Protests Catalyze Change

To many, protests are inconvenient. They disrupt order and shut things down. But this is exactly their purpose. They pull in local and sometimes national attention. They raise the voices of those who are normally silenced.

The night of the Ferguson grand jury decision was my first experience at a protest. Since that night, I have been an active participant and organizer in anti-police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. I have been pepper sprayed and tear-gassed. I have been rammed into by cops on bikes. I have seen organizers being snatched and arrested while dispersing. I originally took to the streets in solidarity with Ferguson and Michael Brown, but continued to protest due to the personal experience of brutality by the hands of Seattle Police Department.

The efforts of these protests have started conversations in Seattle City Council regarding the use of brutality by the SPD and the racial disparities that oftentimes corrupt the fair and impartial distribution of justice in our city. Despite the trauma that results from these protests, it is important to fight on. By causing a disruption, we call the attention of the general public as well as lawmakers. Yes, protesting is both exhausting and traumatizing—but it forces those in power to answer uncomfortable but necessary questions. By continuing to pressure lawmakers through aggressively non-violent direct action, our hope is that they will muster the political will to affect change and serve justice.

Courtney Decker
Staff Designer