Tag Archives: Seattle

Native American Students Building Tiny Homes For Homeless

More than a dozen Native American pre-apprentice students studying construction hope the tiny houses they've built will help homeless people get back on their feet. (Photo: KING)

More than a dozen Native American pre-apprentice students studying construction hope the tiny houses they’ve built will help homeless people get back on their feet.
(Photo: KING)

By Josh Green | KING 5 News

TULALIP – More than a dozen Native American pre-apprentice students studying construction hope the tiny houses they’ve built will help homeless people get back on their feet.

During the last weeks, the students at The Tulalip Construction Training Center have constructed two tiny houses, about 8′ x 12′ and the size of a bedroom, that are earmarked for Nickelsville Homeless Encampment in Seattle.

“I feel like it could turn someone around,” said Philip Falcon, a 21-year old from the Coeur D’Alene Tribe in Idaho. “A roof over their head, they feel secure. They can secure themselves and move on.”

Sharon Lee, Executive Director of The Low Income Housing Institute said the group paid for the wood and materials, about $1,800 total, and that they hope eventually 15 homes will go on church-owned property.

“We have had a woman with a broken leg in a wheelchair. She’s a victim of domestic violence,” Lee said about Nickelsville as she stood in one of the houses Monday. “She’s in a wheelchair with a broken leg and a little kid living in a tent. It’s absurd.”

Each shelter is smaller than 120 square feet, which falls under less strict permitting rules in the city of Seattle. Lee said these homes have insulation and could eventually be hooked up for lighting or heat as they work with the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd to host the houses at a new site in the Central District.

City of Seattle information about shelter regulations

“It makes a big difference. We’ve had so many families with young children and the kids are – can you imagine – trying to do their homework by flashlight? So here at least there will be electricity,” she said. “This will feel like – not the perfect home. But it’ll feel like a home with privacy, with walls.”

Before students received a diploma and a ceremonial hammer from the Tulalip Tribal Employment Rights Office Monday, they heard from John Hord, who currently lives in a tent at Nickelsville. Hord is a Chippewa from Minnesota and a carpenter. About four and a half months ago, he lost his housing.

“Nickelsville isn’t about being accepted into Nickelsville – here’s where I’m going to stay the rest of my life – Nickelsville is a platform to build on and make the next step in life,” he said. “Way into the future – hopefully 15, 20 years from now those structures are still going to be changing people’s lives.”


Five ‘Raging Grannies’ Arrested In Anti-Shell Protest At Terminal 5

Image via Twitter/@DJackQ13FOX

Image via Twitter/@DJackQ13FOX

Five members of the Seattle activist group the “Raging Grannies” were arrested by police Tuesday morning during a protest outside Terminal 5.

But it wasn’t easy.

The women, dressed in long skirts and sun hats and sipping from porcelain teacups, were bound together by so-called “sleeping dragons,” makeshift sleeves constructed with materials designed to make their removal difficult and time-consuming.

The “grannies” were part of two simultaneous protests against Shell’s offshore oil rig, which is at the terminal being prepared for Arctic drilling this summer.

While a group of younger protesters camped out on an overpass above, with two heavy oil drums and signs, the grannies chained their wooden rocking chairs together on the BNSF Railway tracks below. The women were also bound together by the homemade arm sleeves.

Seattle police Lt. Jim Arata warned the younger protesters that they had to move their oil drums and get off the overpass above Terminal 5, or face arrest. When the department’s Apparatus Response Team (ART) pulled up with a truck full of saws, jackhammers and other heavy-duty tools in case the protesters were chained to the oil drums, the protesters got up and walked away.

The five grannies, on the other hand, stayed put when the team arrived.

The department formed ART during Seattle’s 1999 WTO riots as a specialty team trained to safely remove protesters who chain themselves to objects or each other, Arata said.

Related: More Arctic drilling protests planned in Seattle

ART members spent about 10 minutes sawing and cutting into two separate “sleeping dragons,” which linked the four “grannies” together by the arms.

Arata said that when police sawed through the duct tape-covered arm sleeves they found rope, rebar, metal and burlap. He said that police covered the grannies in fireproof blankets while they cut through the sleeves to protect them from flying debris.

Seattle Police cut through chains that two women protestors left, Cynthia Linet, right, and Annette Klapstein, right, use to bind themselves together, at Terminal 5, in protest of the Shell Oil rig, Tuesday morning, June 9, 2015. The women are covered with protective tarps while the chains are removed.

Seattle Police cut through chains that two women protestors left, Cynthia Linet, right, and Annette Klapstein, right, use to bind themselves together, at Terminal 5, in protest of the Shell Oil rig.

“They’re meant to slow us down and defeat us,” Arata said about the sleeves.

While ART members worked, a nearby crowd of about 30 protesters chanted “rock on, grannies” and sang songs in support.

The five women — the oldest was 92 — were arrested for investigation of obstruction and pedestrian interference. They were processed and released from the department’s Southwest Precinct in West Seattle.

BNSF spokesman Gun Melonas said trains going through the area were held from 6:30 a.m. until around 10 a.m. because of the protest.

Southwest Precinct Capt. Pierre Davis the arrests “gave them [the grannies] a visual victory.” He said police were prepared for the two protests at Terminal 5 and had medics on scene in case there were any injuries.

Stina Janssen, a spokeswoman for the ShellNo! Action Council, which opposes Shell’s offshore Arctic oil-drilling fleet, said the protesters were trying to “block work Tuesday in order to stop Shell drilling’s oil rig from going out on time.”

Janssen said the grannies want to prevent Arctic drilling and keep “our planet inhabitable for future generations.”

By Jennifer Sullivan and Evan Bush in Seattle Times


Seattle: Despite Protests, Arctic Drill Rig Preparations Continue

Protesters accompanied by Seattle police march at the Port of Seattle, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Seattle. Demonstrators opposed to Arctic oil drilling were showing opposition to a lease agreement between Royal Dutch Shell and the Port to allow some of Shell’s oil drilling equipment to be based in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By Phuong Le | Associated Press

SEATTLE — Neither a protest by hundreds of demonstrators nor a permit violation notice from the city will halt Royal Dutch Shell’s use of a Seattle seaport terminal as it prepares for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, spokesmen say.

The violation notice issued Monday by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said use of Terminal 5 by a massive floating drill rig was in violation of the site’s permitted use as a cargo terminal. The 400-foot Polar Pioneer and its support tug Aiviq must be removed from the terminal or Shell’s host, Foss Maritime, must obtain an appropriate permit, the city indicated.

Possible fines start at $150 per day and can rise to $500 per day. The notice said the violation must be corrected by June 4. The companies can appeal and-or request extensions.

“It remains our view that the terms agreed upon by Shell, Foss and the Port of Seattle for use of Terminal 5 are valid, and it’s our intention to continue loading-out our drilling rigs in preparation for exploratory drilling offshore Alaska,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

“Terminal 5 is permitted to tie up ships while they are being loaded and unloaded,” Foss Maritime spokesman Paul Queary said. “That is exactly what Foss is doing there.”

Queary noted that both Foss and the Port of Seattle are appealing an earlier determination by the city that the use of Terminal 5 was not permitted. Monday’s violation notice followed that determination.

Earlier Monday, protesters spent several hours blocking entrances to the terminal where the rig will be loaded before heading to waters off Alaska this summer.

Holding banners and flags, demonstrators marched across a bridge to Terminal 5, temporarily closing the road during Monday morning’s commute. Once at the terminal, they spread out across the entrances and rallied, danced and spoke for several hours before leaving the site in the early afternoon.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant was among the speakers. She said political leaders had failed to deal with climate change and called for “an escalating series of mass nonviolent civil disobedience until this madness is stopped,” The Seattle Times reported.

Organizers had prepared to engage in civil disobedience to stop work on the drill rig, but Seattle police said Monday afternoon that no one had been arrested and the demonstration remained peaceful. A few dozen officers followed the march on foot and bicycle and kept watch at the terminal.

“I’m not planning to get arrested,” protester Jennifer Jones told The Times. “It would be very inconvenient to get arrested in Washington state. We’re from Portland.”

The mass demonstration was the latest protest of the Polar Pioneer’s arrival in Seattle. Protesters greeted the rig Thursday, and then hundreds of activists in kayaks and other vessels turned out Saturday for a protest dubbed the “Paddle in Seattle.”

Smith said in an email Monday that the “activities of the day were anticipated and did not stop crews from accomplishing meaningful work in preparation for exploration offshore Alaska this summer.”

There were minimal operations at Terminal 5, “so there’s not much to block,” Port of Seattle spokesman Peter McGraw said. The operator of Terminal 18, a major hub of port activity where the march began, closed those gates in anticipation of the demonstration, he said.

Officials have been urging people to exercise their First Amendment rights safely, and “that’s what we’ve been seeing so far,” McGraw said.

The activists say they are concerned about the risk of an oil spill in the remote Arctic waters and the effects that tapping new frontiers of oil and gas reserves will have on global warming. Officials in Alaska have touted the economic benefits that drilling could bring there and to the Pacific Northwest.

On Monday, protesters of all ages sang, rapped and danced at the vehicle gate of Terminal 5. They chanted and held signs saying “Climate Justice For All” and “You Shell Not Pass.”

Lisa Marcus, 58, a musician who participated in Saturday’s protest, turned up with her “Love the planet” sign for another day of activism Monday.

“We’ve got to wake up” to the dangers of human-caused climate change, she said, ticking off a list of environmental problems that the world is facing. “Shell is trying to make it worse, and that’s not acceptable.”

Seattle ‘Kayaktivists’ Protest Shell’s Arctic Drilling Endeavor

Activists in kayaks form a flotilla in Elliott Bay to protest Shell's oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, moored at the Port of Seattle.

Activists in kayaks form a flotilla in Elliott Bay to protest Shell’s oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, moored at the Port of Seattle.

(Reuters) – Hundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay on Saturday to protest plans by Royal Dutch Shell to resume oil exploration in the Arctic and keep two of its drilling rigs stored in the city’s port.

Environmental groups have vowed to disrupt the Anglo-Dutch oil company’s efforts to use the Seattle as a home base as it outfits the rigs to return to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, saying drilling in the remote Arctic waters could lead to an ecological catastrophe.

Demonstrators have planned days of protests, both on land and in Elliott Bay, home to the Port of Seattle, where the first of the two rigs docked on Thursday.

Kayakers on Saturday paddled around the rig yelling “Shell No.” Others unfurled a large banner that read “Climate Justice.”

Environmental groups contend harsh and shifting weather conditions make it impossible to drill in the Arctic, a region with a fragile environment that helps regulate the global climate because of its vast layers of sea ice.

Allison Warden, 42, said she traveled from Alaska to represent her native Inupiaq tribe, which makes its home in the Arctic. She said whales central to the tribe’s culture are particularly vulnerable to oil spills.

“I don’t know what our culture would be without whaling. It’s at the center of everything we do,” she said. “It’s a different relationship than just going to the grocery store. The whale feeds the entire community,” she said.

Opponents of the rigs docking in Seattle, a city known for its environmental causes, include Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council.

Shell was bringing in the rigs and moving ahead as planned despite the opposition and a ruling earlier this week by the city’s planning department that the port’s agreement with the company was in violation of its city permit.

“The timeline now is just to make sure the rigs are ready to go,” said Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman.

The second rig is expected at the port in the coming days.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management gave conditional approval to Shell’s resumption of fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, which was suspended after a mishap-filled 2012 season.

The decision was met with approval by some Alaska lawmakers, who said it would bring money and jobs to the state. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Eric Beech and Steve Orlofsky)


Idle No More Washington ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea

dle No More ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea. Photo: Facebook

Idle No More ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea. Photo: Facebook

Idle No More ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea

Hosted by Idle No More Washington

Saturday May 16, 2015, 10 am – 4:30 pm. Seacrest Marina Park: 1660 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle, Washington 98126

  • 10:00 am – Canoes gather at Seacrest Marina
  • 11-12:30 – Canoes leave for a short pull for photo op, board the barge for a jam session, open mic, music, and speakers.
  • 1:00 pm – Pull to Jack Block Park, 2130 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle
  • 2:00 pm – Duwamish Welcoming, Landing Protocol, Opening Blessing, and speakers.
  • 3:45 pm – Water Blessing Ceremony (please bring a container of water from your area)
  • 4:00 pm – Closing Prayer

In solidarity with our Alaskan brothers and sisters in the Arctic, and all the Coast Salish tribes who are the original stewards of the Salish Sea we come together in a good way to unify in Spirit for prayer, ceremony, and songs to bring a peaceful resolution to preserve and protect the Arctic from the proposed drilling by Shell.

We invite all our Native brothers and sisters to join us in support of not allowing Royal Dutch Shell to use the Port of Seattle Terminal #5 for their drilling rigs, stopping the drilling in the Arctic, and how could we instead support sustainable energy sources. We must ask how can we support Alaska Natives in finding other sources of revenue and work that is not devastating to their traditional way of life, contribute to climate change, and rising sea levels.

We will have travel stipends available for canoe families coming from far away, reserve some hotel rooms with double beds for Friday (sorry for the late notice, but we would need to know before Friday if you need a room), a dinner on Friday at 6 pm. Please contact Sweetwater if your canoe family can make it and how we can assist with accommodations. Bring your drums, regalia, signs, and be #IdleNoMore

PLAN TO ARRIVE EARLY. We encourage public transit. There will be a shuttle from a nearby parking area. Traffic will be very congested and may take 30-45min longer than normal.

Driving Directions from the north to Seacrest Marina

1) Merge onto I-5 S.

2) Take EXIT 163A toward W Seattle Br/Columbian Way/W Seattle Br N.

3) Merge onto W Seattle Bridge W toward Spokane St N.

4) Take the Harbor Ave/Avalon Way exit.

5) Turn right onto Harbor Ave SW.

6) 1660 HARBOR AVE SW is on the right.

Event Page: https://www.facebook.comevents/435811393260441/

Activists Use Tripod To Block Shell’s Seattle Operations:

  • Days after the Foss Maritime announced that they intended to defy Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and illegally host Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet, Seattle activists have blockaded Shell’s Seattle fuel transfer station by erecting a tripod.

Photo: RisingTideNA (Twitter) 2015-05-12

Next week, thousands of protestors from Seattle and beyond plan to converge at terminal 5 and Harbor Island to non-violently resist the progress of Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs and support vessels.  On May 16 a family-friendly Paddle in Seattle will rally people on water and land to protest their presence.  Then  May 18,  activists plan direct action on land. Read more about “Festival of Resistance” at Shellno.org.