Ballard church to discuss Occupy movement

This Friday evening, Trinity United Methodist Church (TUM) will hold a community discussion about the police response to the Occupy movement.

“I think we were all appalled by the seemingly indiscriminate and counter-productive response by police and city officials in Seattle and around the country to the Occupy protest actions,” John Lederer with Trinity United Methodist tells us. “Members of the congregation have long been concerned about the increasing militarization of our city police forces and the destructive us-versus-them mentality that the use of these weapons propagates within our community. On the other hand, because the Occupy movement is about continuous presence rather than one-day protest events, it raises a whole new set of public safety concerns that we are not dealing with very well.”

The church, in cooperation with University Temple United Methodist Church, have put together a panel to discuss this issue. Panelists include Dorli Rainey, 84-year old activist recently pepper-sprayed by Seattle police, Rev. Rich Lang, Occupy Chaplain also recently pepper-sprayed by police, and Andrea Brenneke, a Seattle attorney specializing in civil rights. A representative from the Seattle Police Department has also been invited. “we wanted to get a range of viewpoints on a panel to talk about what is the appropriate public safety response to the Occupy movement, and how can we, as a community, balance the preservation of our precious free speech rights with our public safety concerns,” Lederer says.

The community discussion is Friday, December 2nd from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at TUM (6512 23rd Ave NW.)

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