For Immediate Release
Statement #2 by the State Street 29 Support Committee
May 24th, 2010
On April 8th, 2010, 29 individuals were arrested in Olympia, WA while taking part in an unpermitted march against police brutality. This march, like many others in cities along the west coast that day, took place in response to several recent and horrendous examples of police brutality in the west coast states. These marches were a part of the West Coast Days of Action Against State Violence on April 8th and 9th, which were anonymously organized to rally people to speak out against these atrocities and others like them.
In the weeks that have followed that night, the arrestees in Olympia have received nothing but defamation and unfounded attacks from their local corporate and independent media outlets. These news sources have used their positions of power as supposed voices of the people to call upon the entire Olympia community to literally turn their backs on the arrestees and to deny them of any form of support. They have made illegitimate claims as the to the groups intentions that night, and have written editorials to denounce the principles of those involved, painting them as hate mongering “masked morons,” and “bad anarchists.” These commentaries have not only demonized young Olympia residents, dividing the entire Olympia community and stifling chances for meaningful dialogue in the process, but they have also worked to turn the spotlight off the most important issue: the brutality of the police.
The piece was published without an individual byline, but clearly argues in favor of the act of throwing rocks at events such as May Day. I quote: “Some will rightly point out that tactics need to be escalated…” “Anybody who is swayed against our cause by seeing people fight back was … never on our side in the first place.” These quotes are from an imaginary discussion with 20 imagined “anti-imperialists.” They are laid out in argument, counter-argument style in a common form of propaganda called false equivalence. The arguments are presented side by side as if they are equally valid, and the piece does not openly state that one or the other view is correct, except in its choice of the phrase “…rightly point out..” and “…our side,” as if we the readers are on the side of those who threw these rocks. The good intentions of those who threw rocks are also assumed by the author, opening the question of whether the author participated in this act.