Statewide Silent March and General Strike on Friday, June 12

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Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is calling for a statewide day of action in support of all Black lives in Washington State on Friday, June 12th. The day of action will include a general strike and a silent march to honor lives lost and send a powerful message that Washingtonians no longer tolerate the racism that is built into so many of our institutions. For those who can’t march in Seattle, we encourage local groups to organize a march in their communities.

We know that not everyone can attend a march for various reasons. Our chapter has made it very clear that we don’t want to put people at risk in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. So for those who can’t participate in a physical gathering, we urge you to participate in the general strike and in actions that we post online throughout the day.

It’s important to emphasize that the decision to plan this in-person protest was not made lightly. We understand that people will claim that this protest will increase the risk of harm to members of our community by planning such an action at this time. However, we feel that we are not taking a new risk. Rather, we have already been put at risk. Anti-Blackness is a greater threat to our survival. Racism is its own pandemic. It’s killing us, and we are fighting to survive and thrive.

There’s never been been a time in American history where Black people have not lived and died under the unrelenting boot of racism and systematic oppression. If we truly want to create something that we’ve never had before, then we need to be willing to do things that we’ve never done before. A statewide day of action will send a powerful message that Black lives matter in Washington state. 

Details for the General Strike

On Friday, June 12, we urge everyone to spend their time and energy on direct action for lasting structural change. Don’t go to work, and don’t work from home.

If you can’t march, take this time as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your local elected officials. This includes your mayor, city council, county executive, county council, county prosecutor, and state representatives. It helps if you collaborate with friends and neighbors, and reach out to people you know who are more familiar with the local issues. It’s up to you to make sure your local officials feel the pressure to improve police accountability and dismantle the structural racism that has been built into all of our institutions.

We will update this page in the following days with more specific actions for you to participate in.

Details for the Silent March in Seattle

Schedule

  1. Meet at Judkins Park at 1:00pm.
  2. Begin silently marching at 2:00pm.
  3. Silently march to Jefferson Park via 23rd Ave S. This will likely take 90 minutes or more.
  4. Closing Remarks at Jefferson Park.

Rules for the March

  1. Please be respectfully silent during the march.
    • Please don’t initiate chanting or booing.
    • We encourage you to bring signs and other visual ways of making your voices heard during the protest.
  2. Please take the pandemic seriously.
    • Maintain 6 feet distance from everyone who’s not in your household. There will be plenty of room, so be willing to spread out and expand the footprint of the march!
    • Bring appropriate facial coverings (mask, cloth, scarf, bandana, etc)
    • Bring gloves.
    • Bring hand sanitizer.
    • Do NOT attend if you are sick, exhibiting symptoms, or if you believe you have come into contact with someone who had COVID-19.
  3. After closing remarks, please disperse and return home immediately.
    • Do this in the interest of mitigating your risk of coming into contact with the virus.
    • Plan your visit to the area in advance so that you know how you will be getting home before you arrive at the protest.

What to Bring

  1. Bring shoes that are water resistant and good for walking.
  2. You may bring signs and banners. If you are honoring a loved one, you may bring photos of the individual or other items to help remember that individual.
  3. The event will be family friendly and the route is fully accessible by wheelchair and strollers.
  4. Bring what you need to stay safe from the pandemic (see Rule #2 above).

Additional Safety Precautions

Despite the above instructions, we are aware that many will choose to come to the protest without any protective equipment. For this reason, we will be providing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer at the event. However, if you are able to bring your own protective equipment, then you should, in order to help us make supplies last.

Additionally, the fact that the march is silent will further mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, whereas yelling often increases risk of its spread.

For further reading, review our Protestor Safety Guide.

Donations

If you would like to donate equipment or services for the protest, please fill out this form. For more complicated inquiries and questions, please contact donations@blacklivesseattle.org.

We’ve received numerous donations already. If you’re eager to help, here’s a list of items that we could use more of.

  • Gloves – Ideally vinyl in order to accommodate those with latex allergies, but we would accept latex as well.
  • Water bottles
  • Bags for trash and recycling.
  • Snacks of any kind – Particularly, food that is easy to distribute, and options for those who can’t eat nuts, grains, or soy.
  • Bandaids, bandages, and other first-aid equipment.
  • Wipes for disinfecting surfaces.

Any excess non-perishable materials will be saved for future events. We do not need more masks, thank you!

Organize a March in Your Community

We encourage those who do not live in Seattle or cannot travel to Seattle to organize a march in their local community and to let us know about it by emailing protests@blacklivesseattle.org. We will update this page with a directory of all marches happening statewide.

For More Info

Please check back to this page and our Facebook Event for more details as we make them available.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact protests@blacklivesseattle.org.