In solidarity with protesters in Baltimore, a group of roughly 60 people demonstrated in downtown Seattle on Wednesday evening.
About 60 people showed up in the late afternoon Wednesday at Westlake Park in what was billed as a demonstration to “Stand with the Defiant Ones of Baltimore.”
The demonstration was organized by a number of groups including the Oct. 22 Coalition, a national group formed to fight police brutality. The objective was not only to show solidarity with the protesters in Baltimore but to protest police brutality in general, organizers said.
After assembling at Westlake Park, the demonstrators moved through downtown Seattle, chanting: “If you’re not furious you’re not paying attention,” and “Say no more, this must stop.” They held up signs such as, “Get organized for an actual revolution.”
Two dozen Seattle police officers followed the march.
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At times, protesters blocked intersections and staged “die-ins.” Drivers honked, not in solidarity but when protesters blocked traffic for commuters just wanting to get home.
Police stood around with their bikes, while most pedestrians walked by with only casual looks.
Sharayah Lane, 26, who said her heritage is Native American and African American, joined the protest. She is a junior majoring in journalism at the University of Washington.
“Even though it’s not like there’s a ton of people here, we can make our presence known,” she told the crowd, when a megaphone was passed around. “It’s really too bad.”
Lane talked about the images she’s been seeing from Baltimore, and other parts of the country.
“As a young woman of color, I’m looking at the images, and it’s like looking at something shot in 1950 … 1964,” she said.
Seven-year-old Kingston Howell, joined by his parents, from Olympia, held up a sign “Peace and love for Freddie Gray. ” Gray is the 25-year-old who earlier this month suffered a partially severed spine while in the custody of Baltimore police and later died.
Kingston’s dad, David Howell, said he wanted to show his son what others had experienced.
“This is a national issue,” Howell said. “He needs to know what is happening, what other people are going through.”