A crowed reaching up to 700 people at times, according to the Seattle Times, gathered at Seattle’s Westlake Center on Friday Nov. 27, 2015 to protest racism, police violence and black Friday shopping.
“Black lives matter, Black Friday does not,” was a chant frequently used by the hundreds gathered as they marched through the Seattle streets.
By 7 p.m. the protest wound to a close, with only 4 arrests made and one Seattle police officer injured throughout the protest.
The protesters marched through several streets around Westlake Center, blocking off multiple intersections and wound through busy stores such as Macy’s and Forever 21.
While large the protest remained relatively peaceful with only a few tense interactions with Seattle Police at the entrances to the Westlake Center and the Pacific Place shopping center.
This contrasts heavily with 2014’s Black Friday protest in Seattle which resulted in multiple standoffs between protesters and police, some of which resulting in violence, tear gas and flash grenades.
The protest began at 1 p.m. in Westlake Plaza . From there they began to march the streets around Westlake Center, stopping at various intersections to listen to speakers. The protesters were not able to enter Westlake Center, as they did in 2014, but were successful in entering Macy’s and Forever 21 and briefly disrupting shopping in those stores.
Ultimately the protest made it’s way back to Westlake Plaza to gather around the Christmas Tree there and to disrupt the event taking place there. The protesters chanted en mass over the concert performers on the Holiday Stage and tied signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Fuck the Police” to balloons that they released during the Tree Lighting.
The protest concluded with the protesters sitting in the courtyard in front of Westlake Center listening to speakers who discussed current issues with racism, addressed the police officers surrounding Westlake directly and a small boy who spoke about his experiences.
Full gallery can be found HERE.