Protesters targeted a Saturday night campaign kickoff and Sunday morning brunches around Capitol Hill in a series of actions inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement.
Saturday, a small group drew a huge police response to 19th and Madison’s Mount Zion Baptist Church when the protest group attempted to disrupt the campaign launch party for King County Council member and noted Seattle black leader Larry Gossett. Gossett, whose district includes Capitol Hill and the Central District, joined the rest of the county council earlier this month in unanimously approving an ordinance to build a new youth detention center at 12th and Alder.
“If anybody were to go down there and look at [the existing] facility, I don’t know how they would rationalize that we need to continue to have youth in particular, their families, or staff in a facility that’s not really fit for the sheltering of anybody, much less human beings,” Gossett said about the $210 million project that protesters and critics say would be better spent on social programs.
Several cars arrived at the church after police were called when protesters entered the building but there were no arrests as the event continued inside. In 2011, Gossett ran unopposed. We’re not aware of any other candidate seeking the incumbent’s chair in 2015.
— ☆€N3M¥0£$T@T€☆ (@An0nym0u5v3c7oR) February 23, 2015
Meanwhile, Sunday’s protests continued the #blackbrunchseattle effort to bring messages about inequality and police violence into one of the ultimate symbols of quiet comfort — Sunday morning brunch. Protesters entered restaurants and cafes across Capitol Hill with chants and songs. The actions continue to draw support and, of course, the predictable complaints from diners who didn’t expect to have their session of eggs benedict takes such a political bent. At Cafe Pettirosso, the protesters said management asked the group not to enter the 11th Ave diner:
Later via Twitter, the Cafe Pettirosso account said the business supports the cause: “I believe that #blacklivesmatter. I support the cause and next time let’s work together. I will make space for you.” Dave Meinert, owner of Lost Lake which was also targeted Sunday morning, said he also supported the protest, saying “People can use a little shaking up and need to keep this issue at the forefront.”
— Blackie. (@_neemss) February 22, 2015