Happening now on Alki: #blackbrunchseattle anti-racism demonstration

We’ve been asked why police are out on Alki. Scanner traffic mentioned they were called because of “protesters.” Checking Twitter, we found out it’s the walking anti-racism demonstration that goes by the hashtag #blackbrunchseattle. Social-media clips show participants staging brief demonstrations inside restaurants, and then moving on; recognizable visuals included Cactus, Duke’s, and Alki CafĂ©, shown in this brief video clip that was tweeted:

Another tweet says there are 11 participants and six police cars. A few have tweeted photos of the SPD presence.

Following the hashtag shows past demonstrations in other Seattle neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, and one today on the East Coast in Princeton, NJ.

42 Replies to "Happening now on Alki: #blackbrunchseattle anti-racism demonstration"

  • JanS March 8, 2015 (1:21 pm)

    oh, my, bet that pissed of some of the “how dare you disrupt my pleasant brunch on Alki” crowd…

  • West Seattle Hipster March 8, 2015 (1:22 pm)

    ALL lives matter…….

  • JanS March 8, 2015 (1:22 pm)

    oh, and one cop car for every two people…special…

  • Dave March 8, 2015 (2:08 pm)

    All lives matter


  • ScubaFrog March 8, 2015 (2:17 pm)

    Yeah they don’t get to do that. Grateful for the SPD’s presence. That special interest group is disrupting the peace and harassing people. Moreover they’re trespassing in someone’s business and potentially affecting revenue. Most people wouldn’t react well to an aggressive mob, screaming in one’s face. Jan you sound *VERY* bitter of Alki residents.

    This was the same bully tactic used when Chief O’Toole came. You don’t get to shout others down, in an attempt to make a point.

  • person March 8, 2015 (2:18 pm)

    I support this protest. (What, no SWAT team?)

  • datamuse March 8, 2015 (3:04 pm)

    Six squad cars for eleven people seems a bit excessive.

  • Ray March 8, 2015 (3:19 pm)

    “Six squad cars for eleven people seems a bit excessive.”

    So does going into a business, disrupting said business and harassing patrons.

    They do not have the “right” to do that. It is perfectly legal to hold said protest OUTSIDE of the restaurant. But inside it is plain harassment.

  • keden March 8, 2015 (3:39 pm)

    There were some ticked off people at Cactus, and some left. But it was a peaceful protest, so I’m not sure why the police were there. And they certainly didn’t harass anyone.

  • K March 8, 2015 (3:58 pm)

    I think yelling in a private business could be considered harassment, but not sure how the law looks at these things–would think private property vs public comes into play here. It’s certainly is a rude and childish way of dealing with an incredibly important issue.

  • ltfd March 8, 2015 (4:06 pm)

    I’m sure they made a very favorable impression on the innocent bystanders (patrons). They obviously read Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.

  • ScubaFrog March 8, 2015 (4:11 pm)

    This was pure harassment, nothing “peaceful” about it. This wasn’t a protest, this is bullying. Period.

    How is this an effective form of protest? Getting in people’s faces, yelling, disrupting businesses?

    I empathize with the cause, but these extremist tactics really turn the average person off.

  • CandrewB March 8, 2015 (4:19 pm)

    Good think I can’t afford brunch so as not to exploit my privilege.

  • flimflam March 8, 2015 (5:31 pm)

    surely there must have been something more worthy of the attention of SIX police cars than 11 people “protesting”.

  • csw March 8, 2015 (6:16 pm)

    What is the point of targeting these restaurant? I think people just like making a scene, just because. Targeting random people is not going to help your cause. And shouldn’t the cause be “All People Matter”, otherwise they are being racist.

  • Bigpoppa March 8, 2015 (6:57 pm)

    When the people that put themselves in danger try to help our community why should we attack them?
    Multiple police cars arrive at a crime scene for a multitude of reasons. It may seem excessive but lets consider that;
    1. The initial police cars that are going to a scene don’t know where and how many other units are there or headed there.
    While they do have radios, computers, and gps, nothing is for certain and when there is a community member or Proptery in danger than it warrants the amount of units that show up to a scene.

    2. Team work pays.
    Why would we expect the people that protect us to be singled out and attacked unless they are stepping over a boundry that is harmful.

    Police are a team like a family. If a police person is going to a call than lets hope his teammates back them up.

    Racism is a behavior of all cultures none is good. Every human has color. But we are putting skin color over behaviors.
    Behaviors that are negative and destructive are not good in any color.
    Stop the bickering it’s time to get back to the days of our lives.

  • sc March 8, 2015 (7:16 pm)

    So when will this group head to Magnolia and Ballard?

  • JanS March 8, 2015 (7:22 pm)

    Scubafrog…who said they were Alki residents? And, no, I’m fine with Alki residents…used to be one myself. Not everyone who dines on Alki lives there…I was just down there Friday night.

    yes, I’m sure there were quite a few “How dare they”s during this. No one was harmed, no one was hurt, no one was arrested, and those from the SPD got to get out of their cars and take in the sun, the view…uncomfortable was probably at the forefront, though…

  • East Coast Cynic March 8, 2015 (7:59 pm)

    Those people in Alki, at least the ones who felt there brunches were disrupted, need to get the sticks out of their butts and appreciate the fight for equal rights and justice.

    @sc, good point, as well as other north seattle cocoons like Queen Anne Hill and Wedgwood.

  • M March 8, 2015 (8:17 pm)

    As a 25 plus year Alki resident I have witnessed first hand how fast things can “go bad”. Think tight space and limited access. As always thank you SPD.

  • Sar March 8, 2015 (8:25 pm)

    If I was in a cafe eating with my kid and a crowd of ppl came in yelling I would be very uncomfortable. I don’t care what color the ppl are, I would be freaked out wondering what would happen next. All lives DO matter, but that is not the venue.

  • MellyMel March 8, 2015 (8:32 pm)

    It may be that protests or demonstrations that garner the reaction “this method isn’t a way to persuade me” should be a clue that the intention is not persuade.

    I believe it is about visibility and, particularly, visibility of anger. And not letting people who aren’t personally affected forget quite so quickly as they usually do.

  • DP March 8, 2015 (8:38 pm)

    LOL @ anyone who thinks these were “extremist tactics”.

  • Mike March 8, 2015 (8:39 pm)

    SPD was present and would have arrested all the protestors if they had been asked by the business owners to leave and didn’t. None of that happened. SPD was there to keep peace, they did that. The fact that people are up in arms about SPD showing a presence is pretty sad. Equal rights does not mean just rights of protesters (especially those that are doing so against the law). These individuals violated the rights of the business owners/workers and business patrons by pulling this stunt. Nothing provoked them to protest at these particular businesses. This is harassment and should be handled as such.
    JanS, I’m sorry you feel it’s okay to violate other peoples rights to serve your interests. The fact that people eat at a restaurant is not a show of them being righteous, it’s the norm. It also helps our economy. If everyone stopped going out to eat, stopped shopping, stopped buying things, every single one of us would be in far worse conditions than anyone is in now. Honestly, would you be okay if a group of protesters that randomly walked into your residence, interrupting what you’re doing, no matter what it is? I find it sad that people are even okay with this.
    We all have a right to protest. We don’t have the right to do it in private spaces, that’s against the law.

  • Citizen Sane March 8, 2015 (10:34 pm)

    As the saying goes, ‘the right to swing your fist ends where the other fellow’s nose begins’. The First Amendment protects free speech and peaceful assembly, NOT NOT NOT trespassing and harassing a business’ patrons. These ‘protesters’ were simply a bunch of entitled brats trying to justify disruptive behavior by wrapping themselves in Dr. King’s mantle.
    When Civil Rights activists occupied lunch counters in the 60s, they were protesting the fact they couldn’t be served there. These modern-day dilettantes really need to crack a history book. They have nothing in common with Dr. King and the other heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
    If they’re trying to get me to think that we have a problem with policing, they failed. I’ll side with the police over these clowns any day.

  • ltfd March 8, 2015 (10:54 pm)

    Reminds me of the “Epic Rap Battles of History”, Mr T vs Mr Rogers.

  • sophista-tiki March 9, 2015 (4:05 am)

    OMG Not yelling how dare they!!! Unwad your undies people and get over yourselves. . OH boo hoo your brunch was disrupted. BFD! GOOD for them , mission accomplished, they got your attention and they made you feel uncomfortable about it.

  • WS Native E March 9, 2015 (4:16 am)

    I must say that I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Citizen Sane and Mike. To me, they both make great, valid points. As for JanS..you seem to be a bit jaded about West Seattleites/Seattleites unless they fit your agenda. And to the host of this wonderful site, for which I read daily, Is JanS a reporter or have something to do with the WSB? I’ve seen her comment on here many times and has her tag highlighted in blue, the same as you. Hopefully thats not the case because I would hate to skip over a story she may be involved with. I believe in the 1st Ammendment as much as these “distractors” today do. I also know that there are times when I have to “shutty” my opinion, especially when I’m at work or somewhere I will be affiliated with said entity.

    • WSB March 9, 2015 (6:43 am)

      WS E, I’m the only commenter here who’s on staff and on rare occasions co-publisher Patrick will comment. If someone’s handle is highlighted in blue, it’s because they chose to put a website in the “website” field when commenting, such as their personal website or their business, which I believe is what Jan links to; if you click the name it will go to the site they linked (in my case, it’s our “about” page). If you had a personal website or business that you put in the “website” field when commenting, your name would show up the same way. – Tracy

  • sarah March 9, 2015 (4:25 am)

    I know this group has hit other neighborhoods and I’m actually happy see such a mixed reaction in West Seattle (balance of supportive and non). That said, I’m not in any way connected but I perceive after seeing their presence that they are really effective. Basically making people stop and talk/think/research…

    And as far as the police presence: given the fact that they still can’t figure out who is stealing cell phone from students in west seattle, shooting around westwood village and other illegal stuff, I’m going to say those officers had better things to do especially since their reputation (if you research other neighborhoods they’ve hit) has never been violent or illegal.

  • Craig March 9, 2015 (10:08 am)

    Dumb. It’s not a protest, it’s not thoughtful. They’re leaving a trail of pissed off people (all colors) like myself because they’re shouting at the wrong times asking for nothing. Ego fest here plain and simple. Surprise invasions of space and unrelated message targets are dumb and would get you fired for being ineffective if they worked at an ad agency. If they were selling a product or a message, like an intelligent advertising professional would, they’d target their demographic, have a call to action, and measure their impact. That’s advertising. Advertising doesn’t work? Put down your Starbucks, walk to your Apple, Google a YouTube video on it and check that people can’t be influenced to do something, buy something via effective messages. They’re just kids enjoying pretending like they’re meaningful. Start a 501c and buy some airtime somewhere if you want actual exposure and change. It doesn’t sound as sexy, but clearly it’s effective. Sorry business owners, for the misguided thrill seeking kids who mean well, but just aren’t savvy yet. PS: Spitting out random facts about every 28 minutes is not effective if there’s no comparison. That only works is 13% of all messages, or every 45th yell, or in 3% of left handed German phone book users.

  • A March 9, 2015 (10:28 am)

    The protesters are a bunch of self-righteous clowns who will never be happy. Racism just happens to be the trendy cause of the moment. What exactly are they trying to accomplish? It doesn’t make me think about and reflect on injustice; it makes me reflect on how misguided they are. Just live a good life and treat others with respect instead of throwing your own misery and insecurities in everyone else’s face.

  • Citizen Sane March 9, 2015 (10:56 am)

    Sophista-tiki, if the protesters goal was to indeed get attention and make feel uncomfortable, then yes, mission accomplished. Did they contribute anything positive towards solving the issues around overly militarized/aggressive policing? Not one bit. I suspect most people will come away with the feeling that most of these ‘police abuse’ cases start with citizens who go into the encounter packing an attitude and agenda (just like the restaurant yellers in this case), who willfully escalate the situation and force the officer’s hand (they are required BY TRAINING AND PD PROCEDURE) to establish control over the situation, by force if necessary, for their safety and, believe it or not, the citizen being contacted.
    That is not to say there is no problem. I have read the Furguson report, and it appears a pattern of abuse by the FPD has left both sides in that community ‘spring loaded in the pissed-off position’. Situations like what led to the Michael Brown shooting were inevitable.
    The is a problem, and there are solutions, but self-indulgent yahoos like the Alki ‘protesters’ contribute nothing but add to the polarization of the community. If that is what they were looking for, then yes indeed, ‘mission accomplished’.

  • Elle Nell March 9, 2015 (7:29 pm)

    So, first off these kids have all the right in the world to protest. Period. They may not suit many of your interests in this feed but they do have the right… It’s so funny to me how this type of protests really bring out the deep seeded feelings of race and the blood lines that go with it. For instance, all of you who are upset about the protest, what if these were Caucasian kids. THINK about that for a second.. If fact, just think.

  • kg March 9, 2015 (10:19 pm)

    I would tell Caucasian kids to go protest on public property just like I would tell anyone else.

    Nice try though.

  • ScubaFrog March 10, 2015 (4:46 am)

    If any group of people, composed of ANY racial makeup, come up to me and start screaming at me, I’ll feel threatened. This is a group that wore virtually all black, and positioned themselves aggressively/tactically throughout the restaurants. Most of the diners were horrified. I’m sure the screamers are college-age adults, and it appears that the group is racially-diverse – do some research into the participants’ unfortunate social media postings.

    This wasn’t a protest. It was bullying and harassment. Period.

    What a sad way to politicize and exploit the young men and women who’ve been brutalized by the police state, through the decades. Their ‘demonstration’ disrespects the memory of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown et al, and does nothing but serve the egos of the screamers, while violating the rest of us.

  • Mike March 10, 2015 (6:02 am)

    Elle Nell, their right to protest stopped at the front door. I think you need to step back and realize they actually broke that boundary in this event. They do have the right to protest OUTSIDE on public property. If these were caucasian kids, I’d say the exact same thing (I believe some even are caucasian in that group). So step back and think, Elle Nell.
    Here, I’ll help you learn something today: http://www.aclutx.org/2011/02/02/free-speech-and-the-right-to-protest/

  • Elle Nell March 10, 2015 (4:38 pm)

    First off, no one was yelling in any ones face… They were not arrested and were not really participating in civil disobedience . They were protesting and exercising their freedom of speech right.. In a public place. Now, don’t give me the ol song and dance… Wake up and start talking equality… Thinking equality.. Being equality. Get over the disruption of someone eating their damn food… Pathetic and clearly unable to place their toes on someone else’s foot.

  • Mike March 10, 2015 (5:09 pm)

    It wasn’t a public place, really… read the ACLU article I posted

  • Mike March 10, 2015 (8:31 pm)

    Maybe we need to clarify the difference in public property and open to the public. Open to the public can be a business on private property which allows public to enter. Just because they allow public onto their property does not mean it’s open to protesting on their property. The 1st amendment does not provide protections on private property like it does on public property.

  • alki_2008 March 10, 2015 (10:03 pm)

    @Elle Nell — they were not protesting “in a public place”. That’s the core issue here.
    The actions of the protesters does not help garner support for their cause. If nothing else, it deters people from supporting their cause. ‘Getting attention’ alone is not an effective way to promote a cause.

  • Interrobang March 10, 2015 (11:53 pm)

    LOL@ all the people “Well if THIS is how they’re going to behave, I simply won’t support it!”
    I can hardly even. Like you were all such staunch supporters before? Mmmhmm. Okay. Well, your passive support will not be missed.

    I wasn’t there, but I didn’t need to be — in my heart, I’d love to believe SPD was to make sure that the protesters and others who disagreed safety…. My experience makes me question it. I’m just glad no one was hurt

    I will say this though — throughout history there have been peaceful but illegal protests, and what I’d like people to see is the desperation for people to bear witness, to remember, to not lose the fire for fighting for equality. This issue shouldn’t fall to the wayside.

Sorry, comment time is over.