For this years Fourth of July edition, the Seattle Weekly has featured a prominent article on CascadiaNow! as well as the recent postering and street art campaigns by our members around the city. The article, written by Kelton Sears, documents his trip to a meeting he went to in 2012, providing a fun glimpse into an average gathering held bi-weekly in their warehouse loft space headquarters in the industrial district of Seattle.
In it, he also provides a very nice background to Cascadia explaining:
“In the ‘70s, a sociology professor at Seattle University named David McCloskey had a thought.
In his sociocultural studies of the Northwest, McCloskey began referring to a region he called Cascadia. This imaginary country, comprised of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, ignored international borders in favor of bioregional ones. Rather than defining the area of study by its political borders, McCloskey used natural ecological features as the dividing lines. McCloskey began teaching a class called “Cascadia: Sociology of the Pacific Northwest.” In his class Cascadia was not only a bioregion, but a way of thinking for the distinct people within it.
The idea caught on, garnering bubbling support from outdoorsy eccentrics across the region. In 1994, a Portland man named Alexander Baretich designed a flag for the movement—a blue, white and green striped banner with a Douglas Fir in the middle. The stripes represent the forest, water and sky of the region. The Portland Timbers soccer team proudly flies the flag during matches. It has become the symbol for the Cascadia cup as well, an MLB championship between the Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps.”
The article also captures in a lighthearted the fun, beer drinking, soccer talking, somewhat radicalesque cross section of Pacific Northwest culture that the movement seems to capture and bring in:
I drive around the warehouse a couple of times until I find the meeting—the area south of downtown Seattle is mostly cement factories and abandoned smokestacks—abandoned all but for the six or seven guys hanging out in the alley by the train tracks. They are drinking hoppy beer and kicking rocks around. There’s a dog too, wearing a green bandana around its neck. They look like regular guys mostly. Middle aged. Glasses. T shirts. There’s one mohawk, but aside from that, everyone seems highly employable. They don’t look like the separatists I’m looking for. They are talking about soccer. One of the bigger guys notices me cautiously coming down the alleyway.
“Are you looking for the Cascadia Now! meeting?” he asks, “because you found it.”
He warmly hands me a beer.
The whole article can be read on the Seattle Weekly website, and can be found here: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/947560-129/cascadia-adam-says-meeting-beer-mike#img1