Hundreds of people took to Seattle streets Friday for the protest that coincided with the city's annual tree-lighting ceremony at Westlake Center. Here's how our staff covered the demonstration as it was happening:
Find the updated story at Black Lives Matter protesters march through Seattle on crowded shopping day.
What you need to know:
- Carrying signs and chanting, hundreds of people took to the streets for the protest around 1 p.m. The group dispersed around 5:15 p.m. and remained peaceful.
- They called for police accountability and decried the deaths of African Americans at the hands of officers, as well as denounced Donald Trump’s presidential election and showed solidarity with protesters in North Dakota against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- It was the third annual Black Friday protest in the city, echoing similar events in places spanning the country on the day shoppers celebrate with bargains. Here’s how last year’s event unfolded.
- The protest coincided with the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony at Westlake Center Friday evening.
- Follow @seattledot for traffic updates.
Update 5:15 p.m.:
The large group has dispersed. According to Seattle police, no arrests were made.
Update 4:40 p.m.:
The group of protesters is now moving through Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.
“I have to give support to the movement, it’s a good movement,” said one man, age 59, who immigrated from Nigeria 30 years ago.
“There’s bigotry, not just on the streets,” he said, declining to give his name out of fear of retaliation by his co-workers. “We have bullies, not only in the police — but peers, people we work with everyday.”
Update 4:15 p.m.:
Update 3:40 p.m.:
A huge group is sitting and blocking the corner of Pine Street and Fifth Avenue.
Adriane Ferguson, who is biracial, said Friday was her first Black Lives Matter protest. She attended with her 25-year-old daughter, Erin.
Ferguson, a Seattle native, said she was pleasantly surprised by the diverse crowd. “Black, white, Asian, gay, straight — everybody’s here. It’s really cool.”
Of encountering racism in the city, she said, “Of course we’re very liberal, but it’s here. Now, it’s more hidden, but it’s also in your face.”
The Seattle woman continued:
“It’s not cool for people who are racist to show it. They mask it, but it’s alive and well. I have a feeling it’s going to get worse, and I hate to say it.”
Then, her daughter jumped in: “What’s the difference between a Muslim registry and a Jewish registry back in the ’40s? More people need to be outraged and more people need to see people outraged about it.”
Update 3:15 p.m.:
Some protesters have poured onto the sales floor of Zara, chanting and hoisting signs.
Update 2:45 p.m.:
Carrying signs and chanting, protesters took to the streets around 1 p.m. The group started at Westlake Park, quickly swelling to include hundreds.
Police officers, some on bicycles, are conducting surveillance.