Love it, after months of raging against cops, Sloggers don't want to be associated with crazies. Hey Dominic, that's your BASE! enjoy.
I wonder how many of these people care about John T. Williams, and how many were there because it dovetails nicely with their anti-authority prejudices.
This barely coherent post is just a weak excuse to link to your brother's Flickr?

Are you really coming out against protesting the decision?

hahaha @1 has it right, that is your base Dom
The Dan Satterberg hearts Killer Cops sign is hyperbolic, yes, but not as douchey as the socialist-anarchist-whatever-the-fuck-they-are group (The Stranger's base? Really, @1 and @3?) that shows up just to protest and knock over road cones. At least that sign holder is on topic.
The protest was very unsettling. I counted almost a dozen police officers that were laughing at the protestors. The two officers on motorcycles at the rear were being extremely aggressive and riding their bikes up into the rear of the crowd. With that said, there were just as many protestors behaving just awfully, screaming "Fuck the police" and the usual nonsense. One guy was running around asking people if they knew the name of the man who was killed, which nobody else seemed to. It was a mess, and I distanced myself from it shortly after arriving.
I went to the 6pm protest at Westlake, since it was on the way home. I have never been so instantly disheartened by a protest than I was by that one. The people with the megaphone could barely be heard 50 feet away, which is good because they were shrieking about totally unrelated subjects like US policy in Iraq, the Egyptian revolution, and the need for greater social spending. Oh, and socialist revolution. I'm a bit old lefty and sympathetic with a lot of this shit in theory, but come on. No one gave a shit about John Williams as far as I could tell except as a convenient stone for grinding their axes. And the smell of pot wafting over the crowd didn't exactly lend legitimacy to what was being said.

Everyone not speaking to the crowd was muttering about the idiocy of the people who were. I took some pictures, waited a while to see if anything would change, and then went home ten minutes later.

If we want something, anything to change, we need to marginalize these professional left-wing protesters. They're an embarrassment, and they dissipate energy into a pseudo-activist haze of meaningless interconnections and slogans. I really do wonder if they're actually working for the police or federal law enforcement because they couldn't do a better job undermining their cause if they tried.
Upset over hyperbolic signs and knocked-over traffic cones? Um.

The main agitators were the pot activist trying to antagonize the cops, the radical socialists (Uncle Sam and the girl who tried to argue down a native woman at City Hall), that seems-too-young anarchist girl and her girlfriend and maybe 10 or 15 armchair anarchists. The remainder of the crowd were Hillbillies, dozens of natives and old left-wing activists (and I'm talking grandma-old).

The cops handled things pretty well, it got attention and it vented frustrations. I'm sorry that journalists are upset that there weren't smashed windows or turned over cars. Must be awful when you can't sensationalize something so potentially explosive.

yes, every protest in america must be composed entirely of gandhi/MLK hybrids who respect all authority (including the one being protested), and obey all traffic rules, or the entire cause is utterly discredited.

you know why i'm not out there protesting? because this was a tragic mistake caused by incompetence, not maliciousness. the cop fucked up big time. satterberg knows it, the mayor knows it, the cops union knows it. 90% of those protestors know it.
The cop fucked up and killed someone, and so far his only accountability is that he's lost his job. That's what's worth protesting about. The law about this needs to change, the culture of the cops needs to change, Satterberg should have prosecuted even knowing odds against conviction were high, and he should pay the price of failing to do that by losing his job in the next election. The SPOG contract should be delayed until changes are made. The OPA needs more teeth to provide better civilian oversight.

There's lots of specific things that can be done to make things better. That's what people should protest about. Not about general grievances about the American political system.

As for methods, I don't mind civil disobedience and disrespect of authority, so long as it works. The sin of these protests is that they're laughably, tragically ineffective. No wonder nothing ever changes if these are the people leading the effort to change things.
Thanks for posting! I totally thought about the two-block radius when I uploaded them.

I'm not sure what it was like at Westlake, but by the time it got to Capitol Hill it was mostly people who were interested in shoving cops and blocking traffic, for sure. It made me kind of glad I didn't make it to Westlake. But seriously guys, can we stop doing things like sitting down on Pike Street? What are you trying to do, raise awareness on Capitol fucking Hill?
Oh god, young kids pushing over traffic cones and mature activists cleaning up after their mess. What a terrible anarchist protest.
The thought to head up to the hill was a strange collusion between the radical socialists and the mainstream activists -- radical socialists wanted to strike the east precinct, mainstream activists wanted to go where all the people were. And apparently those radical socialists eventually ended up back at Westlake.

Most of Williams' family and the native groups ended up only briefly staying put on the hill... when they realized cops were boxing people in they all kinda left. I left because the pot activist and radical socialists made the chances of arrest a lot higher and my out of town friend didn't appreciate the thought of ending up in jail in Seattle.
@9 he didn't lose his job, he _quit_ his job.
The real protest was at City Hall with the family, see here:… It was pretty disappointing to hear the speakers at Westlake Center yammer on about the Iraq War, and silly stuff about Egypt (which is now a full military dictatorship, yehaw!) when this was a day to support John William's family in calling for justice. I think the problem is A.N.S.W.E.R.
I did gather that the real protest (the one organized by the family and native community) was earlier, and I was wary about the Westlake one because it was organized by a left-wing anti-police group I've never heard of. But on a weekday you can't expect most people to show up before 6 in significant numbers, because people are working.
Most of the people at City Hall ended up at the Westlake protest.

For the record, the SPD reports that there were no arrests and only very minor property damage, the sort you find with any large gathering of people.
@ 11 my thoughts exactly. While the general vibe became increasingly more hostile the longer the march went on, you've got to consider the fact that if all you have to report on are some traffic cones getting knocked over, then I think we can all agree this protest could have been much worse.

I was frankly glad to see people publicly venting their frustration about this and taking it to the streets. Also, say what you want about the young anarchist kids, but they had more organization and a focus on the actual message of police brutality than any of the original "organizers" who started the whole thing off. Seems like there could have been a better angle on the story, perhaps you should have actually gone to the march instead of relying on hearsay and a couple of photos.
The so called October 22nd coalition showed up at the native American led vigil protest at city hall, they stayed for a while and around 6 they started yelling and disrespecting the elders. They yelled for everyone to join them and March to city hall. We did not. They left, the media followed. The stranger reporter, tall young woman, had already left. These protesters who got all the attention are nothing more than ultra left opportunists. Y'all, the media gave them play and they acted accordingly. Folks should have joined the sane folks who stayed at the city hall vigil.
@18: I left the City Hall protest to go meet a friend but by about 5pm Uncle Sam and madam douchebag with the megaphone had already argued with the elders at least two or three times. The worst was when one of the elders talked about police mistreatment and they kept cutting her off because they evidently thought it was time for their propaganda.
Hey Holden - maybe a "reporter" should consider doing some reporting once in awhile instead of a just sharing his POV. Some traffic cones get knocked over?? OMFG! Good thing you told us ... and told us HOW EGREGIOUS it is!
Baconcat I hear you. Two of the folks there in support of the natives, boca and Edy rye shut the door on em. That October whatever coalition is a disgrace. A bunch of disrespectful white kids who never been profiled in their life disrespecting elders. I'm sorry but the stranger and the media gave them play. Stranger even promoted their westlake protest. These fools dont care about reform.
@21: I went to the post-Westlake march because I heard drums. I'm pretty glad I missed the rally from what I'm hearing. But then I heard drums. Pseudo-reminiscent of my grandma, ages ago, trying to find a powwow and telling us "listen for the drums".
They should have set the gas guzzling cars on fire.

or at least stole their engine blocks.
Goodness, cones! Sounds violent.

I hate that these so-called anarchists and so-called ultra-leftists are giving us peaceful, respectful leftists a bad name. Totally disrespectful to John and his family.

And now I have to hear people disparage leftists and use these empty descriptors like "ultra" and "hard"--because they're dirty words as "moderates" don't want to be associated with them.
I'm pretty sure these were mostly white urban thrill-seekers who were hoping to witness a riot.
@Stranger staff:
Yet another example of self-styled lefties forming a circular firing squad to snipe at their nominal allies. Other than your generally right-on defense of LGBT rights, your stances on social justice issues are farcical. Last fall, Jen Graves suggested that an Indian head dress in a Capitol Hill window display was "racist" and invoked John T. Williams to show her sympathy with the cause of oppressed people. How sweet. The only problem was the owner of the store was herself an Indian, a fact lost of Graves because she hadn't bothered to actually set foot inside or do a shred of research. And now Mr. Holden bemoans the "bullshit" tactics of people actually fired up enough to take it to the streets in a protest which he apparently avoided as if it were "radioactive." Shame on the Stranger and its armchair "journalists."

When the cops effectively manage a protest as they did last night, it is time to kick over some traffic cones--at the very least. Holden's gutless whining merely reflects the Stranger's satisfaction with the status quo so long as the ad dollars keep streaming in.

And to those commenters here who sympathize but avoid such protests because of the inevitable few bad eggs, why don't you step up and seize the reins instead of hiding behind your mealy-mouthed critiques? It's not a movie where you have to either endure it passively or walk out--you can take an active role. Or are you just looking for excuses not to stick your neck out?

For a little insight into the necessity for the broad spectrum of tactics needed to effect social change, check out…
The rally at Westlake wasn't organized by October 22nd--or any other group for that matter. It was simply promoted by individuals through facebook. Groups probably did get on board with those individuals, and I agree with posters that the people with megaphones were damn irritating and off-topic.

But, they were frequently drowned out by the chants of the crowd. The nature of the call-out spreading as it did made the protest very diverse. This is why multiple different splinter marches went to different locations. The traffic cones getting knocked over is fucking insignificant, other than giving blowhards like Holden an opportunity to play like he always does--"I'm all for [whatever activism], but only if you do it my way." We're all so impressed you're such a grown-up, moderating public relations opportunities for the police--er, I mean, "accountability forums."

Lots of people last night were out expressing rage. This is legitimate, even if it scares you or worries your liberal sensibilities. Holden latches onto the insignificant traffic cone picture to distance himself from it and make sure we remember what a reasonable blogger he is.

As for other things said here, there wasn't any violence last night, anarchists who were there were mostly just distributing leaflets analyzing police violence as a systematic problem that cannot be reformed away (and not only people who wear black and cover their faces are anarchists), I have no idea what "pot activists" that one person keeps mentioning, I don't believe for a second that there was any number of people there who didn't know who had been killed (many people there knew John personally). And A.N.S.W.E.R. is doesn't exist anymore and therefore is not "the problem." The group that irritates everyone at these things is the Revolutionary Communist Party. At least they finally had the good sense to stop pushing their newspaper.

@4Shadows Thanks for the advice, but I'll continue to avoid associating with 18 year old dorks in black masks setting garbage on fire.
I saw one of these protests on Saturday. The usual suspects 40, maybe 50 people - Radical Women and the little anarchist kids in black. First thought: since when do anarchists need uniforms? Second thought: how kind of the police to provide coverage for a pack of random white people who were calling them murderers.

And still: it's their right. They have the courage of their convictions, even if they lack focus and messaging skills. Then I read this: Gracious! A few traffic cones got knocked down? Cry me a river. Sweet Jesus, I hope nobody in Madison or Bahrain trips over a traffic cone!

But really, please spare all of us the 'left wing socialists behaving badly' crap. Way to go, 'moderates.' 'Socialist-anarchists???' The humanity! Do you even know what those things are? I get the feeling sometimes that the Radical Women et al aren't sure either, but that doesn't make the terms pejorative. Socialism's done a hell of a lot for us, whether you know it or not: Five day work week, universal education, overtime pay for hourly work. Perhaps the reason those gains are being eroded is that you're letting the corporate right capture the field with your fear of being embarrassed by all those nasty socialist - anarchists out there.

Moderation is not doing much, for me or for anyone else I know. I'll take muddled principles over principled moderation any day. Moderation is killing this country. Ping me when we march on the banks.
In my circle of acquaintance - which used to include John T., and includes many with ongoing adverse contacts with police - the immediate concern of most was to find out where the "protest" was going in order to avoid it.

It occurs to me that if somebody had brought up the the salient point of law weeks or months ago, yesterday's announcements would have had less sting, the reaction could have been focused on adjusting the statute or improving police discipline rather than the (unavoidable) decision, and the community would be better served as a result.

Somebody could have done this. Would it have moved more or fewer papers if they had?
I'm as left as u get and some of the peeps these so called hard left were disrespecting at city hall are veterans of wounded knee, fishing rights struggles and people that have been arrested and beat by the cops. Personally I dont give a fuck how many cones they knock over or how hard they yell but when they yell at women native elders than they can fuck off. Aye its their right to be assholes and irrelevant but plenty on the left understand that true organizing takes patience and respect. Check out Wisconsin.
I actually met your brother when we were lighting candles by the Murial on the hill. Good guy!

I initially went looking for the march, but was glad I did not catch up with them. Usual suspects doing the usual things.

The problem is not in the Prosecutor's office. They have to follow the law even when its wrong. Changing that law should be a priority for our electeds.
@7 Its not just his job that he could lose. Prosecutors have an ethical obligation under the rules that govern lawyers to not prosecute unless they think a person has actually violated the law. You don't prosecute to make a point.

Dan's an ethical and stand up guy. He is not going to be unethical himself just because someone else did something wrong or a law needs to change. The police culture is fucked up and this law should be weakened, but neither of those are Dan's fault.

LOL. Laws are to be interpreted. That's why there are two teams in court to argue over them. Dan's reasons to not prosecute was based on his interpretation of the law, and that he didn't want to argue it. Maybe his interpretations would have been upheld by a judge. We won't know.

I also don't know what you mean by "stand up guy." That phrase usually means the man's actions can be counted on using a particular moral scale, but that scale is frequently mercurial & "open to interpretation." The phrase has been used to describe men who provide alibis & lie under oath. To some people, ensuring that policemen will not be prosecuted for murder, no matter what the circumstances, is a highly moral & ethical stand. Such people would obviously describe Dan as a "stand up guy."
"The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not
supported by probable cause;"

So no, its not just about two sides arguing it out. There is no evidence here to support malice as the law requires, so to prosecute would be in violation of ethical standards he has sworn to uphold. Hell maybe some of the comments at the protest were threats against a public officials. Sure there is no evidence of that, but maybe a court would agree!
Another rally has been called for Friday, February 18, 6:00pm - 9:00pm at Westlake Plaza.
@27, it wasn't the RCP, unless they didn't bother to put their name on their signs (unlikely). It was the "Freedom Socialist Party," which is a Seattle-based offshoot of the old Socialist Workers Party. They're feminist Trostkyists, whereas the RCP are Maoists. Different fringes of the fringe.

From what I could see at Westlake just after 6pm, the anarchists were annoying but the real blowhards were the FSP people.

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