Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant and her staff let hundreds of George Floyd protesters inside City Hall on Tuesday night after which she appeared to call her fellow council members "sellouts" and protesters called for Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan to resign, KOMO-TV reported.
City officials said the building is typically locked at night, the station said.
Chanting for the removal of Mayor Durkan inside City Hall as they head up the steps toward the council chamber.… https://t.co/wSZAJxdB2W— Jake Goldstein-Street (@Jake Goldstein-Street) 1591761251.0
Councilmember Sawant has a key to City Hall, allowing protesters to enter and chant for the mayor’s removal.… https://t.co/9UH7khMMDe— Jake Goldstein-Street (@Jake Goldstein-Street) 1591761384.0
Sawant is an outspoken socialist. Indeed, during a Bernie Sanders campaign rally earlier this year, she told the adoring crowd, "We need a powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation!"
Once inside City Hall, she spoke to protesters and lamented about having to deal with "sellouts" and "corporate politicians," an apparent reference to her fellow council members.
"When I'm sitting on the dais, every moment I remind myself, they're not my people, you're my people," she told the protesters who responded with cheers.
Councilmember Sawant now calling her council colleagues “sellouts” and “corporate politicians.” #seattleprotest https://t.co/G915glD95k— Jake Goldstein-Street (@Jake Goldstein-Street) 1591762426.0
But just in case you thought the throng was one big, happy, monolithic family, one protester reportedly warned the councilwoman to not use Black Lives Matter to advance her personal political ambitions.
One of the first speakers here tells CM Sawant not to co-opt Black Lives Matter as a vehicle for her political ambi… https://t.co/VFJxv1C2dP— Jake Goldstein-Street (@Jake Goldstein-Street) 1591763063.0
Protesters also called for the defunding of police, KOMO said.
Officers deployed tear gas on protesters in Capitol Hill Saturday night, one day after the mayor announced a 30-day ban on using tear gas, the station said.
What did the mayor have to say?
In response to the protest, Durkan's office released the following statement Tuesday night, KOMO reported:
Mayor Durkan will not be distracted from the critical work that needs to be done at a moment that Seattle is facing its most challenging time in its history. The disparities, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic are an unprecedented challenge. Now we are faced with the pain and trauma relating to the murder of Mr. Floyd and the generations of systemic racism in our city and country that rightfully need to be addressed not through words but action. The City has so much healing and work to do — that is where Mayor Durkan will continue to spend her focus in the coming days, weeks and months ahead. At this pivotal moment, we cannot fan division when we need to come together to make actual steps on policing, invest in community, safely reopen our city to get workers back to work, and address the inequities in every system, including in education, housing, access to wealth building jobs and the criminal justice system.
As the person who originally investigated the Seattle Police Department for the unconstitutional use of force, Mayor Durkan believes that SPD can lead the nation on continued reforms and accountability, but knows this week has eroded trust at a time when trust is most crucial.
Mayor Durkan has worked non-stop over the last three months to keep our community safe and to address the inequities of the pandemic in our community. Working together, we must focus our investments in opportunities for communities of color and increase efforts that go even beyond what we built the first two years, like free college, expanding preschool, protecting domestic workers and rideshare drivers, building affordable housing, and investing in community led youth safety programs.
The Daily Wire)