Seattle’s Black Brilliance Research Project (BBRP) — the largest Black-led community research project in the world — released its nearly 1,300-page final report on Friday, Feb. 26. The project was born out of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Due to pressure from the Defund SPD campaign organized by Black, Brown, and Indigenous community leaders and activists, the Seattle City Council set aside funds, including diverting some money away from the police department, to fund the research project. This research will inform the creation of a participatory budgeting process which would allow all Seattle community members over 10 years old to have a say in how almost $30 million is allocated to communities in the city.
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.
Dancing, forceful chants, and a plethora of honking cars marked the morning of Saturday, Nov. 7 as Seattleites on Capitol Hill celebrated the start of a new American era following the announcement of a Biden victory and the election of the first Woman of Color as vice president. The monumental day was also an occasion for continued protests for BLM marchers across town. The day’s combination of revelry and activism took a dark turn in the evening, however, with a fatal shooting in the early hours on Sunday.