The Hellhole – Week of 6/17

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Time to Grab The Dictionary

In the same week that ICE moved to reopen a prison used during the Indian Wars to hold Geronimo in 1894, the agency has stopped updating records about deaths in their custody. As pundits spent the last few days arguing the semantics of the term “concentration camp”, writers Maya Schenwar & Kelly Hayes proposed that a closer-to-home comparison is also apt. In a recent piece on Truthout called They Are Concentration Camps – and They Are Also Prisons, the authors argue that very little differs between immigrant camps and the existing prison-industrial complex or the euphemistically named juvenile detention centers”. They operate in the same manner: separate families by force, brutalize children, and destroy communities. Incidentally, the US Government argued this Tuesday in 9th Circuit court (of which Washington is part of) that denying kids shelter, soap, and toothbrushes is “safe”.

Democratic leadership has largely avoided condemnation for its complicity in the bipartisan stain of deportations & coercion during the past two decades. When Nancy Pelosi tried to scold House Representative Ocasio-Cortez for calling ICE’s detention camps what they are, the subtext was clear: “All our hands are dirty, don’t call attention to it”.

Tim Burgess’s Corporate-Ass Largesse

Seattle’s ex-city councilmember & blink-and-you-missed-it 55th Mayor has run into a roadblock with his new gig. Tim Burgess was all set to join the executive board that oversees T-Mobile Park, the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (or the WSMLBSPFD for short). The plan ran into a snag when the King County Council decided to delay the vote, possibly in light of the Political Action Committee Burgess helped create that has  received donations from the Mariners’ ownership. The PAC — “People for Seattle” — is an alliance of ex-politicos & local oligarchs aimed at shifting the makeup of our city council in the direction of more business-friendly backroom dealers. As of yet, the KC Council has merely delayed a vote on his humble career change from carrying water for the propertied in council chambers to doing so in the chambers of commerce.

In his brief tenure, Mayor Tim Burgess explicitly shot down “stop the sweeps” legislation, claiming that the encampments were a “safety risk” (as opposed to sleeping exposed to the elements, which is kinda what happens when your shelter is taken from you & destroyed). This comes from someone self-described as “motivated and interested in global poverty issues”. Sadly, building housing for Seattleites rendered homeless through gentrification wasn’t quite global enough to pique his interests.

Workers: Unite!

Frye Workers Union win. 100% of workers at the Frye Art Museum voted UNION Yes during their election. That’s democracy at work, folks! Now onward to a fair contract, better conditions, and the promise of preserving both art and human dignity.

Frye Security Guards win! 100% of the folks voting in today's election chose to stand with their coworkers and vote…

Posted by Seattle Democratic Socialists of America on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

King Fuji farmworkers have verbal promise of no reprisal, unfair treatment from bosses. This is a small win with high risks, especially if management fails to improve the unsafe and foul conditions workers struck over. SB 5438 means workers are guaranteed a seat at the table, whether the bosses like it or not. The bosses need the worker; the workers don’t need any bosses. Never forget that.

Workers at King Fuji Ranch in Mattawa have been in contact with Familias Unidas por la Justicia since February 2019…

Posted by Community to Community Development on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

St. Joseph Nurses consider whether to strike. While there is no strike vote scheduled as of yet, strike prep training has occurred, and things are heating up for nurses faced with a myriad of ills from management: unsafe patient volumes, low pay, limited breaks, and unsafe scheduling.

SJTAC RN J Richie T Tiamzon on what nurses need: "We're not being greedy and asking for too much, we're asking for the…

Posted by Nursing Strong St. Joseph Tacoma on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Note: The Seattle Hellhole represents the views of its writers and does not represent official positions of Seattle DSA at large. Its writers are a collective working on independent pieces, editing, and design to deliver this each week. If you want to volunteer, join us in #wg_comms_design on Slack or email [email protected]

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