report this
bedipped 20
Could it be they've discovered the secret power center of the 1%? The lawn at SCCC doesn't exactly symbolize law and order.
Thanks SLOG, amazing coverage.
Posted by bedipped on November 28, 2011 at 8:59 PM · Report this
GlibReaper 21
@18 What is the point of having a credentialed press if not to closely and directly observe the conduct of law enforcement beyond the boundaries of the common citizenry?

When I watch a stream of video going black, that's a blackout. Of course that word is laden with heavy political overtones but it accurately describes what I witnessed. After watching people be beaten, pepper sprayed and electrocuted for expressing their Constitutionally protected rights, who wouldn't feel a certain level of paranoia?

From Twitter: komonews
.@Wastatepatrol has told our reporter, camera crew to leave Capitol so arrests can begin. #occupyolympia cc @jaminagosti

Posted by GlibReaper on November 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM · Report this
Livestream was just chatting with the released protesters. They seem to be saying nothing bad happened, they were booked and released. Pressed for gory details one said a cop did say something mildly derisory about the pointlessness of making themselves get arrested.

The livecaster reminded them Gandhi said being made fun of was a step to winning, which seemed to cheer them.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 28, 2011 at 9:25 PM · Report this

Um, I can think of quite a lot of reasons to have a press, "credentialed" or no, that is bound by the same laws as everyone else.

I'm pretty sure I don't want a press that's above the law?

So, equipment failure is "media blackout" now? Come on. You know perfectly well that you're spinning as hard as you possibly can for propaganda purposes. You deliberately chose initially to use the more loaded phrase "media blackout" rather than the more neutral "blackout" that you backpedaled to in your defense of the initial description.

From Twitter:

UPDATE: @WaStatePatrol now says media is NOT being told to leave. Our crew is still inside the state Capitol. #occupyolympia

That's from around 8:30pm. The one you cited was posted around 7:30pm.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM · Report this
Where is the fetus. Where is the fetus. Where o where, where o where, where is the fetus? Where is the fetus. Where is the fetus. Where o where, where o where, where is the fetus? Where is the fetus. Where is the fetus. Where o where, where o where, where is the fetus? The world wants to know, DOOOOOMMMMIINICCCCC. The whole world wants to know. WHERE IS THE FETUS???? Tell us, Dumbinic.
Posted by Oh, wise Dominic, where is it? on November 28, 2011 at 9:50 PM · Report this
I wonder if any of Jennifer Fox's feti were murdered. Seems that she has a fetus murdered whenever it suits her; I wonder if one was killed today?
Posted by Benzyl on November 28, 2011 at 9:53 PM · Report this
I was at this event all day today and left for Seattle at about 5:30 pm. The actions this morning and afternoon were beautiful and the diversity of voices and tactics was inspiring to say the least. There were 7-10k people there over the course of the day and at least 4-5k at the event's peak. I loved watching unions, social service agencies, teachers and occupiers all voice their unique grievances in such a shared way. There were a few very effective and powerful impromptu actions, including one attempting to shut down the budget committee and another on the Governor's office. I was honored to have participated in both of them.

All in all, I would say today's event was extremely effective at getting our voices heard by the State Legislature. That said, I doubt they would have made as big an impact if it wasn't for all the impromptu actions and -perhaps unfortunately- for the multiple arrests after the attempt to occupy the capitol this evening. I can assure you this will garner much more news coverage (mostly good) for today's actions and all of the movements they represented. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with taking this kind of action. Taking over capitols is a tried-and-true form of civil disobedience and taking matters directly to government is an essential tool within a functioning Democracy.

Finally, everyone saying things about the press "just doing their job" when they are redirected to certain areas is totally missing the point. This is a purposeful attempt by authorities to restrict coverage of arrests and potential police brutality, thus covering their own asses. The idea of creating "free speech zones" and corralling reporters and more reformist activists to these areas only really emerged in the last decade. They are one of many blatant tactics the state and the right-wing media have used to gradually strip away our first amendment rights. What's much worse is that we have come to accept them as TOTALLY NORMAL, to the point where people get on threads like these and say "I don't get it" or "their just doing their jobs." This is antithetical to the first amendment and to functioning democracy.

Posted by Dr.Devo on November 28, 2011 at 9:59 PM · Report this

You're conflating "free speech zones", which restrict protesters, with designated media areas, which have been around a lot longer and serve an entirely different purpose.

Media-only restricted areas are generally there to give the cameras a better view than the crowd, and to keep the crowd away from the press vans and equipment. If you know of a case where reporters weren't allowed to leave these areas and mingle with the crowds for interviews or other reporting, I'd be quite interested; got a link?
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM · Report this
"Troopers have 3 arrestees on city bus; protestors have surrounded bus, chanting: "whose bus? Our bus""

For once the Occupy Childrens Crusade got something right. The bus on which we transport lawbreakers to jail is in one sense anyway your bus. Good job kiddos, you get a gold star to pin on your stupid beanie (Here's a fun tip! You don't need to wear alpine headgear indoors or on days that are in the 50's!) or LL Bean jacket. Or use it as an app on your $500 phone that you somehow managed to buy despite The Man keeping you down.

Mic Check! Who's an idiot? You're all idiots!
Posted by Seattleblues on November 29, 2011 at 12:24 AM · Report this
cute protesting but i'm sad that so many of these people voted against 1098 last year.

Posted by Swearengen on November 29, 2011 at 6:52 AM · Report this
@27 - I thought I posted this earlier, but it somehow didn't go through. I am not conflating the two areas at all. There have been a number of prominent incidents where reporters were corralled into particular areas and then purposefully targeted by authorities if they left those areas. This has received extensive media coverage. A large group of prominent reporters filed a FOIA to get information on the tactic from the NYPD, then forced the NYPD to issue a public apology. It was covered in the NYT and WSJ, and Keith Oberman and Rachel Maddow have both discussed it on their shows.
Posted by Dr.Devo on November 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM · Report this
I am honestly insulted by many of the comments here. Please don't speak down to those of us protesting. We are your future and your peers. Many of the protesters were professionals, like teachers, nurses, and state workers. Others were college students, asking for our education. And I saw a number of children being taught by their parents what democracy looks like and how to peaceably protest. Our country is founded upon sit-ins, strikes, and free speech. The brave folks who have risked life and limb for our freedoms by standing up against government injustice would be proud to see us speaking truth to power in as loud of voices as we can. We have to yell in their meetings to be heard because all of the testifying in the world hasn't changed anything. And don't blame protesters for not having 1098 passed, many people on this thread probably didn't vote for it. Why can't our legislature suck it up and make the right decisions? People are going to die if health care is cut for 35000 Washingtonians. I am proud to be one of the people at the Ways and Means Committee meeting and sitting in front of the Govenor's office. I hope they hear us. And #4, I hope to goodness you are joking in some perverted sense of humor because that is absolutely inhuman otherwise.
Posted by occupier on November 30, 2011 at 12:17 AM · Report this

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