CHS Pics | In another weekend of resistance energy, hundreds march on Broadway

There was a time — only three weeks ago — when it might have felt less imperative to regularly take to the streets in protest:

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.

For anyone on Capitol Hill feeling resistance fatigue, here is the good news. Around 400 marchers rallied Saturday in Cal Anderson to show solidarity for LGBTQ people amid threats from the Trump administration before traveling and blocking Broadway to protest in front of the neighborhood’s Wells Fargo branch to challenge the bank’s financing of the Dakota Access pipeline. If you weren’t there, those people had your back for the weekend. Others will hopefully be there until you are ready to march or protest or write letters again. Continue reading

LGBTQ solidarity rally at Cal Anderson, ‘2-17-17 General Strike’ gathering in Volunteer Park

Some of the signs from a November protest at Cal Anderson Park -- still applicable

Some of the signs from a November protest at Cal Anderson Park — still applicable

Capitol Hill parks continue to play important roles in Seattle’s anti-Trump activities. Saturday, activists have organized a LGBTQ Solidarity Rally Seattle in Cal Anderson:

Trump’s administration has begun an attack on marginalized and oppressed people across the broad spectrum of humanity. We are going to peacefully demonstrate on Saturday, February 11th, at 1030AM as an act of solidarity with those who have been impacted. In his first month in office, Trump has issued executive orders and proposed nominees which stand against fundamental human rights including a Muslim Ban, reallocating federal resources to start construction of a wall with Mexico, and restarting an attack on Oceti Sakowin land for the Dakota Access Pipeline. We have already heard and seen proposals for executive orders which would grant so-called “religious liberty” to discriminate against LGBTQ people and target those seeking abortions and other family planning services. In addition, it is clear there is speculation on national Right to Work legislation destroying our already-under-attack unions.

Saturday will bring an activism double header of sorts, with groups also planning to target the Wells Fargo branch inside the Broadway Market with a “No DAPL” boycott rally.

16402970_1670106883281821_960711515827668356_oMeanwhile, the following weekend will bring more rallying to the Hill as groups are planning to meet at Volunteer Park’s amphitheater as part of a planned nationwide general strike against the Trump administration on Friday, February 17th:

Solidarity Demonstration to #Resist the WA Senate Republican proposal to fund education by undermining collective bargaining rights of Education Workers. All Labor Unions are welcome and encouraged to stand in support of this Legislative attack on Unions. No Right to Work in Washington.

CHS Pics | Katy Perry’s Capitol Hill disco ball


(Images: Joshua Lewis for CHS)

Calling all champion Easter egg hunters and pop music enthusiasts — Katy Perry has launched a worldwide hunt for disco balls teasing her new single “Chained to the Rhythm.”

CHS decided to play along and found a disco ball in Cal Anderson Park chained to a bench by the reflecting pool Wednesday morning.

People walked by the disco ball looking at it, and a few stopped to plug in their headphones and listen to the snippet of the single scheduled to be released in full on Friday. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Reflections of home, change, survival in student artwork on display on Cal Anderson Gatehouse

With reporting and photography by Lisa Hagen Glynn

The “windows” above the reflecting pool of the landmark reservoir gatehouse in Cal Anderson Park are displaying artwork from local middle school kids that provides one answer to the threats coming out of the White House so far in 2017. But for the students, the images unveiled at a ceremony Saturday reflecting on “feelings of home, forces that create change, and survival” are personal.

“She’s cutting herself to feed her baby. It’s showing how a mom loves her kids…. My mom does a lot of things for me,” Natanim said about her panel. “Even though she doesn’t tell me, I know that she does.”

The artwork from Washington Middle School students will be on display through May as part of a collaboration between the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Out of School Time program at Washington’s S Jackson campus. Continue reading

Second night of Seattle immigration order protests ends up on Capitol Hill

More than 1,000 marchers arrived on Capitol Hill and filed onto the well-lit Bobby Morris sports field next to Cal Anderson Sunday night following a massive immigration rights rally downtown in a second night of protest against President Trump’s executive order. Meanwhile, efforts at City Hall and in Olympia including a lawsuit brought by the state against a lawsuit in federal court today against the president, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and “high-ranking Trump Administration officials” will do battle with the administration’s anti-immigration maneuvering.

In front of a crowd unofficially estimated at more than 3,000 people Sunday night in Westlake Park, Lt. Gov Cyrus Habib joined officials Governor Jay Inslee, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Mayor Ed Murray in criticizing the Trump order that attempted to bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days.

“Nobody loves this country like the people who leave everything behind to earn their place in this country,” said Habib whose parents immigrated to the United States from Iran.

Habib called Trump’s executive order an “executive dis-order.” Continue reading

Cal Anderson’s all-gender restrooms part of park’s summer 2017 construction plans

In the summer of 2016, Bobby Morris got a new playfield surface. In 2017, Cal Anderson Park’s notoriously gross restrooms are getting an all-gender, all-ability makeover. Both projects could become models for parks across Seattle.

Plans to redo the park’s bathrooms as an all-gender and mobility-friendly facility have been filed with the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections and are awaiting approval. The project will be paired with infrastructure upgrades for Cal Anderson’s much-loved mountain fountain for another busy summer of construction inside the popular Central Seattle park.

“It’s one of the first ones that we’re doing in the city transforming men’s and women’s restrooms into individual stalls,” Kathleen Conner, planning manager with Seattle Parks and Recreation, told CHS about the bathroom overhaul. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Festival of Lights 5777 from E Pike party to Cal Anderson menorah lighting


The reason we say “happy holidays,” of course, and not only “Merry Christmas,” is because this is a time of many celebrations on Capitol Hill. CHS was lucky enough to attend one of our favorites of the season again Tuesday night as community groups gathered at E Pike’s Gay City for the annual Light the Night party.

In addition to the “kosher latkes, drinks, colorful dreidels” and, yup, accordion music, we like the way PAVE, Jconnect Seattle, and Kolenu, Seattle’s Jewish LGBTQ group, celebrate the season with a candle lighting “symbolizing both the miracle of Hanukkah and our affirmation that justice and equality will prevail against oppression.”

Meanwhile, Thursday night brings another celebration from Chabad on Capitol Hill — we wrote about the group’s growth in Central Seattle here — at Cal Anderson Park:

Chanuka Celebration and Public Menorah Lighting


Cal Anderson’s season of Trump discontent continues with ‘final stand’ Seattle Hamilton Electors rally

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-1-48-39-pmA last stand, of sorts, for United States democracy will take part in Cal Anderson Park Sunday night. Local proponents of the so-called Hamilton Electors, a movement formed around blocking the election of President-elect Donald Trump, are gathering in the icy park with candles and a message on the eve of the Electoral College’s December 19th vote.

“We are coming together one final time, urging them to vote with their conscience, do their duty to select somebody with the proper qualifications,” organizer John Vogan said.

“This is the final stand, as we hope and pray that these 538 citizens will carry out their duty as the last fail-safe in our electoral process and save this country from the current President-elect,” organizers said in a statement on the planned rally. Continue reading

Thousands take to streets of Capitol Hill as ‘Seattle Women March Against Hate’

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Thousands of women — and those who love them — gathered in Volunteer Park Saturday afternoon for a march against hate organized to counter a tide of misogyny and stand up against efforts to roll back women’s rights under the incoming Trump administration. Here are a few glimpses from the crowd and images from CHS for the day’s rally and procession from Volunteer Park to Cal Anderson via 12th Ave and Broadway.

Police estimated between 3,000 and 4,000 marchers participated.

“When we see bigotry and when we see discrimination, we need to have the courage, the strength, and the passion to denounce it,” organizer Kelsey Coleman said as she addressed the crowd waiting in Volunteer Park before the start of the march. “And to show people of all ethnicities, all orientations, all genders, and all religions that we stand beside them.”

An idea first hatched by a group of friends with a start a little more than a Facebook invite, organizers said Saturday’s event grew under its own power as women sought a local opportunity to speak out against the outcome of the election. Demi Wetzel told CHS she and the other organizers were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, offers of help, and media interest in the event.

Chants during the march rattled off buildings on the chilly afternoon. My body, my choice. Black lives matter. Not my president.

More images and coverage of the march are here.