Local Clown Protester Becomes Target of Political Repression

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: sarc_contact@riseup.net

Phone: 216.236.4680

December 4rd, 2012. The Seattle Anti-Repression Committee has learned that another local activist has become the target of ongoing police efforts to suppress and silence political activity in radical movements. Gen’ral Malaise, a prominent and visible member of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) has received by mail a summons to court with the charge of “Pedestrian Interference” in connection to his alleged participation in a solidarity rally on September 26th. This charge carries the potential penalty of a $5000 fine or 364 days in jail.

Gen’ral Malaise is releasing this statement about his charges:

“This is an attempt to intimidate me from protesting and it will not work! I will not be deterred by erroneous charges or other attempts by the Seattle Police Department to intimidate me from expressing my 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th amendment rights! This clown stands in solidarity with all radical clowns and affirms his comrades’ right to say silly things to the fuzz without fear of state reprisal.”

SARC is dedicated to supporting the Gen’ral and all victims of political repression at the hands of the state. The nature of the delivery of the summons by mail indicates that Seattle Police Department is now disregarding the need for citation in order to engage in repressive tactics. It is without doubt that this charge and the charges against the May Day 5 are blatant attempts to intimidate and harass protesters from engaging in political activity and these tactics will not go unchallenged. This pattern of targeting radical activists must end.

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Arraignment Held For May Day 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: sarc_contact@riseup.net

Phone: 216.236.4680

December 3rd, 2012. Today at 8:30 AM at King County Superior Court the arraignment was held for five persons with charges alleged to be in connection with the May Day protests and festival held by Occupy Seattle on International Worker’s Day. The defendants were notified last week of their summons to court today and were charged with infractions ranging from “Riot” to “Malicious Mischief” with the possibility of jail time amounting up to a year.

Two individuals did not appear. One person is currently on non-related travel arrangements and was rescheduled for the 31st of December. The other was charged with “Failure to Appear” and a warrant with $20,500 bail associated has been issued. The other three individuals were scheduled for pre-trial proceedings on the 17th of December.

SARC is continuing to engage in direct court support and will update media and comrades as developments occur. SARC is standing firm in its resolution to resist state repression of political activity and will be working in order to assist those targeted by Seattle Police Department in its attempt to harass and intimidate community organizers.

SARC Stands In Solidarity With May Day 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: sarc_contact@riseup.net

Phone: 216.236.4680

December 2nd, 2012. Local activists and organizers are dismayed to learn that Seattle Police Department, seven months after the events of May 1st, have chosen to file charges against five individuals in the Seattle area in connection with the protests and festival that took place celebrating International Worker’s Day.

The latest wave of indictments must be understood as the latest in an ongoing series of legal harassment of Occupy Seattle participants and organizers, whose lives have been disastrously affected by legal battles even as the courts have dismissed the SPD’s charges: the Union Cultural Center occupation (all 16 acquitted), the “Chase 5” (acquitted), the June 29/QFQ 3 (charges dropped), the arrestees of October 5th (6 of 8 acquitted, 2 in process), the three previous arrests for May Day (charges dropped), among many others. Whatever the outcome of these indictments, the intent is clear – harassment and exhaustion of a social movement which, at last count, still polled more popular than congress.

Concerned residents of Seattle are dedicated to keeping our comrades out of the hands of the state. These charges are the latest in a series of actions undertaken by law enforcement in order to intimidate and suppress radical political activities in Seattle. In response, we have come together to form the Seattle Anti-Repression Committee, which will be engaging in direct support for the defendants as their court cases progress.

The May Day Five have their first court date on Monday, December 3rd, 2012. SARC and other supporters will be there, and we encourage all to support these individuals in their resistance against political repression. Stand with us in condemnation of a culture of harassment and intimidation.

For further background information, please see the expanded solidarity statement below.

SARC SOLIDARITY STATEMENT


On May 1st, 2012, Decolonize/Occupy Seattle and numerous groups organized a day-long festival in Westlake park to celebrate International Worker’s Day. Demonstrations that took place that day included an anti capitalist march around downtown, and an “Honor the Dead, Fight for the living” march to the John T Williams totem pole in Seattle Center. Now, five people are being charged with actions that took place on May Day.  With charges ranging from “Riot” to “Malicious Mischief,” the persons accused face the possibility of many months in prison.

Nearly seven months after May 1st, the task force investigation around May Day has absorbed public resources and attention far beyond the cost and impact of any property destruction that occurred during events on that day. The SPD has spent countless resources, including a seven-month long task force, many paid officer hours, detailed surveillance and two house raids to gather evidence of “anarchist activities.” The evidence they procured consists of T-shirts, bandanas and “anarchist” reading materials.

The political nature of these recent charges cannot be separated from the perceived goals of the Federal Grand Jury investigations taking place in the Northwest. These charges are part of a larger trend attempting to stifle a large and vital movement that has erupted over the past year in response to the economic crises leading to lowered income, overworked hours and rising costs, as well as the increased deportations and incarcerations of people of color.

Additionally, it is important to remember the history of May Day as a day to commemorate workers martyred in their struggle to establish the eight hour work day and other key labor goals. In 1886, in response to cross-sector union strikes and demands for a five-day work week, the police massacred workers while the state executed anarchists who were deemed organizers. Resistance to unjust working conditions and the poverty of life is an important legacy of May Day. Yet, as the Seattle Police Department has demonstrated, so is police brutality and scapegoating of anarchists.

Within this historical and present context, it is quite clear to SARC and other concerned people across the country that SPD, other law enforcement, and the government in general are engaging in broad and brutal tactics in order to repress ideologies that threaten their power. These agencies prefer to imprison people on nebulous charges in a frantic effort to defend the rights of windows. SARC places people over property and rejects the legitimacy of these charges, We take a stand against the repression of political speech which we see as an effort to silence those angered by experiences of oppression. We say NO to state repression and we stand with those charged in resisting the state’s attempts at intimidation and imprisonment.

True freedom and actual liberation means the freedom to express one’s political beliefs without fear of harassment and incarceration. We will be engaging in support for those charged, and we encourage the people of Seattle and around the globe in rejecting the violence and oppression of the state.

In solidarity with those targeted by Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement,

SARC
Seattle Anti-Repression Committee