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Posts published in “Issue: September 2020

Olympia Port Commissioners rely on lobbyists for a key financial commitment

Port Report: The Port of Olympia in July approved a proposal to develop almost 200 acres of land on its New Market Industrial Campus (NMIC). The new Panattoni Lease Option Agreement (Panattoni Agreement) is fraught with potential negative impacts on the community. There are financial, environmental, public health, school safety, and other quality of life issues at stake.

Thoughts on the theme — September 2020

The theme of this month’s issue, “Hoping, coping, doping, and shopping” comes from a phrase in the book, How Will Capitalism End by Wolfgang Streeck. Streeck argues that we are witnessing the tail end of the uneasy alliance between democracy and capitalism. As he writes, “Democracy was always a problem in a capitalist society. There’s an enormous inherent tension between the two. Democracy is inherently egalitarian because every citizen has one vote. And the rich also have one vote but the rich are only five percent. Whereas in the market, every dollar has a vote.”

“Strike for Black Lives” action wins a victory for Seattle transit workers

Rallying in sync with the July 20 “Strike for Blacks Lives,” over 250 union and community activists picketed King County Executive. Dow Constantine’s offices in the heart of downtown Seattle. They called for immediate action in response to racist incidents at Metro transit bases and other county worksites. They demanded…

Beirut explosion underscores risks of abandoned vessels

The Rhosus was only supposed to be in Beirut’s harbor for a short time. The 284-foot cargo vessel had been en route to Mozambique with her cargo of ammonium nitrate when she made an unscheduled detour to Lebanon to pick up additional cargo. When she arrived, either due to failing…

Then this happened… September 2020

...material from the Olympia police investigation of the 2018 death of Yvonne McDonald will soon appear …there is no “there” there. After taking office, Trump set up a fancy commission to study “voter fraud.” ...Steve Hall takes a fall.

Green sturgeon for tomorrow and beyond

Sturgeon are living icons of estuaries. These ancient fish who have survived unchanged for 200 million years, are now heading towards extinction due to habitat change and overfishing. Two of the 26 living species of sturgeon inhabit the west coast of North America, the white and the green. Before colonizers…

Citizen group demands Thurston County drop toxic algae treatments at Black Lake

Prompted by the Black Lake Special District’s (BLSD) recent request to the Thurston County Commissioners that they back a bond for $1.4 million to apply alum as a measure to counter toxic algae overgrowth, a group of citizens who live around the lake and other environmental advocates formed Citizens for…

An election is coming: the rich vs. everyone else

I came across economist Heather Boushey’s work first by stumbling on her article, “The coronavirus recession and economic inequality: A roadmap to recovery and long-term structural change.” I don’t bump into that many women writing about structural inequality, so I checked her out. That led me to read her 2019…

Collective action—the secret to empowering the people who do the work

What about [Amazon’s] warehouses? It’s a matter of fact that workers are saying they’re at risk in the warehouses. I don’t think the media’s done a terribly good job of telling their stories. I went to the video chat that got Maren and Emily fired, and found listening to them moving. You can listen too if you’d like.

Poetry — Nature and Art

Sheriff Snaza was eaten by a bear. I should know: I was there. Seeing the Spreader, the bear was intent on this task. And, responsible. Unlike Snaza, the bear wore a mask.

In response to defacement of the Olympia-Rafah solidarity mural

Last month, we were made aware of the targeted defacement of a section of the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural in Olympia. The defacement targeted one of the leaves making up the mural’s central olive tree, a leaf that was designed by artist Gail Tremblay of the Onondaga and Mi’kmaq nations in…

Coping with life under capitalism: Hope without denial

Like it or not, we all live in a capitalist society, and THAT is hard to deny. The implications of this are multiple, and vary according to the class location of the individuals within the system. If you are Lisa T. Su, the CEO of Advance Micro Devices, your salary for 2020 would have been $58.5 million.

The need for farmworker justice yesterday and today

This is part of a speech given by Cecilia Pérez on Saturday, August 22 on the streets of downtown Olympia as part of the March Against Farmworker Exploitation. Cecilia is a Chicana and the proud daughter of immigrant farm workers from the Yakima Valley in Central WA. She currently lives and works as an RN in Olympia. Her story touches on farmworker justice and the long history of US economic imperialism in Mexico.

Call of Action to the City of Olympia

We celebrate the collective effort of our Olympia community to grow and continue the Black Lives Matter Movement locally. From participating in protests and demonstrations, to donating money and supplies to those on the ground, to the hundreds of meetings and conversations happening to build lasting safety, belonging, and well-being…

The undoing of illusions

Governments have obscenely well-funded intelligence agencies that are literally dedicated to orchestrating secret conspiracies around the world, but if you say they might be conspiring in some part of the world people call you a mentally ill conspiracy theorist. The fact that the Phoenix Program existed is by itself an unassailable argument…

Enough is enough

The Milwaukee Bucks, along with NBA players from Orlando, Houston, Oklahoma, Los Angeles and Portland refused to take the floor for their playoff games last month in protest against the latest police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A white police officer shot a black man named Jacob Blake 7 times in…