Seattle May Day 2019 brings 20th annual march for immigrants and workers to Capitol Hill — and expectations for another ‘riot’-free year — UPDATE

Seattle’s 20th annual May Day March for the Rights of Immigrants and Workers will again cross Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon and — for a second straight year — it appears that any planned protests separate from the annual workers rights march won’t be taking place on Broadway.

“This year we march once again to reclaim our struggles as immigrants, workers, and without borders,” organizers from El Comite write about the 20th year of the massive march. The crowds will begin gathering at noon on Dearborn before setting out on a trek across the city to downtown:

We are here because of the insecurity, crime, and corruption unleashed in our countries by bad governments with the support and intervention of the U.S. We are here because of political repression and exploitation of workers and the dispossession of our natural resources and territories. We are here refusing to be victims of the few who benefit from this system and the impoverishment, displacement and death that they wreak upon on our peoples.

Walk with me for justice,
Walk with me for immigrant rights,
Walk with me for labor rights,
Walk with me because this is our struggle!

A quick perusal of the latest edition of our latest this week in CHS history post will catch you up on the recent history of May Day chaos and violence that has broken out on Capitol Hill over the years, sparked by clashes between police and groups from beyond the workers and immigrants rights movements. Damage, injuries, and arrests were typically limited but ugly moments including vandalism against small businesses and the use of dangerous “flash bang” grenades by police left many in the neighborhood unsympathetic to any of the sides in the clashes. Continue reading

Hundreds in Volunteer Park rally against Trump’s immigration emergency, another protest on Capitol Hill coming this week

With hippie era protest songs and candles, a Presidents Day crowd of hundreds gathered in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park to protest Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over immigration at the southern border. A rowdier protest is expected on Broadway later this week.

Monday at Seattle’s gathering part of protests organized in cities across the county, the message was about fighting back, hope, and politics.

“We know that there is no national emergency,” Governor Jay Inslee said in front of the chilled crowd that gathered around the Black Hole Sun statue in the ice-cleared park. “There is only a political emergency because Donald Trump’s abusive, hate filled rhetoric has been rejected by the American people.” Continue reading

1/19/19: Seattle Womxn’s March starts at Cal Anderson

Despite national controversy and local concerns about diversity and respect for annual MLK Day actions and celebrations, a third year of January marching and organizing for women’s rights activism is coming to Seattle with Cal Anderson again an epicenter of action in only a few short weeks.

Liz Hunter-Keller, the communications chair for Seattle Womxn Marching Forward, which organized the inaugural march in 2017 and has continued to shepherd anniversary events, estimated that 50 to 70 organizations are involved in making this year’s Seattle Womxn’s March a reality.

“There has to be more work and more connection, and more love and more understanding and that comes from deeper experiences, like the ones we’re going to try to provide at Seattle Center,” Hunter-Keller said.

Seattle Women’s March 2019 — UPDATE

The Seattle events haven’t been easy to pull together. The 2018 Women’s March in Seattle was planned by another group as officials and organizers were unsure how many thousands to expect on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Seattle cracking down on protesters who block downtown streets

A March “No New Youth Jail” protest set the stage for a new activist tactic in Seattle (Image: CHS)

City Attorney Pete Holmes has come out swinging against protesters who block traffic on downtown Seattle streets:

This new type of highly disruptive action can cause workers to arrive late for work and emergency-response vehicles to be stuck in traffic. The ripple impact of these unanticipated traffic blockades quickly spreads and creates gridlock in the downtown core of our city and on to state Highway 99. This impact will only be heightened with the forthcoming Viaduct teardown and our city entering the “period of maximum constraint” traffic strain.

“When protesters use these methods, they are doing more than advocating for their cause,” Holmes wrote this week in an op-ed for the Seattle Times explaining his decision to prosecute people arrested at downtown protests earlier this year. “They are creating a disruption that redirects vital resources that could be needed elsewhere.” Continue reading

With planned protests off Capitol Hill, 2018 May Day in Seattle will center on March against ICE, Bloc the Juvi — UPDATE

May Day protests around the Capitol Hill area have centered on 12th Ave’s youth jail in recent years

Will these characters show up again in 2018?

El Comite’s annual march — annually peaceful, annually colorful

It’s been a long time since May Day turned into a “riot” on Capitol Hill but given the neighborhood’s place as a gathering point for protest, SPD tactics in the past that resulted in a push of large crowds out of downtown and up the Hill, and the new focus on 12th Ave’s youth jail, the neighborhood remains on watch every time May 1st rolls around.

This year — the first May Day under former federal prosecutor Jenny Durkan’s mayoral watch, expect another day of heavy police presence and television helicopters.

The foundation to the day — and the first amendment activities most everyone can get behind — remains the annual Marcha Y Manifestacion Anual del 1o de Mayo organized by immigrant labor rights organization El Comité. In 2016, the route changed to include Capitol Hill. In 2018, the march that will again be joined by thousands has more significance than ever — calling out U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in Washington:

El Comité and the May 1st Action Coalition are calling on all workers and all social justice advocates to come out on Tuesday, May 1st 2018 (International Workers’ Day) for the 19th Annual May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights. We are using the march to publicly expose ICE activity in Washington State and to hold the Department of Licensing accountable for having facilitated ICE harassment against community members by way of sharing information about motorists. The March in Seattle on May 1st is among several coordinated events happening in communities across the State of Washington, including Yakima, and Tacoma.

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

Shooting of anti-fascist at UW biggest scar on Seattle’s peaceful weekend of protest

University of Washington Police are investigating after an anti-fascist protester was shot during ongoing fighting in the crowds that gathered on the campus Friday night. The shooter has been identified and released from custody pending the investigation.

“We’re spending a great deal of time sorting through video we have received from the public and others,” Major Steve Rittereiser of UWPD tells CHS. Rittereiser tells CHS the department’s detectives are identifying witnesses and setting up interviews, a process that will stretch out over the coming days. A vehicle in the case has also been impounded and is being examined for evidence. Continue reading

Seattle’s weekend of anti-Trump protests starts with Capitol Hill student rally — UPDATE

UPDATE 1/21/2017 8:00 AM: Police announced an arrest overnight in the UW shooting.

SPD also reported that a police vehicle suffered a busted window Friday morning:

Around 9:30 AM, an unidentified person threw a rock through the windshield of a Bellevue Police Department officer’s vehicle—which was assisting Seattle police in the Capitol Hill area.

“No other arrests were made during the day’s demonstrations,” SPD reports.

UPDATE 1/20/17 8:50 PM: Police and Seattle Fire have responded to a reported shooting that witnesses say happened in the crowds assembled outside the UW Yiannopoulos appearance. Seattle Fire says a male victim has been transported to the hospital with “possible life threatening injuries. Police are investigating and the protests continue.

UPDATE 1/20/17 7:30 PM: The marchers were last reported headed north on 10th Ave E toward the University of Washington where protesters have been blocking entrance to a planned appearance by right wing Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

UPDATE 1/20/17 7:00 PM: A portion of the Westlake crowd marched through downtown and eventually up Capitol Hill following the downtown rally. The marchers have been peaceful and there have been no reports of significant property damage or arrests. SPD says it seized several dangerous objects from people in the Westlake crowd but did not announce any arrests.

UPDATE 1/20/17 3:00 PM: There were surprises from the start of what is expected to be two days of marches and protests following the inauguration of Donald Trump. Student walkout supporters who rallied at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central were expected to eventually meet up with El Comite immigrants rights marchers en route from the Central District to a large rally planned Friday night in Westlake. But people were ready to get moving earlier than expected and the student marchers set out for a Central District rendezvous with the immigrants rights march. They met on S Jackson before 3 PM and set a new course together for Westlake Park, about 600 strong.

Before the marchers hit the streets, District 3 representative and Socialist Alternative party leader Kshama Sawant warmed up the crowd of students from schools from across Seattle and their supporters. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A Central District ‘Resist Trump’ work party


Resistance can be fun — and creative. Wednesday night, CHS stopped by 23rd and Union’s Squirrel Chops to check out one of the last work parties before a series of protests, rallies, and marches begin across the city to mark the inauguration of Donald Trump.

The first planned event you’re likely to see play out on the Hill will come Friday afternoon as participants in an announced student walkout rally at Seattle Central before marching downtown to join what is expected to be a large protest downtown at Westlake. The updated CHS roster of planned events including Saturday’s 30,000 to 50,000-strong march from Judkins Park to the Seattle Center is here:

The plan for the Womxn’s March on Seattle and Capitol Hill Inauguration Week protests, rallies, and parties

There will also, of course, be un-planned, un-announced protests. We’ll do our best to keep you abreast of any actions on or around Capitol Hill.

Wednesday night’s sign making party was open to marchers planning to attend any of the weekend’s actions. District 3 representative Kshama Sawant was there enjoying the work party and preparing for her part in the the Socialist Alternative-backed Resist Trump: Occupy Inauguration rally at Westlake before she jets to Washington D.C. in time to be part of the Women’s March on Washington.



The plan for the Womxn’s March on Seattle and Capitol Hill Inauguration Week protests, rallies, and parties

The Womxn’s March on Seattle will travel from the Central District’s Judkins Park to the Seattle Center on Saturday, January 21st to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, organizers have announced. It will be part of a week of demonstrations and protests large and small, and “actions” meaningful and just for fun.

While the start and end points hadn’t been announced, Seattle’s big weekend march has been in the works for weeks and thousands have said they plan to attend in solidarity with large marches planned in Washington D.C. and in cities across the country. In Seattle, organizers say the “Womxn’s” spelling is meant “to promote intersectionality in our movement” 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.”

Womxn’s March on Seattle

The Saturday march is being planned as a silent protest. “Marchers will rely on large numbers and powerful signage to speak more loudly than any individuals ever could,” organizers say.

Seattle women, womxn, and those who love them have been preparing with sign making and pussyhat knitting.

UPDATE 1/18/17: The city has posted route details for the week’s marches. Here are the details for Saturday:

Rally at Judkins Park followed by a march to Seattle Center beginning at 11am. From 20th Ave S and S Weller St, the route heads north on 20th Ave S, west on S Jackson St, north on 4th Ave, west on Denny Way, and north on 2nd Ave N into Seattle Center.

About 30,000 people are expected to attend, according to officials.

CHS also found many at work preparing this past weekend at a town hall organized by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant as she raises support for the planned Socialist Alternative-backed protest starting at Westlake Friday night. “We don’t have a moment to waste in getting organized against Trump’s racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, anti-lgbtq rhetoric, proposals, and cabinet members,” Sawant’s rallying cry reads. Continue reading