Another Rally at Westlake–Birk’s Resignation Means Nothing!

from pugetsoundanarchists.org

This announcement is taken from a event page. At the bottom are links to some mainstream coverage, including (sometimes inaccurate) mentions of anarchist participation in the demonstrations tonight. Hopefully someone will post a reportback from an anarchist perspective on tonight’s actions soon.

Today, Seattle City Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced that the city will NOT press any charges against Ian Birk, the cop who murdered John T. Williams last September. Hours later, Birk voluntarily resigned from the Seattle Police force–but this is not enough. In fact, today the mayor issued a statement explaining that, however guilty Birk may be, the way the law is written specifically protects the police from being prosecu…ted for murder. According to the system, the most we can hope for is disciplinary action from Birk’s employer!

But hundreds of people in Seattle refused to accept this, and on very short notice demonstrated in multiple different marches that wound their way throughout many parts of the city.

Demonstrators everywhere blocked traffic, chanting and distributing leaflets, but everywhere they were met with cheers and honking of encouragement from commuters who wished to join them in the street. The SPD mobilized a huge response, donning riot gear and wielding clubs to try to keep demonstrators from reaching key locations like police precincts or from congregating in key intersections, but demonstrators were unafraid of the police and continued to express their outrage throughout the night. Some people shouted down cops, while others sat in the street and refused to move as the police tried to clear them. Demonstrators had one another’s backs and no one was arrested!

We can’t stop now! When Chief Diaz and Mayor McGinn explain that nothing can be done, they are asking us to accept that Birk will get away with murder. Tonight, we refused, but one night of amazing protest is not enough. The only way things will ever change is if we change it, and that will take more and more people in the streets.

In this spirit, please come out again on Friday night at 6 PM to Westlake for more demonstrations.

The Facebook announcement for tonight’s event quickly grew from about 300 invites to over 6000 literally overnight. As one poster answered the prompt, “Who is organizing this event,”: “At this point, we all are!” Please share this one even more widely, but also remember that social change is not an image on your computer screen. We are all needed in the streets!

Seattle Times Coverage of tonight’s demos: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/photogalleries/localnews2014242122/

Seattle PI: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2011/02/16/seattle-protestors-march…

CHS: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2011/02/16/ian-birk-decision-protest-m…

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