‘We have a right to be angry’ — Hundreds march from Central District to SPD HQ

IMG_9947“What do we want?”

“Justice!”

“When do we want it?”

The answer, of course: “Now.” An estimated 1,500+ strong crowd of marchers gathered at Garfield High School at noon Saturday for a protest against police brutality as part of ongoing actions in Seattle to bring attention to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police.

IMG_2083While organizers vowed that Saturday’s march would be peaceful, the promises didn’t mean participants aren’t angry about police violence and its impact on the Black community. “We have a right to be angry as we march in the streets today,” one speaker shouted as the crowd prepared to move out.

The march passed from Garfield through the Central District and First Hill to 5th Ave to protest in front of City Hall and SPD headquarters. The protest was expected to continue through the afternoon.

Police and protestors remained peaceful throughout the two hour march through central Seattle, which occasionally blocked traffic as demonstrators occupied major intersections to chant and tell stories of police brutality.

IMG_0057UPDATE (5:02 PM): At the end of the planned march to police headquarters, some 200 people continued to press on through downtown and up Capitol Hill in a march that grew increasingly tense. SPD reported one protestor jumped on an officer’s back as others threw rocks at officers. According to police, at least three people were arrested.

As it got dark around 5 PM, officers were giving orders for the remaining group to disperse. A small group of around 50 people were directed up Denny Way and onto Broadway, blocking traffic at major intersections.

Afam Ayika, who brought his toddler daughter along for the march, hoped the nationwide demonstrations would quickly bring an end to police brutality against African Americans. “I’m hopeful,” he said. “This is happening all over the country.” Hundreds of Garfield High students filled the ranks of protestors. A member of the Black Student Union, one of the primary organizers of the event, said the high school club was growing into a force to be reckoned within the city.   The night before the protest, around 100 people gathered at the Expresso Open Mic for a special Ferguson/criminal justice focused session of poetry, spoken word, rap, and singing. The open mic, sponsored by the group Freshest Roots, is held monthly at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute at 17th and E Yesler. Organizer Edward Martinez said the open mic offers younger people an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings in a supportive space.

Protesters wait to cross headed up E Olive Way as a large police presence pushed the small remaining group of marchers up Capitol Hill and out of downtown traffic (Photo: @beacomedian via twitter)

Protesters wait to cross at E Olive Way as a large police presence pushed the small remaining group of marchers up Capitol Hill and out of downtown traffic (Photo: @beacomedian via twitter)

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5 thoughts on “‘We have a right to be angry’ — Hundreds march from Central District to SPD HQ

  1. Great keep on protesting, but here is a tip stop your perpetual marches and gatherings around west lake, Seattle central, and 23rd or other places that are inyour comfort zone, it shows your lazy and think of this as trendy. Point 2, how many of these protesters do you think know the legislator is in session. So maybe instead of harassing people at a shopping mall or trying to get home from work you demostrait down in olympia, if that’s too incovienit Seattle’s city hall and king county administration are very centrally located and transit accessible. Thanks and bye.

    • The state legislature is not in session, won’t be until January. The Washington State Legislature meets from January to April every year, and sometimes extends to June if they need to pass the budget, but I’m sure you knew that.

      This protest was also on a Saturday, when most people aren’t working.

  2. If you’d take 5 minutes to read the article, you’ll notice that this time, they marched from Garfield HS to the SPD headquarters. So sorry your shopping was inconvenienced or that you experienced traffic in a city.

    • If you weren’t a wanna be hipster who actually grew up in Seattle and didn’t just recently gentrify the CD becusase “hip urbanism and culture” you would know kids protesting out and around Garfield is the norm. But carry on with your ignorance of the community you live in, the protesters sure have no problem being ignorant that their representatives are at work and police reform is not on this year’s lis.

  3. ARMED GOVERNMENT KKK / CIA AGENTS IN SUITS WITH GUNS AND BADGES HAVE BEEN MURDERING INDIGENOUS PEOPLE PARTICULARLY BLACKS, NATIVE AMERICANS AND NOW MUSLIMS WORLD WIDE??? AS EUROPEAN COLONIAL SETTLER “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” VAMPIRE SYSTEM FALLS TO CHINA AND ASIAN CULTURAL / INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY, THE WOUNDED BEAST CONTINUES TO ROB, RAPE, TORTURE AND KILL IN THE NAME OF “WHITE SUPREMACY / AMERICAN COLONIAL EXCEPTIONALISM??? WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO EUROPEAN SETTLER CAVE CULTURE OF GREED HATRED AND GENOCIDAL MURDER??? STAY TUNED AND WATCH VIETNAM WAR RE-RUNS??? Omari Tahir, Founder / President AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, AFRICATOWN SEATTLE