On Saturday, February 8, 2018, the College Republicans of the University of Washington in Seattle hosted Patriot Prayer for a rally on campus. UW refused to forbid the rally because something something free speech. They also said that the Seattle police advised them that if they refused to allow the rally, Patriot Prayer would come anyway and they and counter-protesters would clash somewhere else on campus. Kinda makes sense, only the SPD says they didn't say that.
UW: Law enforcement told us that cancelling the Patriot Prayer rally would actually be more dangerous.— Steven Hsieh (@stevenjhsieh) February 11, 2018
SPD: We did not advise UW in this matter. https://t.co/qGAD3zFndK
Uhhhh what the fuck? I'd assume the cops were lying but what would they have to gain?
And what's really fucked up is that a conference for the Young, Gifted, and Black organization was canceled because they were worried about the safety of the black high school kids they were bringing to the UW campus for further enrichment. Because UW didn't want to cancel a white supremacist rally. UW decided that some perverted definition of freedom of speech is more important than the future of these black children. What about the rights of these kids? They couldn't organize because dangerous people were organizing in the same place. People who hate them and would rather they be dead than get jobs these white supremacists think belong to mediocre white people.
I hate it so much. That's why we have to protest. Yes, I know these fuckers want the attention. We can't let them run around and threaten the futures of kids like these. If we don't challenge them everywhere, they'll find new and more fucked up ways to get attention WHILE being able to spread their message unchallenged, recruit, and harass any people of color unfortunate enough to come across them. There are often tourists from Japan on the Seatlle UW campus.
And that wasn't the only event that was canceled because these dangerous people were allowed on campus.
For more information, see this Facebook post:
And yes, the police were collaborating with and protecting the white supremacists. The same pattern happened at this Patriot Prayer rally as any other. We showed up to counter protest, and the police had their barricades around the white supremacists' spot, which was elevated above us. I don't know if the cops think the higher ground helps protect the white supremacists or what. But it's the opposite of what's needed because what also always happens is that we stay on our side of the barricade/riot police line, and then some fucking "Proud Boys" slink their way into our crowd, start talking shit, and when people get mad and try to make them leave, they start shoving or throwing punches, a scuffle happens, and then the cops arrive and somehow end up only arresting counter-protesters. Either because cops love/are white supremacists, the Proud Boys slink away before they can be arrested, or, most likely, a combination of both. Cowards.
This is a deliberate strategy of theirs.
The Patriot Prayer rally is starting w/acoustic country performance in opposite corner of counter protest. There’s clapping and toe tapping.— Jessica Lee (@jessleeST) February 10, 2018
Overheard: “let’s ignore them (counter protesters), and then we’ll come back and agitate them.” https://t.co/DWs5fkuZhI
At least five counter-protesters were arrested this time. I think I counted six. One of them was a young woman who was arrested because a bike cop literally ran over her while she was trying to get back and out of their way as they shoved up against the crowd. If you've never been in this situation, you might not know how hard it is to back up as part of a crowd. You can't move faster than the people behind you and if you try, you're liable to trip and end up on the ground getting trampled or run over by police who then arrest you for being in the way of their fucking bikes.
One good thing did happen. Guess which white supremacist didn't have a good time?
The man with the shaved head, who was hanging in the counter protest for quite some time, was just pushed out and is being escorted away by police. #uwprotest pic.twitter.com/NkLg9KNrqF— Mitch Pittman (@Mitch_Pittman) February 10, 2018
I got a good look at him, and can confirm it was that guy. He had a cell phone or camera on a stick, so I'm assuming he was filming people who didn't want to be filmed, was IDed, and then I saw him get pushed out by the counter-protest crowd like uterus rejecting an egg. Also there was green silly string on his head. Oh, and then I watched him go over and yell something at some cop on the other side of one of the barricades, and the cop just shook his head. I bet he was all "aren't you going to arrest the entire counter-protest for being mean to me????"
Also, this sign held by one of the white supremacists was hilarious:
David didn't want to give me his last name but he's out here for freedom of speech. Even hate speech should be protected. He just started a chant of "My speech, my choice." #uwprotest #PatriotPrayer #UWRally pic.twitter.com/G6uChCQVta— nathalie graham (@gramsofgnats) February 10, 2018
You died? You guys are ghosts? I guess it makes sense since you both wear white sheets.
Still, it can't make up for how fucked up it is that this rally took place at all. It's frustrating because it feels like we can't win. But I'm gonna keep showing up to these counter-protests any time Patriot Prayer shows up, if only to keep an eye out and be there to protect people who need it. It would be worse to do nothing.