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Seattle Police Department trying to shut down April 20 events

Seattle Police pose during 2001 New Year's Eve Party, Pike place marketAccording to Seattle activists, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has been pressuring Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) to close its campus for A20 events in that city. Events scheduled for SCCC are nonetheless still scheduled, and will include a teach-in at 2:00 p.m., a Reclaim The Streets Party at 4:00 p.m., and two marches (one permitted, one not) "against the IMF/WB/WTO/War, etc." at 6:00 p.m. If the SPD has its way, however, all classes and lectures for the day will be cancelled and the school locked up.

A20 is a world-wide day of protest against transnational financial institutions, corporate globalization, and the U.S.A.'s 'war on terror'. Thousands are expected to attend events in Washington, D.C., and around the country.

Seattle activists are also saying that a church across the street from the SCCC campus and another business in the area will also be closed after requests from the SPD, which claimed that "'anarchists' from Portland and Eugene are coming" to the A20 events. Members of the SPD also attended an SCCC faculty meeting, where they said that no parking would be allowed on Broadway on April 20 because people could store bombs in cars there. Say the Seattle activists: "The police are insane. They are crossing every line to intimidate people. We must assert our rights!!"

The activists are asking people to contact SCCC's president, Charles Mitchell, "to demand he upholds our constitutional right to assemble and not crumble under police demands."

12 April update: SCCC Faculty Senate urges President to keep campus open
In a letter to Mitchell, the SCCC Faculty Senate has called for him "to rescind his decision to close the building and show support for the student-organized teach-in that was to be held on our campus on April 20, 2002... We reject the role of the SPD and any other law enforcement body in limiting academic freedom and the civil liberties of Seattle residents."
[ Full story ]

13 April update: Misinformation spread by police and corporate media
The Seattle Police Department and at least one corporate media station in Seattle are spreading rumors and accusations about "possible vandalism" during A20 and named Portland groups Reclaim the Streets and ACC as probable culprits. Activists were not consulted for the story, quelle surprise. In contrast, Karen Strickland, president of the Faculty Senate at SCCC, voiced concerns about possible police behavior. "Given the history of the police responses to public gatherings like this," she said to Channel 5, "I'm somewhat concerned that they may react in a way that instigates or escalates the situation."
[ "Seattle Police warn of A20 vandalism" | "Seattle SPD warns that Portlands RTS group may cause property damage on A20" ]

Portland activists are arranging carpools for those interested in going to Seattle for A20: [ Details ]

Check in with Seattle Indymedia to follow this story, and for coverage of A20 events that day.

Stop SCCC A20 closure
A20 update from Seattle- things get strange
A20 Seattle info