New wave of protest marches through downtown with police at ready on Capitol Hill

Wednesday night, protesters blocked traffic and chanted for justice in Eric Garner's death (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Wednesday night, protesters blocked traffic and chanted for justice in Eric Garner’s death (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_0372Police in riot gear and body armor were out in force again on Capitol Hill Wednesday night to guard against possible Seattle unrest following yet another controversial grand jury decision over the use of deadly force by police.

A Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict “a white New York police officer whose chokehold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death” helped set off a new round of street protests here in Seattle with around 100 marchers taking to the streets around downtown and Westlake Park Wednesday night.

The group eventually marched to Seattle Center to the site of the JT Williams memorial totem. Williams, a homeless man who frequented the Capitol Hill area, was shot to death by an SPD officer in 2010 at Boren and Howell. Officer Ian Birk was not charged in the incident and also escaped federal prosecution but eventually quit the Seattle force.

Protests are planned to continue Thursday night and police officials say SPD will continue to show a heavy presence both downtown and on Capitol Hill near Broadway and Pine where groups have sometimes rallied before recent marches against the grand jury decision in Ferguson in the Michael Brown killing. Downtown protests, we’ve noted, are sometimes also channeled up Capitol Hill from the city’s commercial core, a practice CHS asked SPD about earlier this week.

Downtown businesses are suffering lost business during the holiday shopping season, according to anecdotal reports.

In the meantime, you’ll likely see armored cops on bikes on Broadway and street barriers up around East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine nightly for the foreseeable future.

UPDATE 12/5/2014 10:10 AM: In addition to protests planned to focus on downtown Friday night (though with some likelihood of ending up on Hill at some point — UPDATE: At least one group is saying it plans to take Friday night off so as not to disrupt Friday’s Figgy Pudding caroling downtown), a large “Protest Against Police Brutality” is being organized to begin Saturday at 23rd Ave’s Garfield High School:

The march will start at Garfield High School and proceed to go to the police headquarters on 5th Avenue. There, we will make sure our voices are heard. We will make sure the police know that we will not stand for their violence. Have your voice be heard. You are not alone.
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Mission Statement: We are here on behalf of the Black Community, in solidarity with Ferguson, in honor of Mike Brown to address through nonviolence, the crisis of police brutality towards the Black Community in order to achieve the short term goal of a fair and just trial for Mike Brown and the long term goal of reconstructing the justice system that has continuously failed the Black Community.

In order to make sure the mission of this protest is accurately portrayed we have come up with some guidelines. They are as follows:
• No violence
• Do NOT touch the police officers
• Do NOT agitate the police officers
• Do NOT deface/destroy city or private property
• Do NOT move city or private property
Please be aware that this protest has been organized to the very last minute in order to ensure that the media, in no way, can skew the actions of the protest or the protesters. If you do not follow these guidelines you will be asked to stop and then you will be asked to leave.

*We are NOT affiliated with any group or organization. We are just a group of people who want to be a part of the progress of change*

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8 thoughts on “New wave of protest marches through downtown with police at ready on Capitol Hill

  1. Armored Cops on Bikes- Sounds very Mad Max. I remember hearing about the Bike tactic during the May Day protests. I guess the Police Peloton is standard operating procedure now?

  2. Don’t people have better things to do with their lives than blindly protest the hottest anti police topic? I agree with the whole consumerism is bullshit theory but this pick and choose protesting is making Seattle look pathetic…

    • I’m sure they’re all deeply sorry for inconveniencing you.

      Really, what’s your problem? There’s a serious disconnect between police and the people they’re supposed to protect, especially people of color. Taking it to the streets is much more effective than filling in your ballot in November and hoping it will be different this time.

      • My problem is that everything is handled the wrong way (not saying that there is an obvious solution) and in turn our city is represented by photos of gutter punks and tired old hippies. Do you really think people around the world look at these pictures and think “Wow, what a bunch of progressive and effective protesters”?

        In reality, and my harsh opinion, ballots are shit and protests are shit. Why inconvenience your fellow 99%ers, go lie down in front of some CEO’s house. Go protest in front of a politicians place of work. Don’t make me late for dinner after working a shitty paying job to pay for my overpriced apartment.

        Also, some cops are dicks but some cops are real stand up folks. Making a war that’s so “black and white” (no pun intended) just look like an excuse to start a fight and channel all your anger somewhere now that winter is here and the sun is gone.

      • “My problem is that everything is handled the wrong way (not saying that there is an obvious solution) and in turn our city is represented by photos of gutter punks and tired old hippies. Do you really think people around the world look at these pictures and think “Wow, what a bunch of progressive and effective protesters”?”

        In tandem with many other cities, yes it is very effective. Contrarily, how would it look if people in Seattle stayed home and watched other cities protest on TV?

        “In reality, and my harsh opinion, ballots are shit and protests are shit.”

        The protests are leading to action. They’re not an exercise in futility.

        “Also, some cops are dicks but some cops are real stand up folks. Making a war that’s so “black and white” (no pun intended) just look like an excuse to start a fight and channel all your anger somewhere now that winter is here and the sun is gone.”

        Those “dicks” are causing a very serious problem in this country, and it’s leading to contempt for good cops as well. And the good ones have a duty to filter out the scum, but they’re too reluctant to do so.