Finally…..a Worthy, Seattle Protest!!!

Posted on April 1, 2013


Many people outside of the Pacific Northwest think of Seattle as a crunchy, green, cause oriented city. That’s somewhat true I would say – there have been very large public protests here in the past (the World Trade Organization protests in 1999 being the most infamous) but mostly not. Like all progressive cities, the causes that receive the most publicity are selective and usually trendy. Here, as in New York, the graphic brutality of America’s military campaigns go ignored by most progressives who instead fix their affection on politicians (Obama is still the biggest celebrity in Seattle).  It’s certainly not pleasant to think about what is happening in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. but morally, shouldn’t those who know about it be concerned?  

So, it surprised and encouraged me to witness a very dramatic protest last Friday (Good Friday) on the plaza in front of the Federal Building in Downtown Seattle. The Mennonite Church in Seattle sponsored the event and Veterans for Peace publicized it. From my view in a passing bus it had all the ingredients for a  mock disaster drill – police cars flashing their lights,  bodies laying face down on the ground, a good-sized crowd, and a federal building. An eloquent young lady sitting near me wondered out loud “What the (F)…?”

As the bus pulled over to let people off, I angled to get a better look. One young guy waved a large flag with a cross on it. Another held a banner facing the street that read “Drones crucify children.” About 10 people played dead, spread out across the plaza. A crowd circled them, watching. Several people handed out literature and spoke with passing pedestrians. It was very effective street theater. The federal employees on their lunch break looked uncomfortable with their backs to the building.

I hope the protest ended without incident. The Mennonites are not the type to mix it up w the police nor are veteran peace activists but with the treasonous passage of HR 347 last year, commoners risk arrest for gathering too close to our benevolent overlords in government.  Anywhere and anytime! Unsurprisingly, the establishment mouthpiece Seattle Times made no mention of this event nor did any of the “alternative” papers. It’s possible that events like Good Friday’s protest coupled w the recent backlash in Seattle over City’s now abandoned drone program will gather traction. Wouldn’t that be something if progressives and evangelical Christians began to consider the connection between drone use overseas and here at home? Stranger alliances have been made before!