Freedom, Hate, and a Campus Divided

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Protesters face off against Freedom Rally attendees. Photo by Kelsey Hamlin

Mahilet Mesfin stood front-and-center at a barricade, one of many spanning the University of Washington’s Red Square last Saturday. The 18-year-old protester and UW student felt she had to be there.

The UW College Republicans (UWCR) had invited Joey Gibson, conservative speaker and leader of Patriot Prayer, to campus for a Freedom Rally to further the argument surrounding free speech on campus. While some feel speech involving white supremacy or promoting racist views should be banned as hate speech, others, including the UWCR, feel that allowing such expression is essential to the idea of free speech. In part, this is why the UWCR invited ex-Breitbart editor and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to campus in January 2017, an event that sparked violence and a shooting. This time around, the UWCR attempted to address the same idea with the lesser known, and less controversial, Patriot Prayer. For the Freedom Rally, organizers said they wanted to invite others, even opposition, to take the mic. Patriot Prayer has ceded the mic and stage to opposition in the past. Due to safety concerns, though, it didn’t quite play out that way on Saturday.

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Seattle Teachers Show Solidarity With Striking Bus Drivers

Hundreds of educators joined with striking bus drivers on the picket line Wednesday at a number of protest hubs throughout Seattle.

The gulf between the drivers, represented by the Teamsters union, and First Student, a subcontractor with Seattle Public Schools, has widened since a one-day strike in Nov. 2017 after the two sides failed to negotiate an agreement on improved healthcare and retirement benefits in ensuing months.

via South Seattle Emerald

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Seattle Tech Leaders Panel Confronts Tough Changes Required by #MeToo Movement

As Erik Molano scrolled through his Facebook feed with endless streams of #MeToo posts inundating his eyes, he felt anger but also felt removed. He wasn’t a perpetrator of these harmful and degrading situations. Then he saw it. A woman who, on his Facebook feed, made a #MeToo post explicitly naming him and something he did.

Via South Seattle Emerald

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Local Muslim advocacy organization offers bystander intervention training

CAIR photo

The “Hassle Line” – a technique developed by the Civil Rights movement to prepare marchers for confrontations with harassers. [Photo courtesy of CAIR Washington]

Approximately 40 people came to learn bystander training from the Washington Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) on Jan. 13.

Bystander training is a nonviolent mechanism for community members to go out into the real world and prevent confrontations from escalating, prevent harassment or hate crimes, and act as better allies.

The training event included people who had experienced harassment as well as those who had only witnessed it.

Fatima Sheikh has experienced both.

Via International Examiner

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Seattle Womxn’s March 2.0 Attracts Thousands

Saturday marked the one- year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency and welcomed the anticipated follow up to one of the largest demonstrations in the history of the United States.

Joining sister marches spanning cities across the country, Seattle’s Womxn’s March 2.0 served as a reminder that many of the thousands who poured into the streets last year to protest Trump’s inauguration have sustained their fight against patriarchy, misogyny, and violence against women they feel his presidency has emboldened.

Like last year, the 2018 iteration of the Womxn’s March began at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill and ended at Seattle Center. But it struck a slightly different visual than its predecessor:

There were noticeably fewer people of color, but an early focus on the Indigenous and Two Spirit community.

Via South Seattle Emerald

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Black Teen Accused of Shoplifting, Pinned to Ground by Beacon Hill Red Apple Employees

Teddy Avestruz was walking along Beacon Avenue on Wednesday, Jan. 17, when he saw a black, teenage boy being held down on the pavement in front of the Hilltop Red Apple by five people wearing the store’s uniform. The store’s general manager accused the boy of shoplifting in a later interview. Avestruz, who says that he was angered and upset about the incident, stopped to film it.

Via South Seattle Emerald

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