What would you say to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old arrested for the murder of 17 students last month in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?
“I wish you had the chance to get the help you needed and to understand why this is not okay. I’m really sorry that it had to come to this and I feel sadness and anger and pity for you,” said Lucas Illa, Lakeside High School junior and Seattle March for Our Lives organizer.
March For Our Lives – Seattle
The movement to end gun violence has spread from Parkland Florida to Washington. Ahead of the Seattle March for Our Lives protest march next Saturday, March 24, Illa and six other activists from high schools across Seattle hosted a town hall meeting at Garfield High School to discuss the national student-led demand for gun-access policy reform.
U.S. Representative from Washington’s 7th congressional district Pramila Jayapal joined the activists to address questions from online and a live audience Saturday morning at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Auditorium.
“Our prime responsibility is to take care of each other. It’s not to money or greed so let’s make sure we incorporate love and generosity through non-violence,” Jayapal told the young march leaders Saturday.
Here are 18 more things CHS heard at the March for our Lives town hall: Continue reading
With reporting from Michelle MacKinnon and Alex Garland
Students and supporters walked out of their schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Seattle Wednesday at 10 AM to come together for 17 minutes of silence to honor the one month anniversary of Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting that has reignited calls for gun control reform.
The actions Wednesday are part of a wave of activity including town halls with Governor Jay Inslee and Rep. Pramila Jayapal leading up to the March 24th March for Our Lives protest march starting at Cal Anderson Park.
Mason, 14 – “I’m out here because the NRA has profited by funding the murder of students like us. I am here to protest the NRA and the rampant abuse of the 2nd Amendment.”
At the Central District’s Garfield High School, student organizers were looking beyond school shootings. “We are planning March For Our Lives and participating in school walkouts because we want change and refuse to be ignored in our pursuit of it,” student Bridget Fox told CHS. “We hope to bring attention to the fact that gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color and other marginalized communities, and we strive to find methods of legislation that won’t have further unintended consequences in such places.” Continue reading
Add two town hall gatherings involving important Washington leaders to the list of actions, walkouts, protests, and marches planned this month as Seattle students and supporters speak out about gun violence and make calls for more to be done to reform gun control laws.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will come to Garfield High for one gathering next Saturday while Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled to participate in a Wednesday night town hall at Seattle University organized by a local television station.
More immediate actions are slated to begin the morning of this Wednesday, March 14th to mark one month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida set off a national debate on doing more to control gun violence. Student and parent groups are planning walkouts Wednesday at schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, the city, and the region in solidarity with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Continue reading
Khabirah Weddington speaks at Monday’s rally
Education leader Jesse Hagopian gathered with educators and students in front of the Central District’s Garfield High School Monday afternoon to rally for the Black Lives Matter at School effort in Seattle and beyond.
“Last year, one of our demands of the Black Lives Matter movement in schools was to have ethnic studies implemented across the Seattle school district,” Hagopian said in front of the rally and assembled media. “That effort turned out not to be hollow words.” Continue reading
Thousands of people took to the streets Monday from 23rd and Jefferson’s Garfield High School, to the East Precinct at the corner of 12th and Pine on Capitol Hill, and on down Pine to Westlake as part of a day of rallies, seminars, and marching to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bolstered by amazing January weather, the crowds filled multiple city blocks with groups representing indigenous communities, Black Lives Matter, and area labor organizations. Helicopters from local television stations — and the King County Sheriff — spun through the blue sky. At 12th and Pine, the march came to a stop as the marchers took a knee, echoing the ongoing pre-game protests in the NFL. Continue reading
It wasn’t a very pleasant day to show it off but residents, community leaders, and city officials made do Sunday with a ceremony inside the Central District’s Garfield Community Center to celebrate its new outdoor “living room.”
The Community Living Room was conceived as a gathering space for the neighborhood and features barbecues, benches, a large picnic table, game tables, a beautiful seating stone, and a large flexible space for events. When the doors are open to the Garfield Community Center gym and multipurpose room, the indoor and outdoor spaces will connect and provide a new welcoming space for the community.
Garfield students march down E Pine toward Cal Anderson (Image: CHS)
Kids atop Cal Anderson’s water mountain fountain during Sunday’s demonstration (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)
Chanting “Not my president!” and “Black lives matter,” hundreds of students from 23rd Ave’s Garfield High School marched to Cal Anderson where they joined hundreds more Monday afternoon in a citywide student walkout in protest of the election of Donald Trump. The rally marked the second day in a row the Capitol Hill park has been a central gathering place as Seattle’s citizens protest the election results and plot solutions to counter Trump’s expected policies and push ahead to fix whatever broken political processes resulted in his victory.
Sunday, hundreds attended a “Love Over Hate” gathering organized by a group of SPU marriage and family therapy students as an opportunity for Seattleites to come together for a non-political show of “love, support, and togetherness.” Sunday afternoon included singing, sign making, and, yup, even some protest. A portion of the gathered crowd opted to march from the park and made its way downtown.
Images and video from both days of protest are below. For more on local efforts to do more than march to push back on the Trump victory, check out our coverage of Sunday night’s Post Election Community Forum held at 11th Ave’s V2. Continue reading
The reaction was widespread, divided, and intense last week after the entire Garfield High football team voted to kneel during the national anthem for the rest of its season as a silent protest against racial injustice.
While many were supportive, backlash against players, coaches, and the school was in some instances extreme and threatening as news of the demonstration spread nationwide. Seattle Public Schools does not publicly address safety issues concerning specific students or staff, but a spokesperson said the school and Seattle Police are taking precautionary measures during Friday night’s game.
“There will be increased SPS safety and security presence at the game,” said SPS spokesperson Luke Deucy. “SPD will also increase police presence at the game.”
23rd Ave’s Garfield will be back at the SW Athletic Complex Friday to play Chief Sealth and will once again take a knee during the anthem. CHS has learned some family members of Garfield players will be wearing white t-shirts as a display of solidarity with the team’s decision to take a knee. Continue reading
The Central District’s high school football team is planning to join a number of professional and student athletes nationwide in an ongoing demonstration against racial injustice during the school’s Friday night game.
The Garfield Bulldogs will travel to West Seattle where the entire team has decided they will kneel for the national anthem and continue to do so for the rest of the season. Coach Joey Thomas tells CHS the decision came out of ongoing conversations the team has had about race and social injustice. Students were particularly motivated to do something after learning about the rarely recited third verse of the Star-Spangled Banner, Thomas said, which celebrates the killing of rebellious slaves.
“One thing we pride ourselves on is we have open and honest conversations about what is going on in this society,” Thomas said. “It led kids to talk about the social injustice they experience … and it led to coaches to talk about what we go though. We’re teaching life skills through sports.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting for the national anthem during the NFL’s preseason, sparking a national debate over the gesture. Kaepernick cited police brutality and the killing of unarmed African Americans as primary reasons for his demonstration. Thomas, whose father and grandfather served in the military, said those who argue the protest is disrespectful to service members are misinformed.
“It’s because they are over there fighting for our rights that we can stand for what we believe in,” he said. “It’s because of our military that we can have this silent protest.” Continue reading
A plan to address social equity by boosting Seattle’s community centers with “free or low-cost community-centric programs” will be part of Mayor Ed Murray’s 2017 budget proposal. If the money is approved, the Central District’s Garfield Community Center will have more free use and community programs while Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center could be tabbed as an LGBTQ community hub.
“Seattle’s community centers are a vital piece of our parks and recreation system and we must ensure these spaces meet the needs of all residents across the city,” said Mayor Murray. “In my proposed 2017 budget, I will call for the expansion of community center hours, staffing and programming, and eliminate drop-in fees and make scholarships easier to attain. We must ensure that as we grow, we do so equitably, and our recreational spaces must be safe and accessible places for everyone.”
Part of the strategic plan announced this week calls for the creation of a “hub-centric” pilot program: Continue reading