Chef Renee Erickson and partners at her company Sea Creatures are stepping up against intolerance with a fundraiser at her Bar Melusine on Donald Trump’s January 20th inauguration day.
“I think we were all feeling, given the current kind of climate in our community, we wanted to do something on inauguration day that would be a little bit more positive and uplifting,” Jeremy Price, Erickson’s partner at Sea Creatures told CHS.
It will be part of a weekend of protest and speaking out in Seattle though the largest planned event will be a silent one.
Thousands are expected to march on downtown on the Saturday following the Inauguration in the Womxn’s March on Seattle:
On January 21st, 2017 we will join forces and unite for the Womxn’s March on Seattle in solidarity with the national Women’s March on Washington D.C. We invite people of all gender identities, ethnicities, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations to come participate in this amazing event. Building on the legacy of the 1963 March on Washington, we continue to hold these difficult discussions surrounding race, since it has consistently played a huge role in the fight for gender equality. It is vital that we continue to incorporate people of color in these discussions, and that we learn from history. By promoting intersectionality within our movement, we hope to elevate the level of understanding for all marginalized groups, as they will be most affected by the Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, classism, racism, and sexism of this new administration. If we do not prioritize the most vulnerable voices, then we will not succeed as a movement.
“Seattle has adopted the name ‘Womxn’s March on Seattle’ to promote intersectionality in our movement,” organizers write. “Intersectionality acknowledges that different forms of discrimination intersect, overlap, and reinforce each other, and takes into account the impact of discrimination based not only on gender but also race, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, faith, class, disability, and other backgrounds.”
Organizers say the event will be silent, “modeled after the successful silent Civil Rights marches that have paved the way for this movement.” It will coincide with what is expected to be a massive counterpart in Washington D.C. — the Women’s March on Washington.
Erickson and her business partners hope their own effort to raise funds to fight against hate will also be part of a small movement at other restaurants and bars.
Money raised at the event will go to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that “fights anti-Semitism and all forms and bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.”
Price said he wants it to be clear the Melusine event isn’t a protest against Trump or the Republican party. “I think what we’re really doing is standing up against hate speech and hate crimes,” Price said.
“Hopefully it will be a chance for folks to come together to do something positive,” he said.
Price said they hope other restaurants across the nation host similar events. He said there has been a “huge response” from owners in Portland.
“Certainly the election is a backdrop to all of this,” Price said, “but it’s less about reacting to Trump being president and more about reacting to things we’ve seen in our community.”
Sea Creatures’ local efforts follow state elected officials’ December declaration of Washington state as a hate-free zone and the Seattle City Council also recently approved a resolution declaring that Seattle will continue to be a welcoming city, condemn hateful words and actions and implore Trump to denounce recent attacks and hate speech. The council and Mayor Ed Murray have pledged for Seattle to remain a “sanctuary city.”
Meanwhile, there are plans for more marches, walkouts, and “actions” afoot. Seattle District 3 City Council representative Kshama Sawant is holding a Resist Trump Coalition Town Hall on January 14th to help organize and coordinate what will be a busy January with the Inauguration and MLK Day events.
Want to attend the Bar Melusine event? Stop in or email to get on the list. No donations are required but ADL representatives will be on hand to answer questions and help you learn more.
Planning your own Capitol Hill response to the Inauguration? Let us know.