White and Black voices led chants of “Black Lives Matter” on the stage of Seattle’s Westlake Plaza on Sunday, making a statement against a very different message that had been expected at the plaza that day: A rumored “White Lives Matter” rally had not materialized by about 2 p.m.
About 100 counterprotesters gathered at Westlake on Sunday, holding signs with slogans like “Make racists afraid again.”
“White Lives Matter” protests reportedly had been organized on the social network Telegram for Sunday in Seattle and other cities nationwide, according to media reports and organizations, including the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. Left-wing demonstrators rallied at Westlake beginning at around 11:30 a.m., aiming to arrive early and prevent the other group from taking the stage.
“We got this coalition to show that regular working folks, unions, people of color, and immigrants will not be intimidated by these folks,” said Steve Hoffman, of the Freedom Socialist Party. “‘White lives matter’ really means ‘Black lives don’t matter.’”
Among the demonstrators were some dressed in black bloc, the all-black clothing worn to make protesters more anonymous to police. Some in the group threw eggs at a car, and later at a woman who stopped near the group and shouted that she was proud of being white.