Category Archives: Essay

A May Day Protest: Judging a Cause on Its Own Merits

What happened on May Day  during a protest at a Rainier Avenue Wendy’s

by Goorish Wibneh

On May Day this year, I participated in a two-hour Boycott Wendy’s Protest on Rainier Avenue South. The point of the picket was not to criminalize misguided customers but to heighten awareness about Wendy’s, which sources its tomatoes from an agricultural industry in Mexico that has severe labor-rights issues, including engaging in gender-based harassment. Continue reading A May Day Protest: Judging a Cause on Its Own Merits

Emergency Room Visits

“…all I could think about was my son’s injury and the slow trickle of blood clotting down his neck. But, then, I started to wonder about my daughter’s question, about the audacity of asking it, about the thoughts that must now be racing through the doctor’s mind…”

by Brian Bergen-Aurand

It was a Tuesday night, about dinnertime, and my seven-year-old son was lying on a gurney in a local emergency room. My wife held his hand. I held his leg. His older sister stood near the table. The attending pediatrician was cautiously checking the inch and half gash behind my son’s left ear. Some blood still oozed from the wound he had obtained playing indoor soccer. Continue reading Emergency Room Visits

A Drive, A Lesson, A Life: My Father Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney

by Lora-Ellen McKinney

In our lives, there are days that are especially memorable. One of mine was experienced with a childhood friend who had been a member of my grandfather’s church in Cleveland, Ohio.  At the time, we both lived in New York. He was an assistant minister and I was a member of his congregation. We went to musicals and ate dill pickles from the 57th Street Deli.  One summer Saturday in the wee morning hours, after cleaning pounds of dead rose bushes from my rental home in Brooklyn, we decided to head from New York to Boston for dinner. It was a ludicrous quest. We got only as far as Mystic, Connecticut. The most important journey was inside the car. We sang the theme songs of every sitcom we could. We tried to stump each other with peculiar trivia facts. Continue reading A Drive, A Lesson, A Life: My Father Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney

The Saga of State Violence and Heroic Restraint

by Will Sweger

Restraint in power imbalances should be mandatory, not optional

Last summer I took an assignment covering a protest of Sharia Law. Right-wing groups from the Oathkeepers to the Proud Boys gathered on the flagstones in front of Seattle City Hall in their paramilitary finery. On the street below a mass of counter-protesters arrived carrying signs with slogans in solidarity with Muslims. The display shut down Fourth Avenue. Continue reading The Saga of State Violence and Heroic Restraint

Seattle’s Gilded Age: Housing for Trees, but not for People

by Jonathan Rosenblum

Rubi moved to Seattle last year, arriving after a long road journey from southern California. She immediately found secure housing that met all of her needs.

Rubi had it easier than the 1,000 people who move to our city every week and are blown away by skyrocketing rents. She didn’t have to worry about finding a safe place nightly, like the 8,500 people who are living on the streets, under bridges, in abandoned buildings, in RVs, and in shelters. And she didn’t share the anxiety of the 100,000 Seattleites whose crushing rents are forcing them to forgo basic necessities of life. Continue reading Seattle’s Gilded Age: Housing for Trees, but not for People

Revolutionary Woman: Vibrant Local Activists Reflect the Many Fronts of Working Women’s Struggles

words by Helen Gilbert
photos by Kathleen Merrigan

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will present essays throughout the month by local authors documenting, honoring and celebrating powerful women who inspire us in South Seattle and beyond.


Women’s leadership in challenging injustice was front and center at Radical Women’s celebration of International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 11. Moving and powerful speakers from different races and backgrounds, working on a range of issues, expressed how life challenges propelled them into the forefront. In that process, they are finding community, confidence, and allies.

Continue reading Revolutionary Woman: Vibrant Local Activists Reflect the Many Fronts of Working Women’s Struggles