Economic-inequality protests fan out, from Working Washington in The Junction to ‘Occupy West Seattle’ online

West Seattleite Sage Wilson at Working Washington tells WSB it’s just a coincidence that his group’s mini-protest outside a local bank today came the same day that the “Occupy” movement announced an official “Occupy West Seattle” branch. But it’s notable that the economic-inequality protest movement is reaching outside downtown.

First, the protest: Working Washington stationed Sera and Abdi outside Wells Fargo in The Junction with signs and flyers about WF’s tax history (based on this report). Its news release also said WW hopes to attract West Seattleites to participate in a protest targeting WF downtown tomorrow, meeting at Westlake at noon and marching from there.

At the same time, though apparently not related, “Occupy West Seattle” turned up for the first time on Facebook (here) and Twitter (here). They have announced their first “General Assembly” meeting for this Saturday at Alki UCC (6112 SW Hinds, time TBA). Their motto: “We are taking what we learned downtown and bringing it to the local neighborhoods.”

44 Replies to "Economic-inequality protests fan out, from Working Washington in The Junction to 'Occupy West Seattle' online"

  • M January 30, 2012 (5:16 pm)

    This is really getting old…

  • G January 30, 2012 (5:31 pm)

    Please, keep it downtown. We know where to find you, if need be.

  • D January 30, 2012 (5:38 pm)


  • Dave January 30, 2012 (5:43 pm)

    Yeah this Democracy thing is getting really old…

  • Yardvark January 30, 2012 (5:47 pm)

    So glad to hear it! Keep it growing!

  • Kris January 30, 2012 (6:19 pm)

    A BIG THANKS to the folks of Working Washington who have brought this important message of the ongoing economic injustices in this country and around the world to our community.

  • orca January 30, 2012 (7:37 pm)

    Hmmm…this seems very much like an endorsement of a political movement that will probably appeal to a portion of your readers….and be very unappealing to the other half.
    May not be a good idea.

  • WS Small business owner January 30, 2012 (7:39 pm)

    Please dont do anything to disrupt our already fragile business economy.

  • Doug January 30, 2012 (8:25 pm)

    There’s going to be a protest outside Wells Far-go-tax-loopholes at noon tomorrow, downtown.

  • raincity January 30, 2012 (8:36 pm)

    How is this getting old? Thanks to working washington for bringing these issues to the people attention. Nice outfit too!

  • vraxvalhalla January 30, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    I’m part of the 50% of taxpayers who are towing the cart for the other 97% of the country. And even though the banks are criminals, you all should still get jobs.

  • Nick January 30, 2012 (9:01 pm)

    Go away.

  • peter January 30, 2012 (9:34 pm)

    Hey Nick, don’t feel the trolls.

  • G January 30, 2012 (9:38 pm)

    I guess democracy now is rioting and going on a vandalism spree. Guess I’d better bone up on my civics, because they didn’t cover that way back when I was at W. Seattle high school.

  • JN January 30, 2012 (10:00 pm)

    Rioting and vandalism spree? Where have you seen that associated with Occupy? At least they are bringing the dissatisfaction of a huge number of people into view, and have the cojones to actually exercise their right to demonstrate against the perversion and corruption of our political system.

  • John January 30, 2012 (10:35 pm)

    Another Obama / SEIU rally.

  • Kate K January 30, 2012 (10:45 pm)

    Huge corporations like Wells Fargo not paying any income taxes? If that’s not worth protesting I don’t know what is.

    Keep up the good work, Working Washington!

  • E January 30, 2012 (10:46 pm)

    “Rioting and vandalism spree? Where have you seen that associated with Occupy?”

    Uh – JN, try the recent mayhem and mass arrests in Oakland. What a bunch of self-entitled whining sheep.

  • G January 30, 2012 (10:49 pm)

    No, they are bringing their own dissatisfaction into view, and when the others feel dissatisfied, then they can join them. Until then, no one elected Occupy to represent me, or anyone else, for that matter.

    When one group, any group, decides that they are speaking for all Americans, I tend to get very, very nervous.

  • Sage January 30, 2012 (10:54 pm)

    @vraxvalhala – If you’re paying taxes (assuming you mean Federal income tax by that since everyone pays sales tax and every worker pays payroll taxes), you have that to separate you from Wells Fargo. They paid less than $0 in net Federal income tax since 2008 according to Citizens for Tax Justice. Report here (PDF, alas):
    And that’s why we think it’s time they paid their fair share.

  • OP January 30, 2012 (11:13 pm)

    @JN.: 400 arrests in Oakland over the weekend (see the link) for vandalism, destruction of property, graffiti, breaking into City Hall and stealing the flag so they could burn it (guess they couldn’t afford their own) and much more. Oh, and injuring 3 cops in the process. They’re not bringing dissatisfaction to anyone’s attention; everyone is thoroughly aware of OWS’ dissatisfaction with, well, everything—especially capitalism. And more and more people who watch this lunacy this intellectually bankrupt movement are fed up.

  • buddy January 30, 2012 (11:25 pm)

    JN: Google – Occupy and Riot. Google – Occupy and Vandalism.

  • Goofballs January 30, 2012 (11:40 pm)

    Wait just a minute are the 99% of blind Americas just starting to wake up… No I doubt it, not yet at least. More of a sleep walk. Maybe in a few years after the Fed prints more money (quantitative easing) and totaly bankrupt this once great country. By then it will already be too late.

    “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
    – Henry Ford

  • G January 31, 2012 (12:31 am)

    Occupy can hold meetings anywhere they want, of course, but if mobilization means neighborhood protests then it is possible that we might see some of the same vandalism that has plagued Capitol Hill. No one should have to step around broken glass from a smashed bank window in the neighborhood where they live. So far, Occupy has either been unable, or unwilling, to purge themselves from those intent on creating mayhem.

  • M January 31, 2012 (6:50 am)

    Bet most of the people that work at Wells Fargo pay income taxes, LOL. But they have jobs and careers unlike the Occupy movement.

  • Jim January 31, 2012 (7:41 am)

    The Statue of Liberty should also inform us of the amount of income tax the 270,000 employees of Wells Fargo payed last year. It would probably be better if this criminal enterprise were shut down so that those 270,000 victims could have their economic freedom back. And certainly small local business would benefit from not having to serve those employees as customers anymore.

    There is a surplus of anger and emotion present in this movement but a complete lack of intellectual depth.

  • AM January 31, 2012 (8:52 am)

    well said Jim, well said.
    I also think disrupting the small businesses in the area is not productive at all.

  • Yardvark January 31, 2012 (10:44 am)

    It’s so great to see this peaceful movement coming to town. (And kinda funny to hear some call it violent.) I figure that understanding of Occupy might come largely from news highlight clips, which don’t tend to cover productive community meetings. The boring shall lead us, the violent shall make TV news!

  • msc January 31, 2012 (11:14 am)

    Just an FYI, last fall Occupy advertised and supported “Small Business Sat.” the Sat. after Thanksgiving. Occupy is opposed to corporate greed, not small businesses.

    I think in these neighborhood reachout groups, you will find it to be more of a think tank.

    Did you know there has been an anti war group in front of Key bank every Sunday at the junction for the past 10 years. I know it’s shocking, an anti war group in West Seattle! I have even seen a guy with an anti war protest sign!! They are called Neighbors for Peace. Nice people with informative literature. . . . yes, yes, they have peace signs buttons, but don’t let that scare you!

    You all really need to come to the Occupy West Seattle to see/hear what they are all about.

  • ET January 31, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    Occupy West Seattle is just another excuse for young people to riot and vandalize, most of them don’t have a clue what they are even protesting. I work in a small retail shop and business is not the best. Letting Occupy come to WS could only hurt these small shops that are barely making it to begin with.

  • csw2119 January 31, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    You most likely don’t know that Occupy Seattle has many work groups. One very interesting group is called “Get Money Out Of Politics” and another brand new group is “Reasonable Solutions”. Get Money Out Of Politics is working to overturn “Citizens United”. Now isn’t that something EVERYONE can agree with? Did you hear the State Of the Union Address last week? Obama mentioned several things that Occupy has been protesting about, going after the top people of the financial meltdown, ending “insider trading” within congress, rebuilding the infrastructure, ending tax loop holes. You may not agree with Occupy (I don’t agree with a lot of it myself), but it has people talking and thinking about how to end corruption in our country and get back on track, and that is good. Occupy is far from perfect, but you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

  • Danny January 31, 2012 (1:37 pm)

    Protest at noon on a Wednesday? Sounds like some people need to get jobs and start contributing to society and the economy.

  • Clarke January 31, 2012 (1:57 pm)

    I’m confused. I’m politically inclined to agree with most OWS’ers but this vitriol is misguided at best. It’s fun to talk about history without context but it’s not productive.

    First, Wells Fargo was not bailed out by the federal government and was in fact forced to take TARP money against it’s wishes. Second, the federal government was, at the time, desperate for healthy financial institutions to gobble up those that were in imminent danger of failing such as Wachovia. Without Wells Fargo (or JPMorgan) stepping in, Wachovia would have gone bankrupt. Third, Wells Fargo endured huge losses on the assets acquired in the Wachovia transaction and would NEVER have considered this acquisition had these federal incentives not been there. It is these huge losses which have been allowed to “shelter” income from other sides of the bank.

    Now, is it fair to argue with what the government asked Wells Fargo to do? Sure. You could say we were better off by having these large financial institutions fail and that’s what most libertarians believe but that’s sure not the OWS crowd. Is it fair to say that the tax incentives were too much? Of course. It’s real easy to say that after the crisis is over and it’s sure popular to pick on banks but who knows what would have happened if the incentives weren’t there. Is it fair to criticize Wells Fargo for not taking the tax incentives that they were offered (and didn’t ask for) by taking on this responsibility? Not really. Would you blame somebody for taking their mortgage deduction even if they could afford to do without it? I know I wouldn’t.

    Personally, I think we should focus a lot less on bankers and a lot more on legislators. Yes, there hasn’t been enough regulation. Make laws. True, incentives and bonuses have spiraled out of control but without demand for those products there would not have been incentives to pay! And I’m not blaming customers for that…how about the federal government who made it possible for the demand to exist by subsidizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allowing banks to securitize and sell of their risk? Get out of Wells Fargo’s parking lot and go to Olympia or better yet Washington DC. That’s where you’re needed…not camping in our parks or disruping our businesses. Sorry for the rant. I’m sick of this.

  • csw2119 January 31, 2012 (2:04 pm)

    Reinstate Glass Steagall is one of the common protest signs that you will see

  • Clarke January 31, 2012 (2:22 pm)

    Yes, and that’s a wonderful idea. It’s the folks in Olympia who can do that, not the personal bankers making $30K/year sitting in a WF branch with no decision makers present. The way to beat the banks and their professional lobbyists is for the movement to become lobbyists themselves. Focus on accomplishing goals rather than blindly spewing anger at monolithic institutions. It’s easy to pick on unpopular institutions and might make you feel better but won’t accomplish anything and just serves to polarize “us and them.”

  • JN January 31, 2012 (2:23 pm)

    Still sounds like a bunch of old coots whining about those darn young people, because after all, young people just love to riot for no good reason. And since you bring up Oakland, how about the extreme abuse they endured there from the police, or do you just sweep that under the rug along with the basic human rights of American citizens?

  • Yardvark January 31, 2012 (3:06 pm)

    Will there be more Small Business Saturdays as part of Occupy West Seattle? It’d be great to see that as a Chamber of Commerce event.

  • csw2119 January 31, 2012 (3:23 pm)

    The is a work group splintered from OWS that is attempting to approach our grievances politically. Crafting a doc with input from all over the country, then presenting the grievance list to, the President, Congress and the Supreme Court.

    Also the Seattle work group “Get Money Out Of Politics” has started a petition requesting a Constitutional Amendment to limit corporate political spending and to regulate campaign financing, asking that this be placed on the ballot in the November election. You can request a petition to sign from the following address:

  • csw2119 January 31, 2012 (3:28 pm)

    Look at Yardvarks comment above!!! This is exactly what Occupy West Seattle will support!!! Great idea Yardvark, more Small Business Saturdays!!

    As I suggested before, these branch groups will serve at “think tanks”. It’s already starting just from this blog!!

  • Clarke January 31, 2012 (4:10 pm)

    Wasn’t Small Business Saturday driven by American Express, a huge financial services company? How many of those small businesses get their accounts or inventory financed by big banks in order to stay in business? What would they do without a commercial bank for cash management and facilitating transactions with their customers, vendors, and employees through payroll services, credit card transactions, foreign exchange services, etc? How does it make sense that we actively promote frequenting small businesses while in the next breath we villify those that support their activities?

  • Proud Democrat January 31, 2012 (6:38 pm)

    Keep up the great work Working Washington!

  • CSW January 31, 2012 (6:45 pm)

    Doesn’t it make sense to support your local business, and banks? I don’t care who came up with the slogan, Small Business Saturday, it’s a good one. I bet small businesses would say so too. I’m not going to reject the idea of raising taxes on the rich because Warren Buffet said it.

  • howie January 31, 2012 (10:48 pm)

    Oh… I thought you meant the real! Occupy W. Seattlers. Namely, the sidewalk squatters who have been hard at their begging for the past 8-10 mos. Usually a large-ish none-too-pretty female, a shiftless male, plus a pitiful pit-bull (I guess these folks got lost from their real home — Westlake Mall). Usually, they squat near Husky Deli, but now they have been setting up their smelly camp at the little outdoor cafe in front of QFC. (Sorry, decent citizens… you lose that area now.) I am for not putting up with snarky anarchists.

  • Kristin February 1, 2012 (3:13 pm)

    Excited to see what happens with Occupy West Seattle, we will be there! Many of us with families and young kids have a hard time making it downtown, but we will gladly participate closer to home. Occupy means a lot of different things to different people, I really suggest checking it out yourself and not just believing what you read from mainstream media. To our family occupy means getting together with friends, neighbors, community in person, to talk and learn about issues together. To try to understand each other’s point of view. To share and voice our opinions about the problems we see, to raise awareness of the issues we feel are so important. Thank you Occupy West Seattle for bringing this important work close to home!

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