Protesting Israel

Protesters carrying a red, white, and blue banner condemning U.S. aid to Israel blocked traffic and stared down angry motorists in front of the Federal Building on Friday, May 10.

A dozen protesters sat across Second Avenue, arms locked together, chanting, "We all have blood on our hands."

The police were forced to pick the activists up and cart them away to waiting squad cars. Eleven activists were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic, a misdemeanor.

The protestors were supporting Seattle resident Trevor Baumgartner, a fellow activist arrested last week in the West Bank while distracting Israeli troops at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, allowing other activists to bring food to the besieged Palestinians inside.

No word on whether the peace-loving protesters were out last Wednesday, May 8, rallying against the Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel: A Hamas bomber gave the finger to the diplomatic process by killing 16 Israeli civilians in a crowded pool hall in conjunction with that day's much-anticipated Bush-Sharon meeting. BROOK ADAM

Wills' Counterproposal

Last May, Seattle City Council Member Heidi Wills set up a special rate bracket for Seattle City Light's greediest customers. But last week, Mayor Greg Nickels irked Wills by proposing to scrap the program without consulting her. Nickels argued that Wills' well-intentioned "third tier" was inadvertently hitting poor people--a class of customers with less efficient heating systems and/or more people living in one space. Wills struck back with a proposal of her own: Exempt poor people, but keep a third rate in place to ding excessive electricity use accordingly. "Keeping [the third tier] in place is intended to encourage the highest of the high users to conserve or pay for their higher use," Wills says. Wills is right to stand up for her program. The overwheming majority of third tier customers--perhaps 90 percent--are not low income people. JOSH FEIT

Reviewing the Sheriff

In response to the April 6 shooting of a black man by a King County sheriff's deputy, King County Council Member Larry Gossett is taking steps to create a county civilian police review board. Last week, Gossett quietly started appointing members to an advisory board charged with developing a citizens' complaint process. "I don't necessarily want to call it independent review, because I don't know what it's going to be," Gossett says. "Whatever I come up with, there will still be an internal review mechanism." Gossett estimates that he will appoint the full advisory group by mid-June. AMY JENNIGES