West Coast Port Shutdown: Your Guide to Being as Safe as Can Be

Compiled by the POC Caucus of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle.

Click here to download our PDF Guide to the Seattle Port Shut Down.

1. Bring at least one piece of valid picture I.D, and if you have it, official documentation of your legal right to be in the country.
2. Know by memory/write on your arm the phone number of a support person. The Occupy Seattle legal number is 206-403-8741.
3. Let someone know where you will be at all times. Find at least one other person at the action and know where they are at all times. Support and protect each other.
4. Avoid carrying bags, purses, backpacks, which may get stolen/lost if you are arrested.
5. Do not bring drugs, weapons, alcohol. For obvious reasons, do not bring your smartphone.

6. If you need prescription drugs, bring them in their original containers, and bring a copy of the prescription. Don’t risk arrest if you’re going to need to take your own medicine at regular intervals of less than about 48 hrs.
7. If you have outstanding warrants for any reason, your bail may be raised and it may result in you being singled out from other arrestees.
8. Know that if you don’t live nearby, if you are arrested you may be legally required to return to this area to go to court on one or more occasions, and not on your schedule.
9. Don’t risk arrest if you’re not a US citizen; our system is pretty messed up, and regardless of your legal status, immigrants can be put in danger by these arrests.
10. If you are differently-abled, consider the fact that the police and jail authorities are not obligated to give you the level of care and consideration you would receive otherwise.
11. Juveniles (under-18s): the consequences of arrest could include getting schooling impacted or living situations disrupted (e.g. CPS).

When on Port of Seattle land, you are on public land: you are not trespassing UNLESS you enter the fenced sections which are leased to corporations with their own security force. Regardless it is legal to be on the sidewalks and parking lots. You do not need to keep moving as long as you clear a path for others to walk down the sidewalk.

You do not have to talk to the police. If they speak to you, ask, “Am I free to leave?” If they say yes, walk away slowly. If they say no, you are being detained. If they ask, provide your name; otherwise you do not need to speak to them. Use your current legal name. Only a judge has the authority to order you to answer questions.

You are not required to reveal your immigration status to police officers.** It is better to say nothing than to lie.

If they stop you in your car, provide your license and registration. You do not have to consent to a search or answer questions.

Be aware that police will try to lie to you and intimidate you in order to get you to do what they want.

**There is a Seattle City and King County “Don’t ask” ordinance about people’s immigration status. HOWEVER, if you are booked, the police may find that you are undocumented and hand you over to ICE detention center.

- Once you are on “port property,” that is jurisdiction of the Port Police.
-The Port Police are teamsters: they ultimately answer to the Port Commissioners.
- Folks who are on Seattle streets are subject to SPD and Port Police
-Something to keep in mind: they may be working together.

- The larger the group, the more likely port police will be seeking to enforce trespass/dispersal order
- Under WA state law, you never need a permit for a sidewalk, parks and other public forums (like lawn of city hall and plaza in front of the jail)
-Don’t have to be moving (i.e. marching) but just make sure people a lane to walk through.
If we are asked to disperse, the police have to give us proper warning. Police need owner’s permission to give dispersal order on private property.

- They must give an audible dispersal order (we must be able to hear it).
After the order has been give we need to:
o Make sure everyone can hear/has heard it & note the time/date
o Cops need to voice their authority for giving order
o Need to give you a time frame
o Need to tell where to leave.
§ We can ask. Where do you want us to disperse to? Which direction is it safe to walk in without getting arrested?
- They need to give THREE orders
- Sometimes they give the dispersal order only to intimidate; you can choose to hold your ground after an order has been given.

Occupy Seattle Street Medics have established a site away from the port action where people can come warm up, dry off, and have some down time on Monday, 12/12. This location has internet access, so if people want to stay connected and monitor via livestream, that’s an option.

The location is Jigsaw Renaissance, in the INScape building (former INS building).
This location will be staffed by at least one street medic from 3pm to 8pm.

It would be amazing if anyone had connections to large coffee urns for coffee, hot water (for tea/hot cocoa), and maybe cider. Also amazing if anyone has the ability to gift some coffee, tea/hot cocoa, cider and snacks.

Occupy Seattle Street Medics and other medics working the port protest should be able to give directions to this location. The bus service from the port isn’t great, but Jigsaw is only two blocks south of the International District station/transit hub.

Google will lead you astray…
The address is actually 815 S Seattle Blvd, but google maps will show 815 Airport Way.
It is between 5th and 6th, just south of Uwajimaya.
The exterior of the building is always locked, but there will be a phone number posted to call, and hopefully our exterior door bell will be functioning as well.

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