Evidently it wasn’t enough for the Seattle City Council to decide – unanimously – yesterday to pass a far-reaching labor law that puts it in the ranks of San Francisco for being out-of-touch with economic reality. In addition, the council needed a lesson in extortion from community members emboldened by making their elected leaders back down from support of public safety.
That was case at city hall, when the Seattle Times reportedthat “Seattle activists taking part in the “Block-the-Bunker” campaign against the city’s construction of an expensive new North Precinct police station expanded on their viewsMonday, halting a City Council meeting in order to make themselves heard.”
The council was more than willing to provide the protestors with a forum for airing their sometimes-nonsensical views, as the Times noted “not everyone was able to speak during the comment period, so activists shouted, ‘If we’re not heard, we’ll shut it down’ and other chants. Council President Bruce Harrell stopped the meeting. Most council members left, but Harrell, Kshama Sawant and Mike O’Brien stayed to listen. For two hours, activists took turns speaking.”
And it’s not as if those speeches would resonate with much of the rest of the city’s population outside of the protestors who shut down a council meeting for the second time in less than a month. Just consider this statement from one of those who spoke:
“We seek to disarm, defund and demilitarize the police.”
That’s right, these protestors think that disarming the police will make Seattle safer. Because evidently criminals will then lay down their weapons as well.
One of the leaders of the movement decided that a little extortion was in order as well, saying “‘We have three demands and we’re not going to stop,’ Rashad Barber said. ‘We’re not going to stop until the bunker is completely abolished. We’re not going to stop until there’s no new youth jail,’ Barber added, also mentioning the goal of stopping the city from hiring more police officers.”
So, perhaps the protests will not stop, since the second demand would require that the Seattle City Council overrule the King County Council regarding a new youth jail. And the third demand – no new police officers – seems to ignore the basic reality of growing city and an aging police force.
But, no matter. The “several dozen activists, many wearing black shirts” succeeded in getting attention – and showing the Seattle Council who is in charge.