‘Not one more’ — March strikes back at anti-queer violence on Capitol Hill

IMG_9991 IMG_4078With reporting by Alex Garland for CHS

With Seattle Gay Pride events in full swing including a sunny Saturday picnic in Volunteer Park, a march against anti-LGBTQ violence took to the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday night and struck a more defiant tone.

“If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you move to one?” went one chant after the group marched from Cal Anderson into the nightlife scene of Pike/Pine. The demonstration was noisy and provocative with protesters entering bars and restaurants along E Pike to make sure patrons inside got the message.

From the organizers:

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.

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IMG_4120 IMG_0013The march comes amid renewed concerns over anti-LGBTQ hate crimes on Capitol Hill and follows a string of reported bashings and bias-crime investigations even as SPD has rolled out a long-in-the-works “Safe Place” initiative to address anti-queer street crime and say it is now doing more to better track and respond to the crimes. Detectives continue to investigate a May 29th afternoon attack in the 500 block of Bellevue Ave E in which a man was beaten and called gay slurs in an unprovoked assault. Meanwhile, the investigation of a suspicious fire set at an area alternative high school that apparently targeted the principal’s office and a gender-neutral bathroom also remains unsolved. And the beating on a trans person near Cal Anderson Park on Sunday, June 7th has also generated concern about LGBTQ safety as Pike/Pine’s nightlife population soars and the development of the neighborhood continues.

During Saturday night’s march, the group stopped as it reached 11th Ave near the scene of last weekend’s beating and lit candles in a moment of silence for all victims of hate crimes. The crowd then began chanting again and moved into the thick of nightlife-packed streets. Many cheered, some jeered. A few asked demonstrators to leave.

The group was estimated to be in the “hundreds” and the un-permitted march was accompanied by a small contingent of bicycle police officers There were no reported arrests.


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17 thoughts on “‘Not one more’ — March strikes back at anti-queer violence on Capitol Hill

  1. “If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you move to one?”

    Is there any evidence that the people doing the gay bashing live in the neighborhood? It seems like it’s people from outside the neighborhood that cause most of the problems.

      • I was there last night and the straight boys on Pike mocking us was ridiculous. To your point, it could be stated another way. “If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you come to one?”

        It seems that both of you aren’t understand the importance of what is happening.

      • “It seems that both of you aren’t understand the importance of what is happening.”

        Actually, I’d like to think I understand it more clearly than the people blaming new residents instead of the actual people committing the crimes. There are multiple issues being conflated constantly in these kinds of rallies, and it undermines real issues like bar and restaurant density, bars serving anyone and everyone until they puke, poor policing, macho douchebaggery, blah blah blah.

        And yes, marching with the cry of “If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you come to one?” would’ve been incredibly powerful and accurate.

        Also, what dc says below is spot-on, especially the term “douche tsunami,” which is amazing.

  2. This is great and I support it 1000%, but we also need permanent, practical measures to prevent hate crimes and deter neighborhood tourists from preying on locals. Community safety patrols, cameras outside businesses, bartenders with an eye out for drunk bigots, etc. We can’t stop the douche tsunami every weekend but we can at least make sure people don’t get rolled by it.

    • Black is associated with mourning. Futbol players and others wear black armbands to commentate teammates, family, and others important to the club who have died.

  3. it walways struck me as silly that there was some sort of association between Amazon/Tech workers and gay bashing coming from the Hill residents. It makes absolutely no sense if you’ve ever been on an Amazon campus. They may be driving the rents up but they aren’t beating anyone up. It’s a lot more likely that the animals are own homebrew coming in from the surrounding dumps

    • Totally agree. You can say what you want about rents and cost of living, but in general the employees in the tech industry tend to be about the least homophobic you could possibly hope for. I doubt it’s tech workers beating up GLBT people on Capitol Hill.

      • In general, yes, but even Amazon has a big problem with “brogrammers” and immature assholes who feel it necessary to tear others down. I’ve worked at Amazon on and off for a total of four years and while the GLAmazon affinity group does a great job of raising awareness of GLBT issues, they have a constant uphill battle with posters being defaced with anti-gay/trans slurs and general assholery from people who think they’re being funny (because it’s easy to piss on others when you’re already standing above them).

        And even if it isn’t Amazon employees who are directly causing the hate crimes, Amazon’s move downtown is a huge part of why Capitol Hill has changed so much over the last ten years, and that has caused some very profound ripple effects. Don’t get me wrong, some of the changes are great (better diversity of restaurants, especially) – but others, not so much (ridiculously high rents in hastily-designed retrofits of once-beautiful buildings that now look like yuppie playgrounds), and this neighborhood is feeling a lot of tension as a result.

  4. This event was important, but protest against douchebaggery needs to be ongoing if it’s to have any real impact. 10 years ago there was a movement that started in San Francisco called Guerilla Queer Bar. Basically gays would take over a straight bar for a night. Let’s walk right in their front door and show them we mean business. Let’s make Rhino Room gay on a Saturday night, with conspicuous displays of hand-holding and kissing. Drag Queen and Leather invasion of Grimm’s. Let’s put the Queer back in Q. Candlelight marches aren’t enough. Don’t just tell them, SHOW THEM that we won’t be pushed out!

    • As long as we aren’t douchebags in return. Coexist. We want them in our neighborhoods as good people. Not all people are bad and have had positive experiences as well where someone was a DB and others stepped in and took them out.

    • This is happening! I went to a lesbian/queer takeover at Rhino Room last summer (fall? I forget when exactly.) I think there’s also a Seattle Guerilla Queer Bar Takeover group on facebook. From my understanding, they went somewhere in Belltown last time, but hopefully they’ll go somewhere on the hill next. Grimm’s wouldn’t be my first choice. I feel like they have been queer friendly and I’ve enjoyed starting nights there (with straight and gay friends alike) before moving to Purr next door as the night goes on. Maybe I would choose 95 Slide, Sam’s, Von Trapps (Rhein Haus?), or Rhino Room instead. I’d say Elysian, but I’m not trying to support the corporate takeover. Anyway, definitely search for the group on facebook. I wish there was a better way to advertise, but the flashmob style is usually a lot more effective if it’s mostly unannounced.

    • There was a Guerilla Queer Bar at Amber (in Belltown) the weekend before last. So… I’m not sure how often they happen in Seattle, but it does happen.