We Disrupted a Full City Council Meeting to Honor Our Dead, Homeless Neighbors

As I’ve shown you recently, we’ve been trying an array of tactics in pressuring Seattle City Council to pass a tax on big business to fund homelessness services and housing, and to stop the police sweeps. This week was crucial as it was the final meetings for Council to hear from the public during the all-important budget process. So, we disrupted the full Council meeting on Monday to honor the 78 who have died outside (later in the week, the number was updated to 86).

About 20 of us registered the names of our dead neighbors for public comment. So, the councilmembers called the name of the deceased, then each of us went up with a rose, a poster and dressed in black to say the same thing over and over. We said the person’s name who died, that 78 people have died this year and 14 in October alone. Then we urged them to pass our two proposals to help homeless folks.

After speaking each of us walked to the back and faced the wall, putting the profile poster up against the wall. When public comment was over, every 10 minutes we disrupted the councilmembers’ business by chanting “78 people have died this year!” That was followed by the entire 100+ person crowd saying the name of one dead neighbor altogether. In addition Ty Nolan had his drum and he beat the drum each time we said a name.

Toward the end, about five of us, including myself, were escorted out by security after Council President Bruce Harrell ejected us for saying the names of dead folks. This is Bruce Harrell, he has so often been in opposition to our movement to help homeless folks:

Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-45-48Jennifer Durham is an excellent photographer. She’s a friend from Neighborhood Action Coalition and also part of Housing For All. She captured the whole meeting and our disruption of it. Here is what it looked like through her lens:

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And, this is what it looked like on TV on the City Council channel:

Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-37-20Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-36-48Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-53-47Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-54-32Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-39-18Screenshot_2017-11-14-16-55-39

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