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Elliott Bay protest could be a sign of things to come for Mayor Durkan

Jordan during Thursday’s protest inside Elliott Bay Book Co. (Image: CHS)

The “first protester arrested during the Durkan administration” won’t face trespassing charges after being forcibly removed from Elliott Bay Book Co. as he and two other people attempted Thursday to disrupt a speech by newly sworn-in Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan.

As a former federal official — Durkan served as U.S. Attorney prior to her run for the mayor’s office — who has overseen proceedings against activists and been a vocal supporter of the Seattle Police Department, you can expect similar protests to be an ongoing theme of her time as mayor.

Joseph Jordan, 35, faced a misdemeanor trespassing charge after being arrested Thursday outside the 10th Ave bookstore as Durkan continued her speech inside announcing the formation of a small business advisory council.

On Capitol Hill, mayor greeted with applause, protesters as she announces Seattle Small Business Advisory Council

“As U.S. Attorney, Jenny Durkan used a five time sex offender to impress two muslim men with mental health issues in a bogus terror plot,” the first protester shouted as the mayor began her speech, referencing this 2012 case. There was no visible police presence inside as the disruption began and employees and Durkan staffers attempted to move the woman out of the store.

As the first protester was escorted out, Jordan appeared, his face mostly covered with a helmet and kerchief, and shouted out his prepared statement which included criticism of Durkan’s support for SPD’s reform process and the department’s handling of the Charleena Lyles killing. Jordan was taken into custody outside the store by police who were called during the protest. The first woman and a third person with her and Jordan were not arrested.

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Jordan, free on $1,000 bail following his arrest, told CHS he did nothing wrong because he did as officers asked and claims he was never physically violent or threatening. He was scheduled to appear in court Saturday. No complaint was filed and he was free to go after his bail was exonerated, according to Seattle Municipal Court records

Court records also show Jordan was cited for obstruction this summer after being arrested on June 10th, the same day as counter protests against a supposed anti-Sharia rally in Seattle.

Jordan said he did not expect to be arrested for his actions Thursday. “I didn’t overturn tables, put hands on the mayor,” he said Friday.

Jordan told CHS he found out about Durkan’s planned event and neighborhood tour and tried to organize those who could show up during the day for the action. Jordan said Durkan’s support for homeless sweeps also drove him to oppose her appearance.

Durkan served as U.S. Attorney from 2009 to 2014. Many in the Seattle activist community have been especially critical of her oversight of a grand jury in a 2013 case that incarcerated two anarchists.

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin





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30 thoughts on “Elliott Bay protest could be a sign of things to come for Mayor Durkan

  1. In addition to the arrest and the unrelated citation mentioned in this post, Joseph Jordan is pictured in this protest about Uncle Ike’s:

    At 3 arrest/citation- or press-worthy protests in 18 months, Jordan seems to protest a lot relative to an average active voter, or even to an average protestor. Given that, I’m not sure his decisions are representative of anyone else’s, let alone sentiment – good or bad – towards Durkan’s mayorship.

    tl;dr: This guy protests for the sake of protesting. It’s hard to infer anything about, well, anything from that.

    • Yeah! Protest, protest, protest. The man’s level of civic engagement is unacceptable! You’d think the sky was falling. Perpetual war, bankers ripping everyone off, lying-sexual-assaulting buffoon in the White house, tax cuts for the wealthy, net neutrality on the ropes, giant ISPs funding local mayoral election campaigns, free press under attack by the president, asset forfeiture rates through the roof, NSA collecting anything and everything they can about everyone, housing prices out of control, continued tax breaks for war contractors and extraction industries, opiate overdose epidemic, climate change, oil pipelines bursting as new ones are being built, underfunded public schools, income disparity on the rise, county building a new youth jail, city planning luxurious new police bunker, people of color disproportionately targeted for drug prohibition violations, white people disproportionately profiting from newly-legalized drug sales, Nazis marching in the streets, antifascist shot on a college campus, not a single Seattle cop so much as reprimanded for years of federally-recognized unconstitutional policing, people without homes pushed from one hellhole to another. . . the list goes on–it’s just life, buttercup!

      This fellow should just stay home, keep his mouth shut, and mail in his ballot. So uppity of him. And get a job!

    • Gee, Phil, you sound just a tad pessimistic about the current state of affairs. I agree there is alot to be concerned about, but your “gloom and doom” is kind of depressing. How about a “glass half full” approach?

    • Yeah, no, Bob. Alvin said it: “At 3 arrest/citation- or press-worthy protests in 18 months, Jordan seems to protest a lot relative to an average active voter. […] This guy must just protest for the sake of protesting.” There’s just no good reason to protest so much.

  2. Pathetic protestors. Let Mayor Durkan make her mark and then, if you disagree with what she is doing, protest all you want. But dragging up stuff from years ago is ridiculous. It strikes me as just sour grapes because you voted for Moon….or, more likely, didn’t vote at all.

    I’m confident that Jenny Durkan will make an excellent Mayor.

    • Yeah! Asking Mayor Durkan if she supports her staff’s previous hiring of convicted child-molester two-time-rapists to work as undercover clowns–as they were widely reported to have done while she worked as the top federal prosecutor in the area–is way over the line. We should look forward, not backward. This kind of historical vision is what lost Ed Murray his rightful position. Pathetic losers!

    • So, it was “widely reported” that such clowns were used. That is not the same thing as confirming that this happened.

    • Yeah, FAKE NEWS! This is all fake news. Just reports–nothing concrete. Reporters have it in for Durkan. I won’t believe SPD put a convicted child-molester-two-time-rapist undercover as a clown and refuse to say that they won’t do it again unless and until some child is assaulted. People should stop pestering prosecutors, police management, and executive staff about this. They’re obsessed! Get over it, losers. The Mayor doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

  3. I have asked Sally Bagshaw, Ed Murray, and Kathleen O’Toole, among others, if the Seattle Police department has changed its policy on hiring child rapists to work in environments (like in mosques or as a clown) that tend to expose a lot of children to them. I have yet to be given an answer. You would think that if the SPD no longer hired rape clowns, they would have no problem saying “We don’t hire convicted child rapists to work undercover as clowns anymore. No, no rape clowns here.”

    But they won’t. So one has to assume their policy has not changed. Since it was Jenny Durkin that okay’d the use of Robert Childs as a paid informant infiltrating a group of clowns, and now she’s mayor of Seattle, it seems reasonable to ask her whether or not she will continue to support Seattle police in hiring rape clowns, or if she’s had a change of heart.

    If a group gets together to hand out gifts to house less people on Christmas Eve, will they need to worry about a rapey Santa showing up courtesy of the city? Durkan’s willingness to use the criminal justice system as a weapon to silence concern about these issues makes me fear that sort of thing is likely.

    • Yeah, I’m sure your assumptions are correct. And they’d probably give you a totally serious answer if you asked them anothernsimilarly phrased question like, “Are you still beating your spouse”?

    • Please present evidence to show that the SPD has hired even one “child rapist.” Otherwise your statements have absolutely no credibility.

    • “Please present evidence to show that the SPD has hired even one “child rapist.” ”

      Well that easy:

      This is the dude every single line of attack on Durkan uses as an example of… well, something or other. It’s not clear. But using one single instance of clearly… well, questionable judgment, or horrific “ends justify the means” policing from five years ago is pretty weaksauce.

    • Thanks for the link, Privilege. So, I guess there is one example of what Alyssa claims…but I would say that mosques are hardly places which would appeal to a child sex offender. And can she give examples of the SPD hiring “clown rapists”?

      Law enforcement often uses convicted felons as paid informants, and this can be very effective in bringing other criminals to justice.

    • Yeah, Priv, weak sauce, indeed. Justice wheels turn like a bullet train–five years is, like, ages ago. Who are these ingrates to expect Durkan to answer for her actions from way back in the early 2010s? One little hiring of a convicted child molester and twice-convicted rapist to work undercover as a clown, some pesky activists jailed for months not because they were convicted of anything or because they were awaiting trial but because they refused to go have a nice chat with a grand jury about their friends’ and acquaintances’ political affiliations, and people expect assurances that we won’t see more of it with the region’s former top prosecutor now at the head of the region’s largest city. This is gonna be the best city ever–believe me.

    • The tin foil is strong with some.

      I’m not sure which US Attorney, prosecutor, or lawyer in general could pass the test of absolute moral perfection demanded by people, but hey. Whatever. It gives some of y’all a line of attack just wheel out over and over again. Maybe, if we’re all lucky, it’ll cause the wheels of the city to grind to a halt so we can get to the bottom of that issue instead of dealing with homelessness, affordability, or any other issues facing today’s Seattle residents.

    • Yeah, very loonie are these tinfoil-hatters! There’s a time and place to ask about the skeletons in Durkan’s closet, and that is when and where hardly anyone is looking, NOT at her third swearing-in ceremony while she’s surrounded by reporters and campaign supporters. Pathetic!

    • The Mayor is taking a very measured and reasonable approach to the homeless camps. City and nonprofit personnel (Navigation Teams) do everything possible to get homeless people into better housing prior to cleaning up their camps, and only after weeks of such an effort is a camp removed (unless it is in imminent danger, or there are serious public health issues, when this happens sooner rather than later). If a homeless person refuses to accept offers of help, and instead chooses to continue to live on the streets, they have only themselves to blame for their miserable conditions.

      The citizens of Seattle overwhelmingly voted for Jenny Durkan, in part because they agree with her policies regarding the homeless. Her approach is a major improvement over the past, when the policy was to “look the other way.”

  4. I’m not a big fan of creating an article specifically about a single protestor, for the reasons of how we’re airing out his whole history in the article and comments below. Yes, Jordan was the one who got arrested, but he’s far from the last protestor that will speak out against Durkan. Seattle just replaced a mayor that was an accused child molester. No matter what your views are or predictions for Durkan are right now, she’s a million times better than having Ed still in charge.

    • Michael you make an interesting point. During the Occupy movement and arrests when commenters here brought up the arrest histories of certain of the occupy arrested their comments were deleted and the reasoning was that the issue was becoming personal. Yet this article seems to do exactly as you state. I personally think one’s arrest history is a valid part of the conversation when discussing their current arrest, just as I think Durkan’s history and prior choices are indeed valid to bring up when discussing current concerns about what kind of actions she might take as mayor.

  5. What is this protestor needing to hide by wearing all of the cover up? If you’re going to choose to live your life as a protestor, do it with confidence and stop hiding yourself. Shows a lack of self-confidence and a tendency to just be a disruptor as opposed to someone who wants to actively be part of a solution. I predict this guy will not amount to much more in his life, sadly. Perhaps he has some good points but they will get lost in his method.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I’ve already stopped listening to you as soon as you hide your face like a terrorist or common bank robber. If you’re not doing anything illegal (as he was confident of) there’s no need to cover your face like the so-called “anarchists”.

    • These people think we live in a “police state”.

      Because, you know, they’ve never traveled to an actual one.

    • Yeah! People have no reason to fear reprisal from police who recognize them from past protests. And it’s not like white nationalists are huddled in dark corners of the interwebz assembling dossiers on known Black Lives Matter sympathizers. Plus, the guy who was arrested was black–a protected class! If people have something to say, they should do it publicly, with identifying features prominently displayed. How else are security forces to learn who the troublemakers are? Your right to speak freely ends at my right to know who you are, where you and your family live, and on whom I need to lean in order get information about your unpopular political ideologies in front of a grand jury, am I right?

  6. I need someone to protest the $14 night tax on my $60 night Airbnb that Seattle city just enacted.

    Is he available ? How much per protest ? I like the anarchist look, but need someone to hound the planning committee every time they meet.

  7. These losers should be arrested and charged if they break the law. It is pathetic that they choose to be such useless punks rather than being participants in the community in a civilized and adult manner.

  8. And the people who are so opposed to the homeless sweeps obviously have not had to live next to a camp where the garbage piles up all over, needles, human waste, and vermin start to gather. If getting people out of that kind of health and safety hazard is not agreeable to the anti sweep folks then they must think living in squalor is fine. It is really easy to protest something that does not have any direct effect on yourself and I suspect many of these anti sweep protesters don’t live near encampments so they don’t have to deal with the issues that often end up occurring when an illegal homeless camp takes root.