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On March 19, 2021 the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle publicly published this “Official Statement” about our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center and its building, which they inaccurately claim to own.

They allege in this statement that they want to have an open and transparent conversation.

However, they then immediately claim to profess what they call “some important historical context”, in which they—once again—brazenly attempt to erase the history of the AAHM&CC. The most obvious and glaring problem with their narrative is that it pretends no history took place at the AAHM&CC building between 1993 and 2002!

The Urban League simply will not discuss the major events which occurred there in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 or 2001, because the history of those years reinforces the case of the AAHM&CC, not of the Urban League.

Anyone who studies those years of this recorded struggle (available right here on this website) will see that the Urban League is lying when it claims our organization abandoned the building in 1993, or that the building then became, in their words, an “unoccupied and closed altogether” land without a people (for their financiers who wanted more land).

While some corporate newspapers did inaccurately claim that the 1985 public building sit-in ended in 1993 (thereby alleging that it lasted only 8 years instead of the actual 13), and while some of the AAHM&CC’s activists did temporarily withdraw in late 1993 (because the City told them their demands were being met), the true facts of the matter are that the Coleman School building was at all times continuously occupied by AAHM&CC volunteers and equipment from November 23, 1985 through June 4, 1998. The Urban League knows this is a fact, and is choosing to willfully lie about it.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this official public City document, the 1994 Final Report of Mayor Norm Rice’s African American Heritage Museum And Cultural Center Committee, could not exist. Clearly the Urban League wishes it didn’t exist. Fortunately for humanity, though, it does.

Our AAHM&CC plan for a world class museum and cultural center, filling all floors and rooms with recording studios, performance halls, radio stations, design labs, educational exhibitions and much more, is all in direct continuity with that 1994 Final Report!

It is what we have been working towards since 1981, and is what we will fight for as long as necessary, by any means necessary.

Neither our Founders’ Vision nor the 1994 Report are in any way compatible with the shell game apartment scheme managed by a notorious slumlord enforcement agency with only 1.5 Yelp stars.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this Autumn 1996 PI Article about the public hearing on the School District’s sale of Coleman School to us (the AAHM&CC) could never have been written. Clearly the Urban League wishes it hadn’t been written. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle School Board could never have formally approved this sale of the building to us (the AAHM&CC) in July of 1997. Clearly this happened, or the Seattle Times could not have covered it. But, “fast forward (from 1993) to 2002” cries the Urban League.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the January 16th, 1998, mutually signed and notarized purchase and sale contract itself (still never terminated by any foreclosure proceeding whatsoever) could never have been created. Clearly the Urban League wishes it had never been signed. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the corporate power structure would never have found it necessary to send a SWAT Team to attack us (The AAHM&CC) and force us out of our own building on June 4th, 1998. The Urban League wants this act of state violence erased from history because they are its primary beneficiary.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the 1999 peoples’ democratic uprising against the World Trade Organization in Seattle would/could never have included this multiracial and international working class effort to help the AAHM&CC retake our building from the previous year’s police raid. The Urban League clearly wants history to forget this ever happened. Fortunately for humanity, we won’t.

If the Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle Public School District could never have publicly received their down-payment on our building from us (the AAHM&CC) at their meeting in March of 2000, which we delivered to them in spite of the fact that we had–by that time–been illegally locked out of our own building through state violence for over 17 consecutive months. Clearly the Urban League wishes we’d never succeeded in delivering that check. Fortunately for humanity, we did.

If the Urban League were truly a champion on behalf of low-income tenants, as it claims to be, then it would never have been necessary, in 2001, for our community to pressure it to answer the simple question of whether its housing-unit plans for the building consisted of affordable apartments or high-end condominiums. The Urban League was initially alarmingly ambiguous about this, and wished we’d not even pressured them to specify. Fortunately, we did. But the housing in question still turned out substandard and wrongly located.

If Gunslinger James Kelly were really the hero Urban League still says he is, he would not have been flashing a firearm at unarmed high school students on an allegedly weapons-free campus in 2002, the same year in which Urban League’s March 19, 2021 statement claims he was saving the day.

Were James Kelly that hero, he also would not have so closely involved the Urban League with those particular Seattle Public Schools Superintendents (such as Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Joseph Olchefske*) who consistently either get fired, resign or claim to be resigning in disgrace over financial scandals. Nor would he have associated it so closely with Kelly’s other crony—School District Attorney Ron English Esquire, who quietly “retired” from the School District in 2015 after being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation which was politely declared “closed upon his retirement, with no findings”. *(Joseph Olchefske took over from Superintendent John Stanford, who signed our January 16, 1998 Purchase & Sale Agreement as the seller, only to die of leukemia later the same year. The illegal double-sale alleged transfer of our building to the Urban League was then engineered on Olchefske’s watch, by Ron English Esquire. Ron English, like the Urban League, liked to deny that Stanford had ever signed our Purchase & Sale Agreement. English publicly repeated this lie from the time of Stanford’s death until March of 2003, when Mary Bass—the School Board’s only African American member at the time—compelled him to begrudgingly confess that Stanford had not only signed the Agreement, but had done so in the presence of a notary! Even after this confession, English kept advocating the illegal transfer of our building to James Kelly’s Urban League.)

The Urban League’s March 19th statement also repeats a familiar litany of false accusations against us, which we have already rebutted and debunked in detail six times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) since June 2020. So, we won’t take up a lot of space here responding to them again, other than to link our previous extensive rebuttals above.

In very brief, needless to say, the AAHM&CC of course does not foul our own building with feces. That is a sensational slander which white supremacists have been spreading about us since 1993, to which the Urban League is now apparently adding its name.

Also, of course, the AAHM&CC volunteers do not brandish weapons, harass people or issue death threats. That is the frequent behavior of the Urban League’s loyalists, including its contracted (and City-approved) muscle firm Coast Property Management,  which grants physical roof access to people who hurl dangerous projectiles downward at the AAHM&CC, calls towing companies against our volunteers for parking in our own parking spots (which are clearly marked “MUSEUM”), and whose mentally unstable long-time armed employee—after a lengthy documented history of brandishing weapons and issuing death threats—shot two innocent young women in that same parking lot last month, one of them fatally.

The UL’s statement goes on to claim that they have attempted dialogue with us, the AAHM&CC (albeit while attempting to reduce us to the single persona of one of our beloved co-founding elders, Omari Tahir Garrett). This so called “attempted dialogue” is a matter of record. Since June 2020, the Urban League has only ever told Omari one thing, and that is to leave.

The last such formal dialogue occurred in August 2020, and, as of this posting, we are still patiently awaiting the Urban League’s reply to our last letter of the 28th of that month.

As we have said before, it is important to understand on whose behalf the Urban League tells these lies.

The AAHM&CC has been in this fight since 1985, and will continue the fight for as long as it takes to build this urgently needed peoples’ facility.

Free The Land – The AAHM&CC

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The AAHM&CC has become aware that, on the Tuesday of March 16th, an Urban League official sent a cryptic and threatening message to one of our volunteers in the form of a personal cell phone text.

At the request of our registered agent, our website is transcribing and publishing the text of this message here, with the personal name of the recipient deleted.

It reads:

“******, we looking into re-purposing the museum to serve as a cultural center. That will take time. However the many complaints by tenants about the encampment must be addressed. Omari must go or be removed first. There is no interest any longer in working something out while he is present. I tried hard in good faith. What will happen will happen. I hope he will consider coming to the table to work out a solution that honors him, and respects the tenants.”

The most important detail about this latest act of bullying by the Urban League is that it contains those two important confessions: 1), that the building really should be a cultural center, and 2), that the Urban League to date has NOT been operating it as a cultural center.

Of course, by the word “tenants”, the UL is referring, on the one hand, to the individuals in search of residential housing to whom they are falsely representing themselves as the building’s owners, and whom they are illegally charging monetary “rent” to unsafely and uncomfortably inhabit a building that is neither intended for residential use nor owned by the organized criminals collecting this “rent”. They are simultaneously referring, on the other hand, to their subsidiary spinoff organization, known to the people as the “NAAM Scam”, illegally occupying the ground floor of the building.

No matter how often the Urban League repeats the lie that the AAHM&CC an “encampment”, it will still be a lie.

We are the true authentic Musuem, and we continue to stand for the implementation of the publicly documented and officially designated use of the former Coleman School premises, firmly established by the City of Seattle itself since February of 1994, as is clearly demonstrated in the  45-page report of the MAYOR’S AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER COMMITTEE.

We also continue to stand on our mutually signed and sealed Purchase and Sale Agreement which has made our organization the rightful owner of the building since January of 1998, which you can view here. This agreement has never been terminated by any foreclosure process, and is still as valid as the day it was signed, despite the habitual tendency of white power structures to break their treaties.

We are present in furtherance of these official public documents.

Museums routinely host exhibitions, both indoors and out. Our current emphasis is on outdoor exhibits precisely because the Urban League racketeers are presently illegally squatting inside of our building and have locked the door from the inside, which unfortunately renders the interior of the building inaccessible to its authentic purpose at this time.

Naturally, our outdoor exhibits, and the items necessary for their maintenance, are valuable, and therefore require the presence of round-the-clock human security personnel. Also, naturally, our security personnel must be furnished with the ability to take naps and nourishment to refresh themselves to continue the performance of their duties. Nothing about this constitutes an “encampment”.

In contrast to us, The Urban League, its subsidiary flag-independent ground-floor “tenant” organization, and its corrupt supporters within city and county government have been willfully and illegally obstructing this good public project with force and violence since June 4th, 1998, occupying the building for profiteering objectives contrary to its authentic designated use.

Contrary to the what is alleged in the Urban League’s dishonest threat, the Urban League has never yet “tried hard in good faith” to “work something out while he (AAHM&CC Co-Founder Omari Tahir) is present”. The Urban League’s one and only proposal to Omari Tahir since Juneteenth of 2020 has been its unconditional demand that he once again leave his own building. This is a matter of record. Its last formal exchange of dialogue with us was in August of 2020, and we have been patiently awaiting its reply to our last letter since the 28th day of that month. It has yet to reply, apparently preferring to open personal side channels with our individual volunteers and attempting to bully them.

In spite of all of this, the Urban League’s admission that the building should be a cultural center, and has not been used as one on their watch, is a significant bit of progress.

We can agree on at least one other thing as well. “What will happen”, will indeed happen. The AAHM&CC has been in this fight since 1985, and will continue the fight for as long as it takes to build this urgently needed peoples’ facility.

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AAHM&CC Launches Community Audit of NAAM Scam, Calls On Elected Officials to Investigate the Illegal Double-Sale of Coleman School!

September 10, 2020,

The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center has addressed a letter to leaders of Seattle and King County, calling their attention to the facts we have so far uncovered through our independent community audit of the NAAM Scam racketeering and illegal double-sale of the Coleman School building.

We are calling upon these officials to defend the public trust by conducting their own investigations into this scandalous injustice.