From Fannie Lou Hamer to Stacey Abrams, Black womxn organizers have historically had one of the biggest impacts on transforming our communities and improving the social outcomes of our neighborhoods. In the last year in Seattle, there is no doubt Nikkita Oliver (they/them) has served as one of the community’s north stars as we look for solutions for eradicating police and State violence and building a community that we want to live in. In this pivotal moment in U.S. history, where more people have joined the fight for Black and Brown Liberation, Lola’s Ink journalist Jenna Hanchard was in conversation with Nikkita Oliver to talk about their leadership and imagining a future where someday they could just fade into the background.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity
Jenna Hanchard: What does Black Liberation look like, smell like, taste like, feel like?
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.
On Monday night, the cold streets surrounding Westlake Park transformed into an echo chamber of drum beats, footsteps, and chants of “No good cops in a racist system! No bad protesters in a revolution!” as roughly 500 protesters marched to where the protests began in Seattle roughly 150 days before.
After an anticipatory drumroll, several protesters stood up on the park’s stage and unfurled a banner that read, “You Can’t Stop This Revolution” on one side and “Montgomery Bus Boycott: 381 Days, Seattle BLM Protests: 150 Days” on the other.
On Tuesday, over 100 people gathered on Capitol Hill for a rally and protest, in which march organizers reiterated their demand to defund the Seattle Police Department (SPD) by 50%. Council member Kshama Sawant, speaking to the marchers, specifically denied that the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) stands in the way of defunding.
Every Day March organizers, who put on the rally, spoke about the current relationship between the Seattle Police force and the Black community and the need to channel funding to the Black community in order to provide better schools and equitable community development.
“You can’t keep oppressing the people who are paying your salaries and not expect them to fight for themselves,” said an Every Day March organizer named T.K. “How do our police officers, that are supposed to be serving us, make more money than us? And we’re paying for it!”