El Centro de la Raza – Seattle, WA
September 5th, 2017
El Centro de la Raza – Seattle, WA
September 5th, 2017
Over two dozen activists and legal observers marched from North Seattle Community College to the Seattle Police Department North Precinct where a community picnic was being held. Once the activists arrived at the picnic, white activists locked arms, protectively surrounding people of color who set up a vigil space with signs, flowers, candles and images of Charleena Lyles. The activists who put on this action held space for over an hour at the event, saying the names of people in King County killed by police and through call and response, chanting their demands for justice.
From the event Facebook page…”Currently, there is a investigation of the Seattle Police Department in response to the killing of Charleena Lyles by officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson. As of June 28th, 2017, four killings of people of color in King County have occured in 9 days. This is unacceptable. We demand an independent, community-based investigation into Charleena’s killing. We demand justice for these people.
#GiovannJoseph-McDade was 20 years old, graduated from Kent-Meridian High School, and was attending Green River College. He is the 3rd person to be murdered by King County police in the past month:
#CharleenaLyles was 30 years old, a mother of four and 3 months pregnant, murdered by Seattle Police
#TommyLe was 20 years old, murdered by King County deputy
The Seattle Police- North Precinct located at 10049 College Way N. will be hosting a community picnic on July 8th, 2017 from 1pm to 4pm. Below is the message on their flyer for this event.
” Picnics provide opportunities for precincts surrounding neighborhoods to come together and enjoy an afternoon of celebration with the officers that protect their families and businesess.
Community members enjoy an opportunity to learn about and interact with many of the Department’s units, including K-9, Mounted Patrol, bomb squad and SWAT.
Come join us for live music, hot dogs and ice cream, bouncy house and story time with your community police team.”
The purpose of this action:
We will not be celebrating for or with SPD.
We do not feel protected by SPD.
We do not feel heard by SPD.
We do not feel safe by SPD.
What the community wants is for police to stop killing us.
We will be holding a sit-in demonstration visibly nearby this picnic. We will give folks opportunities to share words. We will honor the names of the recent victims of police brutality. This space will be led by womxn of color particularly black womxn and be centering their experiences and feelings. Non-black folks will be in supporting roles throughout this action. White folks will be providing an outer layer protection role throughout this action.”
Indigenous leaders, water protectors, and environmental activists gathered at 13 branches of Chase Bank throughout Seattle in a coordinated effort to disrupt their operations in protest of the banks funding of fossil fuel project like the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Chase Bank at Uwajimaya in Seattle
Chase Bank at 2nd and Union
Chase Bank near 4th and Pike
There are reports of seven Chase Bank branches that were closed because of the disruptions and 24 activists were arrested.
The El Comite annual May Day march for workers and immigrants rights started at Judkins Park with a rally and took the streets around 1pm. The march of approximately 2000 moved down Jefferson to 12th, stopping briefly at the Juvenile Detention Center before making their way down Madison to 6th and on to Seattle Center. The march was significantly smaller than in previous years, perhaps due to the rain, perhaps due to the threat of ICE raids, or perhaps to the fear mongering of media outlets in response to SPD’s threats of violence that never materialized.
As the immigrants and workers rights march snaked it’s way downtown, two blocks West at Westlake Park, another group was gathering. This group, under the call out for supporters of “Free Speech” included Trump supporters, Gun advocates, “3 percenters”, Alt-Right, “Proud Boys”, “Oath Keepers”, and conservative issues advocates. They numbered in the 20’s but their numbers rose quickly to almost 150 by 4pm when the “Anti-Communist” rally was set to begin. They were met by citizens with signs, anti-fascists, and communists as they gathered in Westlake Park. By 4pm nearly 20 journalists had joined the group and were taking almost as many photos as the “Free speech” supporters. Several SPD were seen in or near the crowd, some uniformed, some not, and some on horseback. The group had a very short march down fourth, around the block and back to Westlake Park. The police moved in to separate the growing opposition soon after coverage was directed towards the Block Party at the Juvenile Detention Center.
While a few anti-fascists challenged the opposition at Westlake Park, several anti-fascists using Black Bloc tactics gathered at the Juvenile Detention Center at 12th and Spruce. These tactics are put in place to protect anti-fascists from “doxxing” by the opposition (releasing sensitive and personal information to the public about people’s identities) which can lead to arrests and harassment by law enforcement or those looking to cause harm. Tents were set up with information and Anarchist zines, music was spun by local DJ’s, and the streets were covered in chalk art. Some local anarchist grilled hot dogs and chicken and served (free of charge) anyone who was hungry. Mayoral Candidate Nikkita Oliver spoke about using our creativity to take youth jails out of the equation and local hip hop talent Julie C, Suntonio Bandanaz, and Raz Simone dropped lines of poetic knowledge about their experiences growing up in the Central District. With the exception of police blocking both ends of the street after rumors of the opposition moving from Westlake towards the Juvenile Detention Center (they were turned around by SPD), the event was peaceful. When asked about the event, a neighbor replied, “I like this better than last year. This is nice. I endorse this.”.