The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO/OSCL) denounces in the strongest possible terms the July 10 raid by the Seattle SWAT team on the home of members of Occupy Seattle and the Red Spark Collective, a part of the Kasama Project. The police used a battering ram, threw flash-bang grenades into the apartment, and forced the activists onto the ground with hands zip-tied behind their backs. And what did the police seize? A few notebooks, a black sweatshirt, goggles, and a pink scarf. Clearly this was a highly political act of intimidation and an effort to gather intelligence on activists.
While some have written off the Occupy movement as something that has come and gone, the Seattle PD clearly still sees Occupy as a threat. Organizers were preparing for a local gathering and festival titled Everything for Everyone, arising from the Occupy motion. Instead of squashing the event, we hope that the police raid will have the opposite effect and draw even more people to Seattle to participate.
As the US economic crisis continues and deepens, the capitalist class can no longer rely so much on winning people’s passive acceptance of the status quo to maintain its rule. As the level of militance among the masses grows, the state is turning more and more to straightforward repression. We have been seeing similar attacks on the movement all over the country. From the raids and grand jury subpoenas against anti-war activists in the Midwest and Los Angeles to preventative arrests before the G-8 summit in Chicago and many other examples, police are testing the waters to see how much they can get away with.
This type of repression has a longstanding history in this supposedly “free” country. The Red Squads of the early 20th century, the McCarthy era, and COINTELPRO in the 1960s and ’70s are just a few of the most visible examples of a continuing effort by the state to undermine organized efforts to challenge injustice. We all need to stand firmly by the Seattle activists and speak out as loud as we can against this outrageous attack. If they can get away with this incident, it will be far more likely that similar attacks will occur elsewhere and will in fact escalate. So FRSO/OSCL says: An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us! Fight the Seattle PD’s political repression! Defend Occupy Seattle, the Red Spark Collective, and all activists targeted by the state!
Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la LibertadDownload this piece as a PDF