Marches, rallies, protests to mark MLK Day 2017, Inauguration Day in Seattle

Get your marching shoes on. Seattle will mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017 and January 20th’s Inauguration Day with ceremonies, workshops, marches, and, yes, protest. Below, we’ve included a roster of planned events coming up starting Thursday through the weekend of the inauguration. Let us know what we missed. Recent MLK Days have included their fare share of social actions. In 2016, a splinter march targeted 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s pot shop. In 2015, the typically giant Monday march was followed by a protest that drew a violent crackdown from Seattle Police. In 2017, the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington D.C. will add a new factor to the planned workshops, rallies, celebrations, marches, and protests. Some on Capitol Hill will be pursuing resistance in their own fashion and not everything will be a fight. But we’ve ended up a long way from the marches of 2009.

  • Thursday, January 12th: King County’s 2017 celebration will take place at the 5th Avenue Theater. Meanwhile, the City of Seattle’s MLK Unity Day at First Hill’s Town Hall is listed as “sold out” and standby only with free registration no longer available. This year’s keynote speaker joining the mayor and various city officials is Angela Davis.img_3895
  • Friday, January 13th: 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion and Seattle Central Colleges will mark 44 years of celebrating the life of MLK with their community celebration beginning at noon Friday. It’s a day of (usually) short speeches from politicians and uplifting inspiration from speakers. Musician and “socialpreneur” Benjamin Hunter keynotes in 2017. Here’s what the celebration looks and sounds like.

  • Saturday, January 14th: The annual youth and family march from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park begins at 11 AM.
  • Sunday, January 15thWriters Resist With Daniel James Brown, G. Willow Wilson, and Jess Walter at Town Hall Seattle: On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, as part of a nationwide series of readings celebrating American ideals of freedom and equality, 14 writers will read excerpts from their own work and the writings of other American thinkers concerned with freedom of speech, such as MLK, himself, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Paine, Angela Y. Davis, James Welch, Susan Sontag, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez and Adrienne Rich.
  • mlk-2016-1-of-19Monday, January 16th: Thousands will attend a day of workshops, a career fair, rallies, and a noontime march from Garfield High School to the Federal Courthouse at 7th and Stewart as part of the annual MLK Seattle Celebration. The Northwest African American Museum hosts its 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration including an open house at the S Massachusetts St. venue.
  • Wednesday, January 18th: The Central District’s Squirrel Chops hosts a Resist Trump: Poster Making Party.
  • Friday, January 20th: The City of Seattle hosts Seattle United for Immigrant and Refugee Families at McCaw Hall: January 20 (Inauguration Day) Seattle United for Immigrant and Refugee Families: This event at McCaw Hall will offer an array of free services and community education intended to support and protect families. Community education will include a training for Seattle Public Schools staff on how to best support students as well as a training for community members who want to be allies. Services provided with the support of community partners and volunteer attorneys include citizenship application assistance, Know Your Rights presentations, consultations with immigration attorneys, assistance from civil attorneys to complete power of attorney and other documents. Additionally, attendees will receive information about city, county and school services for immigrants, including voter registration, how to report wage theft, how to apply for utility discounts and discounted transit cards, and more.screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-3-32-10-pmIn Westlake Park, the Socialist Alternative-boosted Resist Trump: Occupy Inauguration protest is slated to begin at 5 PM. On E Union, Bar Melusine hosts a fundraiser for the Anti-Defamation League. On 12th Ave, Velocity Dance hosts Still HereSTILL HERE is a community event and forum designed to be a safe space for local artist of all types, and their respective friends and allies especially women, PoC, undocumented and documented immigrants, LGB/Trans/Queer, disabled and differently abled people, and all marginalized, disenfranchised peoples and communities to come together and pronounce that we are STILL HERE. Tacocat, Wimps, and The Black Tones play Barboza for an Inauguration Day fundraiser for Shout Your Abortion.
  • Saturday, January 21st: Thousands are expected at the Women’s March on Seattle in downtown starting at 10 AM.
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6 thoughts on “Marches, rallies, protests to mark MLK Day 2017, Inauguration Day in Seattle

  1. “In 2016, a splinter march targeted 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s pot shop”

    In 2016 a racist mob targeted a Jewish owned business for the crime of being a Jewish owned business in a historically Jewish neighborhood . The mob said he was not welcome in “their” neighborhood despite 99% of them have never resided in that neighborhood and a few being new to this country. But they believed it belonged to them because of their skin color. The NAACP was a sponsor. Shame. I wonder if it has dawned on any of these people how shameful their behavior was.

    • I’m not aware that the owner’s ethnicity (beyond generalized whiteness) was ever an issue. As I understand it, the beef some African Americans and white allies have is that the quasi-legalization of cannabis has brought no redress or benefits to the Black community, who have suffered disproportionately (to put it mildly) from this country’s ongoing “war on drugs,” now in approximately its 100th year. Ike’s is an unfortunate but understandable target for some of this anger. Hundreds of thousands of people in this country, mostly of color, are still serving time in prison for the exact same thing Ike’s now does semi-legally. I voted for I-502 and wouldn’t picket Ike’s myself (they didn’t cause this situation, and they do employ people of color) but I certainly would not impugn the motives of those who do.

  2. Look at the WritersResist event happening at Town Hall on Sunday, the 15th, at 7:30pm. Part of 90+ events happening nationwide.