Counter Point Journal (October 2010)


Counter Point Journal (October 2010)
October 2010
CxPJ Collective
extracted text
Counter Point Joar
October 2010

Volume 3 Issue 1


A few
words on
The issue you're holding is the first
edition of the third year of the Counter Point Journal. There have been
some good issues and some bad issues, more or less corresponding to
how things were going on in our
collective. Since we're off to a fresh
start this year, we thought we'd share
some of what's been going on in the
CxPJ collective and explain why we
feel like the project slid downhill
last year. There are some lessons we
gleaned from the experience that we
think will help us move forward in
our effort to create a forum for information and ideas that affect us as
members of the Evergreen and Olympia communities.
The collective circa spring 2009
was a standard Oly collective: people
came together with common ideas
for a project, had no formal structure and did their work with a loose
"consensus" model. The things that
set it apart were that it was a group
that was initially mostly women and
people of color, the group as a whole
was made up of radicals not in the
anarchist scene, and that it had to
create a concrete product in a short
So we finished our first year feeling pretty good about ourselves and
dec1 e pretty qU1 y hat we were
going to commit to doing the paper
again in the fall. The dynamics of
the group changed, though, when
two collective members moved away
and another was less interested in
continuing. Some new people joined,
which was awesome, but since
we had previously been a group
of friends just exploring what we
could accomplish, we had no formal
structure for how to make decisions,
and no spelled out roles (like editorin-chief, treasurer, advertising, etc).
The result was that every issue was
created ad hoc, so new people often
felt overwhelmed when we couldn't
tell them exactly how things worked
and instead expected them to somehow just jump in.
Furthermore, we'd never articulated our political perspective, since
the founding members shared pretty similar views, so more than a few
times there was confusion regarding what Counter Point was supposed
to be about and what kinds of stories we were going to run. With our
membership in flux, we struggled to
establish a shared understanding of
what purpose the Counter Point served
and what was newsworthy to us.
In terms of the work that had to
be done, things started to get a little,
shall we say, fucked up? The women
and people of color in the collective often took on a disproportionate amount of work, making sure
the paper would actually be produced (editing, layout, finance, "shit
work"). We also took on a website,
which was not accessible to most
members of the cQllective and would,
from time to time, post things that
not everyone had agreed upon. It's
no surprise that after a few months
of this, people started leaving the
If in the fall we felt like we were
slowing down, by winter the collective was at a near standstill. Because
we had never worked out our structure and created roles, we never succeeded in having a real fundraiser.

A FEW WORDS continued on page 5

Biomass protest at Evergreen

It Isn't Easy Being Green

Biomass, Sustainable Energy, and the Year 2020
by C.V. Rotondo

"The Evergreen State College will be a laboratory for sustainability as demonstrated
in our operations, curriculum, and quality of life for employees and students. We
will nurture values and practical skills
that motivate a lifetime commitment to a
sustainable, intergenerationally just way
of living on a healthy planet.''
-Evergreen's Vision for a Sustainable Future, available at the college's
While residents of the Gulf Coast
face the aftermath of yet another
ecological disaster, the people of

Pakistan demand more aid after un-

had to wait, knee-deep in the debris

on natural gas, highlights the com-

organize against a biomass incinera-

aid to reac them?

taina i ity into practice.

tor proposed for Shelton, members
of the Evergreen and Olympia community wrestle with solutions to
climate change. You may ask: What
do these things have to do with a
biomass facility at Evergreen? A great
deal. Shelton is the poorer, rural community next door, without a college
or the state capitol to buoy its economy. Why does the larger, dirtier
biomass incinerator get built there?
The same questions can be asked of
the situations in the Gulf and Pakistan. Would Obama have squatted on
a beach in Martha's Vineyard shaking his head as oil crept up the sand?
Would people in Palm Beach have

·Maybe it's easier to rescue Martha's Vineyard and Palm Beach for
reasons purely practical, like terrain and accessibility. Unfortunately,
there are no simple ·answers in the
world of global capitalism. Iraq and
Afghanistan contain seemingly inaccessible terrain, but the "war on
terror'' finds a way. So what makes
the revival of the Gulf and aid for
Pakistan such a challenge for the advanced capitalist world? Maybe for
the same reasons it isn't easy being
"green" at Evergreen.
The struggle over a proposed biomass gasification facility, intended
to reduce the college's dependence

The story of Evergreen's biomass
facility begins with gasification
technology, discovered in the nineteenth century. Simply put, material is heated in an oxygen-deprived
environment to prevent combustion, which produces a gas that can
be burned to produce energy. Unlike a direct burn, gasification creates what's called a synthesis gas or
"syn-gas" from carbonaceous material. This syn-gas is burned directly
or liquefied for future burning, to
generate heat or electricity.

BIOMASS continued on page 4

Cops in the Classroom: from Pedagogy to Oppression
To documents obtained through a

public records request made by the
American Civil Liberties Union of
Washington a strange exchange is
revealed. On March 13th, 2007 a former Masters of Public Administration adjunct faculty named Steve D.
Johnson copied and forwarded on to
tQ.eWashington State Patrol (WSl?)
a post on TESC Crier advertising a
Match 15th anti-war protest at the
Port of Tacoma rallying against use
of ports for military shipments.
This daytime protest, planned as
a mock funeral mourning the departure of a ship laden with weapons and supplies headed for the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was
called for by Port Militarization Resistance and Olympia Iraq Veterans
. Against the War. Statements in the
call-to-action such as "Wear mourning clothes, bring many flowers to
honor the victims" and "The Ship
is gone and it is now time to mourn
those who have died and those that
will," seem questionable as to the
necessity of this faculty alerting the
Washington State Patrol. But this is
also where a seemingly simple situ~
ation of an overly paranoid adjunct
faculty takes on a different•

Included in the members of the
WSP that Johnson forwarded the
TESC Crier announcement to is a
WSP patrolman also named Steven
Johnson. A look at the payroll for
Evergreen and the
Washington State Patrol shows a Steve D.
Johnson listed in both
for the 1,007 pay period. While Steven D.
Johnson could not be
located for comment,
a bio of Washington
State Patrol Lieu tenant Steven D. Johnson
contained in the WSP
newsletter, "Inside
Out", from October
2009 states that Lieutenant Johnson received his BA and
his Masters in Public .Adntinistration from Evergreen, the same department in which the adjunct faculty Johnson was employed.
Further lending credence that
Lieutenant Johnson and Professor
Johnson are one and the same, the
subject of the email forwarded to
WSP was shonand informal enough
to imply previous communications,
containing only the phrase "FYI",
with no further reasons given for

why this TESC Crier announcement may have been of interest to
the State Patrol. It would seem that
if a faculty felt it necessary to forward a TESC Crier announcement
of a mock funeral to the State Patrol
they would have, at
least., included some
contextualizing statemen ts of why they
felt this information
needed to be
brought to the
State Pa- tr o l's
attention. The October 2009 "Inside
Out" newsletter also
contains some further
interesting information on Lieutenant
Johnson. Beginning
his employment with WSP in 1986
and transfet1fag to District 1, Olympia on January 17, 2005, Lt. Johnson
received numerous protnotions and
awards. Included among these is a
commendation for "outstanding
response to a riot situation" and
a Chief's Coin for "actions during
a civil disturbance at the Port of
While adjunct faculty Johnson
appears to have broken no criminal
laws by removing a message from

a-closed college community listserv, there are a few points of Evergreen policy that this action cou.ld
be violating. Besides the effect such
actions could have on cooling political speech on campus, there are also
dearly laid policies for Evergreen
under the "Appropriate Use of Information Technology .Resources".
These college policy guidelines
state that "the college (which indudes faculty and staff] has a responsibility to treat information
about, and information stored by,
the system's users in a manner that
respects both user privacy and the
V'alue of that information!'
The policy further prohibits any
use of college resources, and specifically TESC Crier, for the purpose of,
"personal gain or financial profit",
defining personal gain as, "Any use
o{Tesources that is associated with
receiving a financial profit is considered a personal gain. The profit does
not need to be direct." By using colJegeresourcessuch asafacultyemail
and TESC Crier in furtherance of an
outside, wage-paying job, Johnson
may be violating State and College
ethics laws by using his position and
resources as faculty to accomplish
his job as a Washington State Patrol

2-Counter Point Journal

TheCounterpointJoumar (OtPJ)
isacotlective of Evergreen students,
staff. and alumni who publish an
independent, alternative newspaper.
The paper rs designed as a space for
voices, issues, and analysis silenced
or marginalized by mainstream
media in our community. Originally a
direct response to the questionable
policies ofEvergreen•s campus
newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal
(~Pflt the CXPI has expanded jt$
coverage and readership beyond the
coDegethrough two years ofquality
We accepuubmisslon ofarticles
that deal with timely, relevant, and
local issues. We specifically seek
submissions based on research and
ind1,1de interviews with folks directly
a~d by the issue being discussed.
We also accept photography, poetry,
art, and other creative works.
Submit original work to

org. Contact us with questions
orwmmentsat~t.acw~ ,,..

October 201 o



In their April 2010, Special Water
Edition, National Geographic Magazine announced its formal commitment "to explore the World of Water."
Marked in the "Editor's Note" this
proclamation was officially enacted
with the appointment of Sandra
Postel as the Society's first National
Geographic Freshwater Fellow. "The
initiative she heads will not only
educate, it will 'reshape how people
and communities think about, use,
and manage fresh water. It will provide the tools to enable individuals,
corporations, and communities to
become part of the solution.'" But
what needs reshaping? Aren't water
issues pretty straight forward? If
you're thirsty, drink some. Flipping
through the pages of the National
Geographic Special Water Edition,
one begins to get the picture; mixed
in with articles focusing on water
scarcity in Africa and breath taking
images of large bodies of water, pristine aquifers, and holy water rituals,
are advertisements from Pepsi Cola, .
Monsanto, and large pharmaceutical
companies like Bayer. It seems at the
very least ironic and, to me, flat-out
tasteless to read eye- catching phrases like "Sacred Waters" or "Water is
Life" and then see the very companies responsible for water pollution ·
and water supply land grabs portrayed as concerned corporate citizens. Interestingly enough, I recently
discovered a previous National Geographic Special Water Edition published in 1993. In that edition there
are no advertisements and the focus
was entirely on the United States' water supply and the big ticket, technocrat friendly water projects. Images
of huge dams, manmade lakes and
large networks of piping and tunnels
fill those pages. In that introduction
by the editor, the problem of water is
chalked up to population and indi-

vidual use; it seems that the context
was missing then, as well as a critical
perspective which has only grown to
now be co-opted by the marketing
trend of "going green."
Within the past several decades,
humanity's relationship to water
has changed dramatically and the
world is facing some pretty dire
conseqvences. According to leading water justice attivists, such a
Maude Barlow, the world is facing
two synergistic crises around water.

Aren't water issues pretty
straight forward? If you're
thirsty, drink some.

other sources of water, sources that
are often compromised and contaminated. In the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade - the precursor to
the World Trade Organization - water was listed as a "good" that can be
traded and exported. This is to say
that a shift has occurred in the way
that we view water and its supply.
Suddenly water moved from a common resource that should be provided at a minimum cost to citizens by
governments to its modern Neoliberal progeny of being a "good" that
can be sold for a profit by private
corporations with legal impunity to
whoever can afford it. Furthermore,
now there are powerful cartels of
Corporations, Trade Agencies, World
Banks, and their NGO's that are solidifying their strangle hold on large
bodies of water. With desalination
plants (plants that treat salt water
and produce freshwater), large dams,
treatment plants, bottling plants,
and new infrastructure popping up
around the world, water has become
a multi-billion dollar industry.
Here in Olympia the issue of water revolves around: providing water (supplying), the building and
maintenance of infrastructure, securing viable sources, extrapolating
future demand, treating waste water,
and restoring water sources along
with conservation education. It is
important to keep in mind that as
water use goes, 70% of freshwater is
•used for agriculture. If there is to be
comprehensive change in water use,
we must address the commercial
agriculture complex's use of water.
Industry makes up another 20% of
water use (i.e. coal burning power
plants, fracking, mineral extraction,
etc.) leaving 10% for personal use_.

For one, the world is running out of
fresh water. While freshwater is not
a completely finite source (since it is
replenished by the global hydrologic
cycle) it is a limited one. Only 3% of
the water on Earth is freshwater and
more than 2% of that is locked away
in glaciers, leaving less than 1% to be
used by the entirety of humanity for
agriculture, industry, and personal
use. The water sources that we do
have are becoming increasingly polluted. Phrases like "Peak Water'' are
already being used to describe this
problem and professionals like Peter
Gleick are leading the way. Second,
more and more people are living
without access to clean water; something like 1 out of every 8 people on
earth lack access to clean water and
it's estimated that 10 million people
die every year from water-borne diseases. But more than water-borne
diseases, water can be contaminated
by radioactive particles (Hello nuclear power plant) and any one of the
500,000 man-made chemicals. Both
of these crises are compounded by
the growing economy of water.
But what happens when
In January of 1992, the United Nawater is sold? Well, nothing
tions officially cited water as an "ecofor
those that can afford it.
nomic good." Like coffee or tea, water
became a commodity, and like other
commodities, Wall Street Indexes
This column isn't about helping
were formed and water-for-profit you make better consumer choices
was internationally legitimized. But - although I hope it does. It's about
what happens when water is sold? informing and encouraging you
Well, nothing for those that can af- to look at yourself as more than a
ford it. Those that can't must find consumer, to explore what can be

tech - t a I k : i·n st a 11 a t i o n- 0

The editorial collective reserves the
right to question, edit or refuse any
content it receives. The collective will
make, every attempt to consult the
authof(s) in regards to any potential
The Counter Point Journal
is also available online at

CxPJ fogos by Lamise AI-Shawahin

done as an active, concerned, and informed citizen.
One might look around Olympia
and think that water isn't an issue.
After all the Heritage Park Fountain
spews water like Old Faithful and
the Artesian Wells flow 24 hours a
day, year around. As residents of
Thurston County we are very fortunate, we get most of our water from
groundwater aquifers. But even
those water sources are dwindling.
For one, our population is growing
every year (p.s. welcome to all the incoming freshmen). And two, we use
a lot of water. Sometime when you're
free, go downtown to the newly built
Water Education and Technology
(WET) Center on Thurston Ave. and
Adams St. located in the new LOTT
(Lacy, Olympia, Tumwater, Thurston County) Clean Water Alliance's
building; inside you'll find a large
calculator that can help you calculate
your personal water use and compare your water use to County, National and Global water use averages.
I found out I used so gallons a day!
Yeah, no one's perfect and we all start
with informing ourselves. The Water
Column was created as an informational tool, but more than that as a
source to begin the conversations
around water issues here in Olympia.
The LOTT Alliance has acknowledged that over usage of water is an
issue here in Washington. Just thls
past March the Governor's office released a statement that snowpack i
the Washingron Cascade Mountain
Range was more than 25% below average, and because of that the likelihood of a severe drought was greatly
increased. The Governor asked for
additional "relief funds" to be set
aside and allocated to high risk areas and industries. Less snow fall in
the winter means less snowmelt in
spring or just less snow left after the
melt in spring. Which means water
shortages are coming to Olympia.
On a positive note in July of 2010
the United Nations voted to include
Article 31, the right to clean water, in

the Declaration of Human Rights.
People are fighting and some battles
are being won.

searches. In order to improve revenue they recently introduced a new
service: illegally shutting down other organization's web sites via DDOS
attacks (DDOS: "distributed denial
of service; a method of attacking a
computer system by flooding it with
so many messages that it is obliged
to shut down" (according to the po-

it is this very distance that provides the delicate nuance of copyright
Let me tell you a little goddamn stoty the necessary torque to leverage pub- laW). the Mic now takes the George
lic support for fascist legal precedent Walker Bush approach, with rogue
Creation closes doors. That's what on behalf of the MiC and against the tech firms as their Blackwater. While
the Motion Picture Association of freedom of everyone.
the rest of the world Napster'd their ets at
In the month of August, the MPAA
America (MPAA), Recording IndusAs a result of this legal kinship be- way into a warez-topia (warez: a 1337
try Association of America (RIAA), tween world governments and the name for illegal software and such hired Aiplex to attack The Pirate Bay
and the rest of the Media Industrial MiC, copyright laws (copyright: his- (1337: leet, as in leet-speak )(leet: servers at Pirate
Complex (M.i.C.) would have you torically used to denote the owner- elite, as in elite hacker)), these Suits Bay is a very popular and higffly conbelieve. Since the advent of digital ship of certain trade secrets, current- instituted anti-piracy legislation troversial bittorrent indexing site
media, these criminal corporate or- ly bent and misused to denote IP) which instantly criminalized a large (bittorrent: a way to get files from
ganizations have bribed lawmakers, were updated in countries around percentage of the internet popula- teh internetz). They have been inbullied information services compa- the world to protect ideas, artistry, tion (piracy: "a too benign term that volved in many copyright and licensnies, extorted the American public and logos. Unfortunately and not doesn't even begin to adequately de- ing lawsuits and have been exposed
and sued and imprisoned those who unexpectedly, these laws, while pro- scribe the toll that music theft takes" to a number of raids by Swedish authorities. Even still, they continue
they deem criminal.
tecting the rights of the MiC, tram- (according to the RIAA)).
This in the name of protecting pled the rights of individuals and
Case in point: consider Aiplex, a to operate, calling themselves "the
the alleged rights of their clientele: smaller organizations who wanted company which specializes in medi- most resilient bittorrent site" on the
musicians and filmmakers etc. The to have ideas or make art. This cal billing transcription and making internet.
rights in question are property sparked a world-wide debate sur- websites appear better in Google
► TECH continued on page 8
rights, and the property in question rounding copyright law. "Should the
is "Intellectual Property'' (IP), an ill- 'pataphor of property be extended to
defined term. In 2008, Congress cre- include ideas, artistry, and logos?"
ated the Prioritizing Resources and the infosphere queried. ('pataphor:
Organization for Intellectual Proper- a pseudo-analogy used to demarcate
ty Act as a means of promoting their that which lies beyond the realm of
definition of this term, one that sides
rather squarely with that of the MiC. There is a huge distance
According to Victoria Espinel, IntelM IF YOO BUY DRM-LOO<ED ~OIA,
between a logo and the
lectual Property Enforcement CoorANO
YOO EVER Swl1CH ~NG 5fmns
dinator at the White_House, "Intel- abstract concepts which
OR NE\J 11:'.CHt.k:>LOG'r' COl'l£5 ~c»-JG,
lectual property are [sic) the ideas
give life to inventions and
Yex>R COU.. fenc,J CGUD BE LaST.
behind inventions, the artistry that
art. Namely that one is a
goes into books and music, and the
At-ID IF V()) 1RY TO l<EEP rr, Ya)'U..
beautiful and complex funclogos of companies whose brands we
BE A CR\l'\IN/lt. ( tJtl'>C,A l201).
tion exclusive to the human
have come to trust."
consciousness and the other
There is a huge distance between a
is a fucking corporate logo.
company logo and the abstract concepts which give life to inventions
HEY, YOO°i.L 8c A CR1"'\~ E1T>iER WAY.
and art, namely that one is a beauti- metaphor)
ful and complex function exclusive
In recent months, this debate
to the human consciousness and the reached a new level of violence. •
other is a fucking corporate logo. But Once a cabal of Suits sophisticating


October 201 o


Anti·immi_grant bill
might emigrate

by Anna Simonton and Charlie Hicks
Ever since last April when Arizona
Governor, Jan Brewer, signed into
law the most overtly racist piece of
legislation since the pre-Civil Rights
Movement era, thousands of people
across the U.S. have been mobilizing
to resist SB 1070. The bill requires
police officers in Arizona to demand
documentation from anyone they
suspect of being an "illegal" immigrant, and arrest anyone who fails
to immediately provide proof of
citizenship. The bill was closely followed by the passage of an equally
outrageous new law: HB 2281, which
banned ethnic studies classes in Arizona state schools.
Three days before Brewer signed
SB 1070, nine students were arrested
for chaining themselves to the Arizona State capitol in protest. That
was only the beginning. Alto Arizona, an organization that formed in
response to the new racist laws, de-

dared the summer of 2010 "Arizona
Human Rights Summer," named
to draw connections with the "Mississippi Freedom Summer," of the
Civil Rights Movement. The summer started with a 100,000-person
march in Phoenix, the arrival in
Washington of the Trail of Dreams
students - four undocumented students who walked from Florida to
Washington D. C. to demand justice
for immigrants - and hundreds of
solidarity events all over the country.
In July, the Justice Department filed
a lawsuit challenging SB 1070. The
lawsuit could be a huge step towards
achieving justice on this particular
issue, but ultimately it's up to us and
our communities to reclaim political
power and define justice ourselves.
To this end, the struggle continues.
As we follow the news in Arizona,
it is crucial to understand that SB
1070 was not created by the Arizona

State Legislature alone. 'It was originally drafted by the Federation for
American Immigration Reform, an
organization that the Southern
Poverty Law Center designated as
a hate group. FAIR's intention is
to see the bill reproduced in other
states and one of their employees,
attorney Kris Kobach, gets paid to
draft copycat bills for that purpose.
Washington is one state that is likely to see such legislation in the near
future, as it is home to two anti-immigrant organizations that share a
P.O Box with FAIR.
The CxPJ is printing this flowchart to illustrate the connections
between what's happening in Arizona and the potential for the same
thing to happen in our own state.
If we can stay informed about who
is involved in this scary shit, we'll
have a better chance of keeping our
state safe for everyone.








·- ·8''

Artwork by Melanie Cervantes

SB 1070

-Arizona State Senator
-Rep. for Maricopa County
(District 15), highest income
area in Arizona.

From Arizona to Washington State

Wrote SB 1070

-Works for the Immigration Reform Law lnstit., the
public interest law affiliate of the Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
-Worked at De t. of Justice under J. Ashcroft on
border security from 2001-3.

Sponsered S81070
Arizona Legistlature
three want...

-Oversaw design and immplimentation of
tracking system of foriegn nationals from particular nations.
-Running for Sec. of State in Kansas

Florida Rep. William Snyder now
wants a similar law in Florida.

Tennessee Senate passed
resolution supporting 581070

To propose a measure in 2012 making
Arizona the first state to stop the practice
of allowing citizenship to children born in
the U.S. to undocumented parents.

For Arizona bill to be a "model law"
which other states will follow.

Federation for American Immigration Reform

- 250,000 supporters
- Regularly invited to testify before Congress.
- Recieved funding from the Pioneer Fund, founded in
1932 to fund research of eugenics and racial differences in
- Designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate
group"for its stance on immigration.
- Close ties to anti-Latino, anti-Catholic, and white nationalist groups such as: Council of Conservative Citizens, the
National Policy Institute, and The Occidental Quarterly"
and "American Renaissanse" (Wayne Lutton)

National network of grass-roots subgroups.

Washingtonians for Immigrations Reform
Endorses & financially supports canidates for public office.

- Opposes any amnesty program.
- Opposes bi-lingual education in primary schools.
- Opposes ESL classes for undocumented immigrants.
- Opposes printing ballots in any language besides English.
- Wants State & local law enforcement to enforce immigration law.
- Wants Federal law changed to maked illegal entry a crimal offense.
- Wants State legislature to require all public officals, including
judges, to report any information they gather on immigration.
"Immigration challenges our need for population control since
most illegals have higher fertility rates than our native populations:'

Art by Scott Young

Respect Washington, Inc.
Pushing Initiative Measure No. 1056 which would ...
- Make WA State Patrol officers ICE officers.
- Outlaw Sanctuary Cities.
- Require all employers to use E-Verify, including Non-Profits
ar:id unions offering "employment services''.
- Require proof of citizenship to obtain drivers licenses.
- Require proof of citizenship to obtain public services, including
WA lottery winnings.
- Require local police to enforce federal immigration law.
Signatures for this measure are due in by July 2nd

4-Counter Point Journal

October 201 o

tested in Shelton. Olympia Rising trality) depends on where you draw findings of the Washington State explains that people claimed calcu► BIOMASS continued from page 1
Tide has been building alliances your box and what you consider your Department of Ecology. (http://www. lating carbon neutrality was compliThe by-product, called "char," is a with organizers there, together turn- boundaries. If you just think of Ever- ecy. cated, based on the time of harvest
soil supplement according to Ever- ing out 75 people for a protest at the green and we're burning wood from for/091907FORpolicyoptions.pdf)
and carbon sequestration rates over
green's website. The technology was Olympic Region Clean Air Agency outside, we're doing great because
Despite the unanswered ques- time. But he has come to a decision
first applied to streetlamps fueled by (ORCAA) in Olympia in early Sep- we're not cutting down anything. tions about carbon neutrality and of his own. "I finally came to the concoal. Wood gasification was devel- tember.
Are we going to be nai:ve and just sustainable forestry, Morgan is op- clusion: it doesn't matter. If we burn
oped during WWII, when Finland
Ffeiffer calls the biomass project look at the campus? I don't think we timistic about-the project. "The ex- fuel from a sustainable forest and
and Denmark were cut off from their an "incinerator,'' rather than gas- should. I think we need to look at citing thing is biomass gasification the growth rate exceeds the harvest
external oil supplies and they turned ifier, because companies who build the whole picture." Major questions is a the energy model; a shift rate, it's sustainable. It's the carbon
to their forests for fuel.
these facilities "will always fight the about ~at picture, a~cording to both away from extractive forms of energy. •cycle: we're putting carbon back at
language of incinerator, because in- opponents and advocates, are where Right now our energy is extracted in the rate we're using it." This is the
"I think people have realized
cinerator sounds bad. Incinerators the wood comes from and how those Wyoming, British Colombia and Al- logic that Rasmussen and Pfeiffer see
combust material to generate heat forests are managed.
berta and we've got no connection as intrinsically flawed. But Washingthat to make this project go
or energy. A gasification facility does
These crucial questions are unan- with those people. And in Wyoming ton State Law supports this underthrough, it has to be 'green.'
that in a particular way." This, in swered. Debate continues, within there.are some serious impacts now standing of the carbon cycle, saying
We can't lie about being
Pfeiffer's estimation, makes incinera- the research group and in the com- from the extraction processes. We biomass emissions in the form of
'green.' And I think there's
tors and gasifiers equally damaging munity, over how to define "sustain- have no connection with that. Bio- "fuel wood, wood waste, wood byto the environment. College engi- able forestry." According to Dani mass gasification is the kind of mod- products, and wood residuals,'' are
more and more support for
neer Rich Davis says that "incinera- Madrone, coordinator of the Clean el where we can get our energy from not considered greenhouse gases "as
tor'' connotes eliminating waste, not Energy Committee (CEC) and Stu- someone down the road." So who long as the region's sequestration
producing heat. "I have objected to dent Sustainability Coordinator, the will that "someone down the road" capacity is maintained or increased."
Though biomass gasifiers can be the characterization of slash as waste uncertainties of forestry certification be?
fueled by bamboo, other grasses, and and describing the Evergreen proj- complicate the issue. "The most reMadrone views the biomass proj- aspx?cite,=70.235.020)
municipal waste (trash), proponents
Based on Pfeiffer's research, Everof Evergreen's biomass project plan
green staff are actively supporting
to utilize local wood. For reasons of
future laws, such as House Bill 2481
climate and land availability, fuel
(HB 2481) ( such as bamboo or another
grass wouldn't work for Evergreen.
that would enable the biomass projMorgan's research leads him to be- .
ect. The bill would, among other
lieve that.if the college's project can
things, enable the DNR to enter
utilize a waste stream, the model
15 year contracts with operators of
will work, that is, be carbon neutral
biomass projects costing at least so
and save money on energy. If you
have to grow your own fuel, such as
"Biomass is capital's answer to
bamboo or other grasses, "it's kind
the climate crisis."
of a wash," Morgan explains. For
Evergreen's calculations to work out,
million dollars as well as maintain
especially concerning carbon neuaccess to wood for existing biomass
trality, the wood has to be "slash," or
facilities when it deems Qecessary.
leftovers, from a local, sustainable
"Evergreen staff have done a number
forestry operation. But opponents of
of things that make it clear they're
the project claim these calculations
very intent on this project," says
are flawed, saying there is no such loPfeiffer. "One is testifying to the
cal, sustainable source of waste wood
Senate Ways and Means Committee
for the plant.
aboutDNRregulations that support
Matt Pfeiffer is a student and
biomass." He went on to quote the
member of Olympia Rising Tide, a
college's statement. "Evergreen bechapter of Rising Tide North Amerlieves that the passage of House Bill
ica, "a grassroots network of groups
2481 would provide the DNR with
and individuals who take direct
tools necessary to become a major
Boiler Control Panel atthe Evergreen utilities plant. The panel is soon to be replaced with a state of the art electric system.
action to confront the root causes
player in the biomass industry and
of climate change and promote lo- ect as an incinerator because it is an cent certification Evergreen has been ect as one that "can support local, potential partner with Evergreen as
cal, community-based solutions to opportunity to elicit an emotional looking into is the Forest Steward- non-corporate landowners who are we move forward to construct our
the climate crisis." (www.risingtide- response from those not familiar ship Council (FSC). There are con- practicing sustainable forestry." She biomass gasification project." (http:// with combustion technologies." The cerns about the FSC internationally. and Morgan both mentioned sup- According to Pfeiffer, "A lot differences and similarities between When you have an international cer- porting the local economy and Mor- relations/2010/02/27/senate-ways-meansof homage is paid to the fact that this Evergreen's project and the facility tification, that's going to happen. In- gan elaborated. "We've had some hears-biomass-bill/)
will all be waste wood but there is re- in Shelton are.major points of con- dustry gets in there." As analogy, she really good conversations with the
Rich Davis says Evergreen needs
ally good evidence that says there is tention.
compares this to the USDA's organic Northwest Natural Resource Group to do more than meet regulations
not enough waste wood within the
Masters in Environmental Science certification.
and the Department of Natural Re- to make the project work. "If we
timber industry to supply the bio- (MES) faculty member Kathleen Saul
"At the farmer's market you can sources (DNR) who are really excited just take the federal view: all slash
mass incinerator." Pat Rasmussen, recently worked on a case study of find local, family-owned farms and about this because they see a lot of is renewable, and we pti.t it in our
an Olympia activist with World Tem- biomass technology for the Native you can go to their land to see how small landowners in the forest busi- process, I think we're subject to critiperate Rainforest Network, a group Cases Institute and is involved in re- their food is grown. They're USDA ness right now who are failing and cism. And I don't like that. I want the
of First Nations, organizations, in- searching biomass at Evergreen. She certified organic. Coca-Cola also their communities are failing, and folks in the middle who are asking
dividuals and scientists, "who care emphasized the difference between has USDA certified organic prod- •they have nothing to turn to." In questions and thinking to support
about the future of temperate rain- Evergreen's project and the one in ucts, but you can't track down where Morgan's mind, these "small land- what we do." He says opposition to
forests and those who live within Shelton. "I wanted to point out that their ingredients come from, they're owners" would be the people sup- the project has honed the group:S
them." ( the project going on in Shelton is distributed all over the world. Here plying fuel for a new energy model commitment to sustainable forestry.
about.htm) agrees. She cites eleven going to burn wood products, but you have a certification that certifies at Evergreen. But the debate over "The criticism that's occurred has
biomass incinerators in various they're not creating a fuel. It's a re- both ends of the spectrum, but the sustainable forestry goes on and its sharpened us. It's made arguments
stages of permitting that propose to ally different beast, so I want people difference is I can go to the farm and outcome could define the college's about where this fuel comes from
use forest resources (trees) from the to separate the two in their minds. see for myself that the practices are goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.
stronger and clearer." Not only that,
Olympic Peninsula, which amounts They're different processes, the end good."
What would it mean to be carbon but "it's brought more people in line
to 2.75 million tons of woodchips per results are different, and people are
neutral? According to Matt Pfeiffer, with the idea that the source of fuel
year. (Based on a map compiled by PT getting them confused." With the
"Carbon neutral is not emitting any is important." Dani Madrone still
"Are we going to be
Airwatchers in Port Townsend: http:// struggle in Shelton ongoing, procarbon, as opposed to carbon posi- questions the carbon neutrality of
na'ive and just look at the
ponents of the Evergreen plant are
tive, which would mean you're ab- biomass, while affirming Evergreen's
campus? I don't think we
Pfeiffer sees the construction of hard-pressed to paint a positive picsorbing more carbon than you emit. commitment to sustainability.
biomass facilities as a trend in false ture. The alleged differences aren't
should. I think we need to
For example, solar panels and wind
"I can't say, yes, it will be carbon
solutions to climate change pro- enough for Rasmussen, who makes
turbines. Other than the start-up neutral because I'm still learning the
look at the whole picture.''
posed by the logging arid energy in- clear, "Biomass burning is not carcosts needed to build them and basic science," says Madrone. "But it's very
bon neutral, whether in a gasificaWhether forestry practices are maintenance, they are carbon neu- clear that Evergreen does not sup"Biomass burning is not
tion unit or mass burner." She refer- "good" or not is beside the point in tral." He's critical of biomass gasifi- port clearcutting." Clearcutting is
carbon neutral, whether in
ences the "assumption" that biomass the mind of Rasmussen. In opposi- cation as a way to reach this goal, cit- the procees of cutting all the trees in
was carbon neutral, discredited by tion to biomass at Evergreen and ing scientists who question the claim an area every given number of years,
a gasification unit or mass
the Environmental Protection Agen- in Shelton, Rasmussen emphasizes that biomass is carbon neutral.
then replanting to start the process
cy (EPA), who agreed to no longer the critical role Pacific Northwest
Qµoted in Rising Tide literature, over. In the case of Green Diamond
exempt reporting of CO2 emissions forests play in carbon sequestration William Sammons, MD and pedia- Resource Comyany, a lumber cordustries. He sees the current boom from biomass plants in May 2010.
and how that role will be affected by trician in Massachusetts, opposes poration that lauds itself as "green,"
in incinerator construction as a push
Evergreen's research team main- biomass facilities. "The temperate biomass facilities from Florida to In- this practice is called "even-aged
by these industries to replace coal. tains that their project can be carbon rainforests of the Pacific Northwest diana. Sammons says biomass is not management." Madrone goes on to
"A lot of coal plants have started co- neutral and Rich Davis claims to be have higher carbon densities than carbon neutral because ''burning re- describe "conversion,'' a process she
firing wood chips with coal because taking the allegation of "greenwash- any other type of forest, anywhere leases carbon dioxide (CO2) in min- claims is worse than clearcutting.
you don't need a major alteration to ing" seriously. "I think people have in the world. Conserving these for- utes but the CO2 won't be re-sequesthe plant," he explains. Pfeiffer and realized that to make this project ests for the carbon they hold and will tered for centuries: Burning biomass "My responsibility here is to
the other members of Rising Tide la- go through, it has to be green,'' he sequester in corning years is a real will accelerate climate change, not
make sure we are able to
bel biomass "greenwashing" because explains. "We can't lie about being solution to climate change. Since de- help,'' according to a handout from
it is "a really easy solution for the fos- green. And I think there's more and forestation causes 18% of greenhouse Rising Tide. Proponents of the proj- make a completely informed
decision and we can't do
sil fuel industry, which can say: 'this more support for that." Whether the gas emissions, avoiding deforesta- ect maintain they can make biomass
is renewable,' and 'this gets us away proposed biomass gasification plant tion is a highly cost-effective way of carbon neutral through sustainable
that without including the
from foreign oil.' This is pretty de- is another "greenwashed" solution reducing greenhouse gas emissions forestry.
opposing voices.''
ceitful, since cutting at the rate we of the logging and energy industries and has the potential to offer signifi"I can't tell you how many hours
are now, it's not renewable and we're or a move towards carbon neutrality cant reductions fairly quickly - no I've spent trying to figure out where "This is when someone who owns
decimating our forests." The most has depends your framework accord- new technology has to be developed." the fuel supply needs to come from land for forestry can't make the
immediate example of this trend is ing to Kathleen Saul. "[Carbon neu- Rasmussen bases on the to be green,'' Rich Davis said. He money off the land that they need
the biomass incinerator being con-


October 201 o

to, so they cut down all of the trees
and sell the land for development.
That's a much bigger contributor to
climate change than clearcutting in
the grand scheme of things," she says.
Criticism of clearcutting and convers.ion are not new at Evergreen and
neither is biomass.
In 2008, Nexterra, a company that
builds biomass gasifiers, brought a
proposal to Evergreen. The proposal
was dismissed because, according
to Scott Morgan, "no one wanted to
open that discussion on campus."
Geothermal heat pumps, or ground
source heat pumps, were studied as
an alternative. Ground source heat
pumps draw heat from the ground
using electrically powered machinery. According to both Morgan and
Rich Davis, the college can't afford
them. But Pat Rasmussen, citing a
_paper on energy options for the college, says biomass and heat pumps
are comparable in cost: between
$15 - 23 million for ground source
compared to approximately $15 million for biomass. Rasmussen also
cited data from Ball State University, which claims the pumps can pay
for themselves in two to ten years.
( Rasmussen is talking
about closed loop, or VRF, pumps,
which she claims would cost only
$8-9 million to install at Evergreen.
According to Rasmussen, closed-loop
pumps have not been studied by Evergreen. Paul Smith, Evergreen's facilities director, only discussed a different kind of technology, open-loop
geothermal, at the most recent information session on September 23, she
says. Ground source heat pumps do
rely on electricity for power, which
Rasmussen says can be renewable
and lead to carbon neutrality. But
Evergreen staff are skeptical.
Rich Davis explained Evergreen's
position on the cost of ground
source. Instead of two to ten years,
his calculations say it would take
the college 50 years to recuperate the
money spent installing the pumps
through energy savings. Because
of dependence on electricity; Davis
also doubts the potential for ground
source to lead to carbon neutrality or savings on energy bills. "With
ground source heat pumps," continues Davis, "we're one hundred percent electrical and our electricity bill
goes through the roof."
Other alternatives have been researched, including plasma gasification and anaerobic digestion. The
first, like ground source, is dependent on electricity and the primary
fuel is municipal waste, which can
give off toxins such as heavy metals,
mercury, and dioxins. The second
amounts to capturing and burning
methane, the primary component

"We need a better sense of
where our energy con:,es
from, how it's managed and
a lot more responsibility for
of natural gas, from landfills, sewage treatment plants, or manure. As
Morgan explains it, "we could set up
a compost pile or we have to haul in
sludge of some kind." He also says
anaerobic digestion can't be accelerated and decelerated as needed,
which is a criteria for the college's
heat source.
But Pfeiffer and Rising Tide want
more resources put into researching
alternatives. They feel that, despite
_using student fees on the feasibility
study, the project's proponents have
presented students with the "false
dichotomy," of "choosing between
fossil fuels and our forests." They say
this is part of the administration's
position that, "if we're against biomass, we're for fossil fuels." Pfeiffer
rejoinders, "A fundamental demand
of the climate justice movement has
always been leave fossil fuels in the
ground.But if we're left with the
choice between fossil fuels and our
forests, it's one form of destructive
for another. And we're not going to

Counter PointJournal-5

have a future if we have to choose
one of those."
According to Pfeiffer, not enough
is being done to incorporate s_tudents or community members into
the project, especially by means of
outreach, education, and debate.
Pfeiffer initially heard about the
project from activists elsewhere
in Washington opposing similar
facilities. From meeting minutes
available online (
minutes.htm), we can make a rough
timeline of events since the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.
In fall of 2009 the CEC got a proposal from Paul Smith, Evergreen's
Facilities Director, to fund one third
of the cost of a feasibility study for
biomass, which would mean 125,000
dollars from the student Clean Energy Fee. "We knew it was going to be
controversial because we're dealing
with trees, and there are a lot of environmental justice issues involved, es. pecially deforestation, one of the major contributors to climate change,"
Madrone explained. The Committee
held a student forum before coming to a decision. Madrone said the
forum, which took place in October
2009, only drew two students. One
of them asked the soon to be familiar
question, "where is the wood going
to come from?"

"If we're left with the choice
between fossil fuels and
our forests, it's one form of
destructive for another. And
we're not going to have a
future if we have to choose
one of those."
On October 16, the Committee decided to fund the study. This meant
a total of 375,000 dollars would go
to the study, one third from the student fee, one third from the college's
reserves, and one third from the legislature. A portion of this money is
paying for a third party feasibility
study being conducted by a company
called McKrnstry, due out sometime
between now and December. After
the decision, students were invited
to come to the CEC with questions,
and they did, reiterating concerns
about the source of the fuel and raising questions about emissions from
the proposed facility.
Though Madrone stressed "transparency with students so that their
voices are heard," Matt Pfeiffer isn't
convinced the process has been or
will be democratic. Over the summer,
communication about the project
seemed to break down. "I was told
by some other activists there was going to be a private meeting on July 16,
which I and other activists attended.
Many administrators were disgruntled by our presence, but we sat in on
the meeting and aired our concerns.
All the meetings since then have
been kept well enough under wraps
that we didn't even hear about them
even though we were told we'd be
kept informed."
Madrone, who is focusing her energies on community outreach, cites
a serious need for more help. "With
the way the economy's been going, more and more of the responsibilities get dumped on the same
people because Evergreen can't afford to hire new employees. One of
the big problems with the research
is everybody's busy." Scott Morgan,
leading the project as the college's
Sustainability Director, is researching alternatives on his own and he
is part time. "I seriously want some
students engaged with researching
alternatives this fall," he says.
Morgan was specific about the
kind of engagement he's looking for.
"My responsibility here is to make
sure we are able to make a completely informed decision and we can't do
that without including the opposing
voices. I want them to engage with
some of the discussion groups and
get involved in the research." He proposed a schedule of two to four information sessions before the end of the

Biomass protest outside Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) in Olympia

quarter, spread out over the course of power production and distributed
three months. Madrone sees her role infrastructure model is the obly one
as "generating a community-based that works. "It may or may not work manage a website we couldn't run, a
learning experience, where we pres- for biomass," he says, "but we need really great intern to whom we failed
ent what we've learned about forest- a better sense of where our energy to offer suppon and guidance, new
ry, and ask what have you heard? We comes from, how it's managed and a members who also did not receive
any SO,rt of trai,ning, and a serjes of
want to pull knowledge out of the lot more responsibility for it."
The struggle over the biomass developments(internalandextemal)
community, pull people's concerns
out, so we can address them along project demonstrates that address- thatwereJusttoo muchforus. There
the way, rather than going ahead ing ecological devastation is not only were regular fights about stories and
with our research and later finding about how Evergreen produces and representation, many of which were
out that we should've looked at this uses energy, but who decides and resolved by perseverance and not a
or that." Undergraduate and gradu- what makes it possible. We remain democratic process.
It's important to note that even
ate students are encouraged to write fettered by the destructive, racist,
contracts or develop class projects and capitalist logic operating on a though all this was going on, we
based on biomass. The debates, re- global scale, producing travesties in still produced a lot that we were very
search, and unfortunately, environ- the Gulf and Pakistan. Biomass may proud of. The fall and winter edimental destruction continue, but be able to loosen certain of those fet- . tions had important stories on the
this project, like any alternative ters, by making our heat local and Labor Center audit (which the Labor
form of energy, requires participa- potentially renewable, providing Center circulated), the new student
tion not just of college staff, but, as economic options for communities conduct code, and the bookstore moEvergreen's website states, "the en- without them, and making us more nopoly debacle to name a few. When
aware of the resources we consume. we did things well, we had a sigtire community."
But who belongs to that commu- Yet it is still bounded by disconcert- nificant impact on the community
nity? According to Kathleen Saul, ing limitations, such as appeasing in- by raising questions that furthered
there's definitely a need for outreach dustry's insatiable hunger for "green" campus dialogues and d.issc.minating
regarding this project's relationship markets, an uncertain science of car- important information.
to indigenous communities. "Espe- bon sequestration, and, in the case of
cially in Washington," she explains, Evergreen's project, lack of partici"where there are so many tribes and pation from'liircctly-atfccted comthey're active on environmental is- munities, particularly indigenous
1. (iiroups MOO structttre. l?ower
sues. Not just because we have trea- communi ties. Only more widespread exists, formally or infonnally. Creatties with the tribes, but because they education, participation, and debate ing a_n d rotating specin~ roles, and
have some great scientists and it be- in the struggle over biomass can re- lreepmg an eye on who 1s regularly
hooves us to draw on their expertise." solve these questions and raise those doi,ng the "least glamorous" work,
can produce a non-hierarchical, and
This is also "an energy model that a yet unasked.
at the same time, functional, struclot of indigenous communities are
using or looking into around the
2. New members should be in-,
country," says Morgan. Unless indig- ► A FEW WORDS continued frOITI page 1
enous communities are directly enIn order to secure regular fund- tentionally educated about what
gaged in the project, race and class
ing, the CxPJ had become a stu- the mission is and bow things work,
disparities in energy production and
dent group. A:s a result, we got but with room for suggestio~ and
distribution, stressed by Pfeiffer and
some shit from the Cooper Point growth.
radiRising Tide, may fetter any strides
Journal, who wanted all of our
towards sustainability.
documents, kept trying to get our cal culture that mostly postures and
Despite these concerns, Rich Dafurlds denied by the school, and creates cliques where either you acvis sees biomass as a means to betlater threatened to get a lawyer cept the implicit program or you're
ter the already encouraging history
because a public recotds request forced to leave--there's very little
of sustainability at Evergreen. "So,
wasn't fulfilled quickly enough for open debate. We need to pass on our
them. (This wasn't such a big deal, knowledge because it strengthens .
"Conservation's not going
it took up some time but mostly our o~ sense of what we're about,
it was funny.) 'I1le administration brings :new folks up to speed; and
to make us 'green' or carbon
also told S&A that they wanted creates aspacefor new ideas.
neutral by 2020. Biomass
3. Don't take money fro1"J the
fout copiesof our paper ddlvcred
can do that."
to the Student Affairs whenever school fot "radical" projects. We
didn't really get into it here, but
they came out.
when our critics say, Evergreen, you
In.Man:b, we got into a number you have to open yourself up to anyshould conserve to become carbon
of serious fights inside the collec- one who wants to join, hold regular
neutral. I say, we have. We're worktive that lowered morale pretty meetings in regular locations. and
ing on that all the time, we're below
scriously.'J;be first was over how there are some indirect ways the
average, we're outside the box, we're
to represent the occapation of the school can control what you do.
innovative in a lot of things we're
HCC and of campus occupations This isn't to say never take money
doing now. There's more to do and I
that were :~appening act0$S the from '.avergrcen, but your fuA4Jng
want to go further." It's going to take
country. 'l'.fi_ere was nearly a half ''should come from your base.
4. Wotk to your capacity and grow
more than conservation, according
and half split, and in trying to arto Davis, to achieve carbon neutrality
rive at an apequate solution we ,smart. It's important to know what
by 2020. "Conservation's not going
had to delay production and write you can do and don't overextend
to make us 'green' or carbon neutral
extra anicles to represent the dif- yourself, otherwise everything sucks.
So that's the year in review. We're
by 2020. Biomass can do that." Not
fering opinions.
according to Pfeiffer. "Biomass is
Lastly; in what·we might call sharing it because we want our readcapital's answer to the climate crisis. "our shittiest issue," we basically ers to know why our issues have
If Evergreen certifies biomass, with
fell apart over the State Avenue turned out as they have, and instill
it's significant infl.uence as a green
black bloc. Most members had some confidence that we're steering
institution, then we're saying tltis is
abandoned the paper and the en- this shit right. For the folks who had
something everyone should do." His
tire focus was a bizarre spotlight some it;sues with our papers, know
conclusion is grim. "We are opening
of the arrestS, without much of that you weren't alone, but we're
up a new way of 'green' eco-apartthe investigation or analysis that serious tltat if you want to see this
heid by endorsing this new trend of
we had formerly prided ourselves thing reach its full potential you
biomass incinerators."
on. Plus, it was a horrible full-col- should think about how to contn'bScott Morgan concludes by ador paper that looked like a tabloid. • ute, and we'll do our pan to make
dressing the project in the context
At this point, the collective was contributing ntore accessible.,
of energy production. "We need to
basically in shambles. We were
Counter Point Collective
stop assuming that a centralized
stretched. over-capacity trying to


6-Counter Point Journal

The Roots Coalition:
A Queer Lesson in Movement Building
An Interview by Rebecca Wyllie de Emeverria


At first glance it appeared to be a means a space to do visioning, to do
normal conference room and as listening, to understand more about
I walked in the loathsome college the issues that our communities
lecture flashbacks begari. Then I re- are experiencing. The community
alized: the room was full of queer schools arm is dipping into the well
people. We were everywhere. fyiy and bringing forth what is often at
first People's Movement Assembly the bottom. Our communities are
was stuffy, the room had no inches to often put at the bottom and we are
spare and we were jam packed inside, trying to illuminate what is really gobut it hummed with excitement. We ing on "down there" and how we can
are all radical queers and we were all envision the future together.
gathered to discuss movement buildThe other arm, which I am the
ing across and between our commu- temporary point person for, is the
nities. Many of us shared the ques- campaign piece. That is the arm that
tion that filled my mind: how is it is engaged in revisioning. We are
possible to build a movement which interested in campaign strategies,
encompasses the vast landscape policies, and struggles that are really
that is queer identity? I went to the impacting LGBTQpeople of color.
United States Social Forum in search We are focused on campaign develof intentional queer organizing and opment We picked the umbrella of
found the Roots Coalition. They are identity policing and surveillance to
attempting to prove that we, by the work under. We are looking at differnature of our naturally fragmented ent trends, policies, and situations
communities, can work separately our communities are dealing with
but we must also work in unity. The that involve identity policing. One
word queer itself is problematic, as concrete example of that would be
some of the older people in our com- SB1070 and that kind of legislation
munities denote queer as a slur and in Arizona that creates regional and
not an identity. Many of our com- immigration profiling. Another
munities have different needs which example is the Real ID which is less
cannot always be reconciled. But if well known currently. [The Real ID
we try we can find common ground card] is legislation that would creamongst LGBTQQAI (Lesbian, Gay ate a central ID. This would mean
Bi, Trans, Qµeer Qµestioning, Asex- that everyone's gender and sexual
ual and Intersex) people and use our history, felony history, criminal hisidentities to connect and not divide. tory, medical history (things like how
I contacted Caitlin Breedlove after many abortions you have had), politishe and her colleagues at Soµthem- cal history, all of your personal and
er's on New Ground (SONG) released professional information would be
the Trans Repon, a document which available to the government and easquantifies the experience of 127 ily accessed by one swipe of the card.
Trans people who are from or curThat kind of surveillance has alrently living in the South (avaiable ways been a fundamental ark of
on SONGs website). The following fascist regimes throughout history,
interview consists of her explana- particularly in our communities. By
tion of the formation and progress our communities I mean it greatly afof Roots, the Qµeer PMA, and an in- fects communities of color, formerly
troduction to the Trans Report.
incarcerated communities, and gender non-conformant communities, in
What spawned the Roots Coalition and how intersextional areas of struggle. The
is it organized?
coalition itself is still in development
but that is a little more about where
If you know much about groups that
we are and what we are working on.
make up the roots of the Coalition
you know that we actually do a variHow did the social forum play into the orgaety of different things. The Sylvia Rinization's progression?
vera Law Project, for example, focuses on legal services for marginalized We have been in formation for the
Trans and gender nonconforming past three years and a majority of
people. Affinity is focused primarily our groups are funded through the
on African American lesbians and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justhey do work in Chicago. FIERCE is a tice which, for folks that don't know,
Trans and Qµeer youth organization. Astraea is the kind of foundation that
SONG, the organization I work
for, is a Southern Regional organization. So both in terms of local and national organizing, we
do a variety of different kinds
of work with different people.
But basically what brought us
together as a coalition is the
fact that we are all interested
in alternative visions of what it
looks like to build strong infrastructure for our communities.
We see two specific needs: one,
to build infrastructure and create new and inventive ways to
The Queer PMA Photo by FEIRCE
build our own communities and two,
on a resistance level, to challenge is really working to deepen and supneoliberalism, particularly how it port left political LGBTQorganizaaffects our communities. We define tions. They paid for some of us to
neoliberalism pretty simply as all of get together and think through the
the facets of capitalism and imperial- idea of forming a coalition, and then
ism that put profit over people.
they provided seed money and infraWe are interested in challenging structure support. In the process of
neoliberalism from our perspective. forming we tried to figure out our
We have two arms within our coali- main criticisms of top-down, maintion which work together to create stream white male run LGBT initiathe change we envision. One of our tives. Well, one of our main criticisms
arms is the community schools team. is that no one has asked us what we
They are building a curriculum that think, no one has asked us about iscenters on base building and re- sue development, no one has asked
cruitment ofLGBTQpeople of color us what the most pressing issues in
(POC) in our different organizations. our lives are, what is important to us,
The idea is to make a super curricu- they have just told us what to work
lum that takes all of our gross curric- on. So we thought from the very beulum and puts it together to create ginning we need to do things differorganizational spaces to do political ently. We represent different groups,
education with our folks. For us this we represent different communities

October 201 o

and we represent different pivotal
strategy. From the very beginning
we want to think about how to do
things differently. So we thought
the Social Forum would be a great
place to do some listening and get
feedback, particularly on some campaign ideas.
Now what happened was, it turned
out there was no LGBTQPeople's
Movement Assembly (PMA) in place.
For folks who don't know the PMA is
a process that came out of the social
forum to help communities come
together and speak for themselves
about key issues, key resolutions and
strategy. We use the PMA platform to
demonstrate our demands and the
support we need in order to mov.e
forward with other groups at the Social Forum. We realized that no one
else was stepping up to facilitate the
Qµeer PMA, which in itself is significant and speaks to how those of us
on the left in LGBTQcommunities
are not working as well together as
we need to be at this point. We are
so incredibly overrepresented number wise. Some people estimate that
over 1/3 of the 18,000 at the Social
Forum were LGBTQwhich I think
speaks drastically to how incredibly
involved our communities are, not
in single issue politics, but around
self determination and liberation in
I point this out to bring attention
to the fact that we are not as organized within our own communities,
given our numbers, that we need to
be. So we thought, our plan was do
this training and feedback workshop
at the Social Forum, but there is this
big gap. We are not the best or biggest coalition but we were the only
ones who seem to be ready to hold
the Qµeer PMA.
What we did was an experiment, a
hybrid of a PMA and a platform to
gather feedback on our campaign
ideas. This approach had pros and
cons, but we were able to make a
resolution called the Self Determination Resolution, that overall incorporated the voices of more than 500
LGBTQleaders on the left, primarily
intmigrant and working class people
of color. This was possible because
some of the ROOTS groups were able
to do feeder PMA's and were able to
feed that information into the conversation. SONG, for example, did
a 127 person PMA with Southern
Trans people who wouldn't have a
chance to go to the forum and was
able to feed that information to the
more then 400 people who were at
the PMA. So that is how we used the
forum and actually more then 500 is
a pretty conservative estimate, it was
probably upwards of 600 people. We
saw that as a big victory, to be able to
get that kind of information
out there.

Thoughts ofthe queer people's movement assemb/y?
I think the PMA process is really promising. I think that
it is a process that is still in
progress. However, I think it
is a key process that creates
the opportunity to move the
Social Forum as a whole from
a collection of workshops that
are individual, to a site for discerning some sort of direction for
the left. I think that is really exciting,
especially considering how much
privilege the United States as a nation has as a whole and how incredibly behind we are in the World Social
Forum process. There are countries
involved in civil war that are able to
hold forums and come up with directions that the US is not able to do so I
think that is really exciting. It is not
about a perfect proc~s, it is messy
and its about understanding that self
organization means that if we don't
like it or think it is not good enough,
we will take it upon ourselves to .
make it better. We can't just be critical, which so many of us are so good
at being, myself included. We have
to actually be working for change. In
retrospect we realized that trying to
make a PMA and also get this other

feedback was trying to do too much.
But the goodwill that people had to
work with the process I think really
spoke for the need for some kind of
national voice that does LG BTQand
POC led work specifically.

about Southern condit10ns without
having to take our members aside
and ask them a whole bunch of questions. Southern Trans and gender
non-conforming communities had a
lot of research collected about them.
Not much of this research has benDo you feel that queer and trans voices were efited them and very little that has
used to hold people accountable to
heard at the forum?
the work. At SONG we feel like we
I feel that a lot of our voices were have this information and now we
heard and I think that, like I talked can weave it into our work and be aca little bit about before, sometimes countable to it.
we are not as organized as we need to
When I spoke with Caitlin she inbe, especially given how many mem- formed me that the Roots Coalition
bers of our community attended the is made up of 14 Roots which are LGforuin. However, I do think that we · BTQ, primarily people of color led
still have a lot of work to do that is groups. The groups themselves are:
on us. It is not anyone's job to create Qµeers for Economic Justice, Souththe kind of safety and infrastruc- erners on New Ground, FIERCE, Afture that we, particularly Trans and finity Community Services, National
gender non-conforming folks, need. Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance,
I know there were incidents with The Audre Lorde Project, The First
bathrooms (all bathrooms at the Nations Collective, Disability JusSocial Forum were supposed to be tice Collective, Esperanza Collective,
gender neutral but they were never Transgender, Gender Variant, and lnmarked as such). That continues to tersex Justice Project, Austin Latino
be an issue. I think we made progress, Latina Lesbian & Gay Organization,
and that it is really on us as commu- Qµeer Women of Color Media Arts
nities to make sure that we are lead- Project, Center for Artistic Revoluing and that the forum gets it right. tion and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
Overall, I think that it is always go- You can find out more about these
ing to be a mix. Negative things and organization from the resource links
positive things are going to happen on SONG's website (www.southernbut I think that there is real progress or through a
in the forum process.
simple yet fulfilling web search.

What are the next steps for the Roots Coalition?
The next steps are to make a timeline of the first ~ar of the community schools and build a website. The
campaign team has to decide on our
first action step but we still have
some research to do. Our biggest

FIERCE is a m~h,ip..based
organization buil<fiiqg:the leadership and power ofles\lian, gay,

bisexual, transgender, and queer

How is it possible to build
a movement which encompasses the vast landscape
that is queer identity?
next step is to figure out, between
now and next March, entry points for
individual leaders and other groups
to get involved with the coalition.
We have created some already but it
is key to build entty points not only
for people to enter the work, but also
to integrate and come up with things
like infrastructure and decision making processes before we start opening
it up beyond 14 original groups. So
we've been struggling with getting
ourselves to the point where we have
everything ready to open the coalition. In terms of oµ.r development,
we are really excited about that because we feel like there has been a
real positive response, even when
we have made mistakes and moved
slowly, there has been real positive
response to the concept of us doing
this work.
How did the Trans Report fit into the social

We brought the Trans Report, to
the forum as a way of including the
voices of Southern Trans people who
did not attend the forum in the PMA
and the resolution making process.
The actual resolution that came out
of the national queer and trans PMA,
which was also the national Qµeer
youth PMA, is available on www.

What kind ofresponses haveyou gotten from
the community?
We have gotten really positive responses overall. Particularly from
Trans leaders that work with SONG
who have documented how they are
going to use it. They have talked
about using it with allies and using
it within their groups. We are working on doing something in Atlanta
with Trans people of color leadership
to talk about the report and its usage
and talk more deeply about conditions in the places that are discussed
in the report. The response has been
overwhelmingly positive and the
Northem allies have appreciated the
opportunity to understand more

(LGBTQ.) youth of color in New
York City. We develop politi..
cally conscious leaders who are
invested in improving ourselves
and our communities through
youth-led campaigns, leadership development prqgrams, and
FIERCE i§ dediq1ted to cul..
tivating the .next gesieration of
social justice movement leaders
who are dedicated to ending all
forms of oppression. This past
June, FIERCE joined hundreds
of thousands of social justice
leaders, organizers.,. advocates,
activists, and visionaries in Detroit for the United. States So-

cial Forum (USSll),l~Fl:ERCE
crew of eleven's and
staff participated ulworkshops,
organized discussions, created
media and connected with organizers from around the country.
The reflections below are from
FIERCE Members Christopher

My name is Christopher Baez,
and I'm an active1nember at
FIERCE. I have been involved
with the organizatlq,n for a year
, and a half. GrowingJip as a lowincome of color
in New York City, rwanted to
create change for my communities. over the past several years,
I began to see that social justice
work and organizing is where
my passion lies. Throughout my
-time at FIERCE, I've been told
that I am a warpi hearted
person who attractst\K,ple. I feel
that it is up to each ofus to carve
our way and build strong ties
with people. The .mdre people
you know, the more you learn
about yourself. In my lifetime,
I aim to create change for my
community, and part of creating this change is learning about
social justice movements on a
b1:oadscale. Weare~ronnected,
and one fight for JUStice should
not be isolated. to just one issue,
group or commU.U!.$ We must
build togethCl',
It's important- to look at our
conununity as collective

movement. We are one bean
that keeps beating and pushing
► Flaa
~_._contirnied on ~P 7

October 201 o

Counter Point Journal

New Arrests, New Charges: Oakland Community Criminalized·
streets and discussing, chanting or
for Response to Unsatisfying Verdict
shouting their frustrations with and
byJesse Strauss

In a two week period in early Sep-

tember, 7 people were killed by police in Washington. Two of those
stories especially stand out.
On August 30'\ a Seattle cop unleashed 4 shots aimed at John T. Williams. Williams was an indigenous
an indigenous totem carver who
sold his work at Pike Place Market.
He was holding his 3 inch knife and
a piece of wood when he was killed.
Contrary to the officer's statement
that Williams was lunging at him,
witnesses have come forward saying that the victim was not acting
aggressive or advancing toward the
officer at all.

Early on New Year's morning of
a group of young men were
pulled off of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train car by a group of
police officers responding to a call
about a fight. Moments later, Oscar
Grant, one of the young men, found
himself lying face down on the
BART platform with a cop's knee
in his neck. As Grant struggled to
breathe under the weight of the
25o+ pound officer, he managed to
yell out that he was a father. Without warning, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle stood up, grabbed
his firearm, aimed down, and shot
Grant point blank. Mehserle's next
action was to handcuff the wounded
22 year old father before calling for

Rally after the verdict. Photo by Jesse Strauss.

Only about a week later on September 7th, Nikkolas W. Lookabill
was killed by three police officers
in Vancouver, Washington. Lookabill was a veteran specialist with
the Army National Guard, and had
recently returned from a 12 month
tour in Iraq in 2009. Reportedly,
Lookabill had also recently gone
through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment, along with his en-

- ---'--'-"·-,: AHay..:uni"1..-Lookabill was hold-

ing a handgun, and this seems to
be the reason police felt threatened
to the point of shooting him somewhere between 6 and 12 times, ending the young man's life.
One would hope to think that the
saddest part of to these stories is
that someone's life was ended. Unfortunately, put in the context of
patterns of police brutality, these
people were not an exception to the
use of violence by police. There are
a wide range of issues that connect
these abuses, from systemic racism
that allows cops to target people and
communities of color to the strong
connection between veterans dealing with PTSD and interacting with
the law (whether as a profession or
being arrested or attacked by officers

"My son was murdered; and
the law has not held the
officer accountable the way
that he should have been
held accountable."
for doing things which could have
been seen as very normal during
their military service).
Moreover, it is important to recognize abuses of power and authority
by law enforcement agents as a regular part of our communities. Both
the Evergreen Police Department,
and the Olympia Police Department
have faced accusations of targeting
people and communities of color.
The Evergreen cops easily have the
capability to take someone's livesthey didn't always have guns-and
last year they tried to get funding for
more advanced weaponry.
While the story below is about Oscar Grant, a victim of police violence
in Oakland, California, patterns
suggest that it is not unique. Washington's officers seem to be following similar patterns, and whether
in the form of murder or prejudicial
targeting of marginalized communities, there is a clear potential for that
violence·to occur in any of our communities.

any kind of medical assistance. All
this was recorded by the cell phones
and cameras of numerous BART passengers. Oscar Grant was killed that
morning, but the Oakland community will never forget his name.
About a year and a half later on
July 8th, for the first time in California's history an officer was tried for
murder.And a completely non-Black
LA jury found that Mehserle killed
Grant with "criminal negligence",
giving him the charge o_f involuntary manslaughter. Mehserle's sentencing will occur in November, but
from what I understand at the time
of this writing the verdict could
mean that Oscar Grant's killer will
serve anywhere from as little as two
to fourteen years in jail.
The Oakland community was unsatisfied with the jury's decision, and
immediately following the verdict
announcement, the community took
to the streets in a showing of passion
and rage. As a result ·o f that eveing's
action, new arrests are being made
and new charges being brought by
the city of Oaklnad. the most recent charges include: Unlawful Assembly, Remaining at the Scene of a
Riot, and Rioting. Five peopie have
remained in jail since the July 8th
protests, including one who received
no charges for over 30 days.
Soon after the protests, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) issued a press release explaining that
some of the people arrested were
taking "advantage of a chaotic situation by looting Oakland businesses."
While to some extent this appears
true, Rachel Lederman of the Bay
Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild made it very clear that
it was the police forces themselves
who made the situation chaotic. In a
statement, Lederman said that "The
aggressive use of police formations,
baton beatings and indiscriminate
arrests were unnecessary and violated people's constitutional right to
protest. To make things even worse,
OPD violated state law by jailing
people for long periods of time who
had been arrested for very minor ~ffenses."
In response to the the verdict that
day, the community held a powerful
and peaceful rally at the downtown
corner of 14th Street and Broadway.
The city forced organizers to shut
down the stage and sound system at
8 pm. A small portion of the thousand-strong crowd chose to leave
while most stayed, standing in the

hopes for justice.
Less than five minutes later, the
OPD announced, "We are declaring
this an unlawful assembly."
Without a permit, those who came
to speak out in anger against police
brutality and support for the family of Oscar Grant were immediately
criminalized. Until that point, the
afternoon's events had been remarkably peaceful. A newly criminalized
peaceful protester spoke out over a
megaphone, explaining the irony of
the police's approach. "They've been
talking for weeks [about] how we are
going to be allowed to be out here
and express our feelings. Well, here
we are, and these are our feelings,
and they're going to beat us down
and arrest us for doing that."
A few moments later, the speaker's
fears turned real. Dan Siegel, a legal
observer with the National Lawyers
Guild, described his account of the
first gruesome police provocation
of the evening. "We're down at 12'h
street and all of a sudden the cops
start pushing to clear the street...
There are some people moving kind
of slow, and then they start shoving
them, and they shoved her [a nearby legal observer] with a club, they
shoved a couple guys, they knocked
them down, they took a couple guys
down there and arrested them for
no absolute reason at all." From this
legal witness, the police action was
no joke. Siegel continued, "It's like
they provoked this whole scene. You
know, the demonstration is calm.
People are demonstrating, they're
speaking out. Some people are just
having a good time; but the cops just
provoked us by trying to clear this
block off."
After a night of chaotic clashes
which left windows broken, dumpsters ablaze and protesters in jail,
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums expressed a comp etely cllfferent.perception of the police-community
interaction that night. A City of Oakland press release from Friday morning explained that Dellums "lauded
the efforts of the Oakland Police
Department for showing great restraint and respect for people's civil
rights." At best, what the press release speaks to is a version of events
which offered a strong expectation
for unrest and violence.
Dellums' approach, however, juxtaposed with Siegel's testimony of
police provocation in only the first
moments after the gathering was
declared illegal,shows a great deal of
disconnect between the experiences
of officials and those in the streets.


Photo by Jesse Strauss.

Clearly, according to Siegel, restraint
and respect for civil rights was far
from his legal observation. My own
experience in the streets that night
also suggest that Dellums was far off,
leaving community members as well
as store fronts unsafe.
Grant's mothei, Wanda Johll.son,
after the announcement of the verdict, spoke clearly about the need for
tice in the face of an unjust system
of accountability. "My son was murdered; and the law has not held the
officer accountable the way that
he should have been held accountable." Johnson added that she still
strives for justice for her son, but the
formal justice system as we know

it will not support an appropriate
level of accountability. "The system
will fail us and let us down."
Lack of organization on all parts
after the 8 pm criminalization
of the gathering left community
members without a place to vent
their frustration and anger. On the
path toward justice for Oscar Grant,
those feelings need to be recognized, respected and coherently
The day after the verdict, a community member shared with me
her disappointment in the verdict
along with her disappointment
with the community reaction to it.
"I was mad. Mad about the verdict.
Mad about people tearing up my
city. Mad about the powerlessness I
feel toward it all. Mad about a lot of
things I can't really express... Right
or wrong, I guess I just wish there
had been a better avenue for venting our collective disappointment."
Just before-he learned there was
a verdict, Jack Bryson, the father
of Jackie and Nigel Bryson who
were on the Fruitvale BART platform with Oscar Grant when he
was killed, spoke with me abou't
his understanding of justice for
Oscar Grant. Standing outside the
LA courthouse, he explained that
any version of a guilty verdict (involuntary/voluntary manslaughter
or second degree murder) would
prove that most police witnesses
lied under oath.
For Bryson, the first simple step
toward justice is to charge each
and every one of them with perjury.
Bryson especially focused on the
charge for Tony Pirone, the BART
cop who was holding Grant down
when he was killed and who had
yelled the phrase "bitch ass nigger''
twice just moments before the shot
was fired.
Also as part of that conversation,
JR Valrey of Block Report Radio
spoke about the need for Mehserle's formal imprisonment as a first
step--rowardiustice. He explained
that even while incarceration in
this country is faulted, from disproportionate racial representations
to the private profiting off nearly
unpaid labor, those who enforce
that system should be accountable
to it. If that system of policing and
incarceration puts people away for
murder, the exact same needs to be
done with Mehserle.
That is, as a first stepping stone.
But justice is a much larger struggle-much larger than Oscar Grant,
much larger than Oakland, and
probably much larger than we can
As the Oakland community grapples with frustration, anger and a
longing for justice for Oscar Grant,
our experience reflects one struggle
in a much larger context of police
brutality and a broken justice system.
In a conversation with Anita
Johnson, a producer of Pacifica Radio's Hard Knock Radio, she emphasized a reminder of that context. "We need to make sure that
justice is secured, and I don't want
to leave this conversation without
saying that we can talk about what
happened at Footlocker and the
vandalism that took place, [but]
the larger issue is justice and that
police terrorism should not be allowed."
However controversial Oakland's
response to the Mehserle verdict
might be, Johnson was adamant
about the positive parts of Thursday night's ·events. She continued,
"Maybe we can be a model, an example, if everyone works together
collectively-different parts of
the city, different economic, social
backgrounds-coming together to
really stand up for justice and speak
out loudly and really be present
in the moment." What she spoke
about is Oakland's legacy of uniting for justice despite our differences. Johnson continued, "I want
to challenge the system. We can do
that collectively... We can make a


difference, but we have to come together, so I'm hoping that this will
be an example for [others]."
The Oakland 100 Support Committee is calling for support from
the community to help in the defense of the people who were arrest~
ed during the verdict protests. A list
of court dates and locations as well
as a way to donate to support court
and lawyer fees are available on
their website {http://supporttheoaklandtoo.wordpress.comn.

Jesse Strauss is an Evergreen Alumni who
lives and writes in Oakland, CA.


', the obstacl~we
break the barriers' .•.

,, t for all of us. Often our eommijnities suffer from opp.ression.
pll.<>bias'. aml bjases. We have w
,depionsttate that we are united
and strong.
' s,.
OnJune 21, a.010;'1 decided to

ti fptum in Dqroi

RCJfteam of fellow
·inpmbets"and staff. Part of why!
vvent to Detroit was to contintl¢
to work with Grassrots Global

Jusrice(GGJ) on soludonsfollowing the G20. People were's plitup
into groups according to regipn.
twas in the North East. I learned
the only way we will see a
morrow is if people.take
et and fif_lbt for r4f~Jp
y.We musis¢ek reform'
... mobilizing and Stickini
~ogether. Some of my other hi~fig\ts from the USSF were seeing
Detroit. Detroit was definitely
a tjty hit bard by the econonuc
crisis and at tim~ it felt almost
CUlPfY• r saw tent citi~ and. re.r there were tent citi(:S in

name is Balder., butdtlf7_
'United. States Social lto+
~t byElegost or R •' ii'


. anc

_ ts and organizers ftt>,-n

also an amazing(bance
ew trungsftQm the huge
of workshops.One of nty
emorles of the 'OSSF

• • "

s.t P,

an assemblies wereh
dose to closing time for thepooI
tyhett security came in saying that
the pool was closing and that we
all had to leave. Bvezyone in the.
,.pool starting doing chan
needs a raise"
ut 15 minµtest
y enjoyed that
inos of all because it showed, our
,qnity. Whether we were queer or
straight, we all chanted for our
Asa FIERCE member whQ baa
' •
ortunity to be in Detroit
SSF and theAllied.Media •
• , l realty WiU}t to ~Ji!ngJ
involved and the cen,ices to keep.u.s c;alm
ed as we leads add conlding our movements.. I
e breathing activitl
s calm in stress

keep-the th6 ,,

8-Counter Point Journal

October 201 o

Families Shocked by Gregoire's welfare cuts,
Students Should Be TOO

By POWER and Anna Simonton

In August Governor Gregoire an- Cash benefits to parents with no or voluntary. California legislators adnounced $51 million in cuts to wel- low incomes are called TANF (Tem- mitted they could no longer afford
fare programs to families. These will porary Assistance to Needy Families). to adequately run their welfare to
be achieved by cutting off a family's They have had one 3% increase in the work program and made participawelfare grant after 5 years even if past 17 years; a single mother and her tion voluntary, saving a proposed
they have been participating in job child receive $453 per month.
$510 million in childcare and adminsearch or job readiness programs
Further cuts will be achieved by istrative costs. Rather than playing
the entire time. This will leave these limiting support services, like child- the dangerous social experiment of
families with only food stamps and care, that provide parents the abil- withdrawing support services while
no way to pay the rent.
ity to successfully meet the onerous maintaining work requirements, alFamilies protesting budget cuts to work requirements that accompany low parents to choose whether to
safety net programs met with mem- TANF Wendy Davis, a POWER in- look for work outside the home, or
bers of Governor Gregoire's staff
save the state millions of dollars in
I can't work without childon September 1st. They chose Sepchildcare costs by caring for their
tember 1st in solidarity with nearly
care, but can't afford childown children.
2,000 disabled adults who had their
In addition to making moneycare to work."
sole income, a $339 disability grant,
saving changes instead of cutting
terminated because of a retroactive tern and mother, says cutting child- programs, our legislatros could close
five-year time limit the Legislature care will "shoot me in the foot. I'm the budget gap by supporting I-1098,
passed and the Governor signed last maxed as it is and can't even afford to an initiative that will be on the balsession.
pay the bills. I would have to decide lot in November. If passed by vot"These are people who have al- between childcare and rent, which ers, l-1098 would instate an income
ready proven to the state that they is illogical. I can't work without tax on individuals who make more
are too disabled to work. We invite childcare, but can't afford childcare than $200,000 per year, or joint filers
to work."
There were no welfare recipients
People making less than
invited to join the WorkFirst Rede- $20,000 a year pay 17.3% of
sign team, the group that made rectheir income in taxes, while
Gregoire made a surprise appearance at Arts Walk, weilding the scissors she used to
ommendations of which programs
cut welfare and other critical services.
to cut to the Governor. This was a
more pay only 2.6%.
mistake according to Jade Souza, a
POWER board member. "If they .ask
► TECH continued from page 2
people who rely on these programs making more than $400,000 per year.
where to cut, we can suggest imThe tax would only affect 38,400
J,"he atta<:k funded by MJ.>AA 2. Contrarily (too) and contraposiprovements that could provide the Washingtonians and would generbto'IJ,gbt down the site for a num- tively (to 1), you are veh~ently opsavings without creating the job loss ate $2 billion dollars annually. This
ber of days and was one of the first posed to opportunists who would
and homelessness the Governor's would give Washington a shot at no
major criminal attacks proven to be break copyleft by selling for a profit
cuts will engender."
longer being the state with the most
works which are protected from
perpetrated by the M.i.C.
POWER members are recom- regressive tax system in the country.
Consider again: ACS:Law, a UK such sales under non~ommercial
mending the following cuts, instead Currently Washington only has sales
based firm that, since 2009, has licenses.
of those proposed by the Governor:
and property taxes. The sales tax
been dedicated to filing suit 3. As pseudo-Anarchists, you verequires everyone to pay the same
against individuals they clabn to hemently suppon autonomous
1) Streamline the welfare to work amount, so people making less than
illegally sharing files on the in- vigilante action (re: the HCC/ACC
One of POWER's younger constituents.
program to the unemployment pro- $20,000 a year pay 17.3% of their internet. They have sued thousands occupations of last year) and would
gram. Currently TANF recipients come in taxes, while those pulling in
be both inconsistent and rem~ if
them to join us to ask the Governor are required to make 15 job contacts $537,000 or more pay only 2.6%
u c ast se any oili~ autolio-ti:
inte~al,<:orSisters Organize for Survival, a Se- • • porate information showed that mous persons oc group thereof for
what she expects them to do?" an- a week, go to the Work Source office
nounced Monica Peabody, Director every day, and log 35 hours a week attle-based group is working to raise
ACS:Law used illegally obtained similar actions.
of Parents Organizing for Welfare of job search. Unemployment re- awareness and support for I-1098.
information to target the defen- 4- Finally, as anists, the vacant and
and Economic Rights (POWER) in a cipients are required to make 3 job
dants. violating one law (the UK's aesthetically-worthless works of
You can get involved:
press release.
contacts a week and send in weekly
Data Protection Act) so that the the mainstream media disgust you.
Gov. Gregoire has said that the so- • reports. Parents who live·60 miles
they could find out which of these You look down on everyone and
lution to Washington's projected $3 from the Work Source office, or for
•CALL 206-722-6057
users was violating another (the hence (and especially) on the sub•E-MAIL
billion budget shortfall for the next whom it is a 3-hour bus ride each
set of people who think enough of
Copyright Designs and PatentSAct).
two-year budget cycle is for everyone way, are told there are no exceptions.
these pieces to steal them.
to tighten our belts financially. But They say that the requirements get
Well, tlu.t's too bad, But thank Morally, wf!re all outraged at the
the people having to "tighten their in the way of their finding a job.
To take action against cuts to weltb.e flying spaghetti monster for corporations. They're fucked and
belts" the most are those who don't Governor Gregoire's staff agreed fare and disability, contact Governor
the rampant anarchy goyermng shit' only gets more so under their
have any room left to do so. Wash- that the requirements are unattain- Gregoire and tell her you don't supthe blag.-o-sphere. In response dominion. But how is-what they're
ington state's disability benefits, for- able and streamlining the program port legislation that hurts families:
to these attacks by MiC, the mob doing here any different from what
merly called GAU, now called Dis- would save money.
known as Anonymous (of 4,eban Anon did in response? (Hint: it's lit360-902-4111 (for the deaf or
ability Lifeline, have not had a cost
and Scientology fam.e), has been erally not.) The fact of the matter
hard of hearing, dial 7-1-1)
of living increase in over 20 years.
Make work requirements
organizing retaliatocy attacks is that the internet is the wild west
against the MPAA, ACS:Law and and anything goes. Power on the
Office of the Governor
others, DDOS'ing their servers for tubes ls quantified in millions of
daysanddays. Formanymembers bots (bots: compromised systems
Olympia, WA98504-0002
of Anon, the rationale is simple: used by hackers and corpor,lteThe Mic's idea of IntellectUal prop- hackers alike to launch attacks such
Or get involved with POWER. t erty and the licenses that tliey use
i After 12 incredibly generous years of rent-free office space, the i
as the above-mentloneqcDDOS).If
~ First Christian Church sadly needs to reclaim the Payne Room/ j POWER is an organization of low- I tb control it go too far. Arid their you
want cut and dcy stories with
~ POWER office. So POWER is looking for a home. .
~ income parents and allies advocating
response bas been powerful and easily identifiable morals then go
~ for a strong social safety net while
with effect:
work in print media. The internet
Spread the word!
~ working toward a world where chil"OH SNAP!"
is messy and that's how we like it.
I dren and care giving are truly valued,
now you are thinking, "Holy
i~ What rent free has meant for us is that we have been able to I~ and the devastation of poverty has And
Fuuuuuuuuu... Crazy! Hqw do I And herein lies the conundrum:
~ spend our funding on program expenses: paying staff and provid- ~ been eradicated. They are planning
feel about.this?»
~ ing support to our low-income members in the form of childcare, ~ on holding demonstrations at the
Wewill tellyou:
i food, and transportation to meetings. If possible, we would love i Capitol every Wednesday until their o. You are pro-piracy of course be- :o ;* o_o
voices are heard.
~ to continue this tradition. The First Christian Church considered ~
cause as Gteeners you ate adamant- In con<:lusion, the future is now.
As students facing the increasi POWER's work helping low-income families prevent homeless- I
ly opposed to the oppressive MlC We must hack the planet for our
ing costs of higher education, cuts
i ness and poverty an extension of their ministry.
and their bullshit, let alone the fact child-processes, for our child-proto programs, and less financial aid,
that you don't, as a matter of course, cesses' child-processes.
We are hoping there is another church or organization who ~ we have a vested interest in joining
recognize os and ts as the IP the
those who are fighting budget cuts
j would benefit from housing POWER, either rent-free or at a
.MiC demands you would. Asser- This is u$jr/pa$$ and rootcanal
i low-cost. Are there other organizations who are interested in f in other areas. If we work in solidartions about the legitimicy ofIP are signing off from the front lines of
ity with families facing welfare cuts,
j sharing space? Is there a landlord who needs a tax write-off or
used by profiteers to retain owner- the underground
collectively we can make changes
care taker? We are open to exploring options. Let us know if
ship of information. R.angingfrom
i you have ideas.
i that will benefit us all.
certain large prime numbers, to the References;
join with POWER you can call
genetic code for propriety species
ii POWER (Parents Organizing For Welfare and Economic Rights) ii orTo
e-mail them, visit their website,
of cQm, the umbrella definition for
701 Franklin Street SE Olympia, WA 98501
~ stop by their office, or find them on
IP has too much coverage for you to
~ 360-352-9716 toll free 866-343-9716
~ Facebook and Myspace!
support it.
701 Franklin Street SE
1. Simultaneously, you are an ad-
Olympia, WA 98501
vocate of alternative licenses such
360-352-9716 toll free 866-343j Find us on Facebook and Myspace.
as CreativeCommons ind the like. comments/dgipq/people_dont_
These non-commercial licences ap- seem_to_understandjust_how_
i~ 9716
POWER is an orgc;1nizat1on of low-income parents and allies advocating j
propriately consider both authors' serious/
for a strong social safety net while working toward a world where children j
rights to protect their works from
and care giving are truly valued, and the devastation of poverty has been ~
profiteering as well as patrons' fl,ash/shmorkyjbabby.swf
ii eradicated.
righrs to use the media as they