In Seattle, the world outside the very digital and very D.C. inauguration ceremonies has been pretty quiet. Unlike the morning of Joe Biden's win, nobody is out dancing in the streets, and nobody is out yelling at people for dancing in the streets, though someone deep in the #Resistance set up an elaborate anti-Trump ritual in the middle of Pike St near 11th Ave outside of Retrofit Home.
Though the FBI and some media outlets expected large right-wing protests between Jan. 17 and today, few have materialized, and the ones that have attracted only a handful of heavily armed dorks.
Fortified state Capitol buildings likely drove off many, and on social media local right-wing organizers basically described the fear of copycat insurrections as a conspiracy perpetuated by the mainstream media and the FBI. One organizer even encouraged Washington right-wingers to stay home today as a sort of counter-protest.
Local lefty activists in Seattle, however, did plan two demonstrations for today; a "funeral for identity politics" scheduled for 11 a.m. in front of City Hall, and an Abolish ICE march at Occidental Park starting around 4 p.m.
At the black kitty kollective's "funeral for identity politics," a crowd of about 20 people gathered outside City Hall for a little street theater.
As a member of the collective who introduced themselves as Nait read from a prepared speech, someone wearing a giant, papier-mâché mask of Mayor Jenny Durkan stood beside a big cardboard coffin. (The papier-mâché mask recalled the work of Mayor Teargas, a fixture of the protest scene since the CHOP days, but Teargas said it wasn't her.)
Nait delivered a wry speech that sought not to dismiss diversity in high places but to warn of the "dangers" of powerful people using their status as a member of a marginalized group as a shield against criticism.
As Nait ticked off fucked-up moments from Durkan's career as a U.S. attorney and criticized her oversight of SPD's violent response to Black Lives Matter protesters, an assistant slowly piled on the coffin various papier-mâché symbols representing marginalized communities. As all that was going on, another assistant handed out Pokemon cards with members of Biden's Cabinet on them.
At the end of the speech, papier-mâché Durkan used an American flag to smack around all the symbols before crawling into the coffin and shutting the lid on her fake hair. The crowd clapped and laughed.
I wasn't quite sure how to read the end of the play. I could see how a caricature of Durkan using a flag to knock around a bunch of symbols would make sense given Nait's line of criticism, but why direct her to crawl into the coffin and presumably go to sleep, unless the point is she's a vampire?
"The idea is that simply changing the face of white supremacy will not save us, and we must ensure that we stay civilly engaged so as to heal ourselves from white supremacy," said one member of the black kitty collective who requested anonymity.
The protester pointed to both Durkan's administration and Biden's diverse Cabinet as examples. "I think a lot of people justify [Durkan's] maltreatment of marginalized communities because they see her belonging to one," the protester added. "And the President's [nominated] Cabinet is the most diverse it's ever been...but having those different faces there doesn't change the culture of white supremacy that this country was founded on."
In general the protester said the performance aimed to "encourage people to stay engaged."