A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the city police from using tear gas, pepper spray, and other weapons: after finding evidence that Seattle Police Department "used excessive force and violated the free-speech rights of thousands of protesters," reports Mike Carter in the Seattle Times. “The use of indiscriminate weapons against all protesters — not just the violent ones — supports the inference that SPD’s actions were substantially motivated by Plaintiff’s protested First Amendment activity,” U.S. District Judge Richard Jones wrote in the issuing order. Read more here.
Minneapolis is going to disband its police department: and replace it with a "community-led public safety system," reports Reuters. The resolution was passed today by a veto-proof majority of the city council and comes weeks after an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer in their city, sparking protests across the world. Now begins a year-long process to create that community-led public safety system.
What does defunding or abolishing the police look like, you ask? The Cut breaks down the phrase here. I'd also recommend this op-ed from Mariame Kabe, an organizer and longtime advocate for abolition of the police.
Digital Editor Chase Burns followed the Black youth-led Engage march to Madison Park today: Thousands walked from Cal Anderson and down Madison Street to "engage the affluent white communities of Seattle" in their movement. Chase said the main chant of the day was "Out of Your House/Into the Streets!"
“When we say 'Out of your house and into the streets,' we mean, 'Out of your house and into the streets.' We need change," said one organizer. “We are here because we need every person in Seattle to know Black lives matter. We have come so far. And so has every single person who represents Black Lives Matter around the world.” The peaceful march took about three hours with roads blocked by this bicycle brigade.
Meanwhile, senior staff writer Rich Smith followed the Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County-led general strike and silent march that began in Judkins Park this afternoon. Rich will be writing more about it later. But he did some good tweets about the 1.8 mile march to Jefferson Park that was 60,000 people strong.
The Times also spoke to Dan Gregory: the demonstrator who was shot by Nikolas Fernandez after preventing him from driving into a crowd of protestors on 11th and Pine earlier this week. "“I would do it again. I would die for people I don’t know. That’s me," he said to Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green.
The Trump administration finalizes rule that rolls back transgender health protections by removing nondiscrimination clauses in the Affordable Care Act. This new regulation defines "sex discrimination" as "only applying when someone faces discrimination for being male or female, and does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity," reports NPR. Here's what that could mean for trans people:
Under the new rule, a transgender person could, for example, be refused care for a checkup at a doctor's office, explains Lindsey Dawson associate director of HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Other possible scenarios include a transgender man being denied treatment for ovarian cancer, or a hysterectomy not being covered by an insurer — or costing more when the procedure is related to someone's gender transition.
The new rule would go into effect in August: but the Human Rights Campaign have already announced their intent to file a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration for this rollback in protections.
ETA at 7:41pm: Today is also the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting that killed 49 people. There was an online memorial held on YouTube to remember the victims.
After a ban, Starbucks will allow its employees to wear Black Lives Matter apparel: This comes after an internal memo leaked reinforcing the company's dress code forbidding "political or religious affiliated attired, which could be misconstrued by "agitators" or incite violence, reports the Seattle P.I. The Seattle-based coffee chain simultaneously announced their "anti-racism T-shirt" in accordance with this policy change. Ahh, don't you love waking up the smell of corporate "activism" in the morning?
Wanted to know who started to plant the community garden in Cal Anderson? The Stranger's Matt Baume interviewed Marcus Henderson, a guy who's "passionate about land,", today for Slog. Read more here for cute pics of the garden and more information about the history of Black land ownership.
Central District's Fire Station 6 will be transferred to Africatown: in a decision pushed along by the protests over George Floyd's killing by police. The city will hand over the decommissioned facility to community ownership, one of the many demands made by the Africatown-led King County Equity Now coalition, and will be redeveloped into a new William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation. More from CHS Blog here.
This week felt like a freaking marathon. You know how I calm down?: Yep, you guessed it—painting restoration videos. I love seeing a dirty, filthy, punctured painting get clean. Take care of yourself, Seattle.