- Brendan Kiley
- Niketown in 2012, after anarchists merged with a May Day march for immigrant rights. Today, the group "Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest" has called for a protest at Niketown because "Black lives matter more than White Capitalism."
Early on in Seattle's recent wave of marches against police brutality, protesters of radically different tactical styles and political ideologies could be found jumbled together in a sometimes uncomfortable mix. But over the last few days, whether by design or by accident, there's been an interesting kind of sorting.
On Saturday, in the largest Seattle march against police brutality since the Ferguson decision, about 1,200 protesters followed rules for non-violent action that had been laid down in advance by organizers. They walked from Garfield High School to downtown police headquarters, speaking out at major intersections along the way, in an event that was entirely peaceful. You can see photos here. (After the Saturday march ended, a splinter group continued toward downtown and up to Capitol Hill. Along the way there were seven arrests.)
On Sunday, in a peaceful protest organized by Seattle's Justice for Mike Brown movement, a group of less than 100 people showed up at Westlake Park. They held a large, electric-lit sign against police brutality. They staged a die-in at 4th and Pine. Then, after some back-and-forth with police over which way they could march, they headed up to Capitol Hill. There was one arrest, of a 16-year-old who officers said was causing "pedestrian interference." They took her "to social services."
Today, the group "Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest" has called for a 5 pm protest at Niketown. They're calling it "Seattle Standing with Black Lives," and the thinking behind the action is described this way:
The police are taking black lives.
The police are killing our youth.
The police are stealing from the poor.
We must show that we will take no more of their brutality. We will fight back, we will march in the streets. We will disrupt the flow of capital that they work so hard to protect.
Black lives matter more than White Capitalism.
Capitalism is the root cause of much of the racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism we see today. We shall take to the streets in front of the epitome of Capitalism, the shrine to money, the festering wound in Seattle's heart: Niketown.
We'll see what this evening brings, but so far it's been clarifying to have the vastly different groups of protesters holding their own events, stating their own intents, and drawing their own numbers into the streets.