“… if you don’t see yourself represented outside of yourself you just feel fucking invisible.”
—John Leguizamo, Latin History for Morons
I have felt invisible for most of my life.
I have never immersed myself in a story where someone Filipinx American was the main character. I have never watched a show that was led by a Filipinx American protagonist. I have never read a book by a Filipinx American author. I haven’t ever had a Filipinx American neighbor, not even one, in the 15 years I have lived in Seattle.
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Late at night on September 11, during the worst of the past summer’s wildfire smoke, a driver pulled over in a Bothell parking lot. Less than an hour earlier, the driver — who asked to remain anonymous because of pending felony charges — had been a part of the Car Brigade, a group of drivers who use their cars to protect protesters from attacks.
That night, the group had formed a protective perimeter around a relatively small and subdued protest march in Seattle. Driving at a walking speed, the motley crew of luxury cars, nondescript sedans, and massive SUVs maneuvered to keep other drivers from entering alleyways, parking lot exits, and intersections.
After months of practice, angry honking from inconvenienced drivers doesn’t phase the Car Brigade. The protest ended with no police in sight, so the drivers went their separate ways, expecting to make it home without issue. But when he reached Bothell, the driver saw police lights in his rear-view mirror. “There was never a siren,” he said. “It seemed like they had just silently followed me all the way to Bothell.”
I began this article with the intention to learn more about voter suppression in the state of Washington. Why, you ask? The answer is this: I had no faith in our system. The election is rigged, it does not matter how many of us vote, the decision is made for us through the Electoral College — or so I thought. I am a firm believer in Audre Lorde’s quote: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” So I never registered to vote or paid attention to politics.
After more than six months of community outreach and coordination, six parks along the Duwamish River have new names. The new identities of the parks were announced at a virtual Port of Seattle meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The public spaces on the industrialized Duwamish River previously all had names with numerical subjects, but now all six of them have names that correspond more with the ecological significance and cultural history of their individual locations. Four of the properties have new names in Lushootseed, the Indigenous language of people who lived near the Salish Sea, and two of the new names are in English.
by My Uncle Max (Robert Jones, Deion Sims, and Darren Lee)
Birthed of the historic turmoil of 2020, My Uncle Max is a spontaneous collaboration of three Seattle-based friends. Their single, “Though Long The Road” is a lamentation of lost family members and an homage to those fighting for racial justice.
As we close out Filipino American History Month this October, we realize through the many virtual educational events we have watched that there is more that binds us than divides us as a transnational Filipino community. In fact, the Philippine Congress and Constitutions were patterned after the U.S. — enshrining the same freedoms of speech, expression, the press, the right to peacefully assemble, and the right to petition the government for redress.
Unfortunately, 2016 marked a year when both the Philippines and the U.S. elected strongarm presidents who have threatened these freedoms and moved our countries away from the democratic principles found in our respective constitutions. Both Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and President Donald Trump have gone full force to try to silence their opposition and, more particularly, have gone after the press and eroded the role that the media plays in defending democracy.
The whole thing just kind of snowballed on Ron Chew — the book writing and the running. One day revealed to him a rapturous synergy. He realized that the running — the moving — jarred things in his brain: memories, organization, solutions.
Down the home stretch of completing his book, Chew vowed to run 10 miles. Every morning. Every day, until his book was finished. One day he surmised that 10 miles was so close to a half marathon, he increased his mileage. And then he determined he should do them at a swifter pace.
Ampersand LIVE is back for its seventh annual one-night showcase of art, storytelling, science, dancing, activism, and more on Oct. 29, 2020, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Virtual and free to the public, attendees can livestream the event from anywhere with an internet connection. This year’s Ampersand LIVE will feature 10 artists and contributors exploring the theme of restoration:
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.
Sounds of cheering rose from the crowd as people lined up to drop their ballots into the ballot box by Garfield Community Center on Saturday, October 24. A group of about 100 people had marched from Pratt Fine Arts Center near 20th and Jackson to the ballot box on 23rd and Cherry to honor the memory of Rahwa Habte, a community organizer and a fierce advocate of voter rights.