The 24-year-old activist — and Seattle school teacher — at the center of the controversy surrounding last weekend’s pepper spray-doused Pride protest met with media Thursday afternoon at the site where the conflict with police went down and six were arrested near E Madison and 13th Ave. Hudson Williams-Eynon, released from jail Monday when a King County Court judge found no probable cause to continue holding him as possible assault charges are weighed, said he plans to be back on the street Friday night at a rally slated to begin at Seattle Central at 8p to protest the police actions on Pride weekend.
It is unknown how many people will attend the Friday night rally billed as a remembrance of the Stonewall riots and a solidarity event for the “queer dance party” that sparked the conflict with police Saturday night. The Facebook event for the rally currently lists more than 100 participants. Dozens of people marched Wednesday in the weekly action protesting student debt. There were no arrests. Earlier on Friday evening, a “SUPPORT OUR YOUTH! Seattle Vigil for Lesbian teens shot in Texas!” event is planned for Cal Anderson Park.
“This event was billed as a street dance party, particularly for queer youth. And I came out to support that,” Williams-Eynon said of the Pride weekend conflict. “Because I think it’s a shame that those people don’t get to celebrate their identity and their freedom with the rest of the queer community.”
Williams-Eynon said he is part of the queer community but currently dating a woman.
Williams-Eynon said, on the advice of legal counsel, he could not address whether he kicked a police officer as alleged by the East Precinct. He said he has not decided whether he will pursue a lawsuit against the city for the pepper spray and arrest and provided a brief written statement about the incident. SPD has confirmed that an internal investigation into the incident is underway.
Wiliams-Eynon, a Beacon Hill resident according to arrest documents, was also one of the Chase 5 group eventually found not-guilty for entering a Broadway bank and chaining themselves together last fall.
“Chase 5 was a planned act of civil disobedience,” he said. “I had no plans to be attacked by police on Saturday.”
The East Precinct’s commander Capt. Ron Wilson said his officers will again be in place Friday night should the rally participants pose a threat to public safety.
“It’s a tremendous strain on budget and resources to have to address this,” Wilson told CHS earlier this week. “We’re going to be there to make sure it remains peaceful.”
A reporter for CHS and our sister site Central District News attempted to attend Thursday night’s appearance by Wilson at the monthly East Precinct Advisory Council but were turned away at the door by security who said the meeting room was full. UPDATE: The reporter was finally let in mid-way through the session. Report here.
Williams-Eynon said the department’s actions last weekend prove SPD cannot be trusted. ”The police are known to make up charges of assault when they attack people,” he said. “This is a common practice. It’s well documented. The police are not trustworthy.”
UPDATE: See our coverage of the protest.