College Teaching Classes in Support of Occupy Seattle Movement
SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) — One Seattle college is backing Occupy Seattle by teaching classes in support of the movement.
Professors from Seattle Central Community College began offering teach-ins Sunday night to cover topics such as legislative lobbying and the art of the protest sign in support of Occupy Seattle, which had moved to the college as its main site for the group’s protests against corporate greed.
Recently, Seattle police evicted Occupiers from its main protesting site at Westlake Park, saying that overnight camping was prohibited. On Saturday, the movement marched toward a new camp at Seattle Central Community College. The school was chosen after the American Federation of Teachers began supporting Occupy’s potential move to one of the Seattle community college schools.
Occupy Seattle spokeswoman Aliana Bazara told CBS Seattle that the group’s move to one of the SCC schools was initially met by some resistance from the system’s administration, but was eventually given the green light after some persistence on the part of the AFT.
While there, college professors began offering public teachings last night that looked at the current and past issues of social movements and protests. Bazara said that the professors were there because they felt they needed to help the Occupiers with their message.
“The response was, ‘We want to protect you, we want to help you stay safe,'” she said. “I think it is very much like a motherly thing. We do have quite a few students from SCC that identify themselves as members of Occupy Seattle.”
No arrests were made during the teach-ins, which lasted throughout the night, Bazara said. She added that there has been no indication to this point of whether the teach-ins would continue, but that the movement hopes to have the professors back for more teach-ins.
The SCCC encampment could help the movement gain support amongst local and state colleges and universities, especially with the University of Washington, which had students participate in a rally earlier in the month.
The push for more of a school presence could also help ease tensions between Occupy Seattle and local leaders. The Seattle contingency started protesting Oct. 1, following suit with Occupy Wall Street. The group has been all but pushed out of Westlake Park, Bazara said, with local officials giving the group the runaround in regard to obtaining a 24-hour permit. Like some other Occupy movements, Occupy Seattle protesters have been arrested as local officials are beginning to see the financial affects of the movement.
“Although they are publicly in support of us, we’re still seeing harassment from the police and a lack of willingness to provide us with the necessary supplies to continue our occupation,” Bazara said. “I hope that the support from the teacher’s union and Seattle Central Community College will change the city’s mind.”
Calls and emails made by CBS Seattle to SCCC were not immediately returned.