OLYMPIA –– A crowd of protestors gathered in Heritage Park in Olympia on Friday, July 25 to stand in solidarity with protestors in Seattle and in Portland, Ore. who have come under attack in recent days from federal forces sent in by President Donald Trump.
While agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other national government forces haven’t yet come to Olympia, protestors here spoke out, some in anger, over the government’s actions, police brutality and racial justice in a time of unrest.
“I think they’re here to show they’re in support of Black Lives Matter, and that they really want a true change from the police department,” said Shay, a protestor at the Friday night demonstration. “There needs to be a policy in place to where it will allow the city to charge the cops with the murders. In order to do that, we have to start charging the cops and holding them accountable for their actions.”
The Friday night protest in Downtown Olympia attracted many protestors angry about the presence of federal forces in cities like Portland and Seattle. Calls of “Fuck the feds,” and “fuck the police,” abounded, amidst accusations that local police departments in Washington have collaborated with federal agencies to kidnap people and fight against protestors. Unidentified protestors spoke during the assembly, speaking against authority figures statewide and calling for marchers to join protest organizers to walk around downtown Olympia to local businesses who “fund ICE and work with ICE.”
Many protestors showed up to the gathering in all-black attire, covering their faces with scarves, masks and other items to keep from being identified by the police or the news media. Organizers of the protest, in a departure from some other local demonstrations, were undercover, according to one marcher. During the Heritage Park demonstration, several participants stepped up to the microphone to discuss racial justice, indigenous communities and talk about the issues connected to a movement that has swept the country and the world.
“We need to stop treating the systems of the criminal industrial complex and start defunding the police and start addressing the system itself,” said McCaw, another protestor at the Heritage Park protest. “We need to realize the symptoms we’re addressing are intrinsic to the system itself.”