With Seattle Gay Pride events in full swing including a sunny Saturday picnic in Volunteer Park, a march against anti-LGBTQ violence took to the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday night and struck a more defiant tone.
“If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you move to one?” went one chant after the group marched from Cal Anderson into the nightlife scene of Pike/Pine. The demonstration was noisy and provocative with protesters entering bars and restaurants along E Pike to make sure patrons inside got the message.
Our goal is to have a large force marching on the hill and getting the message out: NOT ONE MORE!
-Wear black accented by pink and rainbow #queervisibility
-This is not a violent protest. We are not responding to their hate with hate.
-The main chant will be “NOT ONE MORE”
-This is a solidarity movement. We are standing in solidarity with every member of the community who has been victimized.
The march comes amid renewed concerns over anti-LGBTQ hate crimes on Capitol Hill and follows a string of reported bashings and bias-crime investigations even as SPD has rolled out a long-in-the-works “Safe Place” initiative to address anti-queer street crime and say it is now doing more to better track and respond to the crimes. Detectives continue to investigate a May 29th afternoon attack in the 500 block of Bellevue Ave E in which a man was beaten and called gay slurs in an unprovoked assault. Meanwhile, the investigation of a suspicious fire set at an area alternative high school that apparently targeted the principal’s office and a gender-neutral bathroom also remains unsolved. And the beating on a trans person near Cal Anderson Park on Sunday, June 7th has also generated concern about LGBTQ safety as Pike/Pine’s nightlife population soars and the development of the neighborhood continues.
During Saturday night’s march, the group stopped as it reached 11th Ave near the scene of last weekend’s beating and lit candles in a moment of silence for all victims of hate crimes. The crowd then began chanting again and moved into the thick of nightlife-packed streets. Many cheered, some jeered. A few asked demonstrators to leave.
The group was estimated to be in the “hundreds” and the un-permitted march was accompanied by a small contingent of bicycle police officers There were no reported arrests.
— Comrade Vitaly (@comradevitaly) June 14, 2015