Dozens of Seattle-area businesses are closed Friday in response to Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County’s call for a statewide general strike.
Friday’s strike, along with a silent march planned for the afternoon, aims to “honor lives lost and send a powerful message that Washingtonians no longer tolerate the racism that is built into so many of our institutions,” the organization said. The march begins at 1 p.m. at Judkins Park in Seattle; several others are planned throughout the region.
The organization encourages supporters to not go to work or work from home on Friday, and instead spend time familiarizing themselves with local elected officials and local issues.
It’s unclear how many workers plan to do so. Lists compiled by The Stranger and West Seattle Blog include more than 50 businesses that say they will close Friday. An Amazon spokesperson said that employees who choose to take part in Friday’s activities may use a vacation day or other time-off option. Boeing has asked managers to “support employees’ respectful expressions and maintain a safe, threat-free workplace that allows for diverse perspectives,” spokeswoman Jessica Kowal said in an email.
The businesses and organizations that closed are wide-ranging. The Puget Sound Educational Service District, a regional group that serves local school districts, will close at noon. Easy Street Records in West Seattle is closed all day.
A spokesperson for the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council said he had not heard that any of the group’s more than 150 affiliate unions had asked members to strike. Council staff and board members do plan to participate in the silent march from Judkins Park.