Nightly Rally To Seattle’s West Precinct Takes Detour, Shuts Down I-5

| Resist!

Above photo: Seattle activists shut down highway I-5. A woman got out of her car and joined demonstrators as they blocked traffic on I-5 for five minutes on Monday evening. By Chase Burn, The Stranger.

Every night around 7 pm, demonstrators now march from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest to the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct. The downhill rally culminates with a handful of speakers who speak out against police brutality. Tonight, the rally ended with an unexpected detour—onto I-5.

The rally began slightly later this evening around 8 pm, with the first two blocks of the march starting in silence.

Speakers spoke on the steps of the West Precinct on Virginia Street for around 30 minutes. There were no police in sight, only a barricade set up in anticipation of the rally.

Demonstrators spoke on a bullhorn about SPD’s use of tear gas, calling it a war crime and demanding justice. Organizer David Lewis talked about being “pepper-sprayed and gassed for two weeks for this change with you.”

“It is your voice, it is your feat, it is your bodies that has earned us an audience with the mayor on a weekly basis,” he continued. “A lot of the voices here are demanding for change and we will have it.”

Just after 9 pm, the rally wrapped up and left the precinct. Before returning to the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area, the rally made an unannounced turn onto I-5 off Yale Ave. Keeping a tight formation, demonstrators held up their hands while yelling, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Many drivers honked in support, with one woman exiting her vehicle to join the protest.

A Washington State Patrol officer quickly arrived, telling demonstrators that “this is not safe” and “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” but demonstrators left the interstate without injury. Southbound traffic ended up being shut down for around five minutes.

“We’re coming back,” a speaker told the crowd at the end of the rally, referring to the West Precinct, “and we’re bringing more.”

  • Jeff

    Stuff like this gets people’s attention, but that’s all it does. If you want to use these demonstrations to get what you want, you have to stop business as usual. Blocking a road or highway for a mere 5 minutes doesn’t accomplish that. Block the road for a day or a week, now people have to deal with your demands.

  • Richard

    Not very good advise. Making it harder for people to get to and from work, doctors appointments, taking kids to school, grocery stores, etc, is also a good way to lose support from the general public for the cause. I support the cause, but don’t make peoples lives any more frustrating & hectic than it already is. Just glad I don’t live in the big city and have to put up with this BS.

  • Jeff

    Sounds like someone talking from a position of white privilege. If it were you and yours getting murdered, beaten, oppressed, and generally harassed by cops, you’d sing a different tune. If you’re not going to help stop this crap, why should anyone care about whether you can get around?

    Furthermore, friendly demonstrations accomplish nothing, so you don’t even know what you’re talking about. The only things that work are creating enough disruption to make the politicians stand up and take notice, and/or to bring the society to a standstill and make it ungovernable. Anything less is just meaningless feel-good BS, and its main effect is to make people feel good about themselves. If people turn against demonstrators because the demonstrators did things like closing roads, those people were never really on the side of the demonstrators to begin with.