'Peaceful and uplifting march' draws 4,000 people to Shoreline's Black Lives Lost protest

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Gathering at Cromwell Park
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

By Diane Hettrick

A peaceful protest organized by the Black Student Unions of Shorecrest and Shorewood, with participation from other local schools, to honor Black Lives Lost drew 3-5,000 participants to Shoreline on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

"Black Lives Matter"

Photo by Steven H. Robinson

It began with a gathering at Shoreline's Cromwell Park at 180th and Meridian. Many people arrived at 11am to make signs. 

Members of the Black Student Unions spoke
Photo by David Walton

There was music and speakers from the Black Student Unions spoke about their frustrations with the present and what they want for their future. 

"Demilitarize Police"

The march stretched out for many blocks
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Around 12:30pm the march began, going down Meridian to N 175th and up the hill to Shoreline City Hall on Midvale. There were hundreds of signs. Most said "Black Lives Matter" 

"Silence = Violence"

Speaker at the Sculpture Walk
Photo by David Walton

Marchers ended up filling the Sculpture Walk in front of City Hall after the half hour walk. Speakers once again addressed the crowd.

"White People - Shut Up and Listen"

Background - the car caravan stretches from Meridian up NE 175th
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

A car caravan of about 50 vehicles began at City Hall, and followed the marchers on N 175th moving slowly and honking their horns.

"Dismantle Power Structures of Oppression"

Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Shoreline police closed the streets to make way for the marchers. Shoreline police and Lake Forest Park police were part of the planning process with the students, and officers from both departments were in the march. It was a diverse, multi-racial, family-friendly crowd. Babies, students, and adults marched side by side.

"Say their names"

Student organizers and police worked together
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

"White Silence - Black Death"

Both police chiefs were pleased with the outcome and very complimentary of the students who planned and executed it.

Chief Ledford of Shoreline said "The Shorewood and Shorecrest Black Students Union, along with students from other local schools did a great job organizing and leading the march. They showed great leadership and it was a peaceful protest. They did a great job bringing the community together during this difficult time."

"I can't breathe"

Attempts were made to social distance
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Virtually every person in the march was masked. There was an attempt at social distancing but it was difficult with so many people in the same area.

"Racism is a Pandemic Too"

Photo by David Walton

Police Chief Harden of Lake Forest Park commented that there was a "Very big showing and almost completely peaceful. The only incident I was aware of was a bus blocked for about 5 min on Aurora but the organizers were able to manage the group. Except for that, very good job by the organizers, the community, and very well managed. The students that organized this did a great job." 

"We are all One"

Officer Coleman, Chief Harden, and Officer Coombs of LFP Police
marched and helped a couple of kids with the climb up the hill
Photo by Steven H. Robinson 

Harden commented that "Two officers from LFPPD and I walked with the group from the park to city hall. Everyone we encountered was respectful, even through the frustration."

"No Justice - No Peace"

Protestors start to move onto Aurora
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Our reporter Steve Robinson observed that for a brief time at the end of the march people lining Aurora and displaying signs were slowing the traffic. At one point they walked into the roadway and blocked northbound traffic. One car forced its way through the marchers while several made U-turns.

"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government - MLK"

Blocking Aurora and the RapidRide E bus
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

A RapidRide E bus was stopped completely for a few minutes. A Shoreline police officer and organizers encouraged people to leave the roadway without much difficulty and the bus continued on its way.

Shoreline officer encourages protesters to move off the road
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

400 Years of Intolerance. Enough is Enough. 
I stand with my black brothers and sisters. I am with you and I Love You!

Speaker exhorts the crowd
Photo by David Walton


Renee Andreasen June 7, 2020 at 3:00 PM  

To the brave students who organized this event - thank you. You are brave and you taught me a lot. This is the message I received from my experience. Thank you for helping me see things better. To see you better. I wrote this after yesterday's event:

I’m going to post some strong ideas in this post. Ideas that are real, and frank and the truth.

I have no choice but to speak my truth, the truth.

This week I took a break from Social Media with the mission to learn about racism and injustice.

I learned a lot. I learned I’m ignorant and unaware of the brevity and reality and danger of racism actively present in my neighborhood and that I unintentionally contribute to the situation in ways that I am unaware. This was a difficult revelation.

Of all the things I learned, this is the most clear to me now;

Black. Lives. Matter.

Black - We’re talking about Black people. Yes, many people are suffering and experiencing injustice, but right now we’re specifically talking about Black people. Focusing specifically on Black people does not negate or take away from others pain and injustice. This is not a point system. There is no scoreboard. We’re focusing on Black people.

Lives - We’re talking about life and death. We are bringing light to the fact that Black people do not feel safe, and in particular, safe from Police. They’re dying at a disproportionate rate due to police shootings. This is a fact. This is current, this is not a new thing. It has happened for centuries and it is happening today. It is happening in America, in your neighborhood. Because of this and a lot of other things, black people do not feel safe. They do not feel safe every day of their life. Can you imagine what that must be like? Frankly, I cannot.

Matter - “To be important, to be of significance.” Black people are significant. They are as significant as my children. They should be protected as much as my children. I should protect them as if they were my own children. I should be ready to die for them as I would my own children. This is how much they matter. They should feel like they matter this much.

Now what? We cannot let this be the flavor of the month, or the fad of the time. There’s a lot to do. There is a lot to fix in this world.

This is the time for all of us to rise up, to evolve to a better planet where there is no difference in race, there is only one human race where all lives matter and there are equal rights and justice for all.

Tim Orden June 7, 2020 at 3:36 PM  

Apparently I've been gone from Seattle for a very long time. When I lived there everybody black was in my hood, The CD. Going out to Shoreline Man, it was super white.

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