10/29 Occupy Seattle Teach-in: Another World is Possible! What Is Socialism and How Do We Get There?

SAT, Oct 29
Occupy Seattle, Westlake Park

RSVP on facebook

How do we get to a world were the 1% doesn't dominate the economy and the political debate?

As socialists we believe in the self-emancipation of the working class from the bonds of capitalism. We must organize to get to that type of world! But how? And who has the power to change society? And how do we overcome the obstacles that keep us divided?

Join us for a teach-in on why socialism. Bring your questions, bring your debates and bring your ideas!

An Occupy Seattle teach-in. For more info on other Occupy Seattle events check their calendar.

10/29 Teach CHASE a Lesson!


"Teach CHASE a Lesson"Occupy Seattle day of action!

Saturday, October 29th
12 PM
Westlake Plaza (on 4th Ave. between Pine and Pike)

UPDATE: Facebook event now up: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=268835849822528

"There is a lot of money washing around the world, and obviously we are the beneficiary of that,"
CHASE CEO Jamie Dimon this April

CHASE Bank has profited through the recession that it had a big part in causing and was able to compensate Mr. Dimon, to the tune of $20.8 million dollars last year.

CHASE pays no state taxes on its in-state mortgage interest income. This loophole was created for Washington State based WAMU, but since the “housing bubble” lending binge that crashed our economy and bankrupted WAMU, it now benefits Chase and other banks. Their fair share would add nearly $100 million per year to our State’s sorely strapped budget.

CHASE acquired billions of dollars during the bailout at a near-zero % interest rate, money that they are now loaning back to the U.S. Treasury at a rate 12 times higher. They are taking more money from taxpayers, rather than investing to create jobs.

Teachers in Seattle are facing layoffs as the legislature struggles to cover its $5 billion + budget shortfall. In addition, Seattle teachers have seen their pay cut by 1.9%.

Cuts to bus routs, healthcare, homeless shelters, and other social services have made the lives of 99% of the population more difficult.

This is not a spending crisis. It’s a revenue crisis that is caused when entities like CHASE pay little to no taxes on their vast fortunes. The money to pay for social services is there. Teachers, other public employees, and the 99% are not the cause of the crisis, and should not pay for it!


10/27: UW Branch Meeting Agenda

The UW Branch will meet 
THURS 7-9pm, Savery Hall 130
(If you're looking for the city branch meeting click here)

This Week's Agenda:

1. Meaning of Marxism Discussion, One hour
Chapter Four "How Capitalism Works and How it Doesn't" on Marxist Economics.

2. Branch details--40 minutes

a.) Update on RSO registration process.
b.) Next public meeting? If we want to do it, how should we build it?
c.) Quick update on Occupy UW organizing.
d.) How do we want to set up future branch meetings?
e.) branch roles (who is doing what? are we missing anything?)

3. NW Marxism Conference  -- 20 mins
This year's NW Marxism Conference will be THE place for progressives, socialists and activists to debate and discuss. Occupy movements have roared to life in cities and towns across the US. In order to build the movement bigger and stronger we must learn lessons from other cities and share our own. We must also deepen our political understanding of the economy, the state and the power of the working class to build a new society. We'll discuss political and logistical preparation for the conference, happening in Portland, OR.

Full schedule, registration and more information at the conference website.

10/27 City Meeting Agenda

Thurs, Oct 27
SCCC Atrium
(1701 Broadway, at Pine St.)

Looking for a UW meeting? Click here

Occupy Seattle Updates, Logistics and Next Steps
Occupy Seattle, and Occupy movements around the country continue to grow and develop, but also run against real challenges. Last night, activists and demonstrators were attacked in Oakland, CA by police, who shot tear gas and rubber bullets. Earlier this week, Occupy Seattle voted to move the encampment to Seattle Central Community College this weekend. In Boston, activists with Occupy the Hood held an important demonstration the explicitly linked Occupy Boston with communities of color and took a stance against racism and police brutality.

Come discuss the latest in the movement! We will also discuss plans for the CHASE bank action and our Occupy Seattle teach-in on Saturday.

Read more:
How the 1 percent rules
Reports of Occupy Everywhere

Socialist Worker coverage of Occupy Everywhere

NW Marxism Conference
This year's NW Marxism Conference will be THE place for progressives, socialists and activists to debate and discuss. Occupy movements have roared to life in cities and towns across the US. In order to build the movement bigger and stronger we must learn lessons from other cities and share our own. We must also deepen our political understanding of the economy, the state and the power of the working class to build a new society. We'll discuss political and logistical preparation for the conference, happening in Portland, OR.

Full schedule, registration and more information at the conference website.


10/20: City Meeting Agenda

Thurs, Oct 20
SCCC Atrium
(1701 Broadway, at Pine St.)

Looking for a UW meeting? Click here

Socialists and Movements
The Occupy movements continue to grow, giving activists progressive stripes new energy. As socialists, this is exactly what we have been waiting for, what we always knew was possible and now we're seeing unfold before our eyes-- masses or ordinary people standing up, speaking out, and organizing on a scale we haven't seen in many years, and it is only growing and spreading (now on a global scale!). But how do socialists relate to movements that don't have specifically revolutionary demands? What is the relationship between reforms and revolution? And why would socialists, who explicitly want to overthrow capitalism, fight for reforms in the here and now?

Come join a discussion on the role of socialists in movements, what we have to learn from the movement and what socialists and radicals can contribute.

Read more:
Socialists and movements

Occupy Seattle Nuts and Bolts Organizing
The Occupy Seattle movement is fluid and changes daily. As the ISO, we aim to be there, supporting and building the movement. Bring your ideas as we discuss ways to strength the politics and connections of the movement!

Read more:
Occupy goes global
The Stranger coverage of Occupy Seattle


PTA needs to do their homework on Democracy, Go to an Occupation

Seattle Teachers at Occupy Seattle, Photo by Rachel Wilsey

Dan Trocolli
Seattle Teacher and member of Social Equality Educators and the Seattle International Socialist Organization

I started my Saturday morning going to the Washington State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Legislative Assembly to assist parents in Parents Across America-Seattle, an activist group of parents, in opposing charter school legislation in Washington. It wasn’t easy waking up at 6am on a Saturday, but I knew it was important that people know the negative effect that charter schools can have on our public schools.

As a teacher, one would think that parents in the PTA, would be very interested in hearing from teachers about significant changes to Washington laws on delivering a public education to their children, particularly given the well known fact that teachers are underrepresented in PTA’s all over. Imagine my shock when approaching a group of parents in the hotel lobby with flyers only to have one woman tear the stack of flyers out of my hand in a completely hysterical rage as well as another teacher.

I wanted to let delegates in the PTA know how charters have a higher teacher turnover, unfairly exclude underperforming students and siphon money from other public schools. However, we were unable to continue handing out flyers and talking to parents about a teachers’ perspective on charter schools. The president, vice president and executive director of the state PTA all tried to assure us that they would consider approving the flyer for distribution. Never mind that the debate and vote was set to occur in mere minutes.

Turns out the vote to support legislation in Washington for the creation of charter schools passed by a mere 9 votes, despite the PTA’s own survey of members that found a majority opposed to bringing charters to Washington. In fact the influence of corporate, pro-charter forces, such as Stand with Children, at the top of the PTA have such a hold that the organization did not give delegates any information critical of charters at all.

The outcome was a difficult to face given the attacks on public education these days. However, my disappointment was short lived as I made my way to Occupy Seattle. There was an immediate contrast of the undemocratic repression I experienced at the PTA convention with the people’s democracy of the occupation’s rally and march.
The rally at Westlake Park, part of an international day of action in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, was already in the thousands when I got there. Teachers in the Social Equality Educators (SEE), a rank and file group of educators in Seattle, gathered in a contingent. We had a table with a sign-up for union members and labor supporters of the occupation. We displayed our banner, “Bail out Schools, Not the Banks!” and answered questions of protestors visiting our table.

There were people discussing all sorts of political questions all over the square, including, among other things, charter schools. Various groups had tables where they distributed all sorts of propaganda on issues like corporate greed, the war in Afghanistan and socialism. And individual protestors had many myriad homemade signs raising many social issues as well.
But this was just the beginning. On the march protestors stopped and occupied for some moments the Pike Place Market intersection. When an ambulance neared unable to get through, protestors needed no instructions and immediately parted to let them through chanting, “This is what Democracy looks like.”

When the march neared the plaza, SEE members organized an impromptu sit-in in front of the CHASE bank across the street. Thousands sat in the street, the sidewalks and the plaza listening as teachers and community members sounded off on corporate greed and what it will take to curtail it.

Later protestors re-occupied Westlake Park with over a hundred tents. The sense that it is possible to make the change we want to see in the world was palpable and that solidarity with one another is key in making that change happen. Most people coming to the occupations have a healthy rejection of free market, corporate driven solutions to public ills such as charter schools.
Like the Occupiers, most teachers recognize the undue influence of the uber-wealthy 1% on school reforms such as charter schools and merit pay. It’s these changing winds that might be frustrating the angry woman from the PTA.

The PTA should take a lesson and hold their Legislative Assembly down at Westlake Park. They may learn a thing or two from the other 99% about democracy and what’s needed to improve public education.

First published at Seattle Education


10/20: UW Meeting Agenda

The UW Branch will meet 
THURS 7-9pm, Savery Hall 130
(If you're looking for the city branch meeting click here)

This Week's Agenda:

1. Club details 10 mins
  • RSO and ECC registration club registration
  • Tabling schedule
2. Meaning of Marxism Discussion, 40 mins
Chapter Three "The Marxist View of History"

3. Occupy Movement Discussion, 35 mins
Last week we voted to discuss the following article on labor participation on the Occupy Movement:
Same struggle, same fight

4. Northwest Socialist Conference - 5 mins
Sat Nov 19th, we'll be heading down to portland for the Northwest Socialist conference, one of six regional socialist conferences nationwide that are dedicated to arming a new generation of rebels, activists and organizers with arguments and ideas for a revolutionary socialist alternative, learning our history of rebellion and resistance, and discussing strategies for building organization and winning struggles for real change. Check out all the conference details here

5. Next week's agenda - 5 mins


Occupy Seattle Video and Photos

Great Video of Jesse Hagopian Speaking at Occupy Seattle this past Saturday.

Jesse Hagopian at OccupySeattle from Elliot Stoller on Vimeo.

And check out photos albums on our facebook page
we've got albums up from the past two weeks, Oct 5th, Oct10th and Oct 15th.


10/13 UW meeting: The Meaning Of Marxism, Occupy Seattle & Fall Plans

The UW Branch will meet 
THURS 7-9pm, Savery Hall 130
(If you're looking for the city branch meeting click here)

1. For the First part of our meeting, we’ll discuss the Introduction and first two chapters of The Meaning of Marxism by Paul D’Amato (26 pages total)
  • Intro: The Relevance of Marxism
  • Ch 1: From Millenarianism to Marx
  • Ch 2: Marx’s Materialist Method
So pick up the book and join the discussion! If you need a copy of the book please contact us isouw@uw.edu

2. Occupy Seattle -- After our political discussion we’ll discuss developments in the Occupy Seattle movement, including Wed’s student walkout as well as next steps.

3. Brainstorm activities, meetings, actions etc that we may want to do this quarter!  Bring your ideas about things you want to learn, how we can spread the word on campus, and what social-justice campaigns we should to get involved in.

10/13 City Meeting: Occupy Seattle & Fall Organizing

The City branch will meet
THURS, Oct 13
SCCC Cafeteria
(1701 Broadway, at Pine St.)

Looking for a UW meeting? Click here

Occupy Seattle: Report Back and Looking Ahead

The Occupy Wall St action has become a national movement. In dozens of cities activists have camped out protesting the social inequality in this country. Spurred on by class anger, people are organizing and taking action against the richest 1%. We will discuss the latest in on-going struggles locally and nationally, and how to build the strongest movement possible.

Read more:

Support for Occupy Seattle Swells
Stepping up the struggle
Autonomy Zone on Wall St?

Fall Organizing Perspectives

In light of so much going on and exciting opportunities for activism, we will discuss the structure and organization of the branch.


Support for Occupy Seattle Swells

Story by Sam Bernstein

SEATTLE -- Occupy Seattle received a major boost on Saturday as supporters from the community and organized labor came out for a large rally and march in Westlake Plaza, the site of the ongoing encampment.

Following an antiwar rally Friday evening that brought hundreds out to mark the 10th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan, the Saturday rally brought thousands more out to show their solidarity and check out the Occupy Seattle encampment--most of them for the first time.

The rally was planned months in advance to commemorate Indigenous Peoples' Day, but as soon as Occupy Seattle sprung up, organizers opened it up to the Occupy Seattle movement. As labor unions and community groups began endorsing Occupy Seattle, they made this rally the first focal point for mobilizing their memberships in support of Occupy Seattle.

SEIU Local 925, representing 23,000 workers in Washington State--mostly at the University of Washington, sent an email to their entire membership urging them to get involved. "These courageous young activists have given us all a shot of inspiration and hope that we can indeed turn this country around," they wrote. The King County Labor Council also urged its 75,000 members to participate.

"Labor organizations have a huge responsibility in stepping up and helping out people that don't have a voice," Pedro Espinoza, a member of the carpenters union, told Q13 Fox News.

Occupy Movement - What's the message?

The mainstream media cant stop repeating the same talking point "what's the message?" "There's no message?" etc.. Well in this fabulous video, P.J. O'Rourke gets his ass handed to him by Alan Grayson who articulates is brilliantly!


SAT: Occupy Seattle Rally - We are the 99%

We are the 99%!

The spirit of the Occupy Wall Street protest is spreading throughout the country. There are now Occupy protests in every state in the country. From San Francisco to Washington, DC people are gathering together, united around frustration and anger over the richest 1% controlling the political debate, economic decisions and the media outlets that influence them. Over 8,000 people marched in an unpermitted march in Portland, OR last night. In Los Angeles, United Teachers Los Angeles voted to stand in solidarity with the protesters, marking important connections with labor. In New York, the occupation continues to grow after tens of thousands marched on Wednesday.

Organizers with Occupy Seattle have called for a rally tomorrow, Saturday, Oct 8 at Westlake Plaza beginning at noon.

The King County Labor Council has come out in support of Occupy Seattle The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), with over 42,000 members statewide, has also set statements of solidarity and support. The Stranger and other news outlets are promoting tomorrow's action heavily. The will be the biggest action of Occupy Seattle yet. 

The Seattle ISO will be there, in solidarity and to help organize. Please join us!

Read more:


10/6: City Organizing Meeting

City Organizing Meeting
THURSDAY, October 6th
SCCC Cafeteria (1701 Broadway, Capitol Hill)

Please note: we are now meeting on Thursdays!

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Seattle (45 min)
The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading! Thousands marched in New York this weekend, while hundreds gathered at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle to demand that the rich pay for the economy they destroyed. We will discuss the rapidly evolving movement and how we can build it bigger and stronger in Seattle.

Check out these articles:
Raising the voice of protest
Declaration of the occupation of New York
We are the 99 percent
Continued updates at Occupy Wall St

Socialist Worker (3o min)
Socialist Worker is the voice for our side. Published daily online, it provides unapologetic pro-working class coverage and analysis of world news and politics. We will discuss our use of the paper at tablings and events.

Planning for City Kickoff Meeting (30 min)
Our city branch fall kickoff is just around the corner. Join our discussion of how to build for this important meeting!

10/6: UW Fall Kickoff Meeting

Join the UW Socialists for a  forum & discussion on
The International Youth Revolt &
Why Socialism is back on the Agenda
Thurs 10/6 7pm 
UW, Savery Hall 130
RSVP on Facebook 

"We are the 99%". This sentiment highlights the feelings of millions of people in the U.S. that stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place in New York City and around the U.S. The super-rich destroy the economy and receive $16 trillion in bailouts. Wars for oil are fought for the rich, not the rest of us. Whether it's the racist execution of Troy Davis, restrictions on women's right to an abortion or the continued denial of gays and lesbians the right to marry, the rich and their government use oppression to keep people down and to attempt to prevent the "99%" from uniting. However things are changing. From the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, to mass student protests in Britain, Spain and elsewhere, to the protests in Madison, WI, to the Occupy Wall Street protests, millions of people around the world are fighting back.

As socialists we want to help lead these struggles, but also understand how the problems in this world stem from the system of capitalism. We need to end capitalism. This can only be done by the active participation of millions upon millions of workers and students around the globe. We aim to build an organization of revolutionaries with these goals in mind. Join us for a discussion about the growing international revolt against the injustices of capitalism and why we think the fight for a socialist society is back on the world agenda! 
There will be a short presentation followed by group discussion & refreshments!