BRICK says Farewell

Greetings and Happy New Year!

It’s with both some sadness and some relief that I share with you that the student club BRICK at SPSCC no longer exists. The reasons for this are myriad:

Part institutional-the funding mechanism for student organizations changed and BRICK saw substantial budget cuts, and work assignments for  professors at SPSCC have been revised;

Part cultural-the nature, culture, technologies, strategies, and values of student activism have changed substantially; and

Part personal-I have a five-year-old I’d like to spend more time with, and my wife recently opened a cheese shop in downtown Olympia, The Mouse Trap, which I’ve been helping out with some.

In any case, I found myself overwhelmed and unable to continue the level of support for BRICK’s that I believe it deserved. I announced on campus at the end of last year that I would be stepping down as BRICK’s advisor, no one else stepped in to fill the role and so, at least for now, BRICK has closed its doors.

It has been a good run. In the 13 years BRICK existed, over 20,000 people, both students and community members, attended BRICK’s events. Around 300 students learned valuable skills in activism and organizing as members. BRICK hosted over 200 events, ranging from speakers to forums to films to conferences to our annual May Day Hoe Down. We saw presentations from the likes of Vandana Shiva, Glenn Greenwald, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Craig Rosebraugh,  Bill Ayers, Annie Sprinkle, Christian Parenti, David Rovicks, Scott Ritter, James Yee, Omoyele Sowore, Mike Farrell, Father Roy Bourgeois, Ward Churchill, Derick Jensen, Liz Canner, Teresa Guajardo, Antonia Juhasz, the Yes Men, Ali Abunimah, Josh Rushing, Anne Feeney, Susan Koppelman, David Korten, Malailai Joya, Ziad Abbas, Ellen Brown, Scott Crow, Hasan Salaam, Radley Balko, and many others. BRICK hosted dozens of film screenings, debates, and forums, and was able to work with many wonderful local social change organizations including Stonewall Youth, the Thurston County Progressive Network, the Rachel Corrie Foundation, GRuB, and many others, as well as cohosting events with most of the other student organizations on this campus. BRICK’s annual May Day Hoe Down brought hundreds of squaredancers together to learn about economic inequality and organized labor while dancing to the tunes of the Blackberry Bushes, Head for the Hills, the Tune Stranglers, and others. In the years since BRICK began, student participation and activism have increased dramatically; where BRICK was once the only such group on campus, today over a dozen student clubs promote social justice around various issues at SPSCC. BRICK students have gone on to accomplish amazing things, from organizing large protests at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, to working in leadership positions in the anti-war movement, to becoming a producer for the NPR radio programs to teaching radical graffiti art skills to inner-city youth to earning PhD’s in history to starting other similar student organizations at The Evergreen State College, Centralia College, UW, and even the University of Massachusetts! Former BRICK students are changing the world!

I’d also like to specifically thank Eric Chase, BRICK’s tireless co-advisor who helped provide ethical guidance, sagely wisdom, and much-needed  humor all these years. You couldn’t ask for a better mentor and role model for these students.

As for me, I’ll still be around Olympia, still teaching sociology at SPSCC, and will likely have some more activities in the social change realm soon enough. I’m taking some time to do some writing, focus on my teaching, and spend more time with my family. I will still enjoy working with campus and local groups on building more effective organizations and activist campaigns, and will no doubt run in to many of you in our small town or our small world.

Keep Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge,

David Hyde

Chris Hedges “Wages of Rebellion” Monday, March 9, 2015 7PM

$13 for community members/Free with SPSCC student ID Tickets are available online at or by calling (360)753-8586 or at the Washington Center or the Minnaert Center box offices.

Chris Hedges

Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. In Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges—who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books Empire of Illusion and Death of the Liberal Class—investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.

Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as “sublime madness” — the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this “sublime madness.”Chris Hedges


Chris Hedges is a columnist for Truthdig. A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, he spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


BRICK Movie Mondays: “Pay 2 Play” January 26, 2015 26-101

Join BRICK for a screening of the documentary “Pay 2 Play” from director John Wellington Ennis, January 26, 2015 in building 26 room 101.

Driven to make the world a better place for his newborn daughter, John Ennis looks for ways out of our system of pay-to-play politics. Along the way, he journeys through high drama on the Ohio campaign trail, uncovers the secret history of the game Monopoly, and explores the underworld of L.A. street art on a humorous odyssey that reveals how much of a difference one person can make. PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy’s High Stakes is a fun guidebook to returning the United States government to its People. PAY 2 PLAY features Robert Reich, Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Lessig, Jerry Springer, John Nichols, Van Jones, Marianne Williamson, Jack Abramoff, Thom Hartmann, Bob Edgar and more… – IMDB


Green Business With Fertile Ground: April 18, 2013


A spotlight on a local Olympia organization Fertile Ground. Come meet the Fertile Ground board members and learn what it takes to be a green business in a “grey world”.
Topics Include:

  • What it means to be a “green business.”
  • How to attract people into a space.
  • What do we mean by “The Commons”.
  • How do we form alliances.
  • What resources we can offer to the Community.
  • How this can be replicated in other neighborhoods and cities.

Many people know Fertile Ground as “That place behind the downtown Olympia Library with the chickens”.