Seattle’s 20th annual May Day March for the Rights of Immigrants and Workers will again cross Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon and — for a second straight year — it appears that any planned protests separate from the annual workers rights march won’t be taking place on Broadway.
“This year we march once again to reclaim our struggles as immigrants, workers, and without borders,” organizers from El Comite write about the 20th year of the massive march. The crowds will begin gathering at noon on Dearborn before setting out on a trek across the city to downtown:
We are here because of the insecurity, crime, and corruption unleashed in our countries by bad governments with the support and intervention of the U.S. We are here because of political repression and exploitation of workers and the dispossession of our natural resources and territories. We are here refusing to be victims of the few who benefit from this system and the impoverishment, displacement and death that they wreak upon on our peoples.
Walk with me for justice,
Walk with me for immigrant rights,
Walk with me for labor rights,
Walk with me because this is our struggle!
A quick perusal of the latest edition of our latest this week in CHS history post will catch you up on the recent history of May Day chaos and violence that has broken out on Capitol Hill over the years, sparked by clashes between police and groups from beyond the workers and immigrants rights movements. Damage, injuries, and arrests were typically limited but ugly moments including vandalism against small businesses and the use of dangerous “flash bang” grenades by police left many in the neighborhood unsympathetic to any of the sides in the clashes. Continue reading
Activists may have lost in court but they haven’t given up on winning hearts in their battle against the new youth jail at 12th and Alder.
Saying she and fellow activists were there to celebrate Valentine’s Day and “what it means to love community and love young people,” activist and attorney Nikkita Oliver said a group gathered outside the under construction King County Youth and Family Justice Center would be delivering No New Youth Jail Valentines to officials and judges.
“We are here to uplift ourselves and love ourselves and say we’re not going to allow buildings like this to be built and invested in,” Oliver said. Continue reading
Activists at a summer 2018 protest at the 12th and Alder construction site
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday that King County can continue collecting taxes to fund the construction of its new youth jail at 12th and Alder.
“The 8-0 ruling reversed a lower court’s conclusion that the county had been illegally collecting taxes for the building, a decision that, if upheld, would have created a budget deficit in the tens of millions of dollars,” Crosscut reports.
Activists from Ending the Prison Industrial Complex scored an early legal victory against the funding when an appeals court ruled the county was gathering its funds for the youth jail inappropriately by levying property taxes from an increased base tax that was not clearly stated in the voter-approved proposition. Continue reading
The Seattle Peoples Party said thousands tuned in for the live stream of the event Sunday night but it was a small crowd that came to see if the incumbent King County Prosecutor would show up for the group’s election forum.
Back when it was first planned, a forum on the Peoples Party home turf pitting challenger Daron Morris vs. Dan Satterberg would have made for a major challenge for the incumbent. But the reform-focused public defender Morris bowed out of the race in September citing medical reasons leaving Satterberg unopposed.
Sunday’s anticipated clash was not to be. Campaign spokesperson Kenneth Fockele told organizers and CHS that Satterberg would not be attending the Sunday night event at Langston Hughes: Continue reading
The coalition formed to stop construction of the new county youth jail facility on 12th Ave said Tuesday that Dow Constantine’s officials have warned that the project could be “catastrophic” to county coffers.
Nikkita Oliver and the No New Youth Jail and People’s Moratorium efforts held a press conference and rally Tuesday morning to announce the findings outside the fences where construction continues on the $200 million-plus youth justice facility that will create a new incarceration facility, and new court and administrative buildings on the county’s campus at 12th and Alder.
“This system is going to traumatize children and separate families,” Oliver said Tuesday.
An attempted arson attack early Tuesday morning on the under construction expansion of the county youth jail facility was thwarted by a Seattle Police officer at the 12th Ave site and “molotov cocktails” that failed to explode.
All information in this report has not yet been confirmed by police and is based on East Precinct radio dispatches. UPDATE: SPD confirmed the investigation and said more details will be released soon. UPDATE x2: An update from SPD is below. Continue reading
May Day protests around the Capitol Hill area have centered on 12th Ave’s youth jail in recent years
Will these characters show up again in 2018?
El Comite’s annual march — annually peaceful, annually colorful
It’s been a long time since May Day turned into a “riot” on Capitol Hill but given the neighborhood’s place as a gathering point for protest, SPD tactics in the past that resulted in a push of large crowds out of downtown and up the Hill, and the new focus on 12th Ave’s youth jail, the neighborhood remains on watch every time May 1st rolls around.
This year — the first May Day under former federal prosecutor Jenny Durkan’s mayoral watch, expect another day of heavy police presence and television helicopters.
The foundation to the day — and the first amendment activities most everyone can get behind — remains the annual Marcha Y Manifestacion Anual del 1o de Mayo organized by immigrant labor rights organization El Comité. In 2016, the route changed to include Capitol Hill. In 2018, the march that will again be joined by thousands has more significance than ever — calling out U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in Washington:
El Comité and the May 1st Action Coalition are calling on all workers and all social justice advocates to come out on Tuesday, May 1st 2018 (International Workers’ Day) for the 19th Annual May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights. We are using the march to publicly expose ICE activity in Washington State and to hold the Department of Licensing accountable for having facilitated ICE harassment against community members by way of sharing information about motorists. The March in Seattle on May 1st is among several coordinated events happening in communities across the State of Washington, including Yakima, and Tacoma.
With reporting by Alex Garland
Activists seeking a halt on construction of the new King County’s Children and Family Justice Center brought their protest to the work site Monday morning.
The construction site protest blocked work entrances at the 12th and Alder site and marked what organizers said was the beginning of a “People’s Moratorium on construction at the site.”
“We have fought this fight on many fronts -– in the courts, in county and city council chambers, in the press, and on the streets,” one activist said in a statement posted by a coalition opposing the new facility. “At every point, the county has refused to listen, so today, we’re stopping the construction with our bodies.”
The announcement did not describe the group’s plans for continuing to block the work site gates. Some protesters were chained together. Inside the fences, some work continued. Police were at the site and monitoring the situation with more units being dispatched in the area. Continue reading
A group of protesters targeting King County Executive Dow Constantine and the under construction 12th Ave Children and Family Justice Center blocked the street outside the county administrative building at 4th and James Friday morning.
Seven demonstrators including members of the Ending the Prison Industrial Complex activist group were locked together in a “moving blockade” with a large group of protesters also on the sidewalk and others waving flags to help block the street. Continue reading
King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an order Thursday directing the health department to make a plan and timeline for juvenile justice reform. Seattle Police Department Chief Kathleen O’Toole supports the order.
“I wholeheartedly support this bold step to transform the way our community handles juvenile offenders,” O’Toole said in a statement. “Credible research suggests that we can reduce crime by bringing a rehabilitative, public health approach to juvenile justice. In addition to the change that’s being announced today, I also believe we must continue to expand programs that support all of Seattle’s young people early in life, investments that are essential to preventing youth from becoming offenders in the first place.” Continue reading