Tag Archives: Protest

South End Equity Questions After Protest Highlights Special Education Staffing Moves

by Ari Robin McKenna


A mix of well over a hundred teachers, parents, and students showed up at the district headquarters in SoDo Wednesday, Oct. 27, for a rally on a quickly darkening, drizzly evening. A number of speeches were given under the partially covered colonnade in front of a red wall — on the other side of that wall the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) board was in a budget session addressing a $28.1 million loss of revenue due to enrollment decline and eyeing an estimated gap of $78 million for the 2022–2023 school year.

The rally was organized by Seattle Education Association (SEA) leadership in conjunction with the Special Education PTSA (SEPTSA). The protest was in response to word that there would be 50 schools affected by special education staffing adjustments — which SEPTSA reported on their blog. With the slogan “Needs Before Numbers,” the speakers at the rally criticized the impact of these moves at specific schools and a general lack of parent and teacher involvement in staffing decisions. Attendees also questioned whether a disproportionate amount of the 3,440 students that have left the district since 2019 were receiving appropriate special education services.

Tess Bath, a special education instructional assistant at Highland Park’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program, addressed the crowd warmly. “It’s really nice to be here with all y’all. We’ve been crying a lot and it feels really healing to just share space.” The start of the 2021–2022 school year, on the heels of two COVID-disrupted years, has been brutal on educators, and Bath read from a letter she’d sent to the district about how disruptive staffing changes can be in her line of work. “SEL is built on consistent and trusting relationships. To sever those would alter the very foundation of our program and our ability to do our jobs and serve our students … They deserve to have enough support to meet their IEP [Individual Education Program] goals, access their LRE [Least Restrictive Environment], and be seen as a priority by their school district.”

The disruption that occurs when a single educator is required to leave their school and the relationships they’ve built is incalculable. But given the context of a pandemic, a massive budget shortfall, and a special education system that favors white students, some have expressed doubts about the timing of this rally, and the information that catalyzed it. 

Continue reading South End Equity Questions After Protest Highlights Special Education Staffing Moves

PHOTO ESSAY: Seattle Joins Women’s March for Abortion Rights

by Maile Anderson


People gathered across the nation to rally for basic abortion rights and access on Saturday, Oct. 2. In Seattle, the local chapter of the Women’s March (a national group based in D.C.) held a rally at Westlake Park. The protest was a response to Texas’ recent law which bans abortion after six weeks and empowers citizens to sue those who seek out or facilitate an abortion. 

Though the rally was short, the message rang loud and clear: The attacks on abortion are constant, these attacks disproportionately impact BIPOC, working-class, and poor communities, and we must keep fighting back. 

Various signs read “Bans off our Bodies” and “We Will Not Go Silently Back to the ’50s!” Many of the signs were reminiscent of slogans from the first Women’s March in 2017, which was a nationwide protest against the election of the previous president. Some at Saturday’s rally have been protesting for abortion rights since the 1970s.

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Duwamish River Cleanup Rally Challenges EPA Proposed Changes

by Ronnie Estoque


Cars honked and community members chanted while crossing the South Park Bridge on Friday, Sept. 24. They were voicing concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed changes to the cleanup of the Duwamish River. In 2001, the Duwamish River was listed as a federal Superfund site, one of the country’s most toxic hazardous-waste sites.

“We’re asking for this river to get cleaned up the way we agreed to in 2014 … to change things now makes no sense at all,” James Rasmussen, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) Superfund manager and member of the Duwamish Tribe, said. “That’s why we’re here today. We want to clean this river the best possible way we can.”

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Seattle Children’s Hospital Workforce Protest for Full Covington Report

by Jasmine M. Pulido


About 100 employees from Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) participated in a one-hour silent protest in front of the hospital’s main campus on Sandpoint Way on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at noon. Smaller protests occurred concurrently at the Autism Center, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC), and the CURE center. The protests follow the conclusion of an independent assessment into systemic and interpersonal racism at the hospital, conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Covington & Burling firm, and the initial decision by SCH to only release a summary of the recommendations from the investigation, not the findings. Following public outcry, SCH’s board of trustees released 11 main findings and detailed recommendations earlier this week, but community members say much more needs to be done.

The investigation was originally prompted after Dr. Ben Danielson, medical director at OBCC, resigned last November. After 20-plus years of service, Danielson cited multiple instances of racism he either experienced or witnessed as a medical provider at the hospital.

On Aug. 9, CEO Jeff Sperring and board chair Susan Betcher each released letters disclosing the summary of 11 findings statements as well as the detailed recommendations of Covington & Burling’s report. Yet despite releasing new pertinent information from the report, multiple calls for the resignation of the CEO and board chair are still being made based both on the premise that information was initially withheld to begin with under the guise of confidentiality and the stark findings of the investigation. Washington State BLM Alliance recently started a petition demanding both the resignation of SCH leadership as well as the release of the full report written by Covington & Burling.

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Seattle Activists Stand in Solidarity With Colombian Protests

by Kayla Blau

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


Colombian activists in Seattle are working tirelessly to spread awareness about mass protests in their home country. 

Countrywide protests in the South American country were sparked in late April thanks to a tax reform bill proposed by right-wing President Iván Duque, which would have placed extreme taxes on essential items such as eggs, milk, and gasoline. The legislation would have hit working-class and middle-class families hardest, who were already struggling before COVID-19 hit the country.

Colombia is one of the most economically unequal countries in the world. A 2018 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that it would take 11 generations for a poor Colombian to approach the average income in Colombia, the longest time period out of all 30 countries in the report.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this divide, shrinking Colombia’s economy by almost 7% and increasing the poverty rate to more than 42%

“I shouldn’t be forced to leave my country just for a chance at a better future,” Evelyn Carvajal, a Colombian social worker based in Medellín told the Emerald.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Family and Community Remember 12-Year-Old Kaloni Bolton, Demand Justice

by Susan Fried & Emerald Staff


Around 100 people turned out for a rally, march, and vigil for Kaloni Bolton on Saturday at Westlake Park. The 12-year-old died after suffering an asthma attack at Valley Medical Center (VMC) Urgent Care in December and being forced to wait an extended period of time after being turned away from the first clinic before receiving treatment. Bolton went into cardiac arrest and passed away after two days on life support. Bolton’s family alleges her death was due to anti-Blackness, medical racism, and negligence.

Since Bolton’s passing, there have been consistent community demands for justice. Black Nurses Matter held a Renton march in Bolton‘s honor this spring. This past Saturday, July 24, the Westlake Black Health Equity Rally was hosted by The Breathe for Kaloni Foundation and Decolonizing Science, a podcast run by Ashley Paynter, a Black scientist currently obtaining their Ph.D. in the field of biological sciences. It was attended by many members of Bolton’s large extended family with one message: #BreatheForKaloni. Speakers included her cousin Zipporah White, her mother Kristina Williams’ attorney James Bible, and Claude Burfect, a vice president of the Seattle- King County Branch of the NAACP. After a rally, protestors marched through downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill. The march was followed by a vigil for Bolton back at Westlake Park.

To learn more, listen to Bolton’s family tell her story on podcast Episode #6 of Decolonizing Science and follow @breatheforkaloni on Instagram.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Family and Community Remember 12-Year-Old Kaloni Bolton, Demand Justice

PHOTO ESSAY: Tegaru Community March Against Continued War in Tigray

by Ronnie Estoque

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


Last Saturday, the local Tegaru community gathered from across the Tigrean Community Center on East Yesler Way to protest the continuing war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Last December, the Emerald covered a candlelight vigil that was organized by the community to honor those killed in a conflict that began Nov. 4 after the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of ambushing a federal military base.

According to protestors in attendance, the situation since then has only intensified, with persisting blackouts in Tigray preventing families from checking up on their relatives that have been fleeing the conflict.

Speeches were given at the protest by several local community members, which were then followed up by a march down East Yesler Way. Local youth led the march by holding banners up front. “Stop ethnic cleansing in Tigray!” was a chant that rang through the streets as protestors marched, alongside calls for international intervention to help halt the war. According to Al Jazeera, thousands have died in the conflict thus far with around two million people having to flee their community as refugees. Protest organizers also encouraged attendees to financially support their people in need during this time by donating to a GoFundMe set up by the Tigray Development Association.

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After Nine Days Drawing Attention to Sexual Assaults, Casa Latina Hunger Strike Ends

by Hannah Krieg


Within the first six days of a hunger strike outside of Casa Latina, one participant was hospitalized twice. Firm in her stance that Casa Latina had not done enough for the workers who had levied sexual assault allegations against another employee, the hunger striker refused food, even in the hospital. 

For over a week, a handful of protestors camped outside of Casa Latina — an organization dedicated to promoting employment and education in the Latino community — vowing not to leave and not to eat until their demands were met. On Sunday, June 13, with stomachs empty from a tense nine days that shut down the day worker center due to alleged intimidation from the protestors, the strikers and Casa Latina’s leadership came to an agreement.

“I’ve started eating again slowly,” said Ana Torres, who nearly threw up when she broke her fast with a banana after the meeting with Casa Latina that Sunday. “Too much pain in the stomach. Nothing good.” 

Continue reading After Nine Days Drawing Attention to Sexual Assaults, Casa Latina Hunger Strike Ends

March Draws Attention to Genocide in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

by Chloe Collyer

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


May Day is a historic and celebrated day for Seattle to honor its labor movement. This May 1, at Volunteer Park, a few runners and dog walkers passed by a group of “Black Bloc” protesters carrying handmade signs and East African flags. Black Bloc, the term used to describe the black-clad protesters usually associated with anti-capitalist, anarchist movements, was defined by one park-goer as “people who just want to smash something,” but the sincerity of their cause on Saturday was clear: They were there to protest the genocide taking place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Whether you call it a civil war, ethnic repression, or genocide, it’s clear people are suffering. Millions of Tigrayans have lost their jobs, faced violence and drone strikes, or been thrown out of refugee camps by the Ethiopian government and simply scattered across the countryside. First-hand reports describe sexual violence being used as a daily weapon of war. International aid has been cut off. It is, by all accounts, a nightmare. 

Continue reading March Draws Attention to Genocide in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

PHOTO ESSAY: El Comité’s Annual May Day March 2021

by Maile Anderson and Ronnie Estoque


Around 150 people marched from the Central District to downtown on Saturday, May 1, as part of El Comité’s annual May Day or International Workers’ Day march. It was one of the smallest turnouts in two decades, but the spirit of the protesters was undeterred as they walked on behalf of immigrant and workers rights. On their way, attendees passed through Chinatown-International District where JM Wong, co-founder of Massage Parlor Outreach Project, spoke out against the recent rise in hate and violence against Asian Americans. Other speakers included Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Washington State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos.

This year’s Trabaiadorxs Esenciales y Excluidxs (Essential and Excluded Workers) march highlighted the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on vulnerable and essential workers. “2020 became a major challenge for workers,” reads the event listing on El Comité’s website. “As a result of the virus, thousands of businesses closed, some forever. Millions of workers were furloughed or lost their jobs. Many lives were thrown into a world of unemployment, poverty, compounding rental debt, and homelessness.” Protesters also marched for immigration reform, equitable vaccine access, cancelling rent debt and evictions, and solidarity against police brutality, white supremacy, and systemic racism.


Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: El Comité’s Annual May Day March 2021