May 27th was a sunny Sunday in Sylvester Park. Around 30 community members attended the Spring assembly, and more came in and out to grab things from the really free market. Our facilitators opened up the event with an explanation of Olympia Assembly, and gave a brief summary of our story over the past year and a half. Since we began holding these events, we have made a lot of mistakes, and we are grateful for all the patience, guidance and support we have received from the community. But we are learning together, and have also had some successes – Building community, winning working class victories through Olympia Solidarity Network and holding regular popular education events through our study group. Little by little, we are building people power, and are looking forward what we can do as a community in the coming year. As the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico say, “We walk, not run, because we are going a very long way”. We are glad to be walking with all of you, our neighbors.
News from the Assembly:
We have a new working group: the People’s Medic Collective. Its purpose is to create a new autonomous organization to coordinate downtown workers and experienced medics to provide first aid and overdose prevention. If you are interested in contributing, we will be developing this initiative at the monthly organizing meetings.
Olympia Solidarity Network is growing. We have Evergreen Vista apartments on the run. They have conceded to nearly all of the tenants demands, but are still holding out on providing accessible garbage. OlySol will continue to fight until they comply, and will soon be restructuring and expanding to be able to accommodate more volunteers and campaigns. Rents are going up, and us tenants need to get together, get organized, and fight back against the landlords, bureaucrats and developers who would see us priced out of our homes and our town. Contact OlySolidarity@gmail.com to get involved.
In the next few months there will also be:
- A new project to secure safe camping, lead by houseless activists coming up in the next few months that we will be supporting.
- Radical Parent’s Day: a picnic with fun games for kids and childcare where parents can have a chance to socialize and organize.
- Student organizing around budget cuts and austerity at the Evergreen State College
- Court support mobilization for youth arrested by downtown security forces
Stay tuned for more details. Join us if you want to get involved! We can’t do it on our own. A new project may be proposed and approved by the assembly, but it takes months of dedicated work by volunteer organizers to turn that idea into a reality.
- Poor people’s campaign: Every Monday at 2pm on capitol stairs. 11-1pm: gathering for non violent direct action. Last Monday, 19 people got arrested when they took capitol.
- Camp-in at city hall: every Tuesday from 6pm to 6am: civil disobedience against the criminalization of homelessness. Last year, OA endorsed the sit-in organized by Just Housing.
- Industrial Workers of the World, a radical union for all workers is currently organizing Education, Food Service and Agricultural workers. If you want to organize a union at your job contact email@example.com
- Construction on “mistake on the lake / views on 5th” for luxury condos is not proceeding because it is wrapped up in lawsuit. When will it resume? Will it resume?
- Democratic Socialist of America – creation of public internet campaign, to provide non corporate internet. To get things changed locally, we need to build our own internet everywhere:
- First Project: OlyMesh! An alternative, free and cooperative internet composed of hacked wireless routers. Workshop on how to build OlyMesh: every Thursday 4-7pm- at OLYMEGA. Donations of openWRT-compatible wifi routers appreciated.
If you would like to help develop these or other projects, come to Olympia Assembly monthly organizing meetings,
Every 3rd Sunday at Mixx96 Community Room 5-7pm
119 Washington St. NE
There are great things in the works, but to change the world (or just this town) it’s going to take all of us. See you again soon.