City NAACP Rally at City Hall
posted by June 28 at 19:15 PMon
I just got back from the NAACP rally at City Hall.
A diverse crowd of about 150-200 people, from ages eight to eighty, gathered to protest the current state of the police department and call for the resignation of embattled SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske.
A long list of speakers, local poets and MC’s railed against the Chief and accused Mayor Nickels of a cover-up. “We must have community control of the polce. We can’t have the fox watching the chicken coop,” former Black Panther Ron Johnson told the crowd.
The crowd at the rally was pretty subdued, which might’ve been because the speakers were about 50 feet away and 20 feet up from the audience. It was a little weird. However, Anwar Peace was in attendance and was easily the most boisterous audience member. He had a great sign to boot.
Peace also gets bonus points for chasing a cop car down the street, haranguing the officers as he went.
It was a lot of fun to watch.
To close things out, NAACAP president James Bible gave an impassioned speech to the crowd, calling on the city council to end the “second class status for poor people and minorities” and reiterated the NAACP’s “vote of no confidence” against the Chief. Bible also chastised the Seattle Police Guild (SPOG) for their rigid stance against revising the police oversight process, claiming that the process can’t be altered until they negotiate another contract with the city in 3 years. “A contract that allows for the violation of constitutional rights is unconstitutional,” Bible said. “We cannot wait three years for justice.”
While the rally was right outside of city hall, no council members made an appearance, save for council hopeful Joe Szwaja. The sound system was booming, so I’m betting the Mayor and Co. got the message.
After the rally, Bible reiterated a point Josh has hit on a few times this week “The Mayor is soliciting different organizations [to support Kerlikowske] and we feel it’s inconsistent with his asking for an independent investigation.”
This afternoon, Council president Nick Licata announced he’s forming a police accountability advisory group and has invited the mayor to join. Five bucks says he won’t.