With Ferguson grand jury decision, Capitol Hill ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ rally planned — UPDATE: Protest crosses Hill from downtown to Central District

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

The crowd assembles early in the evening at Broadway and Pike (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

A few hundred protesters marched up from downtown and met up with a group rallying at Seattle Central before observing a 4 1/2 minute moment of silence in the street on Broadway Monday night (Image: CHS)

A few hundred protesters marched up from downtown and met up with a group rallying at Seattle Central before observing a 4 1/2 minute moment of silence in the street on Broadway Monday night (Image: CHS)

UPDATE 6:26 PM: As word spread about the grand jury’s decision on no charges in the Michael Brown case, a group of around 400 protesters gathered in Westlake and took to the streets of downtown Seattle. Some reportedly planned to march to rally at Seattle Central’s Broadway plaza. A contingent of Seattle Police accompanied the crowd. There were no reports of arrests during the initial stages of the Monday night protest.

"Another shot of the Ferguson protesters at 20th and Madison" -- @stevepmitchell via Twitter

“Another shot of the Ferguson protesters at 20th and Madison” — @stevepmitchell via Twitter

8:07 PM: A portion of the downtown marchers made their way up Pike to Capitol Hill chanting and blocking the street and intersections as they traveled. Meeting up at Broadway and Pike with a smaller group that had rallied at Seattle Central, the combined crowd observed a moment of silence in memory of Brown before continue to march around Pike/Pine with a contingent of SPD bike officers following and others on patrol to steer cars and buses away from the tie-up. As of 8 PM, there were no reported arrests though people were seen shooting fireworks and taunting police.

The blocks around East Precinct headquarters were blocked off to traffic and the protest marched against the barriers repeatedly but remained mostly peaceful.

There were reports of smaller protests continuing elsewhere in the city including a group of around 10 at 23rd and Union. The large group of protesters on Capitol Hill was last reported heading east on Madison around 17th Ave.

8:52 PM: About 200 protesters made their way to 23rd Ave and Union and on to E Cherry where the group entered the Garfield Community Center and demanded that Seattle Police stationed inside for a community meeting on Ferguson leave the building. The officers reportedly exited without incident per East Precinct radio reports.

9:08 PM: The protest moved on from Garfield and was last reported near 23rd and Yesler headed for Jackson.

10:30 PM: Around 10:15 PM, protestors began entering I-5 from ramps at Madison and Hubbell at one point bringing the northbound lanes to a complete stop. One person was arrested as the freeway was cleared. A crowd of more than 100 was also reported headed east from the freeway up Seneca. There were reports of tagging and property damage to buildings in the area. Police and media at scene are reporting people in the crowd are throwing objects at officers. Police have used flash bangs and pepper spray in attempts to keep protestors off of the freeway and to disperse the crowd. Additional officers from across the city are being brought into the area around East Precinct according to police radio dispatches.

Thanks to Josh Kelety for the video and images above. Here is more coverage of the incidents around I-5 from Casey Jaywork.

10:45 PM: A large group of protesters has returned to Capitol Hill after a spate of property damage on First Hill including a shattered bank window along Madison. There were reports of rocks being thrown at police but we are not aware of any arrests during the Capitol Hill components of the night’s actions.

Police and protesters paused in a prolonged standoff at the barricades in the streets around the East Precinct.

11:26 PM: With activity continuing around 12th and Pike on Capitol Hill, there is word of more protest planned for Tuesday:

In solidarity with the African American community in Ferguson, MO, and to honor the memory of Michael Brown, we have been informed that the Seattle NAACP has called for a rally, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 25, at noon at 23rd & Union in Seattle’s Central District. Following the rally, there will also be a march from 23rd & Union to the Federal Court House.

11:45 PM: Following the long wait at 12th and Pike, several of the officers on bikes exited the area down Pike. The crowd reportedly cheered and many protesters began marching again westbound toward downtown.

3:30 AM: Police say there were five arrests during the protests.

Monday night, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the grand jury decision:

My message to the young African American men in Seattle today is this: While we do not have the answers today, we in this city are listening to you. Your city hears you. And your city loves you.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s NWFF hosts ‘community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford’

The “Hands up, don’t shoot” protest over police violence and the slaying of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has spread across the nation, around the world, and onto Capitol Hill. Thursday night, an incident that echoes with the themes of violence in the name of public safety, race, and the power and the role of media in protest will be the subject of a forum at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

Earlier this month, Seattle freelance photographer and frequent CHS contributor Alex Garland captured pictures and video of a disturbing incident outside the Westlake mall in which private security targeted a black man with pepper spray after a fracas broke out at a protest against violence in Gaza.

Garland will be on hand along with a panel for Thursday’s forum described as “a community discussion about what happened at Westlake, and what we can do as a community beyond recognizing events like these as unjust.”

More details on Thursday night’s free event are below. Continue reading

CHS Pics | High school kids’ Keystone XL oil pipeline protest crosses Capitol Hill

IMG_3927IMG_2480The First Amendment will be in full effect this week as May Day’s marchers cross the Hill and activists rally. We’ll have more on preparations on Capitol Hill soon. Tuesday, a smaller group crossed the neighborhood on its way downtown as a few dozen high school students marched and rallied against the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Their destination was 2nd Ave’s Federal Building where the group blocked the entrance for a short time — and drew a stern look from a security agent.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced it would delay planning for the 1,700-mile pipeline that would run between Alberta and Nebraska. Opponents are concerned about the proposed pipeline’s impact on Nebraska’s “ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region.”IMG_3970

TELL KEY BANK: GIVE BLACK SEATTLE ITS BUILDING BACK!

MARCH FOR LIBERTY!

TELL KEY BANK:GIVE BLACK SEATTLE ITS BUILDING BACK!

ST. PATRICK’S MONDAY, MARCH 17 RALLY AT 3 PM

AFRICATOWN´S HISTORIC LIBERTY BANK BUILDING
2320 E. UNION STREET

MARCH AT 4 PM TO KEY BANK ON CAPITOL HILL
1224 MADISON STREET

Seattle’s Black community worked hard and pulled together to build its own bank in 1960s.
They bought their own land, designed their own building, laid their own bricks, and began to thrive.
The WA state government killed Liberty Bank and gave its land to Key Bank as a gift in the 1980s.

Key Bank made out like bandits in the recent securitized foreclosure land grab.

Then they pulled their banking services out of the Africatown Central District last year.

Now, they want to profit by liquidating the Liberty Bank building in a back door real estate sale.

JOIN US AGAIN WEDNESDAY

TO ENSURE LIBERTY’S BUILDING IS PRESERVED FOR ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN AFRICATOWN HISTORY!

At the Landmark Hearing for the Historic Liberty Bank Site

Landmarks Preservation Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – 3:30 p.m.

Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor – Rm 4060

The bank was unanimously nominated for designation at the February hearing but this is the hearing for designation and more support is needed. The community is encouraged to send comments of support and come out and support to: Erin Doherty at erin.doherty@seattle.gov

Connector ‘running as usual’ following attention-grabbing Capitol Hill protest

Tuesday's SPD presence on Bellevue (Image: @audrey_leigh)

Tuesday’s SPD presence on Bellevue (Image: @audrey_leigh)

After a surprise anti-gentrification protest blocked the buses for a short time to start the work week, Seattle Police cruisers were on hand Tuesday near Microsoft Connector stops on Capitol Hill.

The Connector system is running as usual, a company spokesperson told CHS Tuesday.

The police presence came after two protesters unfurled a banner and handed out flyers Monday morning while blocking the corporate shuttles — and a few public buses — on Bellevue at Pine. “The Microsoft Connector bus is an active agent in the hyper-gentrification of Capitol HIll and other rapidly transforming Seattle neighborhoods,” the flyers read.

The Microsoft Connector includes 22 routes with 74 busses total in the Puget Sound region. Around 250 passengers ride each day from Capitol Hill to Redmond/Bellevue. Those busses average about 70% capacity, according to the company. In total, the Connector serves about 3,000 people per day. According to Microsoft, 65% of those who ride the connector drove to work alone prior to the system’s availability.

In San Francisco, protests against corporate shuttle systems have grown into a significant political issue and occasional public safety threat. So far, Seattle’s incident seems more like a well calculated publicity stunt. The attention it generated has been significant — for example, Monday’s visitor total for CHS was the second highest daily total in the last 12 months and the post was linked to from sites including the Seattle Times, New York Times, Cnet, The Verge and the SF Chronicle, to name a few. “Google bus” protests spread to Seattle, the Chronicle headlined their take on the incident. We shall see.

(Image: Tides of Flame)

(Image: Tides of Flame)

Meanwhile, as the Microsoft transportation system appeared to not miss a beat on Tuesday, another protest action targeted a different tech giant and changing Seattle neighborhood. “Train blockaded at Amazon HQ,” boasted this post at the Tides of Flame site explaining that the latest protest targeted the Seattle-based online retail and services company for its work with the Central Intelligence Agency. “This new data cloud will help the CIA coordinate their massacres, assassinations, and terrorism across the planet,” the unidentified protesters wrote.

Two days of anti-corporate protest activities with similar MOs might have you wondering what’s next.