At least 2000 protesters countered a “Unite the Right” fascist rally held in downtown Seattle at Westlake Park. The marchers included families with children, clergy from many faiths, antifa groups, Refuse Fascism, socialist groups, members of Indivisible, a Veterans for Peace chapter, and some local government officials and candidates. Chants rang out of No Trump/No KKK/No Fascist USA! and “We Stand with Charlottesville, We Remember Heather!”
This marched was flanked, blocked and viciously attacked by the police with flash bang grenades and pepper spray. It seemed apparent that an official decision was made by law enforcement and the city to not allow the march and its political message against fascism and white supremacy anywhere near the fascist rally. At one point, a man wearing all white charged at a high speed into the marchers on a bike, flailing his arms and sending a Refuse Fascism organizer onto the ground.
Surrounded by militarized police and their vehicles, some protesters blocked an intersection with a sit-in and sang songs before marching back to the starting point. Other protesters continued in a stand-off with police, and still others peeled off and creatively made their ways to Westlake Park as individuals or in small groups. When they got there, they found that about 100 other counter-protesters were already there who had stayed as close to the fascists as they could get from the beginning!
“We Stand With Charlottesville” vigils happened all over Washington State that evening. Refuse Fascism agitated that this nightmare of what happened in Charlottesville and so much more MUST END, that the fascists in the White House are to blame, and that people need to know that on November 4, a new level of struggle begins to protest until the people’s demand is met: “The Trump-Pence Regime Must Go.” We got out hundreds of flyers and invitations to the regional conferences happening August 19th, including inviting key individuals we found among the crowds.