by Phil Manzano with photography by Maile Anderson and Alex Garland
After news site Politico obtained and published a draft opinion last week showing the Supreme Court had voted to overturn a woman’s right to choose an abortion, opposition galvanized overnight.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at Westlake Park last Tuesday night, May 3, and earlier Gov. Jay Inslee called on politicians and advocates to rally at Kerry Park where he vowed Washington “was a pro-choice state, Washington State is a pro-choice state, and we are going to fight like hell to keep Washington a pro-choice state.”
On Oct. 2, hundreds of activists gathered in Seattle’s Westlake Park to protest Texas’ six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 8. Similar rallies took place in every state that day, in what the Women’s March framed as a response to “the most dire threat to abortion access in our lifetime.” Nationwide messaging from the Women’s March had encouraged attendees not to bring weapons, images of wire coat hangers, or Handmaid’s Tale-inspired costumes.
Author’s Note: For the purposes of clarity, the Emerald will use “(sic)” in parentheses in quoted sections of the OIG memo discussed in this article to indicate that it has been reprinted here exactly as it appears in the source material (the OIG memo). Where readers see “[sic]” styled as shown here, with square brackets, this text was used by the OIG in their memo to indicate that the text quoted in their memo appears exactly as it appears in the source material (the OPA Report of Investigation/ROI).
On the evening of Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, hundreds of protesters marched to the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild headquarters in SoDo. The march fell just after the 100th day of protests against police brutality held in the city since late May 2020, following the murder of George Floyd.
Once the protesters arrived at the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) headquarters, it didn’t take long for police on bicycles to confront the crowd. It’s unclear exactly what prompted the police to come outside, but the situation soon erupted, with officers deploying blast balls and pepper spray and arresting several protesters. Videos about the event online, including those in this Twitter thread from Seattle Times reporter Heidi Groover and this Twitter thread by Stranger Associate Editor Rich Smith, show what appears to be a peaceful scene, before Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers on bicycles come around the corner to confront protesters. Based on these videos, it does not appear that any of the protesters instigated the confrontation, though a heavily edited official SPOG video, complete with background music, claims otherwise and says that police sprang into action after allegedly seeing a protestor carrying Molotov cocktails.
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On Saturday morning, June 12, around 250 protestors rallied on Harbor Island to block the Port of Seattle from unloading cargo from an Israeli shipping company’s vessel, the ZIM San Diego. Gathering at 5:30 a.m., protestors marched to the entrance of Terminal 18 and blocked the road, disrupting traffic for about an hour.
After an hour, protestors declared victory after hearing from sources within the longshore workers’ union that the ship would not be worked on that day.
Organizers are targeting ZIM as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) for its role in supporting the state of Israel. The company, once owned by the state, is now a publicly traded corporation and is the tenth largest shipping company in the world.
The BDS movement aims to isolate the state of Israel and complicit corporations economically and politically until it upholds equal rights for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, ends the military occupation Palestine and the siege of Gaza, and guarantees the right of return for Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes. ZIM, along with a number of other companies, is on the boycott list.
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Morning Update Show — Monday, April 19
Closing arguments in Chauvin Trail | Protests nationally in response to police shootings | Kids head back to school | Racist Zoom Bombings on the rise | Black Health & Wealth
Mirroring rallies across the nation, various groups marched throughout Seattle on Wednesday night, demanding a fair count of ballots while also maintaining a strong focus on the continued fight against police brutality and systemic racism. This was the second night of demonstrations across the city in the wake of an undecided election.
by Carolyn Bick, with additional reporting by Jessie McKenna
Seattle Gay News journalist Renee Raketty was sitting on a narrow set of metal steps and trying to catch her breath when the blast ball an officer allegedly threw beneath her exploded. Hours later, still surprised and disoriented, Raketty played the video over and over again, because she still couldn’t believe what had happened. But the permanent loss of hearing in her right ear is all too real.
In the course of reporting Raketty’s story, the Emerald has discovered that SPD appears to be out of compliance with the Consent Decree. An officer’s alleged actions caused Raketty to permanently lose her hearing, which is “a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ.” It would appear that an injury of this severity would be classified as a Type III use of force, according to the SPD manual, and the Consent Decree mandates that all Type III uses of force be reviewed by SPD’s Force Review Board (FRB). But according to officials with the OPA and SPD, this case will not be reviewed by the FRB, as there does not appear to be any mechanism in practice within existing policy with which to do so.