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.”
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.
On Saturday, July 31, BAYAN Seattle and Malaya Movement coordinated a rally and carnival to launch the Duterte Wakasan Na Movement, which seeks the resignation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for human rights violations in the country. Human Rights Watch reports that extrajudicial killings in the country — often committed under the guise of a “war on drugs” — have increased dramatically during the pandemic.
The weekend event also included several bouncy houses for kids, food and games, and local performances from artists as well as group dancing. Several notable speakers in attendance included Miss Washington Maricres Castro and Washington State Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Both expressed support for local community organizers.
“Under current President Duterte, the unjust system in the Philippines participates in suppressing dissent both by weaponizing the law to facilitate human rights abuses and by failing to enforce legal protections,” said Saldaña, who has served as a sub commissioner on Investigate PH — an organization currently conducting independent investigations of human rights violation in the country.
Last April, the Emerald published a photo essay that documented protests at Seafood City in Tukwila from the same organizations that led Saturday’s event at Othello Park.
Last Saturday, July 24, saw dozens of New Hope Missionary Baptist parishioners join community members and other supporters at the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People.
Local faith and community leaders took turns speaking about the land near New Hope Missionary Baptist Church that was taken 50 years ago by the City of Seattle under the guise of “urban renewal.”
The rally was held to demand the City give possession of the land to the church and the community so affordable housing can be built, making it possible for some members in the Black community to return to the Central District.
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.
Over a week after Dolal Idd was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, roughly 150 people gathered in front of the Tukwila Library on Sunday, Jan. 10, to honor the Somali American man’s life and to call for systemic change.
Many speakers mourned the loss of another Black life and spoke to the need for nationwide action on policing. Shukri Olow, a candidate for King County Council District 5, which encompasses some of South Seattle, spoke as a member of the Somali-Muslim community and as a mother herself.
“When I heard about what happened to Dolal, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of his mother, who ran away from the civil war to find a safe environment for her children,” Olow said. “I want you to think about fleeing a conflict … coming to safe shores only to have your child killed by a system that you do not understand, a system that does not see our humanity.”
When Elijah L. Lewis was born in Skyway Park two decades ago, he carried his mother’s grief over his father’s death inside himself.
“My father had been walking my little sister down the stairs when he had collapsed. At the time, we did not have a phone, because of the inequities we were suffering because of the poverty mindset … and the reality that we have to face,” Lewis said, describing how difficult it was for his family to summon medical aid. “My six-year-old [sibling], my nine-year-old sister, and my 10-year-old brother and mother, witnessed my father, who was a Black man, turn purple and die in front of their face. … We did not have any financial stability left when he passed, so we had to struggle.”
Signs reading “There is no Planet B” and “Our Future is Being Sacrificed” dotted a crowd of youth who sat on the grass at Cal Anderson Park on a beautiful Friday morning in Seattle. Hundreds of young people from dozens of Seattle schools showed up at Cal Anderson Park to show solidarity with the millions of youth walking out of their classrooms across the globe to let their governments and older people know that it’s time to take climate change seriously.