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

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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.

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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

Joining Womxn’s March on Seattle, Capitol Hill restaurant hosting Anti-Defamation League fundraiser to mark Trump’s inauguration

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.” 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.

‘Seattle Women March Against Hate’ Saturday across Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Abort the patriarchy #seattlewomensmarchagainsthate

A photo posted by Siv Prince (@sivprince) on

UPDATE 12/3/2016 4:20 PM: 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.” Continue reading

Weekend of anti-Trump protests across Capitol Hill — More to come including Seattle Women March Against Hate

A season of protest has come to Capitol Hill. Saturday and Sunday, two groups active in the area with marches and rallies took to the streets around the neighborhood with small but spirited protests. Meanwhile, there is more to come with a large rally planned for December 3rd in Volunteer Park for a group we think most people agree have a lot to say about the incoming administration — women. Continue reading

How a Capitol Hill swastika was painted over: ‘LOVE WINS’

In the wake of terribleness following the election victory of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, a swastika appeared on a utility pole at Mercer and Belmont. One may have appeared there before but, before Election Night 2016, we had never seen that symbol, that bold.

“This is a historic LGBTQ neighborhood in Seattle,” a Capitol Hill resident who recorded the scene said, according to the Stranger. “Overnight, a swastika has appeared on a light pole… the after effects of Trump are real.” The Stranger reports a local business owner quickly painted over the hate symbol “so people in the neighborhood didn’t have to see it.”

Instead, they saw something else. Neighbor Roy sent CHS the pictures at the top of this post showing “the quick and awesome response by the community.” Continue reading

Seattle students plan citywide anti-Trump walkout Monday — UPDATE: Destination Cal Anderson

Plans for a citywide student walkout at Seattle schools are spreading this weekend following days of protest in Seattle and cities across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory.

According to messages, emails, and Facebook posts from students and parents, organizers are calling for a walkout Monday to begin at 1:30 PM.

UPDATE 11/14/2016 9:22 AM: The kids are headed for Cal Anderson:

Students all across Seattle, will be hosting a walkout and gathering to protest the election of Trump to office. There have been several walkouts organized after the election of Donald trump. Now, students invite the community to come see for themselves why they are so opposed to Trump’s leadership. The walkout will take place starting at 1:30 from the students school of origin (included schools: Franklin, Garfield, The Center School, Nova, Sealth, and UW). Students will then meet up at Cal Anderson park (1653 11th Ave, Seattle WA, 98122) at 2:30. It’s a positive opportunity to show the greater Seattle community how much they care / are impacted by the issue. The students will also be hosting a later “Protest for Solidarity” at Westlake Park (401 pine st, Seattle WA, 98101), at 4:15 pm, to express their feelings after the election and how they plan to about it going forward. Hosted by Emma Reid, Viv Nicole, and Samantha Wisner-Simmons. “EVERYONE is welcome…” “Seattle is a diverse community, and it’s our immigrant/refugee populations, LGBTQ folks, religious diversity and colorful mix of racial demographics that makes us who we are. as students, we grew up in classrooms that reflect that. Trump is threatening our core value of tolerance as a city. We had to use our voices and numbers to show that we stand with members of our community who may not feel safe now. we’ll continue to resist attacks on those around us with any/all forms of student activism!”

“Seattle Public Schools is steadfast in our support for all students,” a spokesperson said about the planned Monday protest. “While the protests are not sanctioned by the district, SPS students do have the right to peacefully demonstrate and express their personal views.” Continue reading

Black Lives Matter marches to Capitol Hill to protest police killings

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As the nation reacted to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech in Cleveland, a large protest marched through downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill Thursday to speak out against police violence toward the black community.

“I’m sick of white supremacy,” said one 19-year-old woman as the group of hundreds of marchers circled up for a session of statements at 12th and Pine in front of the East Precinct headquarters. “I’m mourning children I haven’t even conceived yet.”

“They see our skin as a weapon,” said another. Continue reading

What we talked about at Center for Policing Equity meeting on SPD crowd control tactics

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(Image: CHS)

There are problems with how the Seattle Police Department handles protests. At 1pm on Friday afternoon, 19 people gathered to discuss SPD’s crowd control tactics with consultants hired to report on the issues. Six were invited to the meeting with the Center for Policing Equity consultants. The rest had to ask for invitations or were invited by other attendees. As a freelance photojournalist with a focus on social justice issues, I spend a lot of time at protests and demonstrations in close proximity to both police and protesters. When I heard about Friday’s meeting, I requested an invitation so I could tell the consultants what I had experienced. Here is what we talked about Friday.

The meeting began with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. She began by giving the history of her interest concerning “public order and demonstration management” with anecdotes from Northern Ireland and her experience with the DNC in Boston in 2004.

Chief O’Toole mentioned the importance of bringing in “…people with completely independent, objective perspectives and have them talk to cops, talk to members of the community, and listen to anybody who wants to contribute to this process, and figure out how we here in Seattle could get better at this.”

O’Toole also clarified the role the center’s consultants were playing in the study. “They’re doing this for nothing, it’s all at their costs, they are not our paid consultants. They’re doing this because they think it’s the right thing to do and I guess that’s what the center does. They look at situations and produce knowledge and I think it’s great because it underscores your independence.”

Sheley Secrest, the vice president of the NAACP Seattle chapter was in attendance. “We echo those concerns of who was invited to sit at this table, not to put the burden back on us, so that we have to be the ones to engage the community,” she said. “At this point, the police department, you all know, these are the same activists, you guys know who we are. Let’s get the right people at the table for these types of meetings. Not where we have to engage them. It would mean a lot to the community to see you make that gesture.” Continue reading

Report on SPD use of force in Capitol Hill protest: No officer reprimands but blast-ball use created ‘fear and panic’

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(Image: CHS)

Seattle police should re-evaluate the way officers use so-called blast ball grenades to disperse crowds during events like this year’s May Day protest on Capitol Hill, according to a report from the Seattle’s police oversight office. Meanwhile, excessive use of force allegations against officers were found to be without grounds, according to the Office of Professional Accountability report.

Police deployed at least 48 blast balls during its response to this year’s May Day Anti-Capitalist March turned “riot,” which largely took place on Capitol Hill. The report from Seattle’s OPA was unable to determine if officers violated department guidelines, but investigators raised concerns about blast balls that were thrown over the heads of protestors and detonations that happened in close proximity to people who posed no threat.

Because the initial detonation of a blast-ball separates a hard metal fuse device from its rubber base, there is a possibility of the metal fuse acting as shrapnel and causing serious injury to someone in close proximity when it separates. In addition, deployment of blast-balls at the feet of people or into a crowd can cause burns from the second and larger detonation, as well as blunt force trauma from the rubber base as the flash powder inside explodes and the two halves of the base fly apart.

“The evidence from May Day 2015 indicates that, while highly effective in getting people to move, the ball-blasts create fear and panic when detonated,” the report concludes.

The report comes in response to five complaints filed against officers for excessive use of force during the May 1st demonstration. Ultimately, the OPA did not uphold the allegations, but included seven recommendations on how SPD could better handle similar situations.

Continue reading

Black Lives Matter protest mixes with tree lighting celebration in downtown Seattle

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Thousands of revelers including Black Lives Matter protesters and celebrants enjoying the lighting of downtown Christmas tree filled the area around Westlake Friday in what appears to be a new Seattle Black Friday tradition.

In 2014, at the height of protests about the Michael Brown case and Ferguson, Missouri, a large group of demonstrators disrupted the lighting ceremony, marched through Westlake Mall, and eventually clashed with police who fought to push the group to disperse up Capitol Hill.

IMG_3089IMG_3852In 2015, the protest was a much more controlled affair with Seattle Police responding with large contingents of officers to move the demonstrators around downtown streets and to the edges of the tree lighting ceremony’s festivities. The groups were able to enter the downtown Macy’s and a Forever 21 store but were stopped by police and mall security from entering Westlake or Pacific Place in significant numbers.

2015 also brought a grand finale of sorts for the protest as a fleet of balloons carrying protest messages accompanied the tree ceremony’s fireworks.

Protest crowd estimates varied from around 200 to 400 though the afternoon and evening demonstrations. Police said there were four arrests:

Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets and protested peacefully.

However, officers did respond to isolated skirmishes outside of Westlake Center and Pacific Place, resulting in minor property damage and the arrest of four people. In one case, a bicycle officer dislocated his shoulder when people in the crowd interfered with an arrest outside of Pacific Place. The officer was transported to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment.