Editors note: We had photographer Alex Garland ask protestors one question, “What are you doing to advance racial equity?” In the slideshow below, click to the right for their responses.
It was a mid-April day for a pair of marches: the first, a demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns; the second, for Black Lives Matter.
Both drew large crowds in downtown Seattle on an unusually sunny Saturday. But while the Tax March numbered in the hundreds, the Black Lives Matter event later in the day swelled to the thousands, stretching twelve blocks at one point before finishing at the steps of the federal courthouse downtown.
While the protests were nowhere near in size to the Seattle’s Womxn’s March, which drew more than 120,000 people in January, they echoed its spirit: masses demonstrating solidarity by donning matching head gear. But rather than pink knitted pussy hats, Saturday’s BLM protesters wore knitted black beanies.
Both marches were part of a national day of protests on what is typically Tax Day, April 15 (because of the weekend and the little-known Emancipation Day holiday that falls on Monday, Tax Day falls on April 18 this year). Across the country, people in cities large and small spent the day refuting the claim of Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway that people don’t care about the President’s tax returns.
In Berkeley, California, a protest broke into chaos as fights broke out between pro- and anti-Trump protestors. But that tension was largely absent from Seattle’s marches as attendees peacefully coursed through downtown chanting, loudly: “Whose lives matter? Black Lives Matter.”
Those protesting were mostly white. But at 7th and Stewart, a group of speakers standing on a truck bed was comprised of all people of color, mostly black men, with some women wearing hijabs. They spoke about inequality, a fear of getting shot by the police and they called on white Seattle to continue rallying in support of the Black Lives Matter cause.
The Black Lives Matter march finished early, which seems rare for some Seattle protests; when the MC, Mohawk Kuzma, thanked the crowd, thousands scattered like a crowd leaving a Mariners game. But a crowd of protesters is likely to assemble again in just a few weeks for May Day, the traditional day of advocating for workers and immigrant rights.