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Dramatic first day at Occupy the Capitol; see news roundup

Here’s a roundup of news coverage of Monday’s Occupy the Capitol protests. (Click here for more information about continuing actions this week in Olympia.)

Facebook page for Occupy the Capitol

► From KOMO TV:




► In today’s Olympian — Raucous protests fill Capitol steps, Senate galleries — Lawmakers were met with loud protests Monday on the first day of a 30-day special legislative session called to close a $2 billion state budget gap. State troopers said most protesters made their opposition to budget cuts known peacefully, but troopers used stun guns on three protesters, arrested four and handed out no-trespassing warnings to 30 more who refused to leave the Legislative Building before being escorted or carried out. Protesters from many walks of life converged on the Capitol for a series of actions that drew about 3,000 people during the day. They called for more tax revenue and fewer spending cuts to shore up the budget.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald) — Rowdy start to session — “I am so proud of them. This is democracy in action,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) her voice nearly drowned out by the chants of 200 members of the Occupy movement packed into the gallery. “They believe deeply in their cause and though there are only two of us here right now, I want them to know at least I hear them.”

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Protests shut down special hearing on budget — Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said most Senate Democrats oppose a plan that closes the state’s $1.4 billion budget gap solely with cuts, but there’s no agreement at this point on where to find more tax revenue. “It’s going to take a little while to figure this out,”she said . “Some level of reduction is inevitable.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Olympia’s budget-cutting special session begins –Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed asking voters for a temporary half-cent sales-tax increase to offset cuts to education and health care. An Elway Research poll released Monday found that 64 percent of voters surveyed indicated they likely would support a temporary bump in the sales tax to avoid certain cuts.

► From KING5 TV — Protesters arrested at Capitol building, 3 tased (video)

► From KUOW/NPR — Protesters disrupt start to special session

► At Publicola — First day of special session dominated by protests and  More images from today’s protests in Olympia

► At Slog — Regularly updated posts from Occupy the Capitol

► At — Occupy the Capitol: The next stage in the Occupy movement (by Trevor Griffey) — The Occupy the Capitol events in Olympia, Washington this week could provide a unique fusion of the tactics developed in Wisconsin earlier this year during protests against Republican union busting with the Occupy movement’s protest against austerity politics imposed by both Republicans and Democrats.

TUESDAY, NOV. 29’s Occupy the Capitol action — We are the 99 Percent — Who are the 99 percent? We’ll put a face on the 99 percent with personal stories of the devastation suffered because of state budget cuts. Join us at 11:AM at the Capitol Theatre, in Downtown Olympia. Click here to sign up and join us!. Send in your picture of why you occupy.


CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!