Hundreds march through Capitol Hill in Seattle to protest the rise of violence against the LGBTQ community

Members of Seattle’s LGBTQ community have had enough harassment and violence, and on Saturday night, they decided to make sure those who frequent Capitol Hill bars knew they were in a traditionally safe neighborhood for the community. Hundreds marched though the streets with candles to protest the rise in violence against those in Seattle’s LGBTQ community.

Demonstrators held a small rally at Cal Anderson Park before marching to the Oddfellows building, the site of a recent attack on a transgender person, where they lit candles and held a moment of silence for all the victims of hate crimes. The protest then moved down the Pike/Pine corridor, stopping at intersections and outside of bars like The Comet, Sams, Bimbos, Cha Cha, and The Unicorn, to make patrons aware of where they were. Some activists even entered the bars, shouting through a megaphone that the neighborhood they were in, is a queer neighborhood and that if bar patrons didn’t like that, they should go drink elsewhere.

A small escort of 6-8 SPD on bicycles followed the march and an officer wearing a bright orange shirt with a badge hanging from his neck and a radio in his hand, walked with the demonstrators as they marched around the hill. No arrests were made, although some verbal harassment was heard.

From CapitolHillSeattle.com regarding the attack near Oddfellows…

“Gender Justice League is looking to identify and offer assistance to the victim of this attack. This report comes at a time of heightened awareness in Capitol Hill’s LGBT Community of a large increase in hate violence targeted at LGBT people. Gender Justice League is actively participating in the Mayor’s LGBT Hate Crimes Task Force and hosted a Hate Crimes Town Hall in March with Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s office.

We believe a united and strong response is needed to send a clear message that bias motivated violence, harassment, and discrimination has no place on Capitol Hill. If you know the victim of this attack, please reach out to Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League danni@genderjusticeleague.org.” – Danni Askini

From the event Facebook page…

HELLO! We have solidified the plan for Saturday night:
Meet at the Bobby Morris Playfield (astroturf) in Cal Anderson Park at 9:30PM to begin rallying the people.

March to begin at 10:00PM
March will move through the Pike/Pine neighborhood back to SCCC to have a rally and vigil around 11:30
March will then make a broader circle from the Pike/Pine Corridor to Olive and Broadway.
The goal is to make our presence known throughout Capitol Hill and stay present on the hill throughout the entirety of Saturday night.

Our goal is to have a large force marching on the hill and getting the message out: NOT ONE MORE!

-Wear black accented by pink and rainbow #queervisibility
-This is not a violent protest. We are not responding to their hate with hate.
-The main chant will be “NOT ONE MORE”
-This is a solidarity movement. We are standing in solidarity with every member of the community who has been victimized.

ACCESSIBILITY OPTIONS:
Although we cannot control street accessibility as an acknowledgement of those in our community who cannot participate in the march, we propose a candle light vigil be held throughout the evening in front of Odd Fellows to shed light on the most recent act of violence against our community.

There will be signs available for those who would like to carry, feel free to also make your own.

REMEMBER THAT OUR MESSAGE IS ONE OF SOLIDARITY FOR THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ON CAPITOL HILL AND AROUND SEATTLE.

With details forthcoming of yet another incident of violence against a trans individual on Capitol Hill, the time has come to let the perpetraters of these acts know this is the last straw. NO MORE! This is not their neighborhood to terrorize and we will no longer be victim to their hate.

The increase in hate crimes which has come in direct relation to the tech boom in Seattle has garnered local and even national media attention. Yet the attacks continue to get more and more frequent, while construction explodes and businesses profit. All the while people in our community are becoming casualties. Capitol Hill has changed and is changing; continued attacks on queer individuals can no longer be a byproduct of that change.

The queer and allied residents of Capitol Hill in addition to supporters from surrounding areas must convene when and where these acts of violence have shown to be especially prone to happening. Namely: peak bar-hopping time on and around the Pike/Pine corridor. We must march together to deliver a message to those who come to the place where we have our homes and businesses to hurt those we love and care about that they are not welcome and are not to return.

Action must be quick, concise and visible in direct relation, reaction and retaliation to the problem itself as pride is less than a month away. A march on the very ground where many in the queer community will be gather to celebrate it is crucial.

Due to time sensitivity, many details are both coming to fruition and still to be determined. The general plan being to peacefully march around Capitol Hill during peak bar hours to send a message that acts hateful acts of violence toward queers will NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.

Bearing the aforementioned in mind, in the here and now two things are important to successfully delivering this message.

One being to spread the word to any like-minded individuals you may know who would be interested in participating through any and all channels you have. The second being that if you are interested and able to help, please reach out and do so. The faster we can spread the word and the more support we can get, the better.

In essence, tell your friends, save the date, get ready and stay tuned! We will have more information in the next day or so!” – OUR QUEER NEIGHBORHOOD! A March Against Violence on Capitol Hill

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