outlaw's blog

"Freaks" @ Traditions Cafe, Sat 14 Mar 7 pm

Join the Oly General Membership Branch of the IWW at Traditions this Saturday at 7 for a viewing of Tod Browning's 1931 classic, "Freaks". The film will be followed by a discussion of the ongoing economic exploitation and oppression of disabled people, particularly special ed students, including right here in our community, and ideas for how to resist it. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Dumping snow on sidewalks is illegal

Dumping snow on sidewalks is illegal. So is leaving it there.

Section 8.24.020, paragraph E, of the Olympia Municipal Code says that “[o]bstructing or encroaching upon or rendering unsafe for passage any…sidewalk…in the city” constitutes a public nuisance.

Section 12.36.060 of the Code says, “Each and every occupant or owner of property within the city along or adjoining which property are sidewalks are [sic] required to keep the sidewalks free from all snow, ice, mud or other obstructions.”

Apparently, every snow plow operator who pushed snow onto the city’s sidewalks in a manner that obstructed them, encroached upon them, or rendered them unsafe for passage, deserves to be cited for violating a city ordinance. The same appears to be true for each and every occupant or owner of property with a sidewalk, who neglected to clear said sidewalk.

Our new mascot--the Olympian Snow Ostrich

Pity the poor Snow Ostrich, a creature that lays eggs 20 times the size of its brain. The snow ostrich is probably best known for one of its more unusual behaviors—at the slightest hint of danger, trouble, or the possibility of an unpleasant interaction, it will run away and bury its head in the snow. In the case of another creature making threatening sounds, the snow ostrich will first utter what has been described as “an ungodly horrific shrieking noise” in an attempt to drown out the offending sounds before trying to scrape together enough snow to cover its head. Under extreme circumstances, the snow ostrich will not only bury its head, but will also use its wings to sweep snow from along its sides toward its tail, in the apparent belief that it can fend off any threat simply by keeping its head down and its tail covered. Perhaps the oddest and saddest thing about the snow ostrich is the fact that most of the individuals observed don’t seem to realize that the actual physical presence of snow is crucial to the performance of their characteristic head-burying behavior. Consequently, most of them live in habitat areas where snow is relatively uncommon, and are often quite surprised and confused when enough of it falls for them to bury their heads. As an adaptation to this environment, the snow ostrich has taken to burying its head in other things besides snow, most often paperwork. In fact, it is not at all uncommon to see two or more snow ostriches competing for territory, each wanting to secure for itself the area with the best opportunities for burying its head and covering its tail.

This tale begins with a lump of snow

This tale begins with a lump of snow.

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This particular lump of snow was pushed from the driveway of the Memorial Medical Center by a snow plow belonging to GVA Kidder Matthews. It was pushed onto the sidewalk next to the mouth of the driveway. Here it lay, standing about three feet high, stretched all the way across the sidewalk, blocking the path of anyone on wheel or foot who was unwilling or unable to leap or climb over it, and here it lay untouched for the next two weeks. It not only blocked the medical center from one side, it also blocked the bus stop on the other side. Yes, GVAKM had effectively placed a barricade between a medical center and the bus stop that serves it.

Special Ed Forced Labor Discussion

Where: Traditions Cafe
When: Dec. 1st, 7:00pm

If you are a Special Ed student, or you have a child in Special Ed at Capitol High or Olympia High, please come to this event--

End Special Ed Forced Labor Now!

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing all forms of slavery, was ratified in 1865. The Fair Labor Standards Act, establishing basic rights for workers, was passed in 1936. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, guaranteeing all children a Free, Accessible Public Education, was passed in 1975. The nation’s first state-level special education law was passed in Washington in 1978. The Americans with Disabilities Act, protecting people with disabilities from discrimination in state programs and services, was passed in 1990.

Why then, in 2008, in Washington’s public schools, are special ed students forced to work as janitors and groundskeepers, for no pay, with no training and no protective gear, under conditions only considered acceptable for general ed students who are being punished, while their parents are told lies, if they are told anything at all?

Join us at Traditions Café, Monday 1 Dec at 7 pm, to learn the answer to this question, share your story of special ed slavery, and join the fight for the rights and the dignity of our young sisters and brothers, as students, as workers, as human beings.

Sponsored by the Cascadia Center for 5th World Studies and the Olympia General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World

URGENT UPDATE--3.44pm 9 Nov 07--Stryker vehicle arrested, people needed at Port

As of approximately 15 minutes ago, a flatbed carrying a Stryker has been arrested by PMR. The truck was blocked, at which point the driver committed vehicular assault, using the truck to push people (number unnkown) out of the way. The driver was placed under citizen's arrest, but did not comply. A Securitas guard was also arrested and did not comply. 911 was called, and the police do not appear to be honoring these valid, legal citizen's arrests. As of 3.24, the flatbed truck is surrounded at the Franklin Street entrance to the Port of Olympia by approximately 100-150 people and is not moving. WE NEED YOU NOW AT THE FRANKLIN STREET ENTRANCE TO THE PORT!

What you should know about IT--Part 1

In November of 1999, Initiative 695 was passed by the voters of WA.  The purpose of I-695 was to eliminate the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, and to replace the sliding scale for license tab fees (which tied the amount paid to the value of the vehicle) with a flat fee of $30.  Before 695, license tab fees had ranged from about $10 to about $200.  You do the math.  People in the top bracket saved big bucks.  People in the bottom bracket got screwed.  30 bucks may not sound like much, but I know at least a couple of people who had to get rid of their cars because they could no longer afford to keep them legal.  The irony of this is that the MVET had been the primary source of funding for public transit in WA.  For IT, the passage of 695 meant the immediate loss of 42% of their total budget.  Other transit systems were hit even harder.  Some of the smaller systems in rural areas were forced to shut down completely.

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