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Capitol Hill Community Post | After Court’s Shameful Ruling in Favor of Right-Wing Recall Campaign, Kshama Sawant and Movement Vow to Defend Her Seat and Fight on to Defund SPD and Cancel Rent

From Socialist Alternative

Hundreds of supporters rallied in support of Councilmember Sawant. Watch Councilmember Sawant’s speech here.

Today, over 300 supporters joined online rallies to defend Councilmember Kshama Sawant against the right-wing campaign as the court ruled to accept the recall petition in a legal review.

“While working people should be angry at this outcome, we should not be surprised,” said District 3’s Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “The laws and courts and police under capitalism do not serve working people, people of color, those already marginalized under capitalism. They are made to hold up the status quo of deep inequality, of violence, of racism, sexism, of ruthless exploitation of the whole working class and the environment.”

Reverend Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ, said, “What is at stake is the power of the people and working people everywhere standing up, speaking out, finding common ground, defending our movement to dismantle systemic racism, economic injustice, mass incarceration, and police violence on our cities and communities, and on our BIPOC community partners. Our children and children’s children are counting on us to do the right thing. Leaders such as CM Sawant who stand with and truly represent the most vulnerable should be applauded, not harassed.”

Councilmember Sawant will appeal today’s court ruling. If the court’s shameful ruling is upheld by the State Supreme Court, the recall campaign would have six months to collect over 10,000 signatures from District 3 residents to try to trigger a special election. Already, as Nathalie Graham reported in The Stranger, the right wing recall campaign has been linked to billionaire ICE landlord and max Trump donor Martin Selig and former District 3 candidate Egan Orion, who ran unsuccessfully against Kshama in 2019 on a record-breaking flood of corporate cash from Amazon, the Chamber of Commerce, and wealthy Republican donors. In addition, the recall campaign has reported over $40,000 in funding from anonymous donors, likely kept anonymous to avoid drawing attention to right-wing backers (like Selig).

“Make no mistake: our opponents don’t just want a do-over of the election,” added Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “They would like a do-over of the historic Amazon Tax, of our landmark renters rights victories, of the $15 minimum wage – of every victory working people have won in Seattle over these last six years. They are already attempting a do-over of our landmark ban against chemical and other so-called ‘non-lethal’ weapons. This recall campaign is an attack on all our historic victories and an attempt to block future ones.”

“We will appeal this decision, and we will continue to get organized to defend our seat,” said Emily McArthur, an organizer with Socialist Alternative. “We have seen the powerful victories we have won with this socialist seat, from the Amazon Tax to the $15 minimum wage, and we will go all out to fight against this right-wing recall campaign.”

During her 2019 re-election campaign, Councilmember Kshama Sawant won re-election despite the unprecedented corporate spending against her, while her campaign was backed by more grassroots donors than any other in Seattle history. At the afternoon rally in response to the ruling, signaling a readiness to fight, Sawant supporters donated over $6,000.

Sawant said, “We knocked on over 200,000 doors last year to defeat the richest man in the world. We will do the same and more in this fight. Because our socialist City Council office isn’t, and never has been, about me personally. It is a seat for working people, it is a support and a launchpad for working class movements. And we will defend it.

She continued, “In the coming weeks, the next stage of the People’s Budget fight, the Defund SPD struggle, and the movement against racist policing will begin. And there is an urgent need for renters and all working people to get seriously organized to fight to cancel rent, mortgage, utility payments for all of 2020! We will go on the offensive.”

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