Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter

‘Just Drive Them Around for a Bit’: WSP Officers May Have Violated Protestors’ First Amendment Rights on MLK Day

by Carolyn Bick


By the time the Washington State Patrol officers dropped her off in the parking lot of the Motel 6 in Sea-Tac on the afternoon of Jan. 18, Monsieree had been sitting in the patrol car for at least two hours, hands shackled behind her body, as the officers drove her up and down I-5, fruitlessly trying to find a jail within King County limits that would accept her despite current COVID-19 booking protocols. Monsieree and at least 11 others had been arrested a few hours earlier, just under the Yesler Overpass on I-5 near downtown Seattle. It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the group had been carrying out a peaceful protest action centered around painting a Black Lives Matter mural and the names of Black people who lost their lives in police encounters on both the roadway itself and the wall beneath the overpass respectively. This action also briefly shut down the highway.

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OPINION: Hugo House’s Passive Response to Racism Prompts Writers to Address the Violence of the Past

by Luna Reyna, contributing columnist


In June 2020, Hugo House, a Seattle nonprofit writing center, posted a brief message via email and on their website in an attempt to condemn racism and show solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Below the statement, Hugo House promoted a short list of poems and essays by Black writers. But by July, over 200 writers of Color and allies had signed an open letter addressing the performative nature of the statement and the organization’s lack of real investment, advocacy, and endorsement of local Black writers and communities. 

“Hugo House’s recent email professing solidarity with the Black community rings hollow,” the letter reads. “The new civil rights movement makes clear that breaking down systemic and structural racism is all of our work, and we demand that Hugo House move concretely and transparently to invest its resources and make that change happen.”

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Book Review: ‘Black Lives Matter At School,’ An Invitation to Participate in History

Black Lives Matter at School, a book about a national movement for educational justice that was born in Seattle’s South End.

by Ari Robin McKenna


While reading the 31 chapters of Black Lives Matter at School, you may sense that history, instead of trailing behind you, just out of reach, has caught up; we are living in it. If you are involved with public education in the city of Seattle, where this story begins in a South End elementary school, it is especially difficult to read this book and not think the only choice you really have is what role you will play.

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Why We Need Black Lives Matter at School in 2021 — and How to Get Involved

by Alexis Mburu


Three years ago, if you were to ask me what the Black Lives Matter movement meant to me, I’d have given what I would now consider a lackluster answer. This is because three years ago, I was a seventh grader with a limited grasp on my identity and the world around me. Now, Black Lives Matter is a movement that holds so much weight it’s hard to imagine a time when I was so inattentive.

The 2017/2018 school year was the first year I participated in a Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action at my school in Tukwila, Washington, and it felt like a whisper. There was no energy or enthusiasm by the teachers I had because they were just doing what they were told,  going through the motions with slides that were provided by anti-racist teachers with real passion, ones who educated and liberated their students all year round — teachers who saw the necessity in decolonizing the education system one step at a time, and, for the most part, knew how to. I was lucky enough to know such a teacher: Erin Herda, who has been teaching ethnic studies for years, despite endless push-back.

Unfortunately, the experience of only getting to have the necessary conversations, read the important books, and be taught true history if you have the right teachers is all too common. 

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OPINION: Defund the Police Isn’t a Slogan, It’s a Call to Action in Response to Generations of Racial Violence and BIPOC Communities Should Be Leading

by Alycia Ramirez


Since the death of George Floyd last spring, the term “Defund the Police” has jumped into the public conscientious, but not by some twist in fate or happenstance. The fight for police accountability and reform has been a generations-long battle, which has coalesced into what we see today with the Defund the Police movement.  

In over 100 years of policing there has been repeated violence directed at Black and Brown communities at the hands of police, and little meaningful reform to stop or reduce it. White America may be just fine with doing the absolute bare minimum and maintaining the status quo, but marginalized communities may not be so willing to endure another century of violence directed at them.  

The uncomfortable truth is that police forces were originally created in our nation for the purpose of upholding white supremacy. They were slave catchers, created for the explicit purpose of capturing runaway slaves. 

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Vigil for Dolal Idd in Tukwila Shows Solidarity for Somali-Muslim Community and Demands Change

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Over a week after Dolal Idd was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, roughly 150 people gathered in front of the Tukwila Library on Sunday, Jan. 10, to honor the Somali American man’s life and to call for systemic change. 

Many speakers mourned the loss of another Black life and spoke to the need for nationwide action on policing. Shukri Olow, a candidate for King County Council District 5, which encompasses some of South Seattle, spoke as a member of the Somali-Muslim community and as a mother herself.

“When I heard about what happened to Dolal, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of his mother, who ran away from the civil war to find a safe environment for her children,” Olow said. “I want you to think about fleeing a conflict … coming to safe shores only to have your child killed by a system that you do not understand, a system that does not see our humanity.”

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SPD Data Shows What D.C. Capitol Attack Proved in Primetime: Cops Don’t Represent Us or Democracy

by Sarah Stuteville


Watching the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of white supremacist election deniers, I assumed I’d need to delay my column about Seattle policing. Among other things, new data visualizations from the University of Washington Communication Leadership program (published throughout this column) show that an overwhelming majority of Seattle police officers live outside of Seattle. It’s a fact with deep financial and cultural implications for the movement to defund the Seattle Police Department (SPD).

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COVID’s Heartbreak Half Mile: What Lessons to Take Into 2021?

by Sarah Stuteville


A decade ago, I went through a brief period of long-distance running. During that time, I was introduced to the idea that, no matter the length of the run, it will be the last half mile that nearly kills you. My father, a man who has made a personal study of physical endurance in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, often refers to this phenomenon as the “heartbreak half mile.” It is when we see the light at the end of a challenge that we start to fully experience the cost of the miles behind us, exponentially compounding the effort ahead. The last stretch may be short, but it is intense as hell and is often where we most squarely face ourselves.

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