Mount Zion to host #BlackLivesMatter Pecha Kucha

Organizers say the “overwhelming response” to the event has prompted a move to a larger venue for Thursday’s Pecha Kucha Seattle vol. 58: #BlackLivesMatter.

The move is good one for Capitol Hill-area neighbors — Mount Zion at the corner of E Madison and Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Ave will host Thursday night’s forum. Pecha Kucha events typically feature 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each in a format designed for concise and lively presentations.

Thursday night’s presentation will examine Seattle’s response to the issues of race and social justice raised by Ferguson and incidents like Eric Garner’s death. A wave of rallies and protests beginning in late November started on and crossed Capitol Hill and have continued into winter.

Monday marks the 29th anniversary of the first official observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the country.

Poster_BlackLivesMatter_B_v03“Bring your family, your friends, your co-workers to this historic venue in celebration of Martin Luther King’s lasting legacy,” the organizers ask, “and show Seattle that yes, #BlackLivesMatter_SEA”

Pecha Kucha Seattle vol. 58: #BlackLivesMatter – Examining American Identity in the 21st Century, will be held on Thursday, January 15 from 5:30-9pm at the Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. The event will bring together voices from across our community to illuminate the landscape of activism shaping our regional and national conversation around race and to provide tools and resources to inspire change. The evening will be emceed by the poet, artist and activist Barbara Earl Thomas.


  • Elmer Dixon – President of Executive Diversity Services & Co-Founder of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party
  • Tracy RectorExecutive Director/Co-Founder, Longhouse Media
  • Robin DiAngelo – Director of Equity & Inclusion at Seattle Senior Services
  • Darlene Flynn – Policy and Development Lead, City of Seattle Office for Civil Rights
  • Tim Lennon – Events Coordinator, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
  • Daveda Russell – Illumination & Manifestation Strategist, Nyawela Consulting
  • Luzviminda Carpenter – On-Call Counselor , YouthCare Seattle
  • Evan Flory-Barnes – Bassist | Composer
  • Naomi Ishisaka – Seattle Journalist
  • Ijeoma Oluo – Writer, Blogger
  • Christopher Shaw – Ceramicist, Artist, Engineer


Why does the Seattle Police Department push protests up Capitol Hill?

ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES, 1999 — “Riot police move east on Pine Street as they drive protesters up to Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 1999” — Seattle Times photo used with permission

ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES, 1999 — “Riot police move east on Pine Street as they drive protesters up to Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 1999” — Seattle Times photo used with permission. Our look at “The Battle for Capitol Hill” is here.

Above, is a scene from Pine Street, 15 years ago this week. It probably looks familiar to anybody who has been on the streets between Capitol Hill and downtown as Ferguson-related protest continues in Seattle — especially Monday night as more cops “hardened up” with body armor and SPD rolled out an even larger numbers of police than previous nights after Mayor Ed Murray’s statement promising a solidified response to the unrest.

The apparent policing strategy deployed on the streets is also familiar. “The marchers want to head west, back to downtown on Olive,” The Stranger’s Ansel Herz reported Monday night. “Police won’t let them. ‘You’re going east,’ cop yells. Crowd: ‘Why?'”

The crowd’s response Monday night is a question people on Capitol Hill have been asking since at least WTO in 1999 when protesters were seemingly herded out of downtown and into Capitol Hill, filling the streets with jack-booted police and sometimes violent clashes. Five years back, CHS looked at the situation on the 10-year anniversary of riots:

Monday night, after a march was repeatedly stopped and funneled back up to be scattered across lower Pike/Pine and Melrose, CHS asked Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, head of SPD’s public information officers, why it seems like the strategy is for police to shove protesters onto Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Ferguson notes: Monday rally at Westlake, Jackson’s words at Mt. Zion

After a Thanksgiving week busy with protest, more Ferguson demonstrations and rallies are being planned this week in Seattle.

  • Monday: While a planned walkout involving Garfield and area high school students failed to generate much activity Monday afternoon, a demonstration calling for justice for Mike Brown is slated to begin Monday night at Westlake. The group organizing has been involved with some of the larger marches that took place last week downtown, in the CD and on Capitol Hill.

    UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the mayor’s office about ongoing protests in the city:
    Murray: City supports peaceful protests, has no tolerance for property damage

    SEATTLE (Dec. 1, 2014) – Mayor Ed Murray has released the following statement on ongoing planned protests in downtown Seattle:

    “In Seattle in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision this past week, we have seen hundreds of peaceful protesters engage in free expression about the critical issue of race and social justice. Continue reading

‘Anticapitalist’ marchers clash with police on Capitol Hill

Images: Alex Garland for CHS

A group of around 60 demonstrators tossed rocks, broke windows and smashed fences as they marched and ran through the streets around Broadway and Pike/Pine Saturday night in an anticapitalist protest in solidarity with recent Ferguson-related demonstrations.

Marchers masked up, got a pep talk and headed out from Seattle Central’s plaza around 10:30 PM on a night with temperatures in the mid 20s. Anarchy banners were on display, not the posters and signs that had been on display in the week’s Ferguson demonstrations. Continue reading

#BlackLivesMatterFriday takes over downtown Seattle malls, climbs Capitol Hill — UPDATE: Clash at Pine/Boren

A week of protest continued around downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill Friday as hundreds of protesters pushed their way inside Westlake Mall and Pacific Place before marching up Pine to Capitol Hill. UPDATE 4:02 PM: An attempt to stop the march from returning to downtown at Pine and Boren resulted in a clash between police and protesters that included SPD deploying flash bangs and the use of pepper spray.

Original report: A crowd of marchers around 200 people deep spent part of the cold and soaked afternoon marching through the streets around Broadway and Pike/Pine as the streets around East Precinct once again went into lockdown. In addition to the continued anger over the decision not to charge a Ferguson, Missouri police officer for shooting a black teen to death, the protest also included some specific Capitol Hill targets. The protest crowd stopped at 10th and Pike to rally where “Lost Lake, Cafe Vita, Comet Tavern & Neumos profile Somali Youth,” one journalist reported on Twitter. Continue reading

‘This is a peaceful rally’ — At Broadway and Pine, calls for a federal investigation in Ferguson

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_6328A second day of protest in Seattle over the decision to not charge a Ferguson, Missouri police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown brought out a much younger crowd of students and organizers for a march from 23rd and Union across Capitol Hill to downtown’s federal courthouse.

“This is a peaceful rally and anybody that’s going to be part of this is gonna be peaceful,” an organizer shouted through a bullhorn as the march paused in the intersection of Broadway and Pine before continuing downhill Tuesday afternoon.

Many of the students protesting Tuesday called for a federal investigation of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the August slaying. CHS spoke with students from area schools Garfield High School and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences participating in the march. Seattle Public Schools said that more than 1,000 students walked out at Garfield Tuesday afternoon.

Monday night’s protests were mostly peaceful until later in the night when crowds pushed their way onto I-5 and tangled with police resulting in five arrests.

Tuesday’s rally and march was organized by the King County Seattle NAACP.

Monday night, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the grand jury decision:

My message to the young African American men in Seattle today is this: While we do not have the answers today, we in this city are listening to you. Your city hears you. And your city loves you.

UPDATE 9:40 PM: A smaller group of around 75 protesters marched again from downtown to Capitol Hill Tuesday night. As of 9:30 PM, there were no reports of arrests.