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Help Oly Assembly go the Fearless Cities NYC!

Olympia Assembly has been asked to present at the Fearless Cities municipalist summit in New York City (along with PNW municipalist groups Seattle NAC, Demand Utopia, the Portland Metro People’s Coalition and Portland Assembly). We are sending two organizers to share our work and bring back resources for our community that will help us grow stronger as a movement. Please donate to their GoFundMe so that the trip will not present a financial hardship for them, and so that they can make the most of their trip! (And expect a great reportback once they return)

https://www.gofundme.com/help-bring-nw-organizing-to-nyc

“The institutions of the old world are failing us. Everywhere we turn private interests are trumping the public good and now, more than ever, our rights are under attack. Luckily, a growing global movement of municipalism is paving the way for REAL solutions to the problems of equity, inclusion and justice.

Municipalism is a program for local self-governing  – a means to create the commons and publicly owned and directed institutions. It can take many forms but it centers the feminization of political leadership, self-government by the residents of cities and towns and social ecology/Just Transitions. It is unabashedly anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist and anti-neoliberal… and it works!

You can see municipalism in full, victorious effect in places like Barcelona, Spain , Richmond, California , Jackson, Mississippi and Rojava, Syria . In these places, residents are self-organizing – forming coalitions, engaging in mass education and using the tools of modern technology to make direct democracy accessible and attractive. They’re electing women, POC and LGBTQIA+ members to office, seizing power at the neighborhood, local and regional levels, and winning protections for everything from renter’s rights to free education.

This global municipalist movement met for the first time at the Fearless Cities Summit in Barcelona in June 2017, at the invitation of Barcelona En Comú, with the goal of radicalizing democracy, feminizing politics and standing up to the far right. The Summit saw over 700 mayors, local councilors and activists from every continent share experiences and take the first steps to working as a global network.
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This year, Fearless Cities  is holding decentralized conferences throughout the world, with the North America conference being held in NYC at the end of July . The goal of the conference is to continue to strengthen this growing global network and to share best practices of municipalist movement building.

We’re a group of activists, organizers, culture-jammers and rabble-rousers that have been fervently organizing around municipalism in the Pacific Northwest since the elections in 2016. In Portland, Oregon, Olympia and Seattle, Washington, our organizations are working to create a municipalist framework that will help us see huge gains for the working class and traditionally marginalized folk over the coming years.

Our presentation on multi-pronged municipalism in the NW has been approved and we’ve done all that we can to ensure that our panel and workshop is informative, receptive, and diverse. We plan to share our stories with attendees and also to workshop with them to learn what challenges and successes we share, how we can strengthen our work and to form relationships that will help us build power together.

We’ve secured a scholarship for one of our five panel members to cover travel expenses and registration, but we’re hoping to create a buffer for the other four of us to attend without taking too much of a personal hit. Each of us actively dedicates our lives to the unpaid service of helping to make the PNW and the world a better place. We are thrilled to be able to share our work with conference participants from all over North America, but we cannot afford to do it alone.

Every little bit helps and every contribution is considered an expression of support for the work we do to transform the status quo and dismantle the powers that be. We thank you SO much for any help you can offer and we promise to report back on what we learn and how it will inform and propel our causes forward.

Thank you, thank you – a million times, thank you!

In Solidarity and with Ridiculous Revelry,

Adriane Ackerman
Portland-Metro People’s Coalition
Tyler Bee
Portland Assembly  + Demand Utopia!
Paige Corallo
Olympia Solidarity Network  + Olympia Assembly
Reed Ingalls
Seattle Neighborhood Action Council  + Olympia Assembly  +                                                                                          Demand Utopia
Ami Sommariva
Demand Utopia
Antonio Zamora
OccupyICEpdx “

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Report from the Spring Assembly, May 27th 2018

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.

Community Announcements

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 organize@olympiaiww.com
  4. 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?
  5. 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:
    1. 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.

 

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What is housing for?

Housing is the thing that is on everyone’s mind lately.

“Will I be able to stay in my house? What if the landlord raises the rent or finds a reason to evict us?”
“What if my mortgage goes bad or I can’t pay? What if the police/local business owners decide to evict my tent camp or van?”
“Where will we go? What will we do?”

The reason for this anxiety and confusion is because our society has two contradicting ideas of what housing should be for:

The first is as a place to live. Shelter and warmth. A place to feel safe, raise your family and call home.

And the second is as an investment. A way to make money. A commodity. Something to flip, buy, sell, rent, speculate on and develop.

These two ideas about housing cannot coexist without creating misery and insecurity for the majority of people.

We think houses should be for living in, and freely available to all.

If you need help standing up to the people who believe in housing as a commodity you should contact Olympia Solidarity Network and start talking to your neighbors about fighting back.

To quote from a popular young adult fantasy series: “neither can live while the other survives”. The contradiction must resolve itself if we are to have peace and stability in our lives.

Which side are you on?

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Planning for a Just Transition

Out-Growing Capitalism

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For transformative ideas to take root, there must be a plan for a plan that makes the goals explicitly known. This serves 3 main functions

  1. A roadmap for organizers to measure their progress against
  2. A starting place for the education of the newly radicalized/activated
  3. A common program shared between radicals of diverse organizations dedicated to realizing different components of this vision

This is especially crucial to the success of long-term revolutionary organizing which seeks to alter society at the institutional and cultural level (instead of only focusing on immediate reforms, campaigns or insurrections)

The Jackson-Kush Plan

The best current example of this today is the Jackson-Kush plan, developed over a decade or more through the intensive study of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) for the bioregion centered around Jackson, Mississippi. From this plan, numerous organizations have been developed, leading to a more advanced/matured arena of political struggle for liberation…

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